Chuck Noland never saw it coming. One day he was living his normal life as an executive with FedEx, the next day he was the lone survivor of a plane crash in the south Pacific. Somehow Noland survived the crash and washed ashore on a deserted island with debris from the flight. No one knew he had survived and the folks back home called off the search after a few weeks. Chuck would have to live the life of a castaway, exiled in a faraway land, surrounded by water that tried to drown his hope. So goes the story of the 2000 movie “Castaway” starring Tom Hanks.
Once ashore on the island, Noland began gathering up (and sorting) all the packages that had also survived the crash. Though his reality had changed (he was now more of a survivalist than a FedEx exec) old habits die hard. Instead of using the objects in the packages to survive, he was preserving them for delivery. Watching the movie, the irony was so thick you could ship it. It took weeks for Noland to finally altar his mindset and live into his new reality . . . and open and use the contraband that had washed ashore.
I was thinking about this example today as I read 1 Peter 1:13-25. In these verses, Peter admonishes Christ followers to live into their new identity in Christ. Though the temptation exists for Christians to live a worldly/selfish life (1:13-14), our reality has changed. In Christ, we are born again and are a new creation. Christians live on this earth with the transplanted heart of God. This new seed that is planted inside followers of Christ encourages reverence toward God, not rebellion (1:15-17), and love for others, not selfishness (1:22-25).
We are all born with a flesh that has programmed us to do our own thing. Therefore, we spend a lot of life stacking our stuff on the shoreline of our past, instead of thriving in the new life Jesus has made possible for us. In Christ, we have a new reality! He has set us free (1:18-21) from our bondage to sin and given us the capacity to live a Christ honoring life through the work of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to unpack the gifts He has given us and enjoy them in this life.
Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Have you trusted in Him for the forgiveness of your sins? If so, then stop living a life marked by your old identity. In Christ, you have a new option to live out a new life connected to God and others. Don’t spend your life as a castaway, isolated from your God and others — surrounded by waves of trials that want to drown your hope. In Christ, He wants to rescue you into relationships that last and give life.
This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, join us in our 9:30 or 10:50 worship service as we explore 1 Peter 1:13-25 in greater depth and share in the Lord’s Supper together. Hope to see you there!
To link to the entire “True Grace” Study of 1 Peter for download, click here.