Category Archives: I Peter

Numbers 24; Psalms 66,67; Isaiah 14; 1 Peter 2

I first examined today’s reading the morning after my previous post.  As I’ve considered these chapters in the time since, my mind has continually come back to the same thought from the same short passage.   Set aside the evil of sin for a moment.  In the past two weeks I’ve become increasingly dumbfounded by the sheer absurdity of it.

In today’s two Psalms alone, we see that God’s power is so great that His enemies cringe before Him.  All the earth bows down to Him.  He rules forever by His power.  He preserves our lives.  He rules all the peoples, and He does so with equity.  The remaining Psalms and the rest of the books of scripture are filled with similar descriptions of this God who created and continually sustains us.

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  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.”

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”

and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

1 Peter 2:4-8

In 1 Peter 2, we see God choosing a stone and declaring it His cornerstone, the most important and precious stone of all.  Yet, the very same people who wrote, sang, and preserved the truths from the Psalms mentioned above, the very same people through whom God has revealed Himself to all the nations, told God that He was wrong, essentially saying “No offense or anything God, but your chosen cornerstone is nothing but a worthless stumbling block and should be returned to the dust of the field where you found it.”  How absurd!  How far the fall reduced us that our great and awesome God sees one thing and we see just the opposite!  Again, absurd.

I’ve been more blessed than most of Christ’s contemporaries.  God began the process of drawing me to Jesus at a very early age.  As Peter wrote, this Stone is precious to me as it is to all believers.  Nevertheless, I can’t look down upon the unbelievers blinded to the value of this Stone.  After all, isn’t this exactly what I do whenever I sin?  I’m not failing to value a person or a tangible object, but I’m failing to value a behavior or a state of mind that God esteems.  Absurd!

Dear God, help me to see as you see, value what you value, and honor what you honor.  Amen!

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1Chronicles 22; 1Peter 2; Jonah 4; Luke 9

So much to be thankful for…where do I begin?

As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 2:4-5

I am so thankful that I can “come to him, the living Stone”.  Thankful for the freedom to call Him my savior, my rock, my salvation. Thankful that I can praise and worship Him in the spiritual house, my church. Thankful for those who come along side me, encourage me and hold me accountable.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  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. 1 Peter 2:9-10

This just gets better…That we are chosen?  I am so thankful for His mercy and that His mercies are new every morning.  Thankful that I belong to Him.

When our forefathers came to this new land to exercise their religious freedom they set in motion the tradition we celebrate today; Thanksgiving.  I wonder if Americans who gather around their tables today, with family and friends, understand that the reason we celebrate this day is not only for giving thanks for the new harvest, but it is really celebrating the freedom to worship God and to live out our faith daily.  And to think this day has almost become just another day before all the sales begin.  How sad.

Today I will also be thankful for the men and women who risk their lives to bring Christianity to this land.

Cindi

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Numbers 24; Psalm 66,67; Isaiah 14; 1 Peter 2

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.  1 Peter 2:1(NIV)

I was always taught that if you see the word “therefore”, you need to go back and see what it’s there for.  So I did. Just prior to this Peter tells us that since we have been purified through obedience we are to love each other deeply, from the heart. So we should rid ourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind – out of love. Well, that sounds, reasonable…  right? Right. So we read on….

11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

OK, so far so good. Still hard to do, but it still all sounds like a good Sunday school lesson in doing right, doing good, letting your light shine. Peter starts to introduce the fact that others may accuse us of doing wrong even when we are not “wrong” in God’s eyes. I think we’ve all been there before…  Nothing too controversial yet…

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

I’m still following, although that word “every” in verse 13 kinda stands out…. Does he really mean “every” authority? I’ve had some pretty lousy authorities in my life…  hmmmm…..  I’ll keep going….

18Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20But 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. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
 22“He committed no sin,
      and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[e] 23When 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.

OK, now this doesn’t sound like a justice at all. Bearing up under unjust suffering is commendable to God? We aren’t supposed to retaliate when we are insulted? How is that fair??

I picture Jesus on the day of his death. Just as the prophets foretold, Jesus did not retailiate. He did not hurl insults back. For the most part he was silent at His trial. Now Peter tells us that this is the example set for us. And this is consistent with other Scripture that tells us not to repay evil with evil but to repay evil with good, and so on. I know this is hard for me – I think it’s hard for all of us. It just seems un-American, doesn’t it? Don’t we have rights?

Lord, I know I have a way to go in this area. It’s hard enough rid myself of malice and slander when it is born out of envy and selfishness, much less when it is born out of being treated unfairly (at least when it seems unfair from my point of view!). Help me to see that if I bear this without lashing out because I am concious of you that is commendable. Let me hand it all to you and trust that you judge justly. Give me confidence that you will work it all for good. I feel more peaceful already!

Sue

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1 Peter 3-5

Scripture

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)

Observation

1 Peter reads so beautifully. I love the language he uses throughout these chapters, soothing words like harmony, gentle and quiet spirit, and clear conscience. He speaks of submission, service, spiritual gifts, grace, and humility. I wish I had read this a few weeks ago–for a refresher, and before I acted.

Struggling for years with a relational issue that I can’t seem to clearly define and have wondered so often what the right answer is, never feeling resolution with either of the options I waffled between: pursuing peace or just moving on and living in my own corner of the world with limited contact. From time to time, I had been determined to bless who (I perceived)  insulted me. I pursued peace because it was what I was called to do; but never meeting a satisfactory end, I recently gave up trying. All the while, I see my determination lacked humility, to start with.

Application

I have read this scripture before. Gobbled up advice in snippets. Clung to phrases that sounded churchy, like do not repay evil for evil. Got it. Except in my check-list haste  in wanting to do the right thing, I didn’t really take the time (then) to savor it all to see exactly what repaying with blessing might look like. That perhaps it would be accompanied by sympathy, love, compassion and humility. And not (just) a sense of duty.

Prayer

Thank you, God, for gently showing me how to live for you.

Courtney (66books365)

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I Peter 1,2

Scripture

13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

~I Peter 1:13-16 (NIV)

Observation

As I Peter calls us to stand firm in the grace of God (that will come more explicitly in tomorrow’s reading — I Peter 5:12), this firm stance must come on many fronts. God’s amazing grace will infiltrate our minds, our maturing process, our emotions, our relationships, our everything.

Our minds, not just our emotions,  play an active role in our spiritual lives. With intentionality, knowledge, obedience, imitation of Christ. As unbelievers we remained ignorant to holiness and absorbed with our own desires. As believers we should become consumed with the knowledge and growth of His holiness in our lives.

Application

My mind needs saturation in God’s Word — reading, meditating, memorizing.

Spiritual growth will not happen without effort and study. As my knowledge grows my behavior will naturally progress as well, but not without effort and surrender.

Those who are not Christians are often blinded by their own ignorance and desires. We need to share our knowledge without hesitation, but also with understanding that it will appear foolish to their mindsets.

I need to get to know God more in order to be more like Him.

Prayer

Lord, I want to be more like You. Help me to know You more, to gain knowledge and understanding of Your holiness that it may radiate more evidently from my life. Thank you for saving me from the sin I was too ignorant to even recognize at the time. You are all I need to focus on and to hope in. ~Amen

Erin (5intow)

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