Praising God For Our Spiritual Blessings

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. NKJV

Crowded India Cities Face Conflict on Cows

May 14, 8:35 PM (ET)

By DAVID GUTTENFELDER

NEW DELHI (AP) - In largely Hindu India, where many animals are revered as sacred, the cow has always held a special place.

"If someone were to ask me what the most important outward manifestation of Hinduism was, I would suggest that it was the idea of cow protection," Mohandas K. Gandhi, India's great teacher of nonviolence, once wrote.

But as urban India grows more crowded, cattle are an increasing problem.

In New Delhi, which 13 million people share with an estimated 28,000 cows, the problems are legion: Wandering cows clog streets and cause road accidents. Herds of cows spread trash and disease as they tear open plastic garbage bags in search of food and leave trails of dung. They sometimes trample people to death.

So in early May, the New Delhi high court ordered the removal of stray cattle from the city's streets.

Fanning out across the capital, city workers backed by riot police began roping and hauling cows off in trucks to a suburban pound. Some people applauded. Others, who venerate the cows or make their livelihood by milking the stray animals at unregistered dairies, protested.

Days after the roundup began, cows could still be seen all across the city.

Gentle respect for the lives of all animals has been a principle belief of Hinduism since its emergence some three milleniums ago.

But the sacred cow has a special role in Hindu mythology. Some trace cow worship back to Lord Krishna, who is said to have first appeared as a cowherd and protector of cattle. Several other gods also lived for a time as cows, and the animals remain a powerful symbol of the religion.

Hindu nationalist political parties have often used cows to further their political goals, and one raises money by making traditional medicines and cosmetics from key cow products.

Cows are also protected by law in India.

Free-roaming cattle share public spaces with humans. They loiter in the entries of Hindu temples, nap on the medians of highways and mingle among vendors in city markets.

 

It would seem that the revered cow can get in the way. I am reminded of the plagues of Egypt. The Egyptians worshiped the frogs so God gave them frogs. They had so many frogs they couldn't keep them out of their house or even out of their beds.

But our God is not like frogs or cows. Our God is in the heavens. And instead of us looking out for our God, our God looks out for us. In this passage in 1 Peter we find a wonderful description of our benefits of worshiping the true God of the Bible.

 

  1. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    1. This is a proclamation of praise.
    2. Instead of revering cattle or frogs or some other man made deity as Christians we praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      1. I hope that you do.
      2. I hope that is why you are here this morning to praise our Great and Merciful God.
  2. who has begotten us again to a living hope
    1. Those who worship any other than God have no hope.
      1. But we have a living hope.
      2. A hope that goes beyond the lives we have here.
      3. Our hope is not in the stock market.
      4. It is not in the political process of this great nation.
    2. We have been BEGOTTEN to this hope.
      1. Born again by the power of God.
      2. Made new creatures in Jesus Christ.
      3. We have been made then children of God and joint heirs of Jesus Christ.
      4. What a blessing to be a part of God's forever family.
    3. according to His abundant mercy
      1. Now Peter tells us the best part.
      2. It was not because we were rich or good looking.
      3. It was not because we were of noble birth
      4. It was not because we had been so good.
      5. It was by His mercy.
        1. God looked at us in our sin and helplessness
        2. When we were rebels against His will and His law
        3. Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. NKJV
    4. through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
      1. All that we have, we have in Christ Jesus
      2. Eph 1:3-14
        1. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
        2. 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
        3. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
        4. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. NKJV
  3. to an inheritance
    1. Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. NKJV
    2. incorruptible
      1. Everything in this life fades and grows old.
      2. But God has reserved an inheritance for us that is timeless.
      3. Wuest says "Heaven is the safe-deposit box where God is guarding our inheritance for us under constant surveillance.
    3. undefiled
    4. that does not fade away,
    5. reserved in heaven for you,
  4. who are kept by the power of God
    1. through faith
    2. for salvation
    3. ready to be revealed in the last time.
      This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com