The last few days have been a bit hectic but the best kind of hectic. I had to take the Jeep to the shop. The AC went out but I had time to pray and I had time to study a bit before we had to go. I started in 1 Peter 3:15; a single verse that lead to a study of honor that I continued through this morning. This honor was for others, not my own honor or pride. It was a study in humble service.
1 Peter 3:15 is one of those verses that the adversary used in my past to frighten me. It is a simple verse but he used it to introduce doubt.
1 Peter 3:15 (ESV) 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
For a long time, this passage was used to seal my lips, but the Holy Spirit has broken them free through the Word. I no longer fear this passage. He who is in me is bigger and stronger than who is in the world.
As I looked at the Passage more closely I noticed in the beginning “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy”, and the end “yet do it with gentleness and respect,” so I did what I do when I study; I started reading the passages that precede the starting point and follow it.
Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake
I went back to 1 Peter 3:8 and read to verse 15 and this passage is powerful it speaks to unit and brotherly love; a tender heart and a humble mind.
1 Peter 3:8-14 (ESV) 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 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. 10 For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
This passage is so powerful and full of promise. There is simple guidance as to good behavior in seeking God but there is this one thing that bugged me. The word that started the passage, “Finally”. If there is a finally there had to be more so I moved further back in the book of 1 Peter. The search took me back to chapter 1.
Born Again to a Living Hope
After the greeting Peter defined who we are in Christ Jesus. What we gain through our faith in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
I get cold chills when I read verses 8 and 9
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
What a gift. What joy that brings to me. I am overwhelmed by it all and it is so easy to stop here and just revel in these verses, but there is more. This is just the beginning. I moved forward now beginning in verse 13
Called to be Holy
This blessed call for us to be holy as Christ Jesus is holy. Set apart for His purpose in accordance with His will not our own.
1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV) 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
I moved a bit further and came to verse 22.
1 Peter 1:22-25 (ESV) 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
As I read this passage and reread it I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving that I first heard this Word and have it that I can study and grow closer to God through it every day! I am filled with a joy that engulfs my heart. But it does not stop there. Peter goes on to discuss submission to authority For Jesus sake.
Submission to Authority
Peter speaks of submission to authority for only one reason; to honor God.
1 Peter 2:13-17 (ESV) 13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
He goes on to speak of servants honoring their masters; good or bad. I know when I was working I had some good and bad bosses and in my youth honor was not a word I used to describe my behavior, and that is regrettable, because our goal should be to model our lives after Jesus and he did not return evil for evil.
Chapter 2 ends with a reminder that we once strayed but now we have returned to the Shepherd and he transitions to Husbands and Wives.
He begins here counseling the wives but closes with the husbands. I think the counsel to the wives shows the
great power they can have with a heart like Jesus. They can turn an unbelieving man to Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 3:1-4 (ESV) 1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
I love this whole passage, but especially the verse 4. That is the true beauty of a woman. That is what draws the true love of a man. The same part that God loves. “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”(vs 4). (emphasis added)
That warms my heart and reminds me of the beauty and wonder of my Pat. Her beauty is beyond words for me. It simply melts my heart.
Peter does not neglect husbands in this discussion of honor. He reminds us that both husbands and wives are heirs together.
1 Peter 3:7 (ESV) 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Peter is brief, but what he says to the husband is powerful. “live with your wives in an understanding way.” Show honor to them as well. If you disrespect your wives it will hinder your prayers; to obstruct the path of our prayers.
I struggled with the word hinder, but then I read Psalm 66 after reading K-Loves verse of the day.
Psalms 66:16-19 (ESV) 16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17 I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer
If I do not honor my wife I am cherishing iniquity in my heart. That is a sad thing to consider. If I neglect my wife I am cherishing iniquity. If I cherish iniquity I will hinder my prayers.
I reread these passages and the guidance the Holy Spirit gave us through Peter. As I reflected on it and considered Psalm 66 this wave came over me. When I get angry with a person that is in authority over me and disrespect them or if I dishonor them I cherished iniquity in my heart. If I do not honor my wife with understanding, I cherished iniquity in my heart. That is not my desire. Mine is to worship and praise God in spite of what may come.
1 Peter 4:1-2 (ESV) 1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
I know I fall short every day. But each day I gain strength from He who lives in me and each day is better than the last most of the time. Every day I learn more and Every day I learn more places I fall short, but I am thankful for grace and the gift of repentance. The more I learn the more I see the more I am thankful for repentance and grace.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I am filled with joy at His presence and the wisdom He shares with me. Thank you for revealing the places I fall short Lord. Forgive me and help me to continue to grow that I may be more like Your Son Jesus.
In His name, I pray, Amen.