1 Peter 2
Laying a foundation of identity and value. Defining who I am and what should be precious to me. Precious. Calling me to an integral life that follows Christ’s example and in His steps.
The Word of God is renewing, restoring, life-altering truth to my mind- a mind that is prone to darkness, forgetfulness, and the influence of the world.
2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. NIV
Crave pure spiritual milk. Crave the Word. I have spent a lot of time lately, thinking about how I can live more aligned with this reality. How can I live the preciousness and life-giving reality of the Scriptures day to day? And, O the promise: Taste that the Lord is good!
Jesus is the living stone and most precious. Likewise, we are living stones. We are precious.
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”[b]
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. NIV Emphasis mine
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. NIV
Light and darkness. Not a people; now a people. No mercy; recipient of mercy. My heart and my mouth should be singing and declaring praise, full of joy and wonderment. Sometimes, I need to be reminded.
How to live to glorify God during present difficulties in a land of unbelief:
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. NIV
Live as free people. Live free. Use freedom to honor God.
19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God . But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. NIV
Recently, I spent some personal time reflecting on this theme in 1 Peter. The theme of suffering from wrong (undue, unjust treatment.) We were reading passages aloud daily from 1 Peter 4 for a couple of weeks- trying to gain comfort and instruction and peace. A personal trial afflicting myself and two of my teen-aged children had lanced our hearts- and O! how needed it was and is to remember that vengeance belongs to the Lord and that He has specific directives for us when we are wronged and misunderstood. The beautiful secret and treasure is this: Christ is found and made manifest in real, personal ways during such times. When I am writhing in heart pain and I have grace to turn to the Lord, I find Him in very intimate ways. Indeed, we are called to entrust ourselves to Him who judges justly – just as our Perfect, blameless Lord did… and we are gathered into fellowship with Him in that place, in the midst of the pain and trial.
We are granted grace to live to righteousness through Christ:
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” NIV Emphasis mine
Lord, help me to prize what you prize. Help me to live in the reality that You, Jesus, are so very, very precious. Help me to live and walk free in Christ for good, for honor, for Your glory. Let my life proclaim Your excellencies- You who have called me out of darkness and into Your marvelous light!