Category Archives: 1 Peter

2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36; Psalm 126; 1 Peter 3

“I am by nature a dealer in words, and words are the most powerful drug known to humanity.”

Rudyard Kipling

While I understand where he was headed, unfortunately, Rudyard Kipling undervalued the power of a life well lived.

. . . they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives

I Peter 3:1b ESV

While words can at times be potent, the reflection of God in my daily actions speaks even louder. The context here specifically addresses a marriage, the most intimate of human relationships, but many of the calls to action have broader application.

If our desire is to “win someone over” to our thinking or to encourage them to consider our faith, we should consider our conduct carefully.

let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. . . do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

I Peter 3:4-6 ESV

More on living a gentle life follows this in a section about relating to other believers:

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless,

I Peter 3:8-9 ESV

That is a pretty high calling — beautify your inner person, be respectful, keep your conduct pure, have a gentle, quiet (tranquil, unflappable) spirit, not arguing or resisting (the opposite of defending self-interest), humble, hope in God, do good, do not fear.

We cannot shoulder the blame for a lack of response in others or view these attributes as the perfect recipe for salvation of a loved one. We all strive to do better in these specific areas and pray that God would open their eyes to His working in our lives that will draw them to seek answers for the hope and difference they see in us. This is a Holy Spirit byproduct in our own lives as well as the residual response from others, also courtesy of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is hard at work developing these traits in our lives, and we need to submit first to His work there and then leave the results in others’ lives up to Him also.

Lord, thank you for the power of living life where others can see us. Use me to speak well, but more importantly to live well. May I not be known for well-crafted arguments, or even worse, emotional tirades, but for a quiet life of humility that places others before myself and in which my good deeds continually point my neighbors to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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 Jeremiah 38, 39, 52; 1 Peter 2

When I see the words “honour” and “love” in one verse, it immediately grabs my attention.

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. – 1 Peter 2:17 HCSB

I am called to love others who have made the decision to follow Jesus and with them I am called to have a closer relationship. I get what Peter means when he commands me to fear God. Out of the fear of God comes the call to honour those in leadership and everyone else.

Honouring and loving are the keys to unity and harmony in human relationships. In the Godhead, in the church, in marriage, and in any relationship, honour and love are the basis for unity.

Exclude Jesus and I am more motivated by self-interest. Include Jesus and I am motivated by faith, hope and love and it results in self-sacrifice. My honouring and loving enables me to endure suffering because my motivation is not in this world – they are in my heavenly hope and the love that God generates in me.

Honouring in itself is an act of love and I am commanded not to love the world. While I should honour those in leadership without conflict with others, to do so takes wisdom. God promises to give me wisdom as I love to seek it out.

True honouring is not building up anyone with flattery, but in truth that is not only proclaimed but practiced in love. I love this call from Peter as he provides an example of what that sounds like.

Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.[r]Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles,[s] so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation. – 1 Peter 2:11-12 HCSB

Father, these days I need wisdom from You more than I ever have felt before. Wisdom in how to honour and wisdom to understand what love looks like. I want individuals to know that I honour You more than anything and part of that means honouring those in leadership even though I struggle so much with how they are leading. Walk with me Lord so that as I begin to look like You more and more each day, may You be glorified. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Daniel 3-4; Psalm 81 & 1 Peter 3

We all know the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. How they would not bow down to the gold statue that King  Nebuchadnezzar had built for all to worship. I’m wondering if the Apostle Peter had them in mind when he wrote part of 1 Peter 3…

15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:15&16 [CSB])

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not confrontational, but with gentleness and confidence defended our faith and were ready to die for it and many have died for the sake of the gospel over the millennia. In the 1 Peter 3 context it’s not death his readers were facing, but punishment and perhaps prison. For us it would be discrimination and ridicule. A far cry from burning alive in a fiery furnace. How do you give an answer for the hope of the gospel you have? It does beg another question doesn’t it? The Apostle Peter is assuming we know enough of the gospel to be able to share it when the opportunity comes our way. How are you at being able to share the hope you have? Can you share the hope of the gospel with others when asked? Today may be a good one to start learning.

Holy Father when the time comes please give us boldness with gentleness to be able to share the gospel with those that ask. We pray for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who when doing so will face prison or even death. Help us to think of them when the opportunity comes for us to share. We love you Lord.

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Lamentations 3-5; Haggai; 1 Peter 1

I am amazed watching young people in their spiritual growth and at the same time I can cringe at what they can come up with to do or say that would put into question if there is any spirituality in them at all.

One thing for certain, especially with my children, I tried to put into them the importance of walking with Jesus everyday.

It is good for a man that he bear
    the yoke in his youth. – Lamentation 3:27  ESV

When I walk with Jesus the outcome of my salvation is not in question. I do not lack in desire to live a life according to the call before me. Unfortunately, if I walk in the faith only because of my profession of faith I miss out on the fact that Christianity is life in God. There is only one way the world can know that I am Christ’s – it is not in how I handle grief, it is not how passionate I am to confess my sin, it is not the thrill of first love or of glad emotions – it is because I obey Jesus. This is the true outcome of salvation – I walk with Jesus.

Should I walk away from Him and disobey Him, then God will step in to get my attention and I pray that He always will.

You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.  Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.  And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors. – Haggai 1:9-11  ESV

Getting my attention through my finances is quick and painful. For my hope is not there, it is in Jesus and sometimes I need a wake up call to remember that.

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5  ESV

That is where my confidence is – the future is strong and sure. It motivates me and will equip me to be the disciple who engages in good works with the foundation of such being love. It takes away my doubt, even in some very tough times. My hope is a living hope.

Father, I thank You that in my youth You shaped me and formed me to be Yours. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

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Lamentations; Psalm 137; 1 Peter 4

Spiritual Gifts are one of the most mis-understood and least implemented parts of the Christian life. I was with a group of Christians not too long ago. About 25 people and asked them how many of them knew what their gifts were. Only two or three raised their hands. That is a pretty typical response I would say. Yet here we see Peter challenging his readers to steward the gifts they have been given by the Holy Spirit and use them well.

We find the spiritual gifts discussed in the 4’s and 12’s (Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4; 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12). Who said the Bible was hard to read or figure you!

So spiritual gifts are given to us at our point of conversion to Christianity. They are given to us to edify the Body of Christ. There are between 19 & 22 depending on your theology (not the place here to discuss that) and each one of have at least one gift.

In this morning’s reading we find the following:

  • Hospitality, v. 9
  • Speaking (most likely teaching), v. 11
  • Serving, v. 11

9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:9-11 [ESV]).

Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Are you using them to serve the Body of Christ? If not read through the 4’s and the 12’s and begin this week.

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