A curious warning is given to us in Peter’s first letter. There he tells us to be ready to give the reason for the hope that lies within us to everyone who asks (3:15). Now, what’s strange about that passage is this: no one ever asks.
When was the last time someone stopped you to inquire about the reason for the hope that lies within you? You’re at the market, say, in the frozen food section. A friend you haven’t seen for some time comes up to you, grasps you by both shoulders and pleads, “Please, you’ve got to tell me. Be honest now. How can you live with such hope? Where does it come from? I must know the reason.” Has this ever happened to you? Under any circumstances?
Yet God tells us to be ready, so what’s wrong? To be blunt, nothing about our lives is worth asking about. There’s nothing intriguing about our hopes, nothing to make anyone curious. Not that we don’t have hopes; we do. We hope we’ll have enough after taxes this year to take a summer vacation. We hope our kids don’t wreck the car. We hope our favorite team goes to the World Series. We hope our health doesn’t give out, and so on. Nothing wrong with any of those hopes; nothing unusual, either.
Everyone has hopes like that, so why bother asking us? It’s life as usual. Sanctified resignation has become the new abiding place of contemporary Christians. No wonder nobody asks.
Do you want the life of any Christian you know?
Well, this is a pretty simple job description. What is my job? It is to bless. That is it!! When I do, I am a blessing to others and I also get my Heavenly Father’s blessing.
May I bless others at every turn today.
Bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 1 Peter 3:12
I must embrace life. I want to see my days fill up with good stuff. So, here is what I must do. I must say nothing evil or hurtful. Oh the times I have said something and immediately wished I could take it back. The better way is to not say evil and hurtful things.
I must cultivate discipline in my speech. I must be uplifting and encouraging. Then my days will fill with good.
For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3:10
Am I humble enough? Not yet and that is important to understand.
Who gets the credit? That is a central question. In God’s world that He rules (the Kingdom), God gets the credit. The victory belongs to the Lord. Humility is central to relationships. Central to my relationship with Him. Central to my relationship with others. Love does not boast. That is how I bless others and receive a blessing.
May I always give the Lord the credit. He is God. He is good. He is great.
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-12
I should go all out for it. Pursue it no matter what. Peace is from Him but I have to go for it. Don’t say things that hurt others. Cultivate the good in others. Go after the good. Ignore the evil. God approves this and listens to me in this context.
May I cultivate the good. May I go for peace no matter what. May my day fill up with good.
Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here’s what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you’re worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he’s asked;
But he turns his back on those who do evil things.
1 Peter 3:8-12
Life does seem difficult some days. The key question is “Am I doing what God said”? If so, I should take the difficulties in stride. I can trust him that He knows what He is doing. It is His plan, not mine. I can trust Him that He will keep on doing it.
So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it. 1 Peter 4
Oh yes. There are times I felt my life depended on many things. This good word sets a wonderful standard for me. All I need to do is love others as if my life depends on it. AND, it does. I should be cheerful. I should be generous. If I an, He will get all the credit.
May I love in such a way that it makes up for practically anything. Wouldn’t that be an amazing thing. That is the way He does it. Here is the deal. Love more, worry less.
Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!” 1 Peter 4:8-11