Embarrassed Emissaries?

by Terri Gillespie

Peter, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua: To the sojourners of the Diaspora in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia—chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, set apart by the Ruach [Spirit] for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Yeshua the Messiah: May grace and shalom be multiplied to you. 1 Peter 1:1-2 TLV

Who was Peter writing to in his first epistle? Eusebius, a historian from the fourth century, believed that the letter was addressed to the Jewish people living in exile in the region of Turkey, as well as the non-Jewish believers.

It was diplomatic of the apostle to call his readers, “sojourners.” Identifying them as temporary dwellers in these pagan countries when most of these families had lived among pagans for generations, was kind.

Initially, Jewish families were most likely forced into exile, but over time—for whatever reason—they chose to remain outside the Land of Promise, Israel. Were these “sojourners of the Diaspora,” those who had heard Peter’s powerful message that momentous Shavuot (Pentecost) after Jesus’s ascension (Acts 2)? Indeed, Peter’s recipients may have been those who experienced the spiritual birth while in Jerusalem celebrating Pentecost. They then traveled back home to the diaspora—back to the countries of their exile.

Did these new believers begin sharing the Good News to their Gentile neighbors? Sharing that their long-awaited Jewish Messiah was their Savior, too? Imagine!

Luke does write that the apostles and disciples were teaching emissaries (Acts 2:42). Perhaps a few of the “sojourners” stayed behind to be taught. Whether they arrived home as trained or just enthusiastic emissaries, I am thinking that those new believers, were the first to go out to the nations. The first to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

Those living among the heathen, the Gentiles had for centuries been frowned upon by their Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel. Do you think these faithful followers of Torah might have felt a certain amount of embarrassment to not be living in the Land of Promise? To be living among the “pagans?” Honestly, I probably would have.

Yet, they still made the journey up to Jerusalem for the designated pilgrim festivals (Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Deuteronomy 16:16) as required by the Law. Then, made the long journey back to a pagan country.

But now, living among the Gentiles of the nations had purpose. They could share the Good News that Messiah had come. First to their Jewish brothers and sisters (Romans 1:16), then to their Gentile neighbors. People they had known for years. For such a time as this.

These neighbors would see the change in their Jewish friends and colleagues.

These new believers would know how to talk to their neighbors about this new revelation that the Jewish Messiah wasn’t just the Jewish Savior but for the world, too. They would be effective light and salt.

What is our takeaway from their story?

Are we embarrassed by our circumstances? So embarrassed we don’t believe we can be an effective emissary for God? We’ve been faithful to the Lord, but people may look down on us because of our situation.

Are we in a place we wish we weren’t? A city we don’t like? A neighborhood? A school? A family? No family? Are we in a job we don’t love? In prison? Divorced?

Any place we wish we weren’t?

Maybe, just maybe, we are here for a purpose. An important purpose. And perhaps the set time has come for that purpose.

Are you ready to be a bold emissary—chosen and filled with God’s Spirit? Then, let’s do it!

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Award-winning author and beloved speaker Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, and His Son Jesus. Her newest novel, Sweet Rivalry, releases later this year. 

Really Bad Hair Day (The Hair Mavens Book 3) by [Terri Gillespie, Sandra Barron]

Terri’s third and final book in the Hair Mavens series, Really Bad Hair Day, is a whirlwind of changes for the mavens—marriage, love, danger, loss, and redemption. The Hair Mavens series are modern-day Ruth and Naomi stories set in a hair salon.

Join the conversation: Is your situation an embarrassment to you?

8 thoughts on “Embarrassed Emissaries?

  1. Waking up every morning asking God to keep me sensitive to His purposes and will is helpful in remaining ready for what He may have for me that day. Love this devotional. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the read and encouragement, Julie! Being sensitive to God’s purposes is the best way to bee.

      Like

  2. Great devotional. It reminds me of the verse in 1 Peter 3: 15 to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope within us. Thanks for sharing. Fran

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think that often those things which embarrass us and make us think we’re not worthy to be emissaries for God are the very things which God expects us to use to reach a certain group of people. It’s easier to hear lessons from a person who has walked in our shoes. Hence, the very reason why God sent His Son to earth in the first place. Thanks for another wonderful devotional, Terri!

    Liked by 2 people

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