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1 Peter

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Enough Wrong Normality

1 Peter 4:3-4

'Normal' is a strange English word.  Mathematically, it means 'forming a right angle'.  Scientifically, it means 'conforming to scientific laws'.  Chemically, it defines the strength of a solution.  Statistically, it can mean a mode or an average.  Biologically, it describes an organism working without any defect.  Now, all those definitions assume that something is absolutely right and true.  However, socially, 'normal' means 'what is usual' - and that is assumed to be 'what is right' ... even when it is wrong according to God.
 

Spiritual Surprises

1 Peter 4:5-6

Peter has just been describing those who serve and worship their corrupted, sensual appetites (1 Peter 4:3-4).  Such people live for today, without thought for eternity.  They judge the 'weakness' of Christians who refuse to do the same, without reckoning on the strength of the judgement of God.  They are so blind: blind to their own nature and its rebellion against truth, blind to their collusion with Satan's purposes, blind to the righteousness of believers who obey God, and blind to His right to judge the wicked.  They are also blind and deaf to the gospel - the only message by which peo

Spiritual Priority

1 Peter 4:7

As the approach of school or college examinations encourages study, and imminent guests spur our hospitality preparations, so reminders about the return of Jesus Christ have always mobilised Christians to get their lives ready to welcome Him (Matthew 24:42-44).  Although we have not been told the details of our life with Him for all eternity, Peter urges us to be clearly aware of all the small details that make up our life now - and make a habit of discussing them all with the Lord.  Watching for His return one day, and watching our lifestyle today, is Peter's expectation for every Christia

Love Covers Over Wrong

1 Peter 4:8

Psalm 32:1 and Romans 4:7-8 both say, "Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered."  The expression 'covering' sins recognises that our sins are permanent statements of our rebellion against God.  They do not evaporate with time or lose their significance as we do more good things.  If we should try to cover up our sins, God sees and knows (Proverbs 28:13a).  But if we confess our sins, and abandon our wicked ways, God will have mercy (Proverbs 28:13) (1 John 1:9).
 

The Mark Of Hospitality

1 Peter 4:9

This devotional will be read in over 160 countries today.  Each nation has its distinctive culture, and some have multiple sub-cultures.  For many, but by no means all, hospitality is an important component of social life as it was in Bible times.  So why does Peter urge his readers to welcome others into their homes, to provide generously for them and to go out of their way to make them welcome?  A clue to the answer is in two words, 'offer' and 'grumbling'.
 

Useful Discipleship

1 Peter 4:10

There are many sad sights in this world.  Abandoned vehicles and empty buildings invite the thought, ‘What a waste!’  Worse still are the homeless and hungry who sit without purpose day after day; or the addicts who live only to feed their habit.  There might be an even greater and more shameful waste within the church.  Although we rejoice to see many Christian ministries giving such people love and hope, relatively few people are committed to serve.  Every person who has been born-again by God's Spirit has been given special gifts/abilities to serve others in this sick world through God's

Divinely Powered For God's Glory

1 Peter 4:11

What we say, matters.  Especially if we claim to be speaking the truth from God (1 Thessalonians 2:4).  Every follower of Jesus, born-again by His Spirit, has been given special abilities to bring God's truth and love to a sin-sick world (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).  These gifts are given by God, to achieve His purposes through His amazing power.  These are God's instruments for spiritual surgery, to bring truth and love to hopeless people.  But like any surgical instrument, they are tools and not toys.  And God’s words are tools designed to be used with precision to dissect truth from error, i

Normal Christianity

1 Peter 4:12

You would think that the display of God's kindness through the faithful service of His people (1 Peter 4:7-11) would stimulate gratitude and praise to God.  Certainly, that is His intention (Matthew 5:16).  But Satan, manipulating people to oppose God's plan, has a totally different objective.  Because godly Christians are the best advertisement for Jesus the Saviour, the devil wants to neutralise their impact.  Persecution of many kinds, and personal harassment, are the usual tactics to stop Christians being open about Jesus.

Pain Killers

1 Peter 4:13

Some have said that the antidote to the pain of suffering (for the sake of Christ), is prayer (Psalm 3:1-8 is a great example).  And, depending on what they mean, that is helpful.  But so often we base our prayer on a desire to be released from the distress.  But as with any pain, the more you focus on it, the worse it feels.  True prayer recognises the pain but is not consumed by it.  The centre of such prayer is our Lord and Saviour; as we worship and adore Him the pain gains a godly perspective.

Blessings With A Difference

1 Peter 4:14

Most Christians assume that blessings are like candy sticks: sweet, long lasting and satisfying. In a way they are, but blessings are more than that.  A blessing is a spoken promise of good things to come.  Yes, such a proclamation will bring immediate joy, but it is the joy of promise and not yet the greater joy of fulfilment.  When God speaks blessings over those who are obedient, we may be confidently joyful now as we anticipate the greater tomorrow.  

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