You are currently browsing the daily archive for September 12, 2016.

Intro: Following along with the series of messages I am preaching through 1 Peter, as Peter writes to the dispersed and persecuted church in exile throughout Asia Minor, he encourages them by writing, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12). In chapter 2 verse 13 through chapter 3 verse 8 he gives us three specific ways that we are able to have “honorable conduct”, even while living in an environment that is hostile to God and the gospel. Those three ways all involve submission to authority in different realms of our daily interactions. We are to be (1) submissive citizens, (2) submissive servants, and (3) submissive spouses.

As we look at these three focal points for submission, I’ve titled this devotional series “Our Mission is Submission – 1 Peter 2:13-3:8.”

Today we will look at why we should pray for patience:

(2) Submissive Servants – 1 Peter 2:18-25
Patience is Commendable (vs. 19-20)

In Hebrews 6:12 we read, “ that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” And in 1 Timothy 6:11-12, Paul writes to Timothy, “11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Patience, at its root, means to remain, especially under ill treatment and difficult circumstances. To remain where you are until God removes you. No wonder we hate patience! Who likes to remain? When times get tough we would rather run, flee, get away. But the fruit of the Spirit that is patience gives us what we need to remain. To stay put.

Peter has used the term commendable now twice here in verse 19 and 20. We usually think of something commendable being praiseworthy. But the word Peter uses is the word charis. It means grace. We are familiar with the term charismaton, or charismatic, referring to gifts of grace given by God to the church. And Peter is using the term in such a way that we can read it to say, “If you are suffering for mistreatment for conscience sake in obedience to God this is commendable, that is, this is proof of grace.” It is the proof of the presence of grace in your life. What better way is there to prove the level of grace in your life, your graciousness, than to see how you react under harsh circumstances?

When people mistreat you and abuse you and are unfair towards you when you are supposed to be submissive to them, your response is proof of the presence (or absence) of grace in your life. Are you responding out of grace or reacting out of pride? And remember, God’s grace is like God’s mercy – He gives it freely, abundantly, and we will never use it all up.

What should our response be if we have evidence that God’s grace is present and working in our life? We should rejoice in that, right? That is exactly why James can tell us, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”

Yet how often when we suffer do we go to God and demand and expect that our circumstances must change for the better right now because we deserve better? We are not thinking in terms of grace, patience, hope, rejoicing….no, we want this undeserved trial to be over, to be gone. Suffering and trials, especially in a situation where we should be submitting ourselves, yielding ourselves to the authority of others, that gives us a reason to rejoice. To put on display for the world what it means to walk in the grace of God. As believers each of these difficult situations is an opportunity for us to benefit from grace, to put God’s grace to work in our daily life.

Tomorrow we will about lowly service to others.

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