Once again, Peter returns to the theme of suffering as a Christian, which is a common occurrence throughout this letter. This time, he pairs it with a call to rejoice. You can see his encouragement in 1 Peter 4:12-13.
The doxology that we looked at last week ended the previous section of this letter, and this passage marks the beginning of a new one for Peter’s readers to think about. Peter has returned to the theme of suffering, which is a common theme throughout this letter, and this section mirrors much of the previous section. This time, however, he seems to take it just a bit deeper, and he reminds us to rejoice.
The first thing Peter does is to remind his readers that suffering as a believer is inevitable, and that we should not be surprised by it. Back in verse 4, Peter stated that unbelievers think it strange when Christians do not participate in worldly behavior. Here, Peter uses the same word, indicating that suffering and persecution are not strange things that catch us off guard, but are things that are to be expected.
Suffering for our faith is a common theme through much of the New Testament, and we can see that it was very common throughout church history as well. We should not be surprised when it happens to us. And Peter tells us why.
I do not think the devil cares how many churches you build, if only you have lukewarm preachers and lukewarm people in them.
My favorite psalm by far is Psalm 119. Even though it is the longest psalm, and the longest chapter in the Bible, I love reading and rereading this section of Scripture. It never gets old!
If you wanted to give this psalm a name or a title, a good one would be “The Glories of God’s Word” or “A Love for the Word of God.” Psalm 119 has 176 verses, making it the longest chapter in the Bible. In those 176 verses, God’s Word is referenced 179 times, at least once in every verse but five (verses 84, 90, 121, 122, 132 do not have a direct reference to God’s word in some fashion).
It is likely that David wrote this Psalm. However, it is unclear under what circumstances he composed it. It is quite possible that this is a variation of his daily journal, perhaps gathered and composed over the course of his life. His usage of phrases such as “a young man,” in verses 9, 99, 100, 141, and “an old man,” in verses 84-87, may indicate that this is David’s spiritual diary. If so, it is worthy of imitating. God keeps a diary even if we don’t (see Malachi 3:16-18; Romans 14:12).
On this day in history: In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the U.S. In 1866, authorization was given to build a tunnel beneath the Chicago River. The three-year project cost $512,709. And in 1955, Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opened on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California.
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home – One of my favorite ways to make coffee is a cold brew. This method creates a coffee with a very low acidity, and it tastes great either hot or cold. Give it a try! You can get a Hario cold brew pot on Amazon.
10 Stylish Items Under $10 – We all want to look our best, but sometimes that can get expensive. Here are a few ways that men can step up their style game without costing too much.
Master Your Time – I really like the idea of being proactively productive. I want to be able to accomplish as much as I possibly can, without overworking myself, or sacrificing my family on the altar of work. Here are some great thoughts on productivity, and some great ideas to try.
Why All World Maps Are Wrong – Did you realize that all the maps you’ve ever seen of the world are wrong? Making a globe into a flat map is actually mathematically impossible. This video explains why.
Peter has just informed his readers that the return of Christ is coming, and that they need to be prepared, even though they may be facing persecution and suffering. I find it interesting that the very next thing he says is that they should be using their gifts to edify one another. Take a look for yourself in 1 Peter 4:10-11.
Although brief, and much shorter than the other New Testament passages on spiritual gifts, 1 Peter does touch on this topic, and gives some enlightening information about how we should be using our gifts. In the original Greek, this is still a part of the previous verse, and is one sentence. In the first part, Peter states that hospitality is one way of using the gifts God has given us. And Peter’s words here show that these gifts are given so that we may serve others.
Peter is very clear, as is Paul (Romans 12:6-8), that these gifts are give to us out of God’s grace. We are to be using them for God’s glory, to serve one another. Peter’s words here give the idea of stewardship, that our gifts are to be used, or managed, on behalf of the gift giver, who is God. We are to be using these gifts for his glory.
Peter seems to generalize the gifts here, while Paul lists them more specifically. Peter groups them into two categories, speaking and serving. When he states, “If anyone speaks,” he is referring to those with the gifts of preaching, teaching, and prophesying. Those who do so should be careful in their usage, because they are speaking on behalf of God, and should speak wisely.
Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
Many people have questions about God, and many of those questions are good ones. But most people simply do not know where to go for the answers. Some have great church communities that can provide many of these answers, others do not. Eric Metaxas has taken the challenge to write a book that takes a good look at many of those questions, and provide some of the answers for those who are seeking them.
In Everything You Always Wanted To Know About God, Metaxas discusses many different topics, from the topics of evil and suffering, to sex, to miracles, and much, much more. The questions are good questions; and the answers are out there, and Metaxas does a great job of covering a lot of good information.
It’s just the format that I didn’t really like. Metaxas writes this in a Q & A, conversational style of writing that feels disjointed and can be hard to follow. Plus, he places some pithy humor is places that don’t warrant it, and it comes across as somewhat snarky. I had a difficult time with the format of the book, even though the information in it is excellent.
So I was mildly disappointed. I have read several other books by Metaxas, including Bonhoeffer, 7 Men, and 7 Women. This book was very different from those, and as a result, I didn’t enjoy it as much as his other works. Again, though, it bears repeating, the information and the answers he gives are great.