Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble… For whoever would love life… must keep his tongue from evil... He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:8-11 (NIV) Whoever...
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house. 1 Peter 2:5 (NIV)
All over the world there are communities of American soldiers. Sometimes they are well received. Sometimes they suffer hostility. But they go where they are sent and they live under the flag. They represent the presence of this country where they serve.
That’s the church! If you don’t like the military metaphor, think about an embassy. This country has embassies all over the world. The embassy is an American presence.
Where are we to look for God’s presence in this broken world? The New Testament has a clear answer. God’s presence is found among his people. In the early days of the church, people would visit with worshipping believers and say, “Truly God is among you” (1 Cor. 14:25).
Notice, Peter wrote this letter to believers in specific locations: Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bythinia (1 Peter 1:1). Where could you find the presence of God in Pontus? Peter says, “The presence of God is known in Pontus when you folks who have been born again come to Jesus in worship.” How is the name of God honored in Cappadocia? Peter says, “The name of God is honored as you folks who have been born again in Cappadocia gather to worship Jesus.”
Where should we look to find the presence of God in New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago? In the gathering of believers who love and worship Jesus. This is what God is doing as we come to Him! He is building us together into a community where his presence is known. There is no higher privilege than to be part of that. There is no more compelling vision or purpose for living.
Are you part of a community of believers where the presence of God is known?