Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Adding Virtue

First on Peter’s list for us to pursue is to add to faith, virtue.  What exactly is virtue?  The apple dictionary defines virtue as :

1 behavior showing high moral standards: paragons of virtue.
• a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person: patience is a virtue.
• a good or useful quality of a thing: Mike was extolling the virtues of the car | there's no virtue in suffering in silence.
archaic virginity or chastity, especially of a woman.

The message?  Faith is known or show by actions.  The old proverb rings true, “Your actions speak louder than your words.”


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Project List

We also have responsibilities that accompany these great and precious promises.  Peter immediately tells us to diligently pursue, virtue, knowledge, self control, patience, brotherly kindness and charity. 

We will begin to examine tomorrow why the Holy Spirit gave Peter this list in a particular order. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

His Divine Nature Shared

One of the greatest promises is in this very letter fromPeter; that we might partake of Jesus’ divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) AND to escape the that is in this world through lust.

Amazing!  How can we participate, share, or in any way partake of his divine nature?  I have absolutely no idea how God imparts that, I just know scripture  tells us he does.  He gives to us the ability yo overcome every temptation (Romans 6, Philippians 4:13).  

We no longer have to suffer at the whims of our bodies.  We can control our unhealthy appetites through scripture, prayer, obedience, and self discipline.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
were broken toys and a dead rubber mouse.
The stockings were empty by my cracked leather chair
It looked like a tornado and just passed through here
I did not receive a single present
but gave all I had to the make others content
I had in my spirit a feeling not so nice
thinking I had out given other more than twice
When suddenly I was struck by a far reaching thought
Jesus gave all, my salvation he bought
The mess in the house seemed much smaller then
I smiled as I refocused on him

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone.  We have a lot to celebrate; eternal life, grace, hope, strength, peace; all because he came as a baby, grew to be a man and died that we might live both now and with him in eternity.

Merry Christmas indeed!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All That Pertains

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).

We can live a righteous life.  We can make right decisions.  We can choose to follow Jesus’ character in all things.  We have that ability because God gives it to us.  

Call out to him when you are tempted to act out in an ungodly manner.  He will answer quickly, giving you the strength to choose to be faithful to godly principles.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Large Gifts

Grace is a word that carries compounded meanings; forgiveness, righteousness, strength, wisdom; that is simply naming a few gifts included in God's grace.

Peace indicates an inner assurance, an untroubled soul regardless of circumstances.  Peace does not come from ignorance nor ignoring reality.  One can experience sorrow and peace at the same time.  Peace could be described as fully knowing what could happen or what is happening, yet feeling a calm assurance that Our Father is with us and will give us power to come out victorious in our days on earth or take us home in a victorious death.

The more I know God and his Son, the greater experience of grace and peace I obtain.  That makes me want to know him all the more.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Know You, the Only True God

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord," (2 Peter 1:2).

Notice the source of grace and peace.  These gifts come through knowing God and Jesus Christ.  Jesus prayed, "And this is life that they should know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Part of knowing God necessarily includes learning more about his character, his past actions, his promised future actions and experiencing living with him in our daily focus or awareness.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our Brother

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1).

Peter address his second letter to “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing”.  All who have faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are brothers and sisters of Christ and therefore of one another (Hebrews 2:11-13) though our circumstances, age and cultures differ from one another.  We have all obtained faith “by the righteousness of Christ.”  

We did not save ourselves.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peter Ends His Letter

Peter ends his letter by saying, “I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God.  Stand firm in it.” ( 1 Peter 5:12).

What is “the true grace”?  The “this” is all he has been saying; that we suffer for Christ, That Satan is out to destroy us (5:8), but God will sustain us (5:6-7); That Jesus is our Shepherd (5:1) and that he suffered for us (5:1); and in all Christ will be glorified (5:11).

May you find comfort and strength when you review all of Peter’s letter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

In All Things and Situations

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 5:10"

"If you can live through a moment, you can live through a day, and how you live a day is eventually how you live your life" (Philip Yancy, Rumours of Another World , Zondervan Publishing2003 pg 56).

He quotes Joan Chittister, a modern Benedictine, "Everything we are, everything that is said to us, everything that happens to us is some kind of call from God.  In fact, everything that happens is God's call to us either to accept what we should not change or to change what we should not accept so that the Presence of God can flourish where we are..."  Then Yancy writes, "The goal of contemplation is to see life as God sees it, unity of two worlds {physical and spiritual} and not a division.  That encompasses both a lifetime of practice and rare, single flashes of revelation" (pg 57).

We will go back to Peter's letter for the final point.  "To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Enemy Behind the Rock

Today, I had someone attempt to shame me in public.  He overtly attacked my character.  When I asked the reason for his behavior he said, "I have my reasons and that is all I am going to say."

There are people who do not have legitimate reasons for treating us with disrespect, and there is little to nothing that will stop the behavior.  Because we do not know of any direct relationship with their negative attitude toward us, we tend not to think of it as suffering for Christ's sake.

We forget that often attacks from Saran come from behind a rock, the real culprit hidden from view.  As scripture says, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God..." (Ephesians 6:12).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stronger Still

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).

Suffering has a way of calling us toward God because we are so aware of our need. We are more ready to trust in him, because we know he alone holds the answer.  We may feel depleted of faith and weak.  We may feel like our lives are chaotic with no direction. 

But when at last the particular suffering comes to an end we will find we are restored in our faith, firm in our conviction of Gd’s mercy and love, stronger to face the next hurdle, and established in our relationship with God.

Or….we can refuse to wait for God’s hand and make matters far worse in the long run….

Friday, December 12, 2014

The First Time called Christian

When Peter writes about believers suffering as Christians, it is interesting to know the history of the word Christian.  Jamieson, Faust, and Brown Commentary gives us some insight.

“a Christian-- the name given in contempt first at Antioch. Ac 11:26; 26:28; the only three places where the term occurs. At first believers had no distinctive name, but were called among themselves "brethren," Ac 6:3; "disciples," Ac 6:1; "those of the way," Ac 9:2; "saints," Ro 1:7; by the Jews (who denied that Jesus was the CHRIST, and so would never originate the name Christian), in contempt, "Nazarenes." At Antioch, where first idolatrous Gentiles (Cornelius, Ac 10:1, 2, was not an idolater, but aproselyte) were converted, and wide missionary work began, they could be no longer looked on as a Jewish sect, and so the Gentiles designated them by the new name "Christians." The rise of the new name marked a new epoch in the Church's life, a new stage of its development, namely, its missions to the Gentiles. The idle and witty people of Antioch, we know from heathen writers, were famous for inventing nicknames. The date of this Epistle must have been when this had become the generally recognized designation among Gentiles (it is never applied by Christians to each other, as it was in after ages-- an undesigned proof that the New Testament was composed when it professes), and when the name exposed one to reproach and suffering, though not seemingly as yet to systematic persecution” (Jamieson, Faust, and Brown Commentary; Olive Tree Programs for computers).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Negative Driving Force

Unbelievers who are driven to convince other not to believe often inflect shame on those who do believe.  Peter understands this tactic and writes, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" (1 Peter 5:15).

Jesus saud, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:for great is your reward in heaven:for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" ( Mt 5:11-12).

Christmas family gatherings can be a yearly even where believers and unbelievers run into conflict and persecution for your beliefs may arise.  Paul says, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Christian Murderer?

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters” ( 1 Peter 5:15).

When we read, “let none of you suffer as a murderer or as a thief,” we give a hearty Amen1  But then the Holy Spirit through Peter takes us by surprise when he adds “or as a busybody in other people’s business.“  

Paul wrote to Timothy “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  He wrote to the Thessalonians, “ And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;” (1 Thess 4:9).

Human beings like to give advise and judge, but we hate receiving unsolicited advice and being judged.  The Holy Spirit says we should not do either one.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How God is Glorified

Peter refers to something that usually happens to Christians when they are being attacked.  The person or persons attacking will refer to Jesus or Christianity in a derogatory manner.  There may be sarcastic references that you are behaving contrary to what the other person expects believers to do.  There is often mean references to your lack of intelligence in believing in a book written thousands of years ago (1 Peter 4:14).

But all their words and anger are directed to demean Christ.  But in the middle of this pain we are experiencing, God is being glorified in us.  Either we will learn where we can better reflect Christ, or we will ultimately grow stronger in our faith.  Lastly, in every case of persecution, no matter the form, we will see how Jesus was glorified through us when we stand before him.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Spirit of Glory

Peter says when we suffer because of the name of Christ,“…the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you (1 Peter 4:14”).  

Just looking at one phrase and allowing yourself to contemplate as many possible meanings as come to your mind, often opens up more of God’s Word to you.  Take this phrase and do just that.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why rejoice?

Peter writes that we will rejoice  when Jesus is finally glorified (1 Peter 4:13)..  What reason do we have to rejoice when Christ is glorified.

Everyone enjoys winning and no one cherishes defeat.  We want to be on the winning side. Oft times it neither feels like it nor looks like it, nonetheless  we are victorious.   Not too much longer and you will govern

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toothache Gospel

O.K., I am going through a dark time.  I see no hope of things turning around.  I am not sure how I got here or if I will ever get out.  So…how does this bring good into my life and how in the world will God ever receive glory from this?

Sound or feel familiar?

Peter says we suffer now, so that we will rejoice later (1 Peter 4:13).  True believers are not necessarily happy all the time.  The writer of Hebrews says God’s discipline is painful.  Peter described the Christian’s response to trials as suffering.  I don’t know about you, but a tooth ache does not make me happy, and some trials are nagging situations that remind me of toothaches.

Still…Peter says When Christ is revealed, we who remained faithful will be exuberant (1 Peter 4:14). He may be revealed to you and others near you through your trial now, in real life…or Christ will be revealed in heaven after our physical death.  When Christ is revealed all the missing puzzle pieces suddenly fit together and we will be filled with joy. It’s just a matter of waiting.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

But I Did It To Myself

What about the trials that I bring on myself?  How can I say it will bring glory to God, or do I simply suffer through them with no reward, no thought of God being glorified?

We make mistakes, huge mistakes; even when we are praying people.  I like the scripture “He remembers that we are dust.  “ As far as the east is from the west,so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.  As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.  For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;
and the place thereof shall know it no more.  But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him” (Psalm 103:12-17).

Even the trials that come as a result of our foolish choices, God can be glorified as we repent, change our ways and wait on him through the storm created through our owm mistakes.

Monday, December 1, 2014

This is Strange

Peter tells us not to think it strange when we experience fiery trials as though some strange thing has happened to us ( 1 Peter 4:12).  I may have read this verse hundreds if times, and yet… I have been knocked off my feet when severe trials blow through my life knocking down my spiritual power lines and literally tearing my home apart.  

Peter says we are not to puzzle over this, but to rejoice.  I can hear those of you in the middle of a spiritual tornado saying, “Easy for you to say, Peter.   You have no idea what or who I am dealing with.” 

Did you know that Peter died as a martyr by being crucified upside down?  Peter did not specify the trial on purpose.  Everyones trial is different because we are individual people living in diverse circumstances.  But the principle remains the same. God will eventually be glorified if we continue to trust him in whatever we are facing (1 Peter 4:12-14).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Small or Great

Peter writes that we should minister to one another according to the ability God has given us (1 Peter 4:11).  We have varying abilities, even in the same ministry.  For instance there are speakers/teachers whose ability draws crowds of thousands to hear him/her.  There are speakers/teachers who minister to 20 or 30 people.  And there are speakers /teachers whose ministry is discipleship, ministering to one or two people at a time.

Contrary to American perception, God decides both our ministry and the size of the span of our influence.  We need to study to be the best, but remain content on the number of people we reach.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

God's Instrument of Ministry

There was a man on the news that exposed a scandal.  He did not want to be photographed because he said the news was more important than who he was.  This humble attitude would go a long way in ministry.  What we minister to others is more about God than us.

Peter says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth:that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An Evil City

Many Christians in America predict the judgement of God coming down on our government and people.  They reason that God has to punish us or apologize to Sodom and Gomorah.  Maybe they are right, maybe not.  I have not yet heard of an entire town in America surrounding one home and wanting to sodomize a guest (see Genesis 19).  

Whether their ominous predictions prove to be true or not,  we live in perilous times.  Believers in other counties are being tortured, their children kidnapped and sold for sex trafficking.  I grieve for those believers.  And, quite frankly, it scares me.

Peter writes that dangerous times magnifies the importance of believers needing to show hospitality to one another, minister to one another and be good stewards of the gifts God has given us (1 Peter 4:8-11).  Let’s determine not to frighten each other with predictions of gloom.  Instead let’s look for ways to minister hope and loving support to fellow believers, and pray fr the persecuted church.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The End of All Things

It seems odd that Peter would write, “But the end of all things is at hand:be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7) and yet here we are walking on earth over 2,000 years later.  It seems odd to us because we are looking at it with the understanding that he was speaking of the Lord’s return.  We are unable or unwilling to read it historically.

It was very shortly after this that the world they had known fell apart.  Christians were increasingly killed for their beliefs.  People had to flee their family homes.  The Jewish world of quietly living under the Roman Empire was coming to an end.  Quite literally, “the end of all things” for them did come in their lifetime.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why A Second Chance?

Peter makes a statement that is puzzling.  He writes, “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Peter 4:6).  

The people he is speaking about are those who lived during Noah’s time (see verses 3:19-20).  They were judged in the flesh by drowning in the flood.  But for reasons I do not yet understand, they apparently were given the opportunity to hear Christ teach and some seemed to have been made alive in the Spirit.  

It is an interesting verse to ponder and/or discuss. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Yesterday I quoted scriptures that encourage us to come to God in our pain.  But there is a danger in false rest or false hope.  In other words I simply tell myself, “God is going to take care of this” and do nothing to change my circumstances or behaviors.  This is false hope.  Look back at Isaiah 30:15.  The source of peace is not only trusting God, but in changing some of my behaviors (repentance).  

God allows us to make choices, and when we choose unwisely, we will experience pain.  It was because of a false sense of trusting God and blinding myself against warning signs of danger that I ended up causing great grief to my children that has still not ended.

Trusting God does not negate our responsibility to act wisely.  Thankfully God forgives and is with us in the healing process.  But how much better to make the wise choice in the beginning. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Peter writes against the “excess of wine, revellings, and banquetings” (1 Peter 4:3).  He s not being a stick in the mud, not wanting people to enjoy life.  He is warning against excess. 

When people are hurting and they do not know how to handle the pain, they often fill their lives with excesses.  It might be shopping, charging things on credit cards, gambling, going to parties, social events, hanging out with friends to the detriment of both their own character and or responsibilities.  They are running from quiet.  The silence is deafening for them because there is nothing to cover up the emotional pain.  They are afraid if they allow themselves to feel it, they will either not stop crying or die.

God offers us peace in our pain.  He invites us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” ( Mt 11:28-29).  He tells us, “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:and ye would not”. ( Isaiah 30:15).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reactions to Our Change

There is a law of physics that states every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  When we change our behaviors, there will be an opposite and equal reaction from former friends.  Many will pull back from us, because we have become strangers to them.  They used to know how we would react, what we would say, the general choice we would make.  But suddenly we have turned their world upside down.

Do not be surprised when they begin to say evil things about you (1 Peter 4:2-4).  Remain steadfast, but gentle and kind.  It may take years, but eventually some may be won.

Monday, November 17, 2014

No Longer After the Lust

All of our decisions are to be based on the will of God (1 Peter 4:2).  We have lived long enough pleasing ourselves and other people.  But here is the rub.  How do we know if our decision is the will of God?  How do we know we took the right job, bought the right house, or chosen the right school ( the one that is in God's will or us)?

These questions reflect the wrong understanding of Peter's words, "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."  We are treating the will of God as a mystical thing.  It is not.

Plain and simply, the will of God is that we use wisdom in our choices, that we do not violate another person or violate God's laws.  If we have met those criteria, we can make our decision knowing we are living according to the will of God.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Well Worth It

Peter writes, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God '(1 Peter 4:1-2).

Living righteously comes at a cost, but it is will worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

All the Answers

As long as we live in the world, we will be forced to deal with evil.   We cannot help but ask why.  But we must not allow the question of evil to overcome our faith, to cause us to forget the good we see and experience.

I have a friend who walked away from her faith and is now pagan.  She said to me, "Why serve a Father who cannot protect his own children?"  Later, when I was thinking about this conversation, I thought she is worshiping a goddess that cannot protect her worshipers.

There are questions we do not know the answers to, but for me there are more answers than questions found in scripture.  I have experienced the loving presence of my Heavenly Father and i do not want to give that up simply because I do not hold all the answers.  If I did, I would lose my relationship with God and still not know the answers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

If He has All Authority Why....?

It is difficult for us to understand how all authority can be given to Jesus and yet so much evil be in the world.  If all demons and angels are subject to him, is he responsible for the horrific things that happen to human beings?  Could he not stop all this and the fact that he doesn't make him responsible?

So many have asked this question and many have lost their faith because of this question.  The writer of Hebrews addresses this specifically.  "...putting everything in subjection under his feet.  Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:8-9)

We know Jesus is not the instigator of evil evil in any form (Hebrews 1:8-9; James 1:13-15, 17) and we know the end of the conflict between evil and righteousness is the destruction of evil and all those who instigate it (Mt 5:22-29; 23:15, 29-36; James 2:1-22).

I do not have the definitive answer, but I know, based on scripture, I do not want any part of perpetuating evil.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

All Authority Submitted

All Angels authorities and powers have been made subject to Christ (1 Peter 3:22)  What does that mean in regard to us?  Here are some scriptures you may want to consider.

Hebrews 4:1-4
Isaiah 40:12-14
Job 42:2

Isaiah 55:8-11

Monday, November 10, 2014

What is Water Baptism?

Peter states that we do not take water baptism in order to remove dirt from our bodies, but we do it for conscience sake, as an appeal to God (1 Peter 3:21) .  He makes a connection with baptism in water and rememberingJess is in heaven.

Jesus said he was baptized in water to fulfill all righteousness (Mt.  3:15).  All Christians are told to be baptized in water (Acts 3:38).  Paul says we who are baptized into Christ are baptized into his death, so that we can be free from sin (Romans 6:1-12).  

The process of baptism is a picture of being buried with Christ and a testimony to the world that we have committed ourselves to be obedient to him.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Preaching to the Dead

Peter gives us a very strange insight in these next couple of verses.  Read this passage carefully :

 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."

Why do you suppose Peter says Jesus preached to those who drowned in the flood and not to the generations who followed?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cultural Interpretations

There may be times when we feel someone is persecuting us for our beliefs, when in fact the questions are challenging our reasoning.  We feel unsafe, as though if we change our mind about a particular way of looking at some thing it is equivalent to denying of God.  It is possible the question is pointing out a flaw in our reasoning and the false conclusion we have drawn based on our up bringing or our particular culture.

I have a cousin who us an anthropologist.  He works for Wycliff translators.  Part of his ministry is teaching several people groups from various nations whose attending the same conference.  The discussions often are on interpretation of scripture and how vastly they differ based on the individual's country of origin, yet the scriptures are exactly the same.

I think many of us will be surprised at how much we interpreted scripture to fit our needs or our culture and are not accurate.  This is one great reason we can be thankful we serve a merciful God.  He does not require perfection.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Representing Our Pride

Persecution can be accompanied by sarcastic probing questions.  Our most natural tendency may be to lash out, or clam up.  We feel the heat rising in our face and may even experience fear.  

Peter says we must be ready to give an answer at all times, why we hold such hope in our hearts.  But we are to do this gently and with respect toward the other person.  This is not always an easy task, especially when the other person is not gentle nor shows us respect.  

Peter points to a source of strength to do this task when he says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy”  (1 Peter 3:14-15).  Reminding ourselves that we do not represent our pride, but our Master.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

God's Calling to Suffer

Peter is certainly not naive as we questioned yesterday.  After asking who would do you harm for doing good, he goes on to say that there are certain people who do harm to you, even when you do not deserve it.  But we believers do not need to fern these people.  If we are suffering unfairly, then we are fulfilling part of part of our calling.

Peter says "When you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil (1 Peter 3:16).

Note that he says it is God's will  that we suffer at times.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Peter and Our News Paper

Peter asks, “ Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good” (1 Peter 3:13).  After reading newspapers and listening ti the news, Peter’s question appears to be naive.  However, Peter is commenting on a general rule.  Most people will not react negatively to someone who continually do good.  

Revenge is sparked by returning evil for evil.  So one way to avoid calling negative attention to yourself is by doing good.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Show Himself Strong

I find it amazing that a God is searching the world to show himself strong to his children (2 Chronicles  16:9; 1 Peter 3:12).

God is taking delight in you today.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Offers An Alternative

So often I have heard and/ or have been part of a conversation that complains about politics or some situation with which I am frustrated, but I offer no resolution.  It is easy to complain, the Children of Israel seemed to make a profession out of it as do many believers today.

But God does not instruct us to not do something without offering an alternative action, a resolution if you will.  He says we should turn away from evil AND to do good, to seek peace and pursue it". (1 Peter 3:10-12).

The word pursue indicates to me time and effort.  It is not what comes naturally.  It takes yielding our will to the Holy Spirit and using the effort it takes to make biblical choices.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


When someone acts wrongfully toward us, it is as though Satan invites us to return actions in like manner.  But God says:

“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10-12).

Our behavior is our choice, but we have no control over the outcome.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Remarkable Example

We have been talking about Peter's instructions for us to not return evil for evil but doing good to those who wish to harm us.  Recently I watched a short film about a woman named   Leymah Gbowee who lives in Liberia.  An truly evil man by the name of Charles Taylor became the countries ruler.  Hundreds to thousands of men and boys were tortured murdered by him.   This woman started by calling on women to begin to pray.  She ended up talking to the leader in a public meeting and praying for him.

She did not verbally attack him, but spoke the truth with respect.  Her actions resulted in him being  removed from office, going to prison for war crimes.

NOTE: if you would like to watch the film it is currently on the New York Times website under three short films.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Allowing God to do His Work

Overcoming evil with good can sound like Peter is telling us to ignore evil intent as though we are to do nothing to protect ourselves (1 Peter 3:9).  That would be an unwise interpretation of scripture and would result in bringing more destruction both to you and the perpetrator.  To avoid returning evil for evil we must ask ourselves what is the best thing for the one who wishes to harm us.

The very best for them is that they would stop doing evil,  therefore it makes sense to do what we can to stop the evil actions.  Sometimes that means reporting the perpetrator to law enforcement.  It might mean turning them out of your home.  It often means confronting them, but it never means doing them harm or rejoicing over evil that comes to them. Allowing them to suffer the consequences of their action is not harming them.  It is allowing God to deal with them.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Overcome Evil with Good

Peter tells us as does Paul not to return evil for evil noir reviling for reviling (1Peter 3:9; Romans 12:16,21).  Peter instructs us to rather bless the person who wants to do us evil.  Paul says we are to do them good.

Our sinful nature bulks against these instruction.  We say, Why should I bless him or do good for him when he purposely hurt me?  That does not make since.

But our sinful nature has been brought under control by the Holy Spirit because he has imparted to us the divine nature.  (2 Peter 1:3).  Jesus suffered for us while we were his enemies that he might bring us to life.  Our kindness to those who wish to harm us, gives them the opportunity to repent.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mercy Produces Mercy

Peter says we should have a tender heart and a humble mind (1 Peter 3:8).  It is difficult to have either of those when we feel we are of more than others or less valuable than others.  Thinking we are more righteous than another person by definition is a comparing ourselves with others, which scripture says is foolish (2 Corinthians 10:12).  We will either feel defeated or proud depending on who we are examining at the time (Romans 14:4).

If we wish to compare ourselves with something or someone, let us compare ourselves with God’s word or God’a righteousness.  That is comparison is much more likely to produce in his both humility and a ender heart.  When we see our need for mercy, we are much more likely to give mercy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Cashier

It is surprising how many opportunities there are to show sympathy every day.  I was in line at the neighborhood general store. The clerk was talking with a friend and her mother that she evidently had not seen for a very long time. I thought she was very rude to ignore me, while I “patiently” waited for her to finish her conversation.  I thought, “That girl needs more training’.

It was not until I paid attention to the conversation that I realized the cashier had just lost a life time friend because of her own brother’s poor behavior to her girlfriend.  The friend had not communicated with  the cashier since the break up with the cashier’s boyfriend.

Sure, she shouldn’t have been talking so long, but life interferes with rules sometimes.  I could show compassion by simply being kind and not making her feel worse than she already did.  Thankfully, this particular time, the Lord dealt with my attitude before the cashier finished saying her good-byes (1 Peter 3:8).  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Running in Circles

Our lives have many facets to them.  We have responsibilities like work, children, church and associations.  We have a need to spend time relaxing and playing.  We have friendships and acquaintances.  We all have political interaction to some extent.  Each of these are balanced within a twenty-four hour day sequence.  

When tragedy occurs, our lives become temporarily consumed with the change.  It is all we think about, all we talk about.  Our thoughts often run in circles.  We need others to be patient with our self absorption and give us time to heal.  

So when our friend or acquaintance experiences tragedy, we need to show sympathy and be understanding of his or her self-absorption.  They too will experience healing with time (1 Peter 3:8; Romans 12:15, Galatians 6:2).

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Peter admonishes us to have unity of mind, whether we are the one in authority or the one under the authority of another.  To be unified in one mind seems impossible until we realize he is reminding us that we all serve God and are equally his children (1 Peter 3:8).

Paul writes to the Ephesians that Christ gave to the church apostles, pastors and teachers to help us become unified in faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, into mature men and women formed into the fullness of the character of Jesus (Ephesians 4:11-13).

We need to remember, we are not dealing so much with people as we are with God’s messengers, and God takes it very seriously how we deal with his messengers (1 Peter 2:9).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On a Mission

Notice how the Holy Spirit directs Peter’s writing about the chain of command.  He begins with obedience to political rulers such as kings and governors, moves to slaves and masters 
(or bosses and employes), from there to husbands and wives (1 Peter 3:1-7) and sums the topic up with, “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

The fact is we are all under someone’s authority, and many persons in authority are self serving.  But we do not allow their injustice to control our character.  We remain sympathetic to hurting people, have a humble spirit, are not arrogant, revengeful or proud.  We remember whom we serve (God) and therefore are able to keep our dignity without harmful pride.

We are heavenly agents on a mission, and an unjust person in the position of authority will not detract us from our purpose.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Different But Equal

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7 KJV).  The English Version uses the word understanding instead of knowledge.  

Some interpret this passage as women are inferior to men because Peter writes the woman is “the weaker vessel”.  I believe Peter is referring to the woman’s physical strength.  Normally, if you compare the strength of a woman and a man who are of the same height, have similar exercise, and are healthy, the man will still be twice as strong as the woman.  Women’s healthy bodies have more fat than men’s bodies.  Their internal  organs were not designed to lift as heavy a load as a man’s.  A woman will tend to tire more easily.

There may be exceptions, but as a rule this comparison holds true.  Men are admonished to remember their wives have needs that they may not experience, but are of equal value as their own.  The wise man will take his wife’s needs into consideration as equally as his own. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

More at Stake

Peter makes a direct correlation between the way a man treats his wife and his prayers being answered.  Basically God says, “If you do not treat your wife with love and respect, I will not listen to your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).  God is watching the interactions between married couples.  He takes it very seriously when either partner is unjust toward the other.

This is not a new concept.  In fact throughout the entire Bible God relates how we treat others with how he responds to us.  Take Matthew 6:24 for an example.  “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”   God told Israel if they did injustice and mistreated, foreigners he would make their cities empty places (Jeremiah 22:3-8).  

Marriage is a holy institute and God does not ignore the problems in a relationship.  Each member of the union must answer to God as to how he or she treats his or her partner.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sarah called him lord

A man at a couples’ retreat jokingly said he expected his wife to call him master.  His humor seemed to vail a serious expectation he had of his wife.   When Peter refers to Sarah calling Abraham lord, it does not mean Lord in the vernacular we have today.  The closer rendition is sir.  Even that looses meaning cross culturally.  The principle meaning is to show respect toward your husband.  

Women are to be careful not to degrade, make fun of, demean, insult or show disrespect of any kind toward their husbands.  If we are human we will be angry with our husbands at some point.  But even then we are to argue respectfully.  We do not resort to demeaning them, but always showing respect to another person for whom Christ died (1 Peter 3:6).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Whose Boss?

Many take one passage of scripture and build a doctrine of marriage that has the man as supreme and the woman subservient. However , the whole of scripture teaches marriage as a partner relationship.  She submits to him; he gives his life up for her (Ephesians 5:22-29).  She desires him physically, and he naturally responds and cleaves to her (Geneses 3:23-4, 4:2).  

Marriage is not a contest for power in which the husband trumps the wife  with his scripture of her submission.  It is a partnership of two human beings each with their own faults submitting to and loving one another  (Genesis 2:24, one flesh, Ephesians 5:28).

Dominion or domination in a marriage is born out of sin. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Peter is not telling us to avoid wearing gold, or don’t cut your hair, or don’t get a permanent.  The reason we know this is because he also says “or putting on of apparel”.  If we say he means for women not to wear gold, would he not also mean women could not put on apparel (clothes)?  

The point of the passage is not so much what women should not do, but more about a meek and quiet spirit, (resting and trusting in God) is a greater witness to a lost husband that any thing else a woman may say, wear, or do (1 Peter 3:1-4).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Looking Good

Last Thursday, I was dressed in grey slacks, a rusty brown top and black belt.  I had brown shoes, a grey and brown purse and a scarf that had shads of grey and rusty brown.  I felt confident that I was dressed attractively. 

The morning was going well until I went to do a business transaction and that business’s personnel refused to allow me to finish the business I had come into transact.  They required something I thought was ridiculous.  The woman did not explain why this item was required and it seemed so outrageous to me and was interfering with what my accomplishing what I considered important and timely.  I used sarcasm as I went out the front door.  

I went back an hour later and apologized to the staff person for my poor behavior.  I tell you this embarrassing story to illustrate what Peter is telling us when he writes, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

My nice apparel did not hide my bad behavior.

Monday, October 6, 2014

One at a Time

I worked for a large hardware conglomerate when it was opening a new branch in our town.  As employees we had worked for weeks stocking the shelves, learning the cash registers and getting ready for the Grand Opening.  

The day to serve customers finally arrived.  The parking lot was full, and people were gathering around the entry eager to buy the large items on sale or simply to buy the tools that the local stores had not carried.  The crowd looked overwhelming to some of us.  Our store manager called all 200 employees to the front of the store and spoke to us calmly and kindly.  I  always remembered what he said to us cashiers.

“You can only serve one customer at a time.”  

It did not matter that the lines were from the front of the store to the back of the store, we still had only one customer, the one in front of us. I was able to remain confident all day and actually enjoyed the excitement without being tangled up with anxiety.  Likewise focusing on having a meek and quiet spirit allows us to remain calm in the midst of chaos (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Authority and Value

When we first started the discussion of wives submitting to their husbands, we said scripture is not teaching that men are better or more valuable than women.  We know this because of Jesus' relationship to the Father.

"The head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3) and yet Jesus said the Father and I are One" (John 10:30, 17:22).  Jesus is God and the Father is God. (John 1:1-3, 14; Hebrews 1:8).  We do not esteem the Father more than Jesus nor vise versa.  Why then would we esteem men more than women? (Galatians 3:28).

There is a marked deference between authority lines and marks of value.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Partners Not Parents

"Wives be submissive to your own husbands" (1 Peter 3:1).

We said last time, “Submission means we submit to our husbands all we have to offer, our wisdom, our insight, our thoughts, our talents, our abilities, our understandings, our warnings all that God has given us to bless our partner.  Silence is not always submission.”

Peter points out the attitude in which a woman submits to her husband.  She is not panicked (1 Peter 3:4, 6) and her strength is in the Lord, not in her husband (3:2 Fear of the Lord, not her husband, see verse 5). 

She does not nag or try to cause her husband to submit to God (1 Peter 3:1)  Husband are adults able and responsible to make decisions.  Wives are partners, not parents. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reckless Driving

"Wives be submissive to your own husbands" (1 Peter 3:1).

When I was in my 20s, I was married to a man who had a habit of not looking at the road while driving.  Back then we were being taught that wives were to submit to their husbands without any regard to the outcome.  The idea was that God would teach the husband what he needed  to know.

We were driving down a boulevard and because he was looking at me, he did not see a parked car in front of us.  Because of the teaching at the time, I actually thought about not saying anything to him and letting us hit the parked car at 50 miles an hour.  One or both of us could have been killed.  I decided submission in this case meant I would give him the warning.  He swerved and we missed a horrible accident.

Submission means we submit to our husbands all we have to offer, our wisdom, our insight, our thoughts, our talents, our abilities, our understandings, our warnings all that God has given us to bless our partner.  Silence is not always submission.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Submissive Wives not Wife Slavery

‘Wives be subject to your own husbands’ ( 1 Peter 3:1).  It does not say women are subjects to men.  It does not say all men rule over women.  It does not say men are smarter than women.  It dies not say men are more important than women.  It simply teaches that a wife has a relationship that requires working with and considering her husband and does not think only of herself.

The verses before and after reflect the kind of submission that is required.  Slaves and employees operate under bosses and slave owners that are to always just.  Sometimes husbands are not just.  When a wife submits to her husband she does it as unto the Lord (1 Peter :219-25; Ephesians 5:22-23, 6:5-90. 

However, the scripture is not teaching that women do whatever their husbands want regardless of whether the action demanded is sinful.  Women submit as unto the Lord. So that if a sinful act is demanded or requested the woman resists evil as any godly godly person must.  She is not arrogant about it, but calmly resolved (1 Peter 3:4; Ephesians 5:22). 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Judging Genders

1 Peter 3:1-7 is dedicated to the marital relationship as regards submitting to one another.  There are six verses on the necessity of the wife to submit to the husband and only one verse on how a husband is to treat his wife. Many leaders in the church gives that same distribution of time to the subject, as though women need to rebuke and exhortation far more than men need it (1 Peter 3:1-7)

Yet when women get together and talk, it seems there are fewer men giving their lives up for their wives than there are women loving their unjust husbands in silence.  I imagine when men get together they are convinced of the opposit.  

It is better for each gender to concentrate on the responsibility of their own gender than to judge the other (Romans 14:4).


Surgery went very well.  I have Parkinson's disease and the surgery is for deep brain stimulation.  This latest event was inserting the battery under my skin.

I felt a tills more pain this time, but no longer need pain medication.  My left side is a bit sore and I am not allowed to lift snything got four weeks.  I am grateful for your prayers.

May God bless you in return.

Dr. Shirley

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This morin ing I am undergoing second part of surgery.  I appreciate your prayers.  I hope to return on Monday without breaks.

Thank you for understanding.

Dr  Shirley

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nag in Silence

Sometimes we talk too much, say too much, nag too much.  Our endless effort to persuade someone to repent never succeeds.  Only the Holy Spirit convicts people of unrighteousness (John 16:8).  It is much easier to nag than to suffer unjustly, so that the Holy Spirit can use our silence to teach of God’s grace (1 Peter 2:23-25).

We nag through our own efforts.  It takes yielding to the Holy Spirit to know when and if we need to suffer in silence.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Saul Became Paul

Sometimes God allows us to struggle under the hand of those who are unfair for a yet invisible reason.  

Before Saul became Paul, he persecuted the church.  He had both men and women put to death.  Then Jesus himself confronted Saul on the road to Damascas, and knocked him off his high horse, if you will (Acts 9; Acts 26:9-18).  Saul was converted and became known as Paul, the man whom God used to write most of the new testament.

All those believers who were killed by Saul had no concept that they were being put to death by someone who would become a leader of the church.  There is peace in knowing God has a purpose in all things, whether we see and understand it or not (1 Peter 2:18-25)

Friday, September 19, 2014


Recently I have been giving into the temptation to over spend my budget.  Two nights ago, as I laid down for the night, my mind was spinning about finances.  I finally got out of bed and opened my bible to get some sort of comfort that would help me sleep.  I opened my Bible to where I hd stuck a piece of paper and read the following exhortation.

“Why do you spend money for that which is not bread?
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good,
and let your soul delight itself in fatness” ( Isaiah 55:2).

The Lord is faithful to correct us.  Peter wrote, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” (1 Peter 2:11).

Returning Sometime Today

Thank you for your prayer support.  I am doing especially well.  I go in for the second hakf of the surgery on the 25th.  That part is expected to be less complicated.  I hope to continue to post during that time.

I plan to post the next study today.

Thank you again for your prayers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I am recovery ing from surgery.  Plan to return on  the fifteenth.  I apologies for the delay.  I hope you well continue to read the posts.

God bless you,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Micro Manager

Several years ago, I was at my desk when the owner of the business came to my coworker and asked to see her upstairs in the lunch room.  The employee shot me a quizzical look as she passed by my desk following our boss.  When she came back down stairs, she quietly sat down at her desk and began working.  After the boss left the office the coworker shredded with me the  cause of her reprimand.

The staple on her report was crooked.

That was one of the most outrageous cases of micro managing I had seen.  Peter writes that we are to obey even those who are unreasonable (1 Peter 2:18-20).  If I am paid a salary to make sure staples are straight, then I will make them straight (and possibly look for another job).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Thoughts

When we suffer at the hands of others, our first thought is not to relate it to God watching over us.  Our reactions are more apt to be anger and reprisal.  We want to fight back, and many times that may be what we need to do.  But there are times when fighting back will not accomplish anything but stir up more trouble.  

At those times we need to remind ourselves that Jesus suffered to save some of the very people who were putting him to death.  He suffered for us when we did not deserve to be saved. 

God knows all things.  He will accomplish eternal things through the things we suffer, both in us and for us and, possible, for the one who is persecuting us.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Sure Thing

God distinguishes between those who  deserve punishment for doing wrong and those who are suffering unjustly (1 Peter 2:20).  When we are being mistreated, when someone is out to harm us, God is taking notice.  God is not only merciful, he is just.  His justice often does not appear immediately as he is patient to give people time to repent.  But his justice is sure and the wrong doer will eventually experience the wrath of God if he or she does not repent (Romans 2:11;      1 Peter 3:9).

Be confident that the sins committed against God will be exposed whether we commit them against others or others commit them against us.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Written to Sustain Power

Acquaintances and friends have said the Bible was written so the powerful can control those under them.  Peter’s next statement at first may appear to confirm that philosophy.  “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward” (1 Peter 2:18).  

But Paul clarifies that issue when he warns masters of slaves to stop threatening their slaves because the masters have a Master in heaven who will avenge wrong doing whether it be from a slave or a master of a slave (Ephesians 6:9).

The same principle affects employees and bosses. Every man and woman will stand before God and be judged for doing what is right and for the way he or she treats others in the line of authority.  The way we interact is not based on other peoples’ actions and attitudes, but on our relationship with God.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Changing Our Minds

When a child misbehaves and the parent threatens discipline but does not follow through, the parent is teaching the child rebellion.  When a parent says no to a child, but gives in to the child after the boy or girl fusses long and/or hard enough, the parent is teaching the child rebellion.

If the parent tells a child no, but the child presents a well reasoned legitimate cause for the parent to change his or her mind, and the parent then says yes, the parent is teaching the child to stand up for himself or herself. 

Consistency, listening, and changing our minds are important when raising children

God is the perfect parent, however, we are not (1 Peter 2:17; Exodus 32:9-14).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

God's Discipline is Not East

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge:
but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7; 1 Peter 2:17).

We have confidence in God’s forgiveness (Philippians 1:6; 1 John 1:9).  Nonetheless, we fear God knowing that we did not earn our salvation (Ephesians 2:6-10) but that he lovingly disciplines his kids and godly discipline can be painful (Hebrews 12:5-11; Ezekiel 33;12-33).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Loss of Intimacy

“Love the brotherhood” (1 Peter: 2:17).

A marriage will fall apart by ignoring the need for intimacy between both partners.  
The parent child relationship that is based only on authority will result in rebellion.
The boss employee relationship thais based on micromanaging or showing no interest will end in poor business practices and loss of jobs.
Church fellowship thar is based only on greeting one another in church, will deteriorate over time.

In other words, we need to spend time talking to one another, listening to one another, eating meals together, prating for one another.  Giving a helping hand when needed.  That is how we love the brotherhood.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Necessary Changes

“…love the brotherhood…” (1 Peter 2:17).  Simple enough sentence, but in America we seem to have difficulty with it. Our love of independence and privacy, and our busy life styles push us further and further away from actually loving the brothers and sisters in Christ.

The one thing that is sure to pull us together is tragedy.  When we are in crisis, we need others to help us, but if we have isolated ourselves who will we feel close enough to, to ask for the help we need.  If their business makes it difficult to help us, we are disappointed and given to judge others.  

We need to ask ourselves if we have been too busy.  What impact will that task have on our lives twenty years from now, compared to the impact in our lives of a twenty year healthy relationship.  It is time to count the cost and make necessary changes.

Monday, August 25, 2014


In recent days we have been hearing about the journalist that was beheaded.  Not only did the men commit this crime, they filmed it for the world to see.  It is difficult for me to fathom such callus hearts.  How can Peter write, “honor all men” when men like this want to rule the world (1 Peter 2: 17)?

In America we think a man should earn honor, therefore we do not honor un-honorable men, but treat them with distain.  If we do not like an incumbent president, we may refuse to call him President.  We make jokes about the president, and we are often disrespectful.   But this is contrary to scripture.  

To honor all men is to “adhere to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.”  Therefore if an evil man or woman is in authority, we may work to have him removed, nonetheless we show respect for the office he or she holds.  Though we may and should confront and fight against evil behavior, we continue steadfast in the self disciple of honoring the person who holds the office (i. e. calling him or her by the appropriate title of President).

(Note:  The men who committed this crime are not legitimate rulers.  Those who forcibly takeover governments are not automatically worthy of honor.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Put to Silence

Peter said “that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15).  Putting them to silence does not mean we have converted them into our way of thinking or have changed their intent to cause us harm.  It does mean that those who are observing will recognize the malicious behavior of the evil men. 

When evil men triumph despite the fact that their victims are doing good, their evil has been silenced in the hearts of the righteous.  In other words, the silence does not mean the evil person changes, but the heart of the doer of good has changed and the evil no longer has control over or influences the victim.  

Dealing with Harmful People

It is extremely difficult not to be malicious when someone is repeatedly attempting to destroy us.  Anger is a secondary emotion, meaning there are primary emotions that cause anger.  One of them is hurt; another is fear.  These are like identical twins rarely seen apart from one another.  

When we are hurt, we fear further harm.  If harm continually arises from the same source, we naturally become defensive or offensive.  Either one usually results in lashing out toward our enemy.  It is then our words and actions may become malicious. That is what Peter tells us to avoid (1 Peter 2:15).  But if it is a natural response, how can we avoid it?

I know I cannot avoid it with self determination.  But as I continue to pray and ask God to change my heart toward the evil men or women, God begins to work in unseen ways to change my emotions until I am able to confront the evil with a pure heart.

NOTE: This does not mean I pretend their motives are good or that I am not in danger.