Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Contentment, Encouragement, Faith, Following, God's Will, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Suffering, Testimony

CARRIED SAFELY AWAY

1 PETER 2:19

“For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.”

Today’s verse is the perfect example of why it is so important to dig deep into God’s Word and not take it at face value. What do I mean by that? I don’t mean to not value the Scriptures. I mean that the original language of the passage can often give us so much more understanding.

For example, the phrase “bears up under” may be interpreted to mean to just deal with it or to endure it. But this Greek word means to endure because you are carried safely away from danger. When you suffer unjustly, God is there to carry you away. How precious. He is there with you in the midst of the suffering and is ready to rescue you. That should comfort you.

APPLICATION

Do your children believe you will rescue them if they were facing danger? I bet they do. Ask them. I can just hear them now. Children, at least most of them, believe mom and dad can do anything. They trust you to come to their rescue if the need is there. And I am sure you would do anything you could to do that, right?

But what if they were suffering unjustly? How would you react? The Lord allows us to suffer unjustly in order to build our faith and trust in Him. Be hesitant about rushing in to rescue your child in this situation. You may rob them of a lesson God is trying to teach them. He will tell you when to respond. You have to trust Him.

Are you suffering unjustly right now? Many are. Rest in this verse today. Endure it knowing that you will be carried away to safety by the only one capable of doing that – the Lord Jesus. He has conquered death and the grave. He can surely conquer an unjust suffering you are going through. And when you are safely in His arms, give Him praise.

I will trust You to rescue me. I know You know what is going on in my life. Nothing can touch me that hasn’t gone through Your fingers first.

Standard
Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Contentment, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Following, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Sanctification, Scripture, Submission, Surrender, Testimony

LOOKING AT OTHERS

JOHN 21:20-23

“20 Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?’ 21 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what about this man?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!’ 23 Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?’”

Why do we compare ourselves to others? You can always find someone “lower” than you and someone “above” you. All we need to be concerned about is ourselves as far as the Lord is concerned. But Peter looks behind him and sees John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and couldn’t help himself. He had to ask Jesus about John.

Jesus was not one to pass on a teachable moment. I love the middle part of His answer. He said, “What is that to you?” Peter, don’t worry about John. Worry about yourself. You follow Me. I’ll take care of John. We would do well to heed Jesus’ words ourselves, right? Our first concern needs to be our own personal relationship with Him.

APPLICATION

Our children are prone to worry about how someone else is being treated. They want to make sure no one is treated better than them. I remember my brother-in-law telling me how he solved the last piece of pie debate with his two kids. One would divide the piece, but the other one got to choose which piece they wanted. Boy, that was the most evenly cut piece of pie in history, lol.

But the lesson for our kids from this verse is the same lesson Jesus gave Peter. They need to concentrate on their own faith walk first. Don’t worry if others seem to be getting “more” from God. He is not a respecter of persons. He is the most fair judge  there is. No one can persuade Him to treat them more fairly than they should be. Remind your children of that.

Do you look at others and envy them? Do you feel like they are being treated better than you? This verse is for you then. If our heart is surrendered to Jesus, we won’t care if others “get more.” In fact, we will be thrilled at the blessings they are receiving. God will take care of you.

Lord, I thank You that You are fair and just. I also thank You that You are always focusing me on my walk with You, not someone else’s walk.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Bosses, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Courage, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Honor, Inspirational, Labor, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Submission, Testimony, Witnessing

YOUR BOSS

1 PETER 2:18

“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.”

It’s easy to be submissive to your boss when he’s nice and treats you right, isn’t it? But Peter doesn’t say that. If he had just stopped with “gentle.” Right? But he continued on with “but also to those who are unreasonable.”  Come on, Peter. Couldn’t you to pull up short once?

But that word “unreasonable” needs explaining. It’s more than that. The word means crooked, perverse, unfair, curved or tortuous. Have you ever had a boss like that? I have once, a long time ago, and it was tough. I wish I could say I was always submissive, but I can’t. But he was my boss, and God intended for me to submit.

APPLICATION

This is one of those verses our children need to hear early in life. They will have to submit to others all their life. When they get their first job, they may have a boss who is “unreasonable.” They are to submit. They may have teacher who is “unreasonable.” They are to submit. Submission is not weakness. It’s strengthening. Why? Because our ultimate submission is to God who gives us the strength to submit to others.

I remember counseling my own children regarding bosses they have had. My advice has always been to submit (unless it was illegal or immoral). If God gave them the job, then He intended for that boss to be in their lives for a reason. I know my children both learned from “unreasonable” bosses in their past, which has prepared them for where they are now.

Are you one who is always complaining about your boss? Stop it! Begin praying for your boss. Ask the Lord to give them spiritual eyes. If they aren’t saved, pray for their salvation. Maybe the Lord intended for you to be there under them for just such a purpose. Thank God for your boss today.

Father, thank You for those who are authorities in my life. May they be blessed with Your love and mercy. Give me the attitude to bless them in Your name.

Standard
Advice, Child Bearing, Child Raising, Commands, Conceit, Fear, God's Will, Honor, Inspirational, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Reputation, Scripture, Submission, Surrender, Testimony

NOT AN OPTION

1 PETER 2:17

“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”

Peter gives us four commands in this short verse. And he pretty much covers everyone in these commands. Honor all people means to place value on someone according to how precious you consider them. He says to do the same toward the king. That’s convicting, isn’t it? How precious do you consider everyone? How precious do you hold your “king”, which for us would be our President or leaders? Hmmm!

Then Peter says to love the brotherhood which refers to all believers. Be honest, aren’t there some believers you don’t like? Peter doesn’t leave room for that. He uses the Greek word for love agapao which means always doing what the Lord prefers. Ouch! And finally, he says to fear God. Now, he doesn’t mean to be scared of God, but rather to be in awe of, to show reverence toward.

APPLICATION

Teaching our children to honor, love and fear is no small task. Some of these they won’t get until they are older, but we must start when they are young. But all these are best taught by example. We have to model these behaviors. Therein lies the rub, eh? Children learn the easiest by observing us, we have to love, honor and fear.

Ask your children what they think it means to love, honor and fear. You just might learn something. Often their answers are convicting to we adults. They speak with such innocence (at least most of the time) that it drives the point home. You know Jesus often used children to illustrate faith. Don’t you think if He used them, we could learn something from them?

How are you loving, honoring and fearing? Well Carl, I’m doing pretty good with the fearing thing, but that loving thing is tough. I know it is, but all four of these are in the imperative which means they are commands, not suggestions. If you are aren’t doing so good on one or more of these, you need to ask the Lord to show you how. He will you know.

Honor, love and fear need to be more a part of my daily behaviors. I need to spend more time loving and less time judging. I need to depend on You for my ability to do these.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Bondslaves, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Confession, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Evil, Faithfulness, Following, Freedom, Inspirational, Love, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Testimony

DON’T COVER UP

1 PETER 2:16

Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.”

Peter gives us some very good advice in this verse and uses a word that is only used right here – the word covering. It actually means a covering, a cloak, a veil. What is Peter saying here? He is telling us, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to not pretend to be one thing while saying we are something else.

In other words, live truthful. Remember, we, as Christians, are bondslaves of God. We have willingly indentured ourselves to our Lord. We have committed ourselves to serving Him. If we are in service to Him, there is no room for doing evil. There is no room for cloaking evil in our lives.

APPLICATION

Have your children ever tried to cover up a wrong done? Most children will do that at one time or another. Perhaps they made a mistake or accidently broke something. That is not what I am talking about. I talking about deliberately choosing wrong and then trying to hide it. Read them this verse. You can’t get much plainer than this verse.

I remember when I was growing up, I did this on several occasions. I didn’t want to get spanked (and boy, could my dad spank). I would hide my wrongdoings. Some my parents never found out about. But guess what? God still knew. I became more aware of that after I came to Christ. I always knew it, but it wasn’t until I became a bondslave did it really sink in. The same is true for your kids.

Are you cloaking your sin? Are you hiding your wrongdoings now? God is aware. You can’t cloak your sins from Him. Confess those now and bow in obedience to His sovereign will. A bondslave loves his master and is loved by His master. A bondslave lives to please the master. Is that you?

Forgive me, Lord, for trying to hide my disobedience. Forgive me for not bowing before You each day as Your bondslave. Today I will bow and obey.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Contentment, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, God's Will, Inspirational, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Reputation, Scripture, Surrender, Testimony

DO RIGHT

1 PETER 2:15

“For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

People are always wanting to know God’s will. Well, right here Peter tells you part of it. He says it is “by doing right.” That Greek word is only used 10 times in the New Testament, 4 of them in 1 Peter (2:15, 20; 3:6, 17). Peter must have had some experience in “doing right.” Or maybe he learned by doing the opposite.

But I really like what doing right does. It silences the ignorance of foolish men. Isn’t that great? By doing right you totally keep foolish people quiet. They can’t speak evil against you. They can’t point fingers at you in accusation. Why? Because you are doing what is right according to God’s will. That’s awesome!

APPLICATION

What a great verse for kids. If we can teach them to do what is right according to God’s will, they don’t have to worry about what people say about them. They are innocent in God’s eyes, and that’s all that matters.

Doing what is right isn’t always easy, is it? Sometimes we just want to lash out at someone who has been on our case. But we have to remember that we are representing the Lord in all our actions and words. His desire is for us to do His will, even if it requires us to suffer. Suffering for doing what is right may not feel good, but it pleases the Lord.

Are you doing the right thing? Are you making your decisions according to what pleases the Lord? I challenge you to today to do that and watch the critics get silenced. The Lord is our defense. If you can trust Him with your eternity, don’t you think you can trust Him with your today? Do the right thing!

I do want to do what is right, Lord. Help me to choose that each day and not fall into the traps my enemies have for me. I will choose right today.

Standard
Advice, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Inspirational, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Praise, Punishment, Sanctification, Scripture, Submission, Testimony

PUNISHMENT OR PRAISE

1 PETER 2:14

“or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”

I don’t know about you, but I had much rather be praised than punished. It just feels better, doesn’t it? Working with people as I have for over 40 years in ministry, I have tried to practice the sandwich principle. If I had to discipline a staff member or a child, I always tried to begin and end with some kind of praise and put the hard part in the middle. That wasn’t always possible, but I tried to.

Peter is continuing the command he began in verse 13 (there weren’t verses numbered in his letter, by the way). If you do what’s right, you are subject to praise. If you insist on doing evil, well…punishment is your reward. Your choice. What do you choose today?

APPLICATION

Children especially need praise. I used to tell my staff at the children’s homes, say yes if you can. Some of us automatically say no to children’s request. Let me encourage you today to say yes, unless there is a very good reason to say no. You may be surprised at your child’s response to you in other areas.

Praise your children or grandchildren for making their bed. Praise them for taking out the trash. Praise them for being kind to their sister or brother. And when you must punish or discipline, make sure you pay special attention to praise before and after. Let the last words out of your mouth be praise.

Are you a “praiser” or a “punisher”? Some of us relish the latter. We think it gives us power. Real power comes from the Lord. He had much rather praise you than punish you. He isn’t waiting to zap you every time you fail (and we fail a lot). Jesus was a praiser. He saw the potential in people and tried to draw that out. He took Peter, a crude, uneducated fisherman, and turned him into the leader of The Way. He can change you too.

O Father, I am thankful I can praise people rather than punish them. You give me that power. Let my words encourage rather than discourage those I meet.

Standard