Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 2:11-3:9 (Day Four)
Does the way we live our lives daily make a difference? Absolutely! If we are a believer, we are to follow the example of Christ. In every experience…in every relationship…in every response of our life, we are to live to righteousness. To those in authority over us, we are to submit; when we are reviled, we do not revile in return; if we are treated harshly, we are to endure it with patience. When we live out the Gospel in our lives, others may glorify God in the day of visitation. We are blessed when we live our lives in obedience to God, regardless of the circumstances or situations around us. We are called to follow Christ’s example no matter what…in this, we find favor with God. (Obedience is better than sacrifice!) Favor with God is a good thing. 3:8 says, “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;…that you may inherit a blessing.”
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 2:11-3:9 (Day Three)
“Now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” You can do whatever you want—unless you want to find the cure for a heart that runs after lies, turns a blind eye to beauty, fears its own shadow, and helps others dig their own graves. Without a shepherd, we are dangerous to ourselves and to others. Without an Overseer, we attempt to rule over everyone else with no thought for love. We end up with the world we have when the human spirit has its own way with the universe. But there is a Shepherd. There is an Overseer. He knows your soul. You can return to him.
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 2:11-25; 3:1-9 (day two)
Live 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. (1 Peter 2:12 NIV) It’s truly amazing how much faith and trust we put in institutions, and how utterly devastated we are when those same institutions fail us. It can be anything from an investment portfolio, to social security, a government, or even your favorite team. When they let us down it can be depressing. Why should that surprise us? What were we really expecting? The only unfailing institution we can rely on is the power of salvation give to us through Jesus. Then why are we instructed to follow these secular structures that are destined to fail us? Regardless if that pagan world is overtly persecuting the church or not, they will all take notice of our love. When we are let down, they will notice where our hope comes from, and that is how we begin to share our Savior with those whose hope has been dashed. Do good, love others, hope in Christ, the world is watching!
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 2:11-25; 3:1-9 (day one)
“While He was being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly.” (2:23) The subject this week is submission. Hard topic! Peter is teaching submission to others that comes from a heart that is first submitted to God. He remembered Jesus on the night of His crucifixion. Enemies accused Him. He remained silent, because He had already surrendered His life to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. From that surrender came complete composure, the absence of any need to struggle against the circumstances or the outcomes. He believed God to be the one who “judges justly”. Anything, therefore, that was faced on the path that the Father directed was to be born with courage because it was ultimately wise and good. It is not suffering that is Jesus’ main example to us. See 2:21. It is submission to God.
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 1:13-25; 2:1-10 (day seven)
“The stone that the builders rejected, this became the chief cornerstone.” (2:7) There is animosity at work in the world. Unavoidable tension between God and the human race. The people of every age reject what God is building. People want “something else” and choose it with their lives and attention. Believers have a hard time remembering this ever-present truth. Peter struggled at this point. At times he fought the world. (Sword and rage in the garden). At times he lost his courage in the face of the world’s animosity. (Denial of Christ). Now, year later, Peter is wiser, more resolved to the inevitability. The world is on a collision course with God and all of us must decide our loyalty to one or the other. What God is building, the world has no interest in. And vice versa. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 1:13-25; 2:1-10 (day six)
“Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (v 13) It is a tough sentence to interpret. What, exactly, did Peter mean? Literally, the words in Greek read “hope to the end.” The end of what? Some scholars think that Peter means the end of time and we are to hope until Jesus returns. Others believe that he means the fullest measure of what hope can be. Mature hope. Complete hope. Either way (whether hope is long or large) the idea is the same. Hope in the heart is a powerful influence for good. An absolutely necessary part of the Christian life! What do you hope, friend? Are the eyes of your expectation set on eternity? Can you say, as Paul did, “In the future there is laid up for me a crown.” (2 Timothy 4:8) Hope to the end, friend. Hope to the end!
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 1:13-25; 2:1-10 (day four)
V. 14 – “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,” Our ignorance was the period of our life when we were not under the purifying tutelage of the Holy Spirit. Even after we have been called into a relationship of grace and obedience, we may still revert back to our conformity with the world and its philosophies. How many of us have repeated thoughts or ideas as truth, when, in fact, they run contrary to scripture. We heard the pithy thought from someone we deemed reliable or smart, and adopted it as our ‘wisdom’. A good question to ask of any truth or statement would be, “where is this found in scripture?” God is holy…a huge descriptive word of His character. We are to be holy, just as He is holy. Ask God to search your heart for any deceptive thought that may reside there and to cleanse it with the blood of Christ.
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 1:13-2:10 (Day Three)
“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.” Jesus gave Simon the nickname “Rock”—Peter. For a time, it seemed as though Peter attempted to live up to what he thought the name signified: Tough, hard, unwavering, unshakable. He was none of those things, no matter how hard he tried. It took years of training with Jesus—not trying, but training—to teach him that God was not building a monument out of Peter’s life, but a community. In this community, the raw materials are the lives of all of us—all “rocks” that Jesus will use when as we leave behind our aspirations to “monument-hood”, and instead accept the weathered beauty that comes as the Lord leads us through difficulty and joy in friendship with him and with one another.
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 1:13-25; 2:1-10 (day two)
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” In the very true nature of the God’s wonderfully complex story this is another example of how His ways are not ours. It is so easy to look at the the descriptors in that sentence (chosen, royal, holy) and get an elevated sense of worth. We see fame as a lofty exalted thing to which many aspire, and all admire. However by the end of the sentence it is clear that is not how we are to use God’s favor. We have been made this wonderful things for a purpose; to proclaim the greatness of our God. If we are given a chosen position it should only serve to elevate the one who placed us there. Give Him the glory for your life today, and take whatever opportunity is presented and proclaim His excellencies so that others may come from darkness to light.
Re: Verse reading–1 Peter 1:13-25; 2:1-10 (day one)
“The grass withers, the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord abides forever. . .Therefore. . .coming to Him as to a living stone. . .you also as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house.” (1:24-15; 2:4-5) Unfamiliar talk for most moderns. Easy place to “get lost”. Peter is talking about things that perish. Our responsibility in this world of constant change? To build our lives on Christ as the new foundation! Come to him is a “living stone” Powerful/confusing paradox. “Stone” symbolizes something solid and unchanging. “Living” suggests change and growth, flexibility. Jesus is both! Alive but never dying. Soft and strong– at the same time. Makes me wonder how much of this thinking came to Cephas when Jesus named him Peter (=rock). See Matthew 18. Only Christ can be both alive and eternal. Only Christ can build our lives into something eternally, permanently good. In Him we become “living stones”, too.