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.