Friday, October 30, 2009

Human Nature Invokes Revenge

It is human nature to lash out at anyone who hurts us. If we perceive that someone is intentionally being unjust toward us, we feel entitled to revenge. That principle is why Peter points out the reasonableness of treating others well, "And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?" (1 Peter 3:13).

However, he also acknowledges the hardness of some people's hearts so that they do harm regardless of how they ae being treated. In such cases Peter advises us, "Even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you are blessed" (1 Peter 3:14). he says that it may actually be the will of God for us to suffer unjustly so that God may be gloriefied through us (1 Peter 3:13-17).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Invisible Enemy

How can a wife submit to her husband and a husband understand his wife without resenting one another? Peter answers that question in 1 Peter 3:8-12.

The first principle to successful marriage is for both husband and wife to be of one mind, having compassion for one another? (1 peter 3:8). Secondly we are to be tenderhearted toward our mate and always treat them with courtesy (1 Peter 3:8). Thirdly we are never to "return evil for evil or reviling for reviling" (1 Peter 3:9). Fourthly we are to always bless our mate, knowing that we are called to inherit a blessing from God (1 Peter 3:9).

The result of holding our tongues, refusing to be deceptive, seeking peace is to have our Lord hear our prayers. If we refuse to follow these principles, the face of the Lord will be set against us (1 Peter 3:9-12).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Sour Smell

A man lives in our community who does not wash his clothes, nor does he bathe. His face always sports a patch of stubble.

He is an intelligent man, able to discuss important topics. However, he wets his pants in public leaving large stains on his light beige slacks and puddles on his chair. His stench lasts long after he has left the room. If he has mirrors, he ignores them.

He has been approached several times about his poor hygiene, but chooses to ignore his responsibility to the general public.

James says, If we do not live what we know to be right we are spiritually like the man in my community (James 1:23-24).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Empty Computer Case

My husband borrowed my laptop computer last week when his PC crashed. I lugged my computer case back and forth to the office just so I had access to my papers. I worked out of a disk drive on my office PC but missed using my files on the laptop. Thursday night I asked my husband if he had gotten his PC back from the repairshop. I about killed over when he told me he had put my computer back in its case Sunday night. We both had a great laugh over the fact that I had the computer with me the entire time, but didn't know it.

That is exactly what we do with the grace of God. It is available but live like we don't have access.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dark Days

It is a strange world we live in. Babies die, when they should live. Murderers live when they should die. Victims suffer at the hands of uncaring individuals and injustices continue to dominate our society.

So why don't we give up? We don't give up because we know whom we serve. We know this is not our home but that we are agents of the Most High God. Our mission is to be his light in a dark place so that others may notice the difference and bedrawn toward him.

This darkness will not last forever. God will one day say, "It is enough." Then we will reap a harvest of joy.

Until then...

We depend on him

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dried Out Bread

Proverbs 17:1 "Better is a drymorsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife."

We benefit when we provide a safe place for others to be themselves and we love them just as they are.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Worth The Risk?

Adam and Eve had the best of all worlds. There were lush gardenss, clear waterfalls, tame panthers and friendly bears. It is hard to imagine their world without pain, sorrow and fear.

When the first couple made the decision to eat what God had forbidden, they had no idea of the anguish they were bringing on themselves. Satan told them everything would work out fine, but when they learned thier oldest son had murdered his younger brother, they were faced with the reality of how their choice had affected their sons.

We are faced with similar choices. We may choose to ignore God's warning, but we don't get to choose the outcome.

Is it really worth the risk?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hindered Answers

Let's look at Peter's instructions to husbands one more time. "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Consider the warning Peter is giving husbands, "that your prayers may not be hindered." God takes seriously any mistreatment of another person. The Psalmist wrote "If I regard wickedness in my meart, the Lord will not hear me." Scripture says, "He who covers his sin will not propser but whosoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy" (Pr 28;13).

When husbands mistreat their wives, or women mistreat their husbands, God notices. It in some ways reflects back to what we talked about last time. God may be providing the answer to a spouse's prayer through their mate. Our behavior is hindering the very answer we seek from God.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Cost of Ignoring

Peter also reminds husbands that they are fellow heirs with their wives of "the grace of life." Our understanding of any given situation or decision is not based solely on the fact that men think differently than women. It has to do with the fact that God has promised to direct and guide each of his children, both men and women.

Isaiah wrote "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it..." (Isaiah 30:21). The prophet Joel wrote "...I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions and even on the male and female servants I will pour out my Spirit" (Joel 2:28).

Galatians 3:28 tells us "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Chirst, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." Men and women were in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came down in tongues of fire filling everyone present wih the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).

How will you know if God is speaking through your wife unless you take the time to consider seriously her opinion? You may be doing more than ignoring her, you may be ignoring wisdom from God.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do you Want to Understand?

Peter tells men to dwell with their wives with understanding (1 Peter 3:7). Some men plow over their wives. They only see emotions and dismiss the logic behind what is being expressed.

It takes time and energy to understand another person's viewpoint. We need to ask open ended questions to discover the logic behind the opinion. For example ask, "What makes you uncomfortable about the way I want to handle this?" or "What do you think we should do and what are your reasons?"

Your wife may not express herself like you do, but more than likely you have the same goals of living a successful life. Hopefully you both want to please the Lord.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Husband's Strength

Much attention has been given to Peter's comments to wives (1 Peter 3:1-6) and very little to his instructions to husbands. "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayer may not be hindered" (1 Peter 3:7).

There is an old saying that bears repeating. "Actions speak louder than words."

The actions of many men tell the world they interpret Peter's words, "the weaker vessel" to mean the woman's intelligence is less than a man's. But weaker does not refer to intellect. It refers to physical strength.

A man of the same height and weight as a woman will be significantly stronger than her. Men have a tendency to interact more on a physical level than women do. Peter is telling men to be aware of how their physical strength can hurt a woman. Using physicl strength will give an unfair advantage to a man. In other words it is sinful to use physical strength to get your way or intimidate your spouse.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Wife's Trust

Peter's reference to Abraham and Sarah's relationship is not to teach us to call our husbands "lord" or "master." He is teaching that Abraham mistreated his wife when he lied about their relationship, yet Sarah put her trust in God (1 Peter 3:1-6).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dangling Braclets

Women, we are wise to remember that our outer beauty is temporary at best (Proverbs 31:30-31). Its influence will not last. Therefore to build our relationship on our beauty is one of the most foolish things we could do. But if we build it on the quiet attitude of the heart the chances of a healthy relationship greatly increases (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Scripture does not tell us not to look as beautiful as we are able. Esther spent a full year tryiing out different perfumes and learning beauty secrets before she met the king (Esther 2:12-13). In Ezekiel's word picture of what God did for Israel, he says God gave Israel fine linen clothes, gold and silver to wear as well as rings and bracelets.

But those things are not what will win the heart of our husbands or please our Lord. If we have any chance of influencing them toward God, it is with our quiet confidence in God and the respect we show our husbands (1 Peter 3:1-4). That kind of beauty can last forever.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Snake Handlers

Jesus said we could trample on snakes and scorpians and not be hurt. But before we go out and join the snake handlers' worship services, lets finish reading the text in its entirety.

"Behold I have given you authority to tread upon snakes and scorpians and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall injur you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven" (Luke 10:19".

The text is not speaking about physical snakes and scorpians, though what happened to Paul may occur in our lives (Acts 28:3). It is talking about overcoming demonic activity.

What would happen if we asked God to help us overcome temptation immediately upon being faced with it, rather than begging God to prevent the temptation? Imagine depending on God to help us say no and purposely avoiding the place where we tend to fail

Friday, October 2, 2009

Intellectually Inferior?

Peter is careful to tell women to submit to their own husbands. Some men interpret this to mean they are intellectually superior to women. They do not show them respect and talk down to them or ignore them.

Other men appear to be kind to women. They smile and give complements related to women's appearance, but they rarely take advice from the opposite sex. They tolerate women giving their opinions, but they do not take them seriously. If the man happens to agree with a woman's opinion, he chalks it up to a fluke.

But this is not the kind of submission God designed (Galations 3:28-29; 1 Corinthians 11:3). The relationship between God and his Son is the pattern set for the relationship between husbands and wives. There is a line of authority coexistent with a line of equality (Phil 2:6). Jesus is no less intelligent than the Father and the Father never demeans the Son.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Peter gives a lengthy admonishment on submitting ourselves to those in authority. He covers governments (2:13-14), forced labor (2:18), and chosen companions (3:11,7).

Sometimes God provides a way out of these relationships (Mt 19:9; 1 Cor 7:11, 15-16, 21). But as long as we remain in them, we are to submit ourselves to the one in authority as an example of what Christ suffered on our behalf (1 Peter 2:21-25).

This does not close the door to leaving an unhealthy situation. But if we leave, we are to do it with as much grace and dignity as is becoming a servant of God.

Remember Jesus did not submit himself to those who would abuse him until the appointed time of the crucifixion. Many times the religious people wanted to put him to death. But because his time had not come, he did not submit himself to them (John 8:59).

There are an appointed set of martyrs (Rev 6:9-11) and it is doubtful that an abusive relationship fits into that category.