Peter – A Breath of Fresh Air
When we are passionate about something, heart and soul, people know it. Our eyes are bigger and brighter when we talk about it. Our knowledge of it is greater because we are constantly reading more about it. It makes us even happier to find out more and more about it. We like to be around people who have it, too, so we can talk about it with them. We discover new ways of using it as we explore it’s benefits. We can’t wait to get up in the morning to look it over, polish and care for it and smile in gratitude with that feeling of achievement of having something valuable and precious.
What is IT? A new car, boat, cabin on the lake, condo in Florida, a new upgraded home, the newest and most updated phone, computer, or new tech that operates everything in your life? Maybe it is having all the bills paid off and you constantly look at your bank account balance to prove it. What do you talk about most? Because what we think about and talk about most is what we are most passionate about.
Peter tells us that what is uppermost in our minds, hearts and souls spills out from our lips. It also determines our inner beauty and disposition. Mm. Let’s take a closer look We are always seeking to be more beautiful and attractive, right? (Just look at your facebook feed and bank statement to prove it. Ouch, I’m guilty!)
1 Peter 3, The Message
Cultivate Inner Beauty
1-4 The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.
4-6 Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.
7 The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.
Suffering for Doing Good
8-12 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here’s what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you’re worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he’s asked;
But he turns his back
on those who do evil things.
13-18 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.
19-22 He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.
SO, WHAT (OR WHO) IS IT THAT DRIVES OUR THOUGHTS, PASSION, HEARTS AND SOULS?
It is a question worth contemplating as we evaluate our own lives of which I am most guilty. But, there is hope. Refocus. Peter helps us. Peter speaks the Truth in love sprinkled with passion, grace and mercy, wanting us to be better so we will be a blessing. “…bless, that’s you job…to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.”
Peter, heart and soul, tells us about Life with Jesus using a ton of verbs with action points that drive our own passion for becoming better. “Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here’s what you do”, says Peter.
–Say nothing evil or hurtful (Ah, THINK before you speak! Peter, himself, was transformed on this one, too!)
–Run after peace
–Be gentle and gracious. God likes that.
–Be good husbands and wives, full of mercy, developing inner beauty which leads to equal respect because of God’s grace in you. Honor and delight each other.
BE GOOD, EVEN WHEN IT HURTS OR IS CHALLENGING:
–No trying to get even. No retaliation. No sarcasm, the language of the hurting and needy today. Wives, try to address your husbands with “My dear husband” today without being sarcastic. (Smiling.)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me to be a blessing even today. That’s my job. Make Your desires the desires of my heart. Help me to be good, even when it is inconvenient in my eyes, then do good so others will know you more. Thank you for helping us. We have not arrived, but we are passionate about the goal to please you in all we think, say and do. We love you heart and soul. It is you we want to discover more about. It is You who saved us. It is you we write about. It is You that I cannot wait to get up and talk to each morning and then throughout the day. You are God and greatly to be praised. Continue to work out Your salvation in me. That’s your job.
In Jesus Name, Amen