Humble Exiles

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 5.

Christ’s exiles are holy and honorable, but we must also be humble. In other words, we don’t get all uppity about our holiness or our honorableness. We recognize Satan is on the prowl. He is looking to destroy our holiness and our honorableness. And we are not so holy or honorable that we can’t fall prey. We must humble ourselves before God and one another. We must walk in humility in order to be exalted by God. We must walk in humility to have victory. Thank God for the victories of holiness and honorableness He has granted in our lives, but let’s not get lax. Keep up your guard. Keep up your humility.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Peter 1.

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Saving the Gentiles

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 4.

There is a common idea floating around today among those who call themselves Christians. The idea is if we want to save people, we need to become more like them. Thus, Christians are encouraged to hang out with those still living in sin even while they are committing their sins. Go to their parties, drink at their bars, support their events that promote sin, etc. By doing this, we are told, they will know we aren’t “holier-than-thou” and that we really do love them. We are even told stories about Gentiles who were impressed and said nice things about Christians who behaved this way. Here’s the rub. That is simply not what the apostle Peter says to do. He says we’ve already spent enough time living like the Gentiles. We’ve already spent enough time in their parties, at their bars, at their events. Peter even admits, “Yes, the non-Christians will malign you.” But that didn’t change his stance. We don’t save the Gentiles by acting like the Gentiles. Those Gentiles who will be saved, will be saved by seeing our holy and honorable conduct and realizing as much as they want to malign us, they really don’t have a leg to stand on. Then they ask us about our hope. In this way, save the Gentiles. God’s way.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 5.

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Honorable Spouses

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 3.

Peter doesn’t just tell us to live honorably before the Gentiles (meaning non-disciples in this context), he actually gives examples. In yesterday’s reading he talked about submitting to the government which persecuted Christians and about slaves submitting honorably to masters even when the masters weren’t being honorable. In today’s reading, he begins by talking about honorable spouses. Please, keep that in mind as you read this chapter. Peter is not just talking about husbands and wives out of the blue, he is giving examples of what it means to be holy and honorable while in exile behind enemy lines. He is talking about what it means to be holy and honorable even if you are sleeping with the enemy. And this should tell us something about all marriages, even those between Christians. We are to live holy and honorably in our marriages because the most important goal in marriage is our spouse’s salvation, not for us to get our way, not for us to be happy, not for us to be served, but for our spouse to glorify God in the day of visitation. This doesn’t mean all spouses of Christians will come around. Some won’t. But that is the goal and the governing principle behind our behavior in marriage. Keep that in mind today whether or not your spouse is a Christian.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 4.

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Honorable Exiles

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 2.

While we live here in exile from our homeland, not only are we to be holy, we are to be honorable. Yes, we are to be distinct, set apart, and in some ways separate. We are set apart by God for sacred use to bring praise to His excellency. But that is not the same as being a jerk, and some Christians present their holiness like jerks. We need to conduct ourselves in such a way that when the citizens of the world want to find some way to complain about us, dismiss us, write us off, or even speak ill of us they don’t have a leg to stand on. It means we suffer dishonor, but still treat others with honor. It is by this powerful mixture of holy and honorable living that some of the worldly will be provoked to listen to the gospel message and glorify God in the day of visitation. We will not convert people to Jesus by becoming more like the world; we need to be holy. But neither will we convert people by being holier-than-thou; we need to be honorable.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 3.

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Holy Exiles

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 1.

Peter is writing to exiles, but it wasn’t just the Christians of his day who were exiles. We are exiles. We are not in our home land, in the country of our citizenship. Like the Israelite exiles in Babylonian captivity and those who remained a part of that dispersion for centuries to come, we are a community belonging to Jesus dispersed in exile behind enemy lines. What should we do? How should we live in this exile? Peter’s first key is “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” The world wants us to become more like her. The worldly are excited and compliment us when we become more like them. However, be aware, we will not help the worldly become more like Jesus when we become more like the worldly. We are to be holy, set apart, sacred, distinct. We will fail at that often, but that failure is not cause to give up the goal and pursuit. We are to be holy exiles.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 2.

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A Humble Life

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 5.

“Clothe yourselves with humility,” Peter says. We are to be humble before one another, whether we are young or old, whether we are shepherd or sheep. Further, we are to humble ourselves before God, which is demonstrated by casting our anxieties upon Him because He cares for us. Humility is tough. We all want to accomplish something great. We all want to be seen as someone special. We want to give the good advice, set the good example, be the sought after counselor. And, of course, God may use us that way. But first we must become like our Chief Shepherd. After all, the greatest thing He did for us was die on a cross. Talk about humility. Boy, I’ve got a long way to go. How about you?

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Peter 1.

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Live for the Will of God

Today’s reading is 1 Peter 4.

So many of us fret and worry wondering, “What is God’s will for my life?” We wonder if that new feeling in our heart is God leading us somewhere or if that sudden circumstance is a sign of God’s pleasure or displeasure about some choice. Perhaps we’re barking up the wrong tree with that. Perhaps God’s will for our lives today isn’t about whether we choose to eat at McDonald’s or Burger King, or whether we choose to move out of state or stay put, or whether we choose to accept that new job or hang on to the old one, or whether we marry this person or that one. Perhaps God’s will is in whichever of these choices we make, we choose to live for God rather than for the passions of the flesh. We’ve already spent enough time pursuing those passions, today choose to surrender to God’s direction for godly conduct and behavior, then He will be able to use whatever other choices we make for His glory. Then we will be walking in God’s will for our lives without worry and fear that we are missing out on some secret plan God has for us.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Peter 5.

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