“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9
In this world getting even with someone is very common and accepted. Everyone wants to pay back some for what was done to them. It is often looked as the saying in the Old Testament of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth”.
There are thousands of lawyers out there who are ready and willing to take someone to court to help get the desired payback. That someone can be an individual, a family or even a large corporation. It is always someone with some money. The idea is to hurt the person for some wrong that they had done. People will hire these lawyers to get back at that person.
Many other people cannot afford the lawyers, or just do not want to get even in the legal way. They will take matters into their own hands and fight back. Some will physically harm the person or business, others will slander them to harm them, while others will just ignore them. All of these ways are the same in getting revenge in a way to hurt them.
Peter states here not to repay evil with evil, but with blessings. Jesus had already stated that every believer is to love their enemies and bless them. This is the very thing that Jesus had done with His enemies when He was on the cross. He blessed them by asking the Father to forgive them. You were also included in that prayer.
If Jesus can pour out blessings on His enemies as He is being crucified, can you not give out some blessings on one who does wrong against you?
God may be using your enemies to help get you to the right spot at the right time. Think about Joseph and his brothers, if they had not done wrong to him, he never would have been a leader in Egypt.
Allow God to use whoever He wants to build you. Pray for those who do wrong against you and pray blessings on them, not curses. See what God can do for you and with them. It might amaze you.
I pray today that God will fill you with His love for your enemies; that God will strengthen you to bless your enemies; that God will use every wrong against you for your good; and that you will be a shining light for Jesus in this world.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
People of the world look at what Jesus did on the cross and think He was either crazy or it is a made up story. They just cannot understand why someone totally innocent would be put to death and willing be allowed to be put to death. Peter is quoting from a part in Isaiah stating that Jesus died on the cross to take on the sins of every person.
Jesus was beaten for every sin that every person ever did. This includes your sins. Think about this for a minute and let it sink in.
Think back just about your childhood. How many times did you disobey your parents? How many times did you disobey your teacher in school? Just think about these two factors.
Now imagine that you had to be beaten with a whip with rocks in it. The beating would be one strike for every individual disobedience you did wrong as a child. Do you think you could even survive the beatings?
This is what Jesus did for you. Not only did He take the beatings for your childhood disobedience but also for you as an adult. The number of beatings increases astronomically.
Jesus did this so that you can die to sin, so that you will no longer sin. He has removed the curse of sin in your life so that you can live the right life for God.
When temptation comes your way, keep your eyes on Jesus and what He did for you. Doing this will allow you to turn away from that sin. It will give you strength to live for God.
The sins you do are only for a moment in time of pleasure. The punishment for those sins are for eternity, never-ending.
If Jesus can bear our sins and not sin, He can give you the strength to not sin. Are you willing to turn from sin for Him?
Are you willing to die to all sin and live for God?
I pray today that you will get a new vision of what Jesus did for you on the cross; that you will die to all sin; that you will learn to live for Jesus; that you will live a righteous life in Jesus; and that you will be the light of Jesus in this dark world.
“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:16-17
In the United States freedom is highly prized. It was founded on the principles of being free. Although freedom is great it has to be lived within certain boundaries. Peter had just told the people to submit to every human authority, not just the good ones or Christian ones. With that he now states to live free, but within a boundary.
People love to use that statement to live free and forget the rest of what was said. They will try to say they are living free, when in reality they are just trying to cover-up some sin in their life. Living free does not mean doing what you want, when you want and how you want each and every time. It is living life in consideration of others, while enjoying life yourself.
This is showing respect for others. Peter starts with respecting other believers. Inside the church there are people who cut down other believers. They will slam their ways of teaching, or the way they dress and look. They will not follow the pastor in what he is saying.
Then there is the need to respect God. Respecting Him is following His rules. It is living your life in a way that honors Him. It is trusting Him with everything. People tend to use His name in wrong ways, refuse to trust Him, and live double lives.
Finally Peter stated to honor the emperor. Remember that the emperor was the dreaded, hated Roman empire that made them slaves. Regardless of how a person feels about their leaders, one must respect their position. During this season of presidential campaigns, many people are not being honoring of the president and each other. They focus on what is wrong rather than what God is doing and what is right.
What are your words saying about others?
What are your actions saying about others?
Yes, you are free…free to live for God, free to love others, free to build others up, free to be His witness, free to be obedient to authorities and God, free to serve God, free to serve others. You are not free to live in sin.
Are you being free today?
I pray today that you will live free in Jesus; that you will use your freedom for God’s ways; that you will be a slave for God; that you will show proper respect to everyone; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.