Are You Kidding Me God?

1 Peter 3: 8-9

To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

We really need to get this message and by “we” I mean “me”. Time and time again Jesus taught us to give a blessing when others curse and persecute us. There really isn’t much that is harder than to bless some that is a thorn in your flesh, the bane of your existence. It seems like God is being unfair with us and that he is asking the impossible of us. Well, two things about that. First, he is asking the impossible. You probably cannot do this in your own strength. I know I cannot. But “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’” (Joel 3: 10). When it is impossible to you, then you have to allow His power to work through you. Secondly, God is not trying to get something from you. He is trying to get something to you. Look at the last sentence. God often requires things from us. We need to get it in our heads that he does so in order that we may receive a blessing. He needs us to cooperate with Him so that he can get the blessing into our lives. When will we just learn to trust him? When will we believe that he is a good God and that he wants to bestow good on us? You were called for that very purpose, that God may show you the exceeding goodness of himself in Christ Jesus. So forgive others. Do not get into strife no matter how much the other person tempts you. Meet annoyance and persecution with blessing. Be humble and harmonious no matter how difficult. Through this God’s purpose in the world comes.

Sage Advice?

1 Peter 3: 8

To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.

Are you ever surprised by some of the verses in the Bible? Take today’s verse for example. I don’t really picture Peter instructing us in this way. This is the guy that actually walked on the water afterall. Shouldn’t he be teaching us about faith? Instead, he teaches us to be sympathetic. Really? That surprises me. Then he wrote that we should be humble in spirit. What does that mean? He, of all the disciples, was full of bravado and fervor. I mean, which of us would jump out of the boat just because we saw Jesus?

I am almost flabbergasted that this zealous disciple would write such a “soft” directive to us. Do you think, perhaps, that the fanatical Peter got a revelation as he matured in the things of Christ? He had his choice of what to write and yet he did not write instructions on how to walk on water, or did he? Could it be that he learned that the harmonious life of compassion and humility in spirit is the spring board to the supernatural? In a way that makes perfect sense to me because for many of us to live harmoniously, sympathetically, brotherly, kindheartedly and humble is anything but “natural”. Just living that way would be SUPERnatural. And maybe, just maybe, that lifestyle is the pathway to walking on water.

Meditate on this verse this week and note what comes up in your spirit as you do. Peter has sage advice for us, advice which will undoubtedly set us apart. Could it also contain the secret to victorious living in Christ? I will let you decide.