In today’s passage Peter uses two very different words about us: friends and foreigners. Both terms have everything to do with being followers of Christ. We are a friend of Christ, as Rabbi Ron mentioned during his sermon yesterday; and we are truly a great friend to others as we allow Christ to work through us. In our “friendships” we are commanded to love one another as God loves us (John 13:34). It’s so natural to connect with friends who we are comfortable with and it seems so unnatural for us to connect with those who are not like us. We can even convince ourselves that we don’t need to connect with those who are not like us. But our friendships are not only supposed to be natural, Christ in us wants to allow them to be supernatural. So, we must get beyond loving those who are easy to love and begin to love the unlikely and even the unlovable (Luke 6:27-32). As believers in Christ, we are all foreigners or strangers on this earth. So, unbelievers or even struggling believers will not like the Light of Christ in us. But we must remember that if the world hates us, it hated Jesus first, and so we must not get discouraged and we must stay the course (John 15:18). While we stay the course with Jesus, we must never forget that people are always watching. Unbelievers and struggling believers need Christ just as much as we need Him. So, we have a huge responsibility to show them who Christ is through us.
Let’s ask Jesus to help us to connect with someone unlikely this week. What if we look beyond our centers of influence, our comfort zones, our family and great friends, because that’s what Jesus did all the time while on earth. He connected with new and unlikely friends every chance He got, because He was seeking to change hearts and to save lives. He still does now, and if we are lucky enough, He uses us in the process.
1 Peter 2:11-17
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.
Prayer: Jesus, we thank You for our friends, and we pray for Your guidance to expand our friend group. Help us to be Your Light to someone new this week. We love that we do not fit in to this world. Please continue to guide our steps towards You, and as we do, may others see Your work through us. We cannot thank you enough for brining Pastor Mary and the Haley family home safely on Saturday. We continue to lift Pastor Mary up in healing to You, and we pray a blessing over her family as they care for her. Please be with Pastor Mary on Thursday as she has a doctor’s appointment. We pray for your wisdom and guidance for the medical staff. You are the Great Physician who we trust will heal Pastor Mary and fully restore her. We love You! We ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written By: Jen Auer