Friday, January 7, 2011

Where Jesus Is -There Is Hope!

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. (1 Peter 2:18-20)

Many Christians were household slaves. It would be easy for them to submit to masters who were gentle and kind. But Peter encouraged loyalty and perseverance even in the face of unjust treatment. In the same way, we should submit to our employers, whether they are considerate or harsh. By so doing, we may win them to Christ by our good example. Paul gave similar advice in his letters (Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22-25), as did Jesus (Matthew 5:46; Luke 6:32-36).

Servants: Somewhere from one-third to half of the population of the Roman Empire were slaves. The percentage of Christians who were slaves may have been even higher.

be submissive with all fear: Workers are to take their responsibilities seriously.

but also to the harsh: Christians are to serve even the worst of bosses with respect.

Those who suffer faithfully but unjustly as a result of their service to God please Him. Such suffering has a great reward (Matthew 5:10–12; Romans 8:17, 18; Philippians 1:19; 2 Timothy 2:12). Peter himself had asked Jesus about this and received an exciting encouragement about the divine compensation package (Matthew 19:27–30).

endures: Believers are not merely to survive the difficulties that come their way, rather they are to bear patiently their heavy loads.

grief: Is not the result of loss but of being afflicted.

wrongfully: This verse is about injustice, about people being treated worse than they deserve.

credit: Suggests benefit or personal gain. There is no advantage to believers for successfully enduring a deserved punishment for wrongdoing, yet there is great value when we honor God with our actions when we are unfairly condemned by others (1 Peter 3:17).

take it patiently: Endurance and perseverance in the face of suffering please God.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousnessby whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:21-25)

We may suffer for many reasons. Some suffering is the direct result of our own sins; some happens because of our foolishness; and some is the result of living in a fallen world. Peter is writing about suffering that comes as a result of doing good. Christ never sinned, and yet He suffered so that we could be set free. When we follow Christ's example and live for others, we too may suffer. Our goal should be to face suffering as He did - with patience, calmness, and confidence that God is in control of the future.

Peter had learned about suffering from Jesus. He knew that Jesus' suffering was part of God's plan (Matthew 16:21-23; Luke 24:25-27; 44-47) and was intended to save us (Matthew 20:28; 26:28). He also knew that all who follow Jesus must be prepared to suffer (Mark 8:34, 35). Peter learned these truths from Jesus and passed them on to us.

For to this you were called: Part of being a Christian is the privilege of serving God faithfully when we encounter undeserved judgment (Philippians 1:29).

leaving us an example: Observing how Christ handled unjust punishment gives us insight as to how we also may endure such trials.

Word Focus: example - (Gk. hupogrammos) (2:21) G5261: In common Greek usage, this word designated a tablet that contained the entire Greek alphabet. Students would use this to trace the alphabet, learning each letter from alpha to omega. The life of Jesus, a life of suffering, is just such a tracing tablet. We, the learners of Jesus, are to trace this life, beginning from alpha and going on to omega.

Who committed no sin: Christ was perfect in everything He did, even when He was wrongly condemned to death by the world.

nor was deceit found: In His thoughts and attitudes, Jesus was perfect.

who Himself bore our sins: The Greek wording emphasizes Jesus’ personal involvement in the act of paying the price for our sins. It also emphasizes that it is our sins that Jesus bore on the Cross. The tree is the Cross.

that we might live for righteousness: The purpose of Christ’s bearing our sins is that we might live to please Him.

by whose stripes: The Greek word for stripes is singular rather than plural. Thus our spiritual healing comes neither from Jesus’ day-to-day sufferings nor from His sufferings that led to the Cross, but from the one ultimate wound—His death.

Shepherd: This title portrays Christ as One who tenderly and wisely provides for all our needs.

Overseer: Christ is also our Guardian, our Protector, and the One who watches over us. This is the only place where the titles Shepherd (Pastor) and Overseer (Bishop or Elder) are used in the singular. No one else is qualified to be the one Shepherd and Overseer of our souls—only Christ is. For this reason the New Testament regularly describes the church and its congregations as having more than one leader (Titus 1:5).

It humbles me just to think that Christ died for my sins so I would not have to suffer the punishment I so justly deserve before God. This is called substitutionary atonement. I want to thank you Lord for making this ultimate sacrifice for a sinner like me.  Because I now have Jesus as my Savior and Lord, I have the promise of God's Blessed Hope which is eternal life with Him.

Father God, it is my prayer this morning that those who have not accepted Your free gift of salvation will do so today by reaching out in faith and accepting Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Lord I pray that this will be the day of their salvation. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible.


WORLASI said...

You know Lloyd, one part I love there is to endure as found in the first verse. Enduring all suffering patiently to the end. It is true that sometimes we either give up, or merely go through dificulties. Thanks soo much for sharing and taking time to explain the word. God bless you and have a sound weekend.

Clint said...

Amen. Thank you.

RCUBEs said...

May this be etched in believers' hearts, knowing that we have one faith and mission. Some people think of being submissive as a negative thing. But God's way, it is always done with love and forgiveness. God bless.

dfish said...

So often people think our testimony is heightened when we have a lot to show, such as riches or fame. The reality is that we have our greatest impact on those around us when they see us facing the same problems they have but with different results. It's what God called us to.

Great Post.

GOD thinker said...

Great post once again! I especially enjoyed the Word focus. As we trace out the pattern that Jesus left for us over and over again we get good practice at looking like Him and behaving like Him no matter what the circumstance!

Kelly said...

Thank you for following my blog, and inviting me to yours. Please tell your friends. This blog is a blessing. I clicked to follow so looking forward to more blessings.
God bless!
In His Name,

LivingforJesus said...

Awesome Post Lloyd. I look forward to following and being inspired by your blog! for his Glory you have put together a great blog!


Sharing God's Love said...

A beautiful and meaningful post. God bless you!

bibelaventyr said...

hello! The very text you have written, but it is very good:) I like the picture on the cross really much.

did you have a good day? Please visit again in my blog.

(I translate from Swedish to English then you can understand me)

Lon said...

Thank you for sharing this post!

God Bless!!!

Mrs. Angulo said...

This is such a hard one for me, especially lately. It's like I made protective walls around me.

Sometimes it seems God empowers us to live His way and then it seems He takes some of that away so that you'll remember just how desperate you still are for his grace.

Just saying your post was true but very hard to do.

God bless you!:)


Maddalena said...

Best regards from Poland! :-)

Seams Inspired said...

Great post, Lloyd! Thanks for sharing. Now a follower. :o)

Larri at Seams Inspired
What I'm Reading Today

From The Heart Online said...

Hi Lloyd. This post speaks straight to my situation of late. I've been struggling so much with exactly this, and wondering how I am supposed to handle it.

It always sounds so pretty and spiritual to 'suffer for doing good', but it's hard and ugly ...

I pray a breakthrough comes soon. I want to suffer 'well' - to give joyfully what is being demanded of me (by people) even if it's not right. Ah, the place where my faith meets the road...

Thanks for sharing :)

Starry Dawn said...

Great Post, Lloyd!!
Thank you for sharing your wisdom!!
I am also a baby boomer.
God bless you, Lloyd and those you love!!
Happy New Year, Lloyd!!
In God's Garden,
Starry Dawn.

Kirsten said...

This is a good post! I think we all need to read it. :)

Out of My Mind said...

Thank you for visiting my site. I posted my own comment just below yours because I find it curious that I suddenly have several Christian sites inviting me. You might wish to read that comment.

Keep me on the right path. If you see anything that is not appropriate on my site TELL ME.

I am a practicing Methodist, but the church I attend is not the ordinary Methodist church (Oakton Methodist Church, Lamar, MO.) We strongly believe in the trinity, the gifts of the holy spirit, the strength in prayer, and that the Bible IS the WORD OF GOD. We raise our hands to God in worship, we shout out Amen when moved, we have some who speak in tongues and we hold our doors open to ALL who wish to attend.

We have missions in Africa, Albania, and Kansas City. In the last year we have sent out ministers to serve in 3 different churches. We just started an extension of our Church to the south of us (Oakton South). We saw a need for the Hispanic population in Carthage, MO. God told us to fill it. So, we did.

In the past 10 years we have gone from a congregation of about 100 people to over 500. We reached out to around 11,000 people in 2010.

All of this and guess what, we are a rural church, in the middle of nowhere, the closest town (Lamar) has a population of 8,000. The larger towns of Joplin, MO and Pittsburg KS are 45 minutes away (and they aren't that big).

I AM so proud of what we are doing for Him. We have been so blessed to be chosen to serve.

Lloyd said...

WORLASI - I want to personally thank you for your visit and comments. It is my opinion that the closer a believer gets to God the easier it is for them to endure trials and tribulations. It is so amazing how our Lord Jesus is able to share our burdens in life with us. Without Jesus there is no hope. Blessings.

Clint, LivingforJesus, Sharing God's Love, Bibelaventyr, Lon, Maddalena, Seams Inspired, Starry Dawn, and Kirsten - Thank you all so much for your visit and encouraging comments. God bless.

RCUBE's - I want to thank you for your comments. I agree with you totally that being submissive is not a negative trait. If we want to promote the Kingdom of God we must be like Jesus. We must be forgiving and do everything out of love. Blessings

dfish - Thanks for your insights into God's Word. The biggest blessing that a Christian has is their witness for Christ. The unsaved world is always watching us so we must always be on guard and be ready to testify for the Lord. Blessings.

GOD thinker - Thank you for your visit and comments. This is probably one of the hardest things for me, as a sinner, to do....everyday I think about how our Lord Jesus would handle or behave in my daily activities. I must admit that sometimes I do not stay on course, but thanks to our Lord Jesus, He always guides me back where I should be. Blessings.

Mrs. Angulo - Thank you for your visit and heartfelt comments. It is true that even for me I have a hard time staying on course. The devil is always looking for ways to deceive us but when this happens all I need to do is to meditate on God's Word and the devil backs off. I think that the most profound truth in the Bible is that when we first become believers (Born Again) the Spirit of God indwells in us forever. All we have to do is allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and follow the will of God in our life. When we finally realize how mighty and awesome our God is... this is when we begin to feel the joy, peace and contentment that only Jesus can give. So even during hard times or lying on our death bed, we are content because we know the best is yet to come. Blessings.

From The Heart - Thank you for our heartfelt comments. What joy and peace we have when we can reach out to Jesus and cast ALL our burdens and worries onto Him. I will be lifting you up to the Lord in prayer to give you the courage and strength to continue your witness for Jesus. Blessings to you my sister in Christ.

Out of My Mind - Thank you for your visit and comments. I came across your site while visiting another blog. What a wonderful witness you are for our Lord and Savior. May the Lord continue to shine through you and your church ministries. God bless.

Scott said...

Great word Lloyd, I love it when people can explain the Word logically in context and in a relevant way so that we can apply it to our lives immediately. If we allow His Word to change us here and now, it gives evidence that it has saved us for eternity and saved us from the "here and now". God Bless my friend!

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Great blog, Lloyd!


Pamela said...

Excellent post. As one with chronic pain, it's good to be be reminded that Christ chose suffering for me.

Redeemed1 said...

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