May 31, 2018 Verse of the Day

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1 Peter 3:9 Paybacks

“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.

1 Peter 2:24 A Reason To Not Sin

“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.

1 Peter 2:16-17 Freedom With Respect

“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.

1 Peter 2:5 Stones With Purpose

“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

Peter describes all believers as “living stones”. These living stones have a purpose for God to use. These stones are different from the stones of the world.

The world has stones that are dead. They do not grow larger and cannot do anything. In fact, the stones of this world grow smaller over time by erosion. They get worn down by the wind, water, and any other elements in nature.

As a living stone, believers do not get worn down. They are actual built up by God. They are built up to serve a purpose for God. They are to be a spiritual house for God where sacrifices can be offered up to God.

Once you become a living stone, you have become a part of the royal priesthood. It was the priest that offered up sacrifices for the people to God. Individual people were not allowed to go into the temple directly before God on their own. Now, as a priest of God, you have that ability.

In the Old Testament, the sacrifices offered were bulls, goats, doves, and other animals. Those sacrifices were done away with when Jesus died on the cross as the perfect sacrifice.

Today you must offer spiritual sacrifices to God. These sacrifices are things that are unseen and a part of your spirit.

Sacrifices of praise–giving God praise when things are not going right.

Sacrifices of will–turning over your wants and desires to God and allowing His will to be done in your life.

Sacrifices of thoughts–giving God control of your thoughts.

Sacrifices of prayer–praying at all times for all things and people.

Sacrifices of hands and feet–doing what God wants and going where God wants you to go.

Sacrifices of time–giving God all your time for His purpose.

These are just a few of the things that you can sacrifice to God that He will accept.

Are you a living or dead stone today?

Are you allowing yourself to be a living stone for God and His purpose? Or are you dying for your own purpose?

I pray today that you will allow God make you alive in Jesus; that you will allow yourself to be used by God in His way; that you will be the priest He wants you to be; and that you will offer spiritual sacrifices to God.

1 Peter 1:14 Don’t Go Back

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.” 1 Peter 1:14

After telling the people to hold on to their faith and be patient in waiting for the return of Jesus, Peter tells them how to live right now. They are to be obedient children and not living in sin.

Sinful ways can be fun. If it was not fun, the world would not be doing so much of it. Every person is born into sin. They grow up doing and loving sinful ways.

What sins and how much they sin is different for each person. Some telling lies, stealing candy, and being jealous is some of the worst things they do. Others go to levels of murder and other types of extreme violence. Either way it is sin and each person likes what they are doing.

Once we become believers, Peter says we are to be obedient children and not go back to those old sinful ways.

Sadly, many believers go back into some old sinful habits. At times some will think that those sins are really not that bad and are acceptable. They are being deceived by the world’s ways of thinking.

Others remember the fun they had and go back into those sinful ways. They might just do it a little bit, thinking it is acceptable to do occasionally but not all the time. Either way of thinking, it is still sin.

Peter says to not conform to the evil desire we once had. We are to flee all sin. Obedient children are children who obey their parents and those in authority.

As believers we are children of God. Are we being obedient to our Father?

What are we allowing ourselves to think or do when we are alone or not around our pastor? Do we step backwards and play with some sin? Or do we flee from sin?

Are we being obedient children as Jesus was an obedient child and man?

Don’t go back to your old ways of sin. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the hope you have in Him.

I pray today that we will turn from all sin in our lives; that we will not conform to sinful ways; that God will strengthen us to flee all sin; that God will guide us to live according to His ways; and that God will use us to be His light in this world.

1 Peter 1:3-4 The Best Inheritance

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:3-4

Peter opens this letter with praise to God. He sees and realizes the mercy that God has had on him. That mercy is that He has given him a living hope and an inheritance that will never go away. It is the perfect inheritance.

The world is constantly looking for a better retirement plan. They want to end their lives living comfortably, not having to work and everything they desire.

Children are also wanting a great inheritance from their parents. When wealthy parents die, often children are seen fighting over who gets what from the inheritance.

God has set up the ultimate inheritance for His children. That inheritance is one that cannot fall apart, spoil, fade away, be stolen, or used up. It will last for eternity. This inheritance is eternal life.

When we look at the world around us, all we see is corruption, pain and failure. The economy is failing, governments are failing, people are failing, and much more is failing. It looks hopeless.

As believers in God and Jesus we must look to God and what He has done for us in Jesus. We do not deserve His love, to be called His child, or to get an inheritance from Him. We deserve His punishment. Even though we don’t deserve anything but punishment, God has given us an inheritance of eternal life with Him.

Even though we are going through tough trials right now and life seems to be hopeless, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must keep our hope in what God has promised us. His promise will not fail. His gift of eternal life will last forever.

Give God praise today. Take a moment to think about what He has done for you. Stop looking at the problems and look at the One who will bring you through it in the end.

I pray today that we will know the mercy God has for us; that we will know the hope we have in Jesus; that we will not fear the future; that we will trust God in everything; and that we will give God praise for what He has done for us.