I'm sure that if you have heard a lot of sermons then you have learned to beware the ''Now my last point'' from the Preacher! Peter is only halfway through his letter, but he is summarising what he has written so far! Now the instructions of Peter here are fairly challenging even when you have a free, reasonably prosperous life such as most of us: when you consider the challenges Peter's readers were facing, the commitment to peace and unity has to be absolute. You will recall that in the previous verses Peter was writing to slaves, wives and husbands, all of whom were believers and so, both for who they were and for what they believed, they would have faced ridicule and insults. The only way they were able to conduct themselves in such a way was by diving deep into the fellowship of believers and into the love of God. They knew that they had something worth dying for! We know that the best witness to those who are hungry for God, but are not sure that they can trust Christians, is through lives well led. I watched a fabulous video yesterday where Jackie Pullinger speaks about her witness in the Walled City in Hong Kong and you get to walk around that dark place which has now been demolished. I recommend that you watch it by using this link..https://youtu.be/cRnrEsopGkY. In the context of what we have read today it reminds us who have been Christians for many years that there is still a huge amount of darkness in the world through corrupt systems and evil hearts. We are still called to be ambassadors to Christ's love and to conduct ourselves as children of the living God. So many times, people tell me about how they have been put off church through seeing Christians living duplicitous lives or have been attracted to it through the witness of lives lived in God's love. I would urge you today to remind yourself of who you are (and who we all are), sinners saved through God's grace only, and to come again before God, to offer yourself as a living sacrifice to Him. God bless you.
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