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 lowliness:

(2) Submissive Servants – 1 Peter 2:18-25
Lowly Service (vs. 21)

Not only is submission in any circumstance expected, not only is submission in any circumstance commendable, now Peter tells us in verse 21 that submission is a calling. “21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” We are called to a life of submission and we have been given the perfect example of submission in Christ. He shows us best how to humble endure unfairness.

Looking back again at James 1, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” If we need patience where do we get patience? Patience is produced in and through us by the Holy Spirit when we are under pressure suffering a trial. That’s exactly why people say don’t pray for patience. But when we understand what patience is, where it comes from, and how it works why wouldn’t we pray for patience? It is not like we are not going to have trials in our daily life anyway is it? With the right heart attitude we can be better prepared to respond instead of react when we find ourselves under pressure.

In Matthew 20:21-23 Jesus says, “21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She (James and John’s mother) said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” As they argued over greatness and position within the Kingdom, Jesus teaches us if you want to lead you must serve.

Think about Jesus in the Upper Room with His disciples. He has been given as the example to follow when it comes to humility and submission. As He was there with the disciples He assumed the position of the lowest ranking servant or slave in the house and took a towel, girded Himself, and washed their feet. Even Judas. He willingly humbled Himself to serve His disciples, who hours later would scatter into the night abandoning Him to the Romans and the Jewish leaders to be tried and crucified.  He, King of kings and Lord of lords, He, Master, Creator, Redeemer, Son of God, God in the flesh, He yielded His rights, His rank, and His reputation and submitted Himself to His disciples and washed their feet! He served them and now we are told to serve others following His example, even if that means to willingly and patiently endure unfair treatment.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:14-18 writes, “14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

In 2 Timothy 2:12 he told Timothy, “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.”

Patient endurance is part of what we inherit from Christ! To receive grace and to live that grace in daily life, proving God’s grace present in our lives by patient endurance, for to this we have been called. Every Christian is called to this – to submission and service. In Ephesians 5 Paul tells us to be filled with the Spirit and as a result be able to submit to one another. By the power of the Spirit we are able to yield ourselves, our rights, our rank, our reputation, and even our expectations as we serve others for the sake of the gospel.

Tomorrow we will look at the best example of being a servant in all the Scriptures.