Category Archives: 1 Peter

Numbers 26; Psalm 69; Isaiah 16; I Peter 4

Isaiah 16:5 “In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness.”

Yet what of my erring, essentially my death wish? What darkness creeps in on the heels of hope firmly rooted in the coming joy of Messiah’s reign? For I know my future in Christ. Thoughts jump back in time to the mistakes and purposeful wrongs that I defended then and rue today.  My thoughts race in ‘now’ time to what ought to be and what I’m called to be. No perfection here. And thanks to the Holy Spirit, real conviction in real time. I submit willingly and pray for mercy.

Psalm 69: 13 “But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, hear me in the truth of Your salvation.”

What more can I ask? For Jesus Christ has brought salvation and provided unending mercy – in fact, mercies new every morning. Instead of my crimes screaming condemnation to the heavens, God listens to the splendid sound of Christ’s salvation song about me. I am saved. I am covered by His blood. And just as His mercy covers me, so my prayers and love for others should mirror His mercy when I experience rejection, humiliation, abandonment, and hurts inflicted by others. Only unconditional positive regard for another human being is acceptable.

I Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” Yes, “The humble shall see this and be glad; and you who seek God, your hearts shall live. For the Lord hears the poor, and does not despise His prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them,” (Psalm 69:32-34).

Worship, I read once, is defined as bowing down or kissing the ground to show profound reverence. Not singing, though our praises in word and song are beautiful to our Lord. More than a heart swelling with love for God, and even more than a prostrate sinner repentant, the hands and feet of love, hospitality, and forgiveness pleases our Lord best.

Father God, You have modeled the ultimate sacrifice of love, mercy, and forgiveness. Shall I be paltry in giving the same or lavish in extending the same to others? Though I am in no way able to love like You, forgive to the width of Your expansive salvation, nor extend mercy for others or myself to the depths of Your sensitivity, I will give myself over to You. Make me Your instrument that my song will be a testimony of Your unfettered reach to those who need Your love the most. And who is it that does not?

In Jesus Christ’s precious Name,

Yours because I choose no other.

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

All Scripture quoted is from The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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Filed under 1 Peter, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Num. 25; Ps. 68; Isa. 15; 1 Pet. 3

Would there be enough evidence to find you guilty as charged?

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives… Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3

In lieu of the current-day statistics on marriage, the good news is there’s a 100% chance of success in marriage! A rather bold statement in light of how marriage is portrayed today in the world. I know that 100% sounds extreme, but it is possible! How? Because our God made marriage and He never makes or designs anything to fail! Nor does He make anyone to fail. God speaks to us throughout His word in various forms, but nowhere more clearly and direct, than in 1 Peter 3, which speaks to both men and women about His perfect plan for covenant relationship. And, just like in Ephesians 5, men and women are given specific instructions to submit to one another in the fear of God, then continues with specific instructions to each on their responsibility.

So, if the “manual” tells us what to do, why do so many Christian men and a women fail to fulfill their God-given calling as husband and wife? Why is the divorce rate of Christians and non-Christians virtually the same? The answer is simple… 18”! The distance between the head and the heart… it’s the distance between the knowing and the doing, as many Christians have chosen to ignore or reject God’s perfect plan for marriage into their hearts. Head knowledge offers a mental perspective of God’s plan, however it is in the heart where true relationship with God resides and actions have the best chance of survival.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Other factors are at work, as well, which threaten God’s plan for marriage… contemporary attitudes towards marriage have distorted God’s architecture of mutual submission to mean something negative, using descriptors such as dominated, oppressed, and dictatorial instead of the divine expression of God’s love and understanding for His children and how they innately function in the context of relationship.

Jimmy Evans, in his book “Marriage on the Rock,” stated that of the scriptures related to relationship, couples love Ephesians 5 because of what it says about their partners responsibility to relationship, not their own! Perhaps the answer to living according to God’s plan lies in considering what scripture says about ourselves first, and inviting God into the process of holding us accountable to our roles, and let Him handle the rest. Man… Woman… God… three strands… not easily broken!

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

God, who made us, understands completely that the innate need of a woman is security and to be loved, and for a man, to be respected and honored… both 1 Peter 3 and Ephesians 5 speak to this directly. Interestingly, women are not commanded to love their husbands, rather to submit to their husbands… to understand and support them, as that is the language that speaks to men! Men? 1 Peter and Ephesians 5 use different language on what you’re to do… the command for men is to love their wives, as Christ loved the church, who gave Himself up for her… to live with her in an understanding way. Different approach… different language… same origin… SACRIFICE for each other, using the language of your partner! Isn’t He amazing? God knew what He was doing and His design is perfect! God’s plan isn’t meant to harm us… QUITE the contrary. God’s plan, at its foundation, is to protect us… it’s the instructions on how to penetrate brokenness and speak deep within our partner’s heart.

Perhaps, if things aren’t going so well relationally, prayers aren’t being answered, it might be worth considering a different approach… How about God’s plan for marriage… so that our prayers may not be hindered.

So… a quick question… (answer honestly!)…

If you were accused of “acting like a Christian _____ (husband/wife)”, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty as charged?

Father, in our humanness, we often forget that You designed us… and who better than You to guide us how best to live as husband and wife. Lord, soften our hearts to adopt Your way as the only way to live this life in relationship as husbands and wives, so that our actions towards one another are a tangible expression of You living within us. Amen!

Greg (gstefanelli)

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Numbers 23; Psalms 64-65; Isaiah 13; 1Peter 1

Numbers 23 was written for a people prone to squeezing the life out of living. It’s written for me. Self imposed to-do lists are usually far longer than what can be humanly accomplished in one day, and (I confess) are often, how I define success that day. I joke that I don’t want to miss a thing out of life, but then if left to my own devices,  miss what is most important.

My inclination is to do, not to be. My family knows when I am on this train. Once my daughter looked me square in the eyes and said, “Mom, you’re not here.” And she was right; my brain was chasing the next squirrel up a tree. Somehow, I never catch the squirrel.

God knows that this endless doing never satisfies;  He commands his people to STOP, set themselves apart (consecrate) and rest. He appointed festivals and “holy convocations” and warned the people that if they refused to deny their inclinations that they “would be cut off from the people.” Numbers 23:30.  It seems to me that is exactly what I do to myself, when I refuse to rest in God and keep up my futile chase of doing. All this striving is really a fear that God won’t meet me if I stop my talking, stop my doing.

Enter the Word of God to cleanse, refresh and restore:

You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.  ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. the grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ 1Peter 1:23-25

When I stop moving and listen and look, God opens up my heart and does a work within that I don’t understand. His presence fills the restless, greedy places and there is peace:

You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it:  the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow. The hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.  Psalm 65:9-13

The Psalmist describes a place inhabited by a people who are following God. On another level, he describes the human heart, when God is allowed access to the land within.

Lord, you know my inclination to go and do, but you call me to come, be still, and enjoy the Sabbath rest you have prepared for me . Forgive me when I have chosen distraction over you. Thank you for your patient, steady call to come and rest in your presence. Thank you for the healing rain of your grace and the joy that springs up within my soul at you goodness. You are mine and I am yours. Amen.

Kathy

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Jeremiah 43,44,46; 2 Peter 1

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises…The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.” 2 Peter1:3-5,8&9 NLT

“Have you forgotten the sins of your ancestors, the sins of the kings and queens of Judah, and the sins you and your wives committed in Judah and Jerusalem?” Jeremiah 44:9 NLT

My 11 year old daughter had forgotten a piano sheet that she needed for her piano lesson. I asked her how I could help her remember for next time. I told her that I can be forgetful too and need to write things down. I take notes on my phone, on paper and have bible verses taped to the wall. In hopes that they will soak into my mind and heart. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit helps me to remember. But, I am convicted how little I rely on his power. Because, I know that my tendency is to drift towards earthly comfort and to build my own little kingdom, instead of investing in God’s Kingdom. Sometimes, I am just trying to get through the day. And I miss his voice. Just like Jeremiah and Peter had a message from the Lord, God has spoken through other people in my life. Maybe that is what the Lord is trying to teach me. He is always speaking, I have to be ready to hear.

“Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:20& 21 NLT

Am I listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

“Therefore, I will always remind you about these things-even though you already know them and are I standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.” 2 Peter 1:12-15 NLT

Thank you Father for your faithfulness in my life. I praise you for who you are. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Jeremiah 40-42, Psalm 147, Obadiah, 1 Peter 5

I have been thinking a lot this week about the flow pattern of my quiet time with the Lord. I am constantly seeking him for wisdom and guidance. I want to see the Lord and hear from him in new ways. I ask for him to speak to me and I tell him I will be obedient to his call on my life. Have you ever thought about the words you pray to the Lord? I mean really thought of them? We go to church and sing songs of worship to him like “wherever you lead, I will follow” and “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…wherever you would call me.” Have you really thought of the meaning of those words?

The prophet Jeremiah was a young but brave soul who served the Lord through thick and thin. Here we see the people coming to him again for advice and asking Jeremiah to go to the Lord on their behalf for what their next steps should be. They promised they would be obedient to whatever the Lord told Jeremiah to tell them:

“Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant—because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us— that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.”

Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the Lord your God sends you to us. Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.” Jeremiah 42:2-6

When I do hear from him, though, I am often unwilling to move. I find excuses to stay inside my comfort zone instead of stepping out in faith and following him where he leads. So often, it is fear that holds me back because I can’t see what’s up ahead. It’s easy to serve the Lord where I know I will be safe but when I must move beyond the walls of comfort, I feel unbalanced and shaky. But I must remember that protection comes from His loving hand and not the walls I have so carefully built.

Moving beyond my convenient, happy, and contented life may require some discomfort and ultimately sacrifice. I may be in situations that are not “safe” but this life is only temporary as are the sufferings. Peter’s words encourage my heart that no matter what lies ahead, focusing my eyes on Christ and His calling and purpose will result in the ultimate reward that will never be taken away.

 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:8-11

Dear Lord, my we humble ourselves and cast all our worries on you when you call us to go. Thank you for your promise that you will restore, confirm and strengthen us when we rely on you. To you be the praise and glory forever! Amen.

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Jeremiah 38, 39, 52; 1 Peter 2

18 You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect.[k] Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.

21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered[l] for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

22 He never sinned,
    nor ever deceived anyone.[m]
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
    nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
    who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
    in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
    and live for what is right.
By his wounds
    you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
    who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
    the Guardian of your souls.

We had such a wonderful time discussing this recently in my small group. It was used in correlation to the verses in Colossians 3:22-25.  I have to admit, I kind of got hit alongside the head with the proverbial 2×4 as I thought about those verses in relation to my job.  It really made me question my attitude at work.  Why do I behave certain ways at work?  Quite frankly, my answer was to get along with people and not burn bridges.  THAT was my reason for “doing good”!  Plus, of course, the more you do the better your review—who doesn’t want that affirmation they are doing a good job.  It totally fills my significance bucket!  Not once did I think of doing right because it is what we are called to do.  Not once did I think of it in light of finding that significance from working for God—especially in a secular place of business. My thoughts were purely selfish and all about me!

There is a verse in Colossians that isn’t included in today’s reading but has the same theme:

Colossians 3:23–Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

One of the ladies in my group stated, “We should work as if Jesus is sitting with us. Because He is!”  Wow!  Truth spoken in love!

The above verses tell us to do good, even if it means suffering. You mean if my coworker gets that promotion that I think should have gone to me?  Yes.  You mean if I work for a boss who curses constantly, is always yelling, and will cut you down with his words?  Yes.  You mean if I have a coworker who takes personal calls all day, is out on the internet looking at Pinterest, and you have to pick up their slack?  Yes.  Those examples are just ones I thought up as an example.  But, what about the time I was called into my boss’s office for my annual review and told I wasn’t getting a raise this year because it is perceived I add no value to the company?  Yes, even then!  I have to admit I had a big “fail” on that one because it totally changed my attitude about the place I worked. Those 10 minutes in his office undermined an entire career spent pouring my heart into that company.  Where I was once a pitch-in, help others, we’re all on one team kind of person, I developed a bad attitude.  I let what he said define me even though I knew in my heart the contribution I had made to that company.  Instead of trusting God, and believing I am who He says I am, I spent two years in misery.  I am sure many would tell me I was justified to feel the way I did, but if I am going to follow Jesus’ example, that is not how to handle it.  You see, “He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.” What would have been right would have been to continue working the same way I had always worked—with a smile on my face, pitching in to help others, and trying to find ways to make work fun for others.  I really had to repent to God over my actions.

One thing about God, I’ve found, is He will give you a second chance to take that test you fail the first time. As an example, after being unemployed for over a year due to the company being closed down, I was finally hired by a new company.  I worked beside a lady with the most unfriendly attitude.  The boss I had was unapproachable.  No one talked to me for almost a year.  Yet, every day I came in I said, “good morning” as cheerfully as I could and when I left I said “have a good evening” or “have a good weekend” whichever was appropriate.  I got a card for the one lady when her beloved dog died.  I picked up work for her when her brother was sick and she had to take off work.  I kept reminding myself that God was my ultimate boss and I was there to work for Him!  I wanted to quit and find another job so much during that time.  But I really felt God had placed me there so I decided to stick it out until He said it was time to find another job.  Over that time I managed to develop a rapport with the two people I worked with.  At the end of the first year I was there, the company reorganized and I was moved to a different department with a different boss.  Because of the training I had in one department, I was the perfect fit for the new department.  I have friends now and people to socialize with.  I had to patiently endure a little suffering trusting that God is sovereign.

And yet, I still have so much I need to pray about for change in this area! I still grumble and complain when I think things are unfair in regards to work situations or they change some policy that seems ridiculous to me instead of heeding the verses prior to the ones I quoted that say: 13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed.  I have been put in this place to be the representative of Christ.  I so want that to be my reason for doing things!

Thank you, Father, that you give us a new day to start over, a new day to look to Jesus as our example in everything we say and do. You are quick to correct us in love when we need it.  We are so grateful to you for showing us a better way to live when we look to You.  In Jesus precious name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Obadiah; Jeremiah 40-42; Psalm 147; 1Peter 5

I have a couple of pet peeves, the first being when people talk on and on and aren’t interested in what others have to say and the second being when people seek to draw attention to themselves.

“If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.” Mere Christianity.   Thank you CS Lewis for nailing me. And it looks like I am not alone. There is plenty of evidence of this being a human issue in the Bible.

“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘who can bring me down to the ground?'” Obadiah 3.

Lewis goes on to describe my condition, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”  When my heart is too preoccupied with self worship, I turn away from the love of God:

“The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground…His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, not his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:6, 10.

The apostle Peter saw the perfect love of God in the humility of Jesus. The very God who could squash him like a bug, bent down and washed his feet. Shortly thereafter, Peter denied Jesus not once, but three times and Jesus still went to the Cross and died for him. What Jesus did for Peter, He does for us. What Peter witnessed gave him the authority to speak these words:

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:5-6.

Dearest Lord Jesus, forgive my vain heart. Thank you for repeatedly breaking those ridiculous shackles of pride that I willingly slip my feet into. Rid me of the lethal pride that keeps me from seeing You at work in this day. Thank you for your patience and grace in ALWAYS inviting me back home into your goodness. Amen.

klueh

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