1 Peter

1 Peter Chapter 5

In 1 Peter 5  Peter is speaking to the Elders and Young men.  He instructs the elders to be shepherds of God’s flock, and to do it with an eagerness to serve.  Not for money or lording it over those entrusted to them, but being examples to the flock.   

To the young men he instructs  them to be submissive to their elders and to do it humbly, to be self-controlled and alert resisting the devil.  Standing firm in the faith and God will restore them making them strong.  

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to him forever! Amen”

How true are these words today!  Just as much today as back when Peter was writing to the churches in Babylon. 

1 Peter Chapter 4

I just said good night to two littles that bring me so much love and joy. My night with them was wonderful! We made pizzas and played with Lincoln Logs. We talked about hugs and that they have two arms. Cooper, the littlest of the little, showed me this many times as he crashed into me and wrapped his little arms around me. “See, Julie, hugs have two arms!” And then a crash demo. They are so easy to love. 

But not all people are, as we all know. Some people are what we call in our house “EGRs”—extra grace required. These are not the easy-to-love people. But in verse 8, it doesn’t talk about only loving the easy to love. He says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” The first part of the verse is Above all; it’s at the top of the list of things we are called to do. The second part, love each other deeply. There are no exceptions in there for the EGRs or anyone else. It’s direct. It’s a “Just do it” kind of thing. And then the why… because love covers over a multitude of sins. Jesus’ love covered all of our sins, and we are called to love deeply to cover not one sin but a multitude of sins. Like maybe 70 x 7. 

 Whether it’s my sin or your sin or our sin, I’m going to make love a priority. 

1 Peter Chapter 3

Here, Peter is describing the duties of husbands and wives to each other, but begins with the wife. The apostle is talking about the wife's submission to her husband in the home.

In the past, whenever I heard the word "submission" in the Bible, in regards to women submitting to their husbands, it would immediately provoke a slew of emotions in me because I viewed  the word to be just as the dictionary states it  - "the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person" and my feministic nature kicked in.  I was not going to submit to my husband or any other person who wanted me to yield to them, especially if I didn't agree.  And yet, I had professed my life to GOD and was willing to put him first in my life by following him and essentially submitting to his will,  but beyond that, NO WAY!

Peter is not asking women to be submissive to their husbands as a way to make men superior to women, but instead, suggests that if a woman adopted a different religion back in the day when this was not common (such as following Jesus),  they needed instructions on how to bring their husbands to Jesus.  Peter encouraged women to not use their outward beauty with fancy hair braids, gold jewelry and fine clothes to win over their husbands, but instead,  to use the beauty of their inner self and "the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight".  Peter was calling women to live such good lives with their husbands, that they may be won over by the wife's actions and showing the life of GOD in them,   this was a way to introduce unbelieving husbands to the life and work of Jesus.

God's plan is one where he wants each of us to forsake our own desires and live for Christ, not ourselves.   So in this Chapter, and in God's order, Christ is the head of the husband, and the husband is the head of the wife. The wife then submits to her husband who is called to lead and serve his wife while he simultaneously submits to Christ

Being submissive which includes being humble, deferential, cooperative, loyal and respectful is a characteristic of Christ like living.    As believers, the life of God  in us, is about cooperating, taking on responsibility and carrying burdens for each other, even if others we are surrounded by  don't yet believe.  We submit, in order that the life of GOD might be seen in us and that those who see that life,  might glorify GOD on the day he visits us.

1 Peter Chapter 2

LIVING WITH HONOR

We don’t often talk about ‘honor'. It's not a word that frequents our vocabulary on a daily basis. However, it's a word that carries much weight and this passage of scripture highlights its power.

Honor means to hold something in “high respect or esteem”, it leans into the strength of integrity and the notion that all people who see it, respond with a sense of recognition. Honor is given by others but earned by the person. Gaining honor is hard work… and it reflects the wonder of God.

11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

How's that for a truth bomb! Your honorable behavior here on earth will result in others giving honor/glory to God in eternity. 

What can you do today to live with honor in your home? On social media? At work? At the next sporting match?

I've heard it said that it takes many years to build honor, but we’re always one decision away from tearing it down.

Honor is earned through our actions. 

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. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.

We can even honor someone we disagree with. When we live with honor, the Bible says it will silence the accusers when they come pointing fingers.

15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.

So to recap, honor is a complex and powerful word. It is earned, and given; It is loud, and yet it silences; It is eternal, but operates in the mortal. 

How cool is that! 

1 Peter Chapter 1

1 Peter 1 is packed with so much information. This chapter touches so many different topics that are so often discussed in the Christian world. It touches topics on suffering, heaven, grace, God’s judgment, faith, and God’s power. All of these topics are immense. The part of this chapter that was the most encouraging to me was verses 3 to 9. These verses talk about our suffering, our faith, and our salvation. They remind us that though life here on earth may be difficult and often times beyond our own understanding, God has given us an inheritance that will not perish, spoil, or fade. This encouragement can be a powerful reminder of the God we know, love, and are devoted to. He is mighty and bigger than our problems. He has prepared a place for us and though times are hard our faith stands firm and because of this we will receive the end result of our faith, which is salvation. For me this is a comforting thing. It reminds me that I am not alone in my sin and struggle. There are others who have gone before me and struggled the same way as me. It also encourages me because it reminds me that God is near and to be honest that is all we need. All we need is God.