1 Peter 4: 10-11
As belonging to the family of God, we can offer more than hospitality. God has given each of us gifts and abilities. We did not earn these talents. He gave them by His grace. So, we should be good stewards and users of our gifts, abilities, and talents. If you are a good speaker, then speak the wisdom and Word of God. If you are good at serving, then do it in God’s abundant strength. Then, the Father is glorified forever through our Savior Jesus. To Him be glory and dominion forever! Amen…so be it!
1 Peter 4: 12
We are about to begin a new year. Everyone has high hopes for a great year! Hope is good when it is established in Jesus. That kind of hope is not shaken when circumstances are unpleasant. Here, in 1 Peter 4: 12, we are instructed to not be amazed or bewildered by fiery ordeals. Fear not! We need to think of these fiery ordeals as a challenge, exercise, or test of our faith! Do not think it strange that trouble comes to God’s people. Jesus told us that in this world ther would be trouble/tribulation, but we should rejoice because He has overcome the world and He will also help us overcome by going THROUGH the trouble and storms! John 16:33. When Jesus is the Rock of our foundation, and we are determined to follow Him and do His Word (live in it to the best of our knowledge and efforts), then no storm can destroy us. He is eternally with us and gives us eternal life! Matthew 7: 24-28. Celebrate Jesus in the New Year!
1 Peter 4: 12-19
have you ever been confused about suffering and trouble? In other words, why do bad things happen to good people? Here, Peter give sus some understanding and instruction on what to think about it. Do not be surprised or shocked by it. Suffereing is a reality in this world. Evil is in this world. but, know that Jesus is the overcomer and if you follow Him, He will walk you THROUGH IT. Christ also suffered in this world. by aligning with Him, we will suffer and also know persecution. But, regardless of the outward conditions, we should rejoice…because when He comes again and His glory is revealed, those who hold fast to Him and obey Him in loyal faith, in spite of suffering, will rejoice in His triumph…eternally! We are blessed because the Spirit of God rests on us! We are marked by God! If we suffer because we bear His name, then be thankful God has made a way for us to be worthy to bear His name! And we are not alone in any trouble.
But, if you suffer as a consequence of unrepented sin, there is no good or blessing in that! It is just. If God judges, disciplines, and corrects His own household, and they are barely saved through repentance; think of what will happen to those without God who practice wickedness!
Therefore, it is better to commit yourself to God and do what He says is right, even if it brings persecution and attack of the enemy Satan. We can trust God THROUGH suffering. This is the truth and reality. A popular false teaching is that God will bless and prosper us so that we do not experience suffering, especially if we learn to pray effectively, or confess God’s Word, or have strong faith, or do wome other religious method. Beware of false teachers and false prophets. Learn the truth in God’s Word. Put all your trust and hope in Jesus, especially when suffering!
1 Peter 5: 1-6
Have you ever wondered how you can tell a good Christian leader/teacher from a por or false one? In these verses, Peter is majorly speaking about leaders of the flock of Christ, the Good Shepherd. Their responsibility is to nurture, guide, and guard the flock…eagerly and cheerfully. They are also to be examples of right Christian living.
They are not to be domineering, arrogant, dictatorial, overbearing, insolent, prideful, presumptuous, boastful, or motivated by personal gain. They are not to operate under coercion, construant, or manipulation. God sets Himself against this type of person, but gives grace, favor, and blessing to the humble.
The immature of the flock should respect and huble themselves to the true leadership of Christ’s flock….willing to learn from them. As Jesus humbled Himself under the mighty hand of God and was obedient unto death, so should we all do the same (our first allegiance to God and His Word), whether leader or immature. All God’s people should humbly serve God and one another. jesus, the Good Shepherd, humbled Himself. He taught and lived service towards others in love. Remember His teaching while washing the feet of His disciples? Jesus di not exalt Himself, but in due time, the Father exalted Him. We also should remain humble and not exalt ourselves, but rather God will exalt us in due time.
Do the Christian leaders, teachers, pastore, speakers, etc. who you listen to and learn from exemplify the right “fruit”?
1 Peter 5:7 Amplified version. This is one of my favorite verses on which I heavily depend and rely to be truth. “Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and He cares about you watchfully.” I had been a person with many worries, but the Holy Spirit used this verse to teach me to come into the presence of God and ask for His help and then trust Him that He would work on that concern because He love me and I had asked. I could continue to talk with Him about the concern, but no longer worry or be anxious about it. I needed to wlak in faith…to lean on, trust in, believe in, and rely on Him.
1 Peter 5: 8-11
Peter has told us that we have an evil enemy in the world who is out to devour and destroy us. Satan is anti Christ and therefore persecutes Christ’s people. What do we do to fight off Satan and evil?
Verse 8, Be well balanced, temperate, vigilant, cautious, with right thinking, guarded against deception.
Verse 9. Withstand and resist Satan and evil by being firm in your faith and faithfulness. be rooted, established, committed, strong, determined, immovable, and have convictions. Be encouraged by knowing that the whole body of Christ throughout the whole world is fighting this same evil enemy and suffering persecution (no self pity).
Verse 10, There may be suffering for a short time, but God who is full of grace will come to help us overcome because we are His own. He will even use the situation to complete you and make you what you ought to be – like Christ! You will become more strengthened, established, settled, and grounded securely in Christ.
Verse 11, Know that God is the ultimate power and authority….and to Him be the ultimate power, authority, dominion, and rule forever! Amen….so be it!
This reminds me of the spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6: 10-18. That is a whole study in itself. There too, it tells us to stand firm and resist evil. Our armor is put on ahead of the attack to prepare and protect us. We are not instructed to chase after Satan and evil to engage it in battle. Consider how Jesus dealt with Satanand evil. When tempted in the wilderness, He quoted God’s Word in truth and wisdom. Jesus simply cast demons out of people with few words and no big drama. He suffered persecution and death on the cross awaiting God to resurrect Him in glory. He oopposed the false religious elite leaders when they attacked Him. Jesus did not offensively find them out to fight or organize protests against the Roman government or false religious leaders. He did stand firmly established in truth when thye approached Him. Jesus has no problem with confromtation.
The only occasion I can recall at this moment of Jesus being on the offensive is when He cleaned evil out of the temple which was supposed to be a house of prayer. We can learn something from this! We are the temple of God, we need to offensively work to get cleaned up by Jesus! Be spiritually prepared with God’s spiritual armor so you will be able to stand firmly against Satan and evil. Be sure, he is prowling around looking for a good time to pounce. Be alert. Be prepared. Be faithful.
Keep the light of Jesus shining inside your spirit. Light dispels darkeness. That makes it high priority to keep the Light of Christ and His Word in us and continually walk in that Light.
1 Peter 5: 12-14
We end our study of 1 Peter. Peter gives recognition to some people and places. But, I notice his closing message reminding us of the purposes of this message.
- To exhort them. This is more than positive encouragement. Exhort means to strongly urge to do what is right. It includes to give warnings and advice.
- To testify to the grace of God in which they stand through Jesus Christ.
- To remind them to love one another and be charitable in service to one another.
- To encourage them to walk in teh peace of Christ, with no fear or anxiety.
If you look back torhough 1 Peter, you will see all of these same messages in greater detail. Thank You Lord for equipping us with your Word, instructions, and exhortations!