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Daily Bible Reading

Saturday, October 03, 2015

John Chapter 21

Daily Bible Reading

Friday, October 02, 2015

John chapter 20

Daily Bible Reading

Thursday, October 01, 2015

John Chapter 19

Daily Bible Reading

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

John Chapter 17

Daily Bible Reading

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

John Chapter 18

Hope Amid the Flames

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hope Amid the Flames

 

 

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

(1 Peter 4:12-19 NASBS)

 

There’s an important continuity to the books of 1st and 2nd Peter. It’s often missed because of our tendency to leap from passage to passage without inspecting the context that surrounds them, but it is most certainly there.  Peter in both of his letters is writing with a very specific aim.  He’s writing to help them to understand what things mattered and where to put their faith in the face of the impending judgment (persecution).  Peter begins making his case from the opening words of the first letter (1 Peter 1:6-12).  And he plainly states the purpose of the tribulation so that they would understand their part in these things.

 

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “ You shall be holy, for I am holy.

(1 Peter 1:13-16 NASB)

 

Those who were about to receive his words were going to endure hardships for their faith.  Their faith would be tested and purified, and the aim in permitting this according to the 2nd chapter of the 1 epistle was to show the truth of their faith in Jesus.  Proving them to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God’s possession.  They were to strive for those things that mattered even though that would mean suffering other losses.

 

The were reminded that there was nothing that should ever cause them to abandon their hope and that their conduct was to be honorable among those who did not believe even amid persecution and tribulation.  He would go on to reassure them of the things that they should not lose faith in, and that would become a major theme of the second epistle.  As he dealt with the doctrines that came from those who had lost faith and succumbed to false doctrines and those who taught them.

 

Without the benefit of Peter’s foreknowledge, it’s impossible to say what the not too distant future might mean for the people of God, but let me address a few point at least that Peter brings to their attention. From the 4th chapter of the first epistle.

 

1.    Consider The Blessings That are to Come.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you

(1 Peter 4:12-14 NASB)

 

Not the material blessings but the spiritual.  Not only does peter assure us that the refining fire is good for us, but that others may come to glorify the Father because of it.  We don’t think of tribulation as an effective tool for evangelism, but is there any other time when our light shines as bright? (1 Peter 2:11-12)

 

 

2.    Don’t Be Overcome and Set Aside Your Hope

Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

(1 Peter 4:15-16 NASB)

 

He touched on this before in chapter two (1 Peter 2:13-17) when he urged them not use their liberty as a covering for evil.  It’s easy to succumb to the thinking that the ends justify the means. We are those that the go the second mile and turn the other cheek, and in doing so we silence the foolishness that is brought against us. We do not fan the flames.

 

3.    This is Not Happening Apart from the Will of God

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

(1 Peter 4:17-19 NASB)

 

In that Peter writes that it is time for judgment, we can know that this is not the final judgment here, rather this is the testing of His people. To say that judgment is beginning with the household of God seems to indicate that God is allowing His people to be purified in a tribulation that will grip the whole world.

 

The thought continues when he quotes from Proverbs 11:31 a verse which says “If the righteous receive their due on Earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!”  Peter isn’t saying that it’s with difficulty that God saves the righteous, but that they are saved when remaining steadfast in the face of difficulty.  This is Hope to us that we can endure through faith.  He is urging them to remain steadfast in the face of serious difficulty, to voluntarily serve our Risen savior, and to be watchful for our adversary as he tries to undermine our faith in the midst of difficulty.

 

Will our faith rise to meet the challenge?

 

-JB

Daily Bible Reading

Monday, September 28, 2015

John Chapter 16

Daily Bible Reading

Sunday, September 27, 2015

John Chapter 15

Daily Bible Reading

Saturday, September 26, 2015

John Chapter 14

Daily Bible Reading

Friday, September 25, 2015

John Chapter 13

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