February 20, 2018
1 Peter 3:8-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
There are many, many wonderful lessons in our reading today. We are brought to God through Christ and we are to have his mindset. What is the mindset of Christ? To see ourselves as one household connected to Christ. That means we deeply appreciate and serve one another and keep a clear conscience of how we love each other. There should be no relationships stronger on earth than our spiritual connections in Christ who is Love incarnate and the Head of the Church (believers). We are his Body reaching out to others, moving in synchronicity with the Spirit, to serve in God’s mission of salvation.
Every day we come in contact with people who have no desire to love others; to be kind, patient, or interact with self-control. Scripture teaches when we encounter that wrong spirit, we are to pray for their wellbeing, happiness, and protection. Why would we want to do that for people who are so self preoccupied? Because it demonstrates active faith—praying for things yet unseen—and positions those people to encounter our holy Father God. Never forget we are children of God and heirs with Christ. When we pray for others to receive the things they need from God, the Spirit releases an inheritance of blessings in our lives. All of a sudden we ourselves are receiving a greater measure of wellbeing, happiness and protection. We increase in patience, kindness, and self-control. It is how the provision of God really works. So do not worry about opposition; pray for others and pursue peace and harmony for yourself; live life in the Spirit. In the name of Jesus be undisturbed by opposition or fear today!
1 Peter 3:8-18 All Christians
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. 10 For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”
Suffering for Doing Good
13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
Prayer: Lord, these are wonderful lessons for me, today. Help me to live with the mindset of Christ by exercising faith and prayer when I encounter opposition. In Jesus’ name. Amen.