Tonight, we finish the letter by looking at the benediction. A benediction is defined as “the utterance or bestowing of a blessing”. I love benedictions, and we’ve talked about this before, but we don’t bless each other enough. When we part from each other, we say good-bye, we may even pray for protection, but we don’t often enough bless each other. Blessing is a part of God’s character, it’s who He is but it’s also who He called us to be. In Genesis 22:18, God told Abraham that one of his promises, one of the outcomes of his covenant with God was that “all nations of the earth would be blessed” by his offspring. We need to go back to the Scriptures and learn how to bless each other, but not just each other. Romans 12:4 says “Bless those who persecute you, bless and don’t curse.” In Matthew 6:44 Jesus said to love your enemies and bless those who curse you. In Jeremiah 29:7 God told Judah, as they were being taken captive into Babylon to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile”, which means to be a blessing. Our difference causes suffering but produces a blessing, the blessing of conviction of heart, revelation of God, opportunity to see God and surrender to God.
In tonight’s text, I love that God is so detailed, the Holy Spirit is so keenly aware of our hearts that He doesn’t only challenge us, He doesn’t even simply encourage us, but He chooses to bless us. Let’s talk about Peter’s benediction and see the blessing that God had for them and pray that we will receive the blessing that He has for us.