NT40 Convictions for 1st & 2nd Peter
As we enter into the last week of our NT Christianity focus, I want to drink deeply from each passage of NT that remains. Each reading has been precious; each application has proved exhilarating; each conviction has struck deeply.
One thing I learned today...
1. About God: God allows us to be trained ("refined by fire") by trials so that we may be strengthened in our faith. There is purpose in pain. But trials are not to be confused with temptations (which God does not bring). Thus, pain is just weakness leaving the flesh. "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1Peter 5:10.
2. About NT Christianity: I was astounded earlier by the constant "beat down" that Christians experienced for their faith. Each book of the NT reinforced their perserverance under myriad afflictions. And now as we encounter 1Peter, the afflictions seemed to have multiplied! 1Peter 1:6-7, 2:20-21, 3:14, 3:17-18, 4:1-4, 4:12-16, 5:10 are all words of encouragement to a severely persecuted church. And they were persecuted for "doing good rather than for doing evil" "for what is right" "not join[ing] them in in their reckless, wild living" "because of the name of Christ" "as a Christian."
3. DWIS (Do What It Says): Shepherds of the church are called by Peter to be "eager to serve" as "examples to the flock" rather than as ones who lord authority over them. I'll have much time today and tomorrow with our brothers and sisters - and many chances to be an example and to serve them eagerly.