Many years ago, I remember travelling through Europe with a money belt. Can you remember those? I kept all my valuables in it: my passport, my plane ticket and even traveller’s cheques. The whole idea of a money belt is to keep your valuables as close to you as possible so they can’t be stolen from you. That is the thing with valuables, they can be so easily stolen. With that in mind, we spend a lot of effort in physically protecting them.
But there are valuable things that could never be kept safe by a money belt, door lock or bank vaults. A money belt will not protect your health, your relationships, your self- esteem, your reputation or your future hopes. These things are valuable but can seem very vulnerable. It only takes an unthoughtful comment or an unexpected diagnosis to realise that what you find most valuable can easily be stolen from you.
The New Testament letter, 1 Peter, is written to a group of Christians who are living through very uncertain times. Many of the things they had considered valuable had been taken away from them. Yet, in the opening words of his letter, Peter reminds them of the most valuable thing they have which can never be stolen. He writes:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Your most valuable possession, a redeemed relationship with God, is not protected by your strength, hard work or ingenuity. It cannot be stolen or lost. This possession, which is of infinite value, is kept in heaven and is shielded by God’s power. This gift of a new life with God can bring great joy for you today, even if you feel the valuable things of life are under threat. God has something greater, kept safe in heaven for you