In CBS we are studying 1st and 2nd Peter the first half of this year. 1 Peter has really captured my heart in a surprising and unexpected way. I didn't expect to be this convicted by the study of 1 Peter. I've read all of Peter at one time or another but never an in depth study - like CBS gives. This is why I love CBS so much. You study verse by verse and you are really getting to know the Word of God - CBS is about God's word and not so much about other commentaries or perspectives but strictly God's word! You should look to see if CBS has a class in your area...if you're in Bham please email me if you are interested in joining! Sorry for the slight CBS distraction... Back to 1 Peter. Convicted it the word that I use over and over and over again.
Am I a stranger and alien in this world that we live in? Do I stand out for the sake of Christ? Am I different or do I try to blend in so that I am accepted by my peer's? We're called to be light in this darkened world and I pray that God's light will shine through me so that I am different a stranger and alien in the world.
1 Peter 1:1 '... To God's elect, strangers in the world...'
John 15:19 ' If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you"
Hebrews 11:13, 16 'aliens and strangers on earth..longing for a better country - a heavenly one'
Holy - I am called to be holy in all that I do. Not just when it is convenient....like going to bible study, having my quiet time, or in going to church - its easier to be 'holy' in those activities. Am I holy when I am cleaning my house, when I am disciplining my child, when Justin leaves his work stuff in the den, when I am at work....am I holy in ALL that I do? No! that is what we're called to do to be a faithful child of God. In this obedience come to mind and realizing the need to be obedient which will result in my living inside of God's will.
1 Peter 1: 15-16 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy"'
One of the questions for this verse was. Do you think it is possible to fulfill this command [to be holy]? I do think that it is possible. God wouldn't give us a command or task that we couldn't ever be. He never says 'be perfect' because he knows that is not possible. The definition of holy is to be set apart, sacred. I think that with the help of the Holy Spirit we can be this by being convicted of our sin, repenting of the sin and drawing nearer to God! How Awesome!
Spiritual Growth - I know that I go through dry spells where I just coast along and really am not laying in the lap of God. I am driving instead of letting Him drive...or even better I'm letting Him drive but telling Him along the way which direction I want to go. This isn't good! We all fall short - every single day. But He remains the same forever. He is the cornerstone/capstone and we are the living stone. There fore we must trust, believe, obey, and live out His truths so that we are 'being built into a spiritual house' 1 Peter 2:5.
1 Peter 2: 9 'Bu you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light'
Deuteronomy 7:6 'For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.'
Holy cow....HIS TREASURED POSSESSION! I am speechless!
Servant hood - this is a hard one because it covers everything from submitting and praying for government leadership (which right now I am not a fan of) to our masters (bosses or others who have authority over us) and even our husbands. We are to serve as Christ served. To work as though working for God...not man (Ephesians 6:5-8). Always do what is right (Colossians 3:22-24)
My words, my thoughts, my heart. I believe that what is in your heart will reflect in your thoughts and what you think will be reflected in the words that come out of your mouth. Here are some verses that grabbed my heart and makes me hold my tongue
1 Peter 3:9-12 'Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil"'
Ephesians 4:29 'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.'
James 3:9-12 'With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brother, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.'
WHAT? You mean when I was at the Jefferson County DMV in line for the 2nd time (1st time for 2 hours) and calling the rude people that work their idiots and incompetent....that this can not be justified? Nope. I was wrong and must seek forgiveness. I realized through these verses...CONVICTED.... that I need to evaluate what is coming out of my mouth and ultimately what is in my heart! No unwholesome talk or deceitful speech. I am asking that God will help me do this. I can not do it on my own but I know that with His help I can do better!
If I trust in Him and rely on Him I will draw nearer to Him. He is all that matters. If I wrap myself in His arms and find rest in Him there is a peace and joy and love that we can not understood to the fullest. We are told that we will go through trials and we will be refined like gold, He will discipline us out of love so that in all of this we will seek Him first and grow closer to Him. We have a mighty and awesome God who loves us beyond measure and calls us precious and treasured possessions. How sweet this is!