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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Foolish Frog

Some people have minds and hearts that are so full of themselves that they see people around them as objects.  A person’s value is based primarily on whether he or she is in agreement with their way of thinking and doing things, and secondly whether he or she has power or influence to promote the narcissist.  Their motives are easily disguised with smiles and friendly chatter but if you follow their history it is full of havoc and trouble.  

Making friends with such a person is like the frog who asked for a ride across the river on the back of an alligator.  The frog never reached the other side.

Peter gives us insight on how to interact with the narcissist.  “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God” (1 Peter 2:15).  Notice he does not say this will make them your friends, but that it will silence them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” (1 Peter 2:13).

ordinance - noun
1 a piece of legislation enacted by a municipal authority: a city ordinance banned smoking in nearly all types of restaurants.
2 an authoritative order; a decree.”

We may not like the ordinance.   We may not think the ordinance is fair, and it may not be.  But unless it is in direct disobedience to God’s law, we are to obey it.

Notice the correlation with  the Lord’s sake.  Our obedience or disobedience has a direct reflection on the reputation of God’s children, not just you as his individual child (1 Peter 2:12-13).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Inner Wars

Peter warns believers not to give into fleshly  lusts because they war against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11).  Paul writes that the flesh and spirit are at war with one another (Galatians 5:17).  He warns in Romans “If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

It is so easy to live according to the flesh.  You simply do whatever you want to do regardless of the circumstances, long or short repercussions to self or anyone else.  It is difficult to put to death the sinful or out of control desires of our bodies or emotions.  To do that there is almost always suffering (Hebrews 5:5-8)

The end result putting to death lusts of the flesh is worth it though (Hebrews 12:11).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pocket Flashlights

I have a tiny light that fits on a key chain.  It has a handle that pulls out that you must wind up in order for the light to shine.  I can never seem to wind it up enough to make the light shine brightly. At a camp sight the tiny flashlight barely illuminates the path to the public washroom.  

My father has a light the same size that holds a battery.  If he shines that light into your eyes it temporarily blinds you.

Our interactions with others are to bring forth the praises of God who brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9).  

If you were using the illustration of the two flashlights to teach about the verse in First Peter, what other spiritual point could you make with these two flashlights? 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Radio Stations

“Would you change the station from this noise to a softer music like you used to play?” The woman asked the waitress with a sweet smile and a gentle voice accompanied by a wink of the eye.  Turning to per partner she said, “Now was I gracious enough?”

“Yes,” her friend affirmed, “you were gracious.”

Was she?  Her voice may have pretended graciousness, but no matter how sweet the tone of voice, the words were insulting to anyone who liked the kind of music the woman called noise.  The words the woman chose were rude. 

We are a peculiar people, not because of the music we listen to, the way we dress or some other culturally based likes and dislikes, but because we reflect the character of God in our responses to those with whom we come in contact (1 Peter2:9).

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cafetria Preaching

I knew a Christian who worked in a factory.  Some days during his lunch hour in the cafeteria, he would stand on one of the long tables and start preaching repentance to all his coworkers.  I knew another man who thought that Christians should talk in a soft voice.  He went from speaking softly, to whispering and eventually stopped speaking altogether.  These kinds of behavior are not what Peter is encouraging when he says we are a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9).  

We are peculiar because we do not follow the ways of the world.  We do not live according to fleshly lusts.  We are constantly doing good works.  We look for ways to glorify God (1 Peter 2:11-12).  We obey the laws and those who have authority over us (1 Peter 2:13-16).  

Peculiar behavior similar to my former friends is not a redeeming factor but distorts the truth and turns people away from God.  Honest and righteous behavior may make people uncomfortable and they may even become angry with us.  But their responses reflect God’s conviction, not our powers of persuasion. 

Friday, August 8, 2014


A nation by definition is a group of people who interact with one another.  Peter says we are a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9).

Our permanent residence is in heaven (John 14:1-3).  But for now, we are working as foreign ambassadors among nations of unbelievers.  Each one of us and the compilation of all of us are the Consulates both to each other and to those who want to learn about our way of life.

Nations, though made up of individuals, are not independent of one another.  Our choices affect each other.  Think about how you feel today when you read or hear about a robbery, murder or other crime committed in your town.  Think about how you feel when you hear two people screaming at each other in the street.  Do you peek out the window, try to inconspicuously watch them as you saunter by, or does their argument have no affect on you whatsoever?

Today let’s ask ourselves, how are my choices affecting my fellow heavenly citizens?  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Define Holy

We are chosen to be a Holy nation (1 Peter 1:9).  To be holy is to be “dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; to be sacred.”  

Yes, to be Holy means we avoid sin (1 John 3:8).  We avoid disobedience to God (1Peter 1:14).  But it means so much more than that.  It means to be dedicated to God.  Our entire day, our every waking hour is dedicated to being the kind of person who reflects godly character (Romans 5:.4)  Our motives in every choice is to please God, love others, speak truth, take care of things for which God has given us the responsibility (Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 4:14-15; John 13:34;  1 Thessalonians 4:1).  

In other words, to be holy is to act continually as one committed to God and his ways.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Two camps in One Holy Nation

Have you ever wondered what it felt like to be chosen by God as a special nation? Do you think you would feel humbled, or do you think you would more apt to be proud and feel superior than every other nation or people?

There were some Hebrews in both camps.  But the reason God choose the descendants of Abraham to be a nation had nothing to do with their worthiness.  Abraham's ancestors worshiped false God's.  His family was from Haran.  In fact some scholars, based on Genesis 11:31, believe God first called Abraham's father to go to Canaan, but he disobeyed and remained in Haran.

So God did not call Abraham because he was already holy.  The point of choosing Abraham was to illustrate how turning to God and relying on him can bring you victory and peace.

God has called every believer to be part of a Holy Nation so that we are examples to others of what belonging to God means and the benefits of serving Him.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One True God

People who have no desire to know the Truth may hate us for our love of God and his Word (1 Peter 2:7-8).  People are much more comfortable with a nebulous God that can be designed as each person see’s fit rather than someone relating to them a clear need for repentance and only one way of salvation.  Our message causes them to stumble over their responsibility toward the only True God. 

Most people in Jesus’ time rejected him, though he was the foundation of God’s spiritual building.  So we should not be surprised when his message is rejected when it come through our mouths either.  

Not being surprised, however, does not mean we won’t feel hurt.  It grieved Jesus; it will grieve us.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gives Pause

One of the things that causes me pause is the fact that every true believer is a priest to God (1 Peter 2:5).  We are called to a holy service, to worship the Most Holy God.  The reason, and the only reason, our worship is acceptable to God is because of Jesus.

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). 

If you resist interaction with God because you feel unworthy, then you are right, you are unworthy, so is everyone.  If only worthy people interacted with God, then there would be no one to worship Him.  

What do you think the point of Jesus’ coming was all about (Mt 9:12)?

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Noisy Bedroom

Some rooms in a house are meant for noise.  If a play room or play ground is quiet, we know there are either no children around or something is terribly wrong.  Other rooms are made for a different kind of noise.  Imagine a kitchen with all paper utensils.  How can you stir soup with a paper spoon or turn over a frying egg with a paper spatula?  How about a bathroom with no running water, broken pipes and a whole in the outside wall.  Sound inviting?

Few rooms are meant for silence.  The healthiest sleep occurs in a dark and quiet room.  Without  proper sleep, over time a person will become ill.  There is a rare disease in which a person becomes unable to sleep.  Eventually delusions set in and finally death.

As  spiritual house, we need to recognize there are differing personalities (rooms) made for different functions.  The shiest person in your congregation is as important as the person with the booming personality.