Sunday, December 13, 2009

Always Be Ready

 8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For
      “ He who would love life
      And see good days,
       Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
      And his lips from speaking deceit.
       11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
       Let him seek peace and pursue it.
       12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
       And His ears are open to their prayers;
      But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”   

13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:8-17, New King James Version)

Love should be the primary factor in our relationships to one another, this will show itself in the big ways like having compassion, but perhaps even more so in the small everyday things.  Things like being courteous, showing manners, making that phone call if you're not going to be able to do what said you would do, or opening the door for the person who has their full. While small, "common courtesy" type of things, these very things are what is so easy to overlook, and are things that in today's world are becoming far from common.  We need to practice these little, everyday things, not just because we were taught to, but because we are seeking to glorify God and shine His light.

We also should not be seeking to "get back at" others, but always to try to bless. The principle of doing good and blessing those around us is found throughout scripture, Old Testament and New.

If we live this way, always treating others with respect and courtesy, and always seeking to bless others, it is much less likely that anyone will hate us and try to hurt us, however if it does happen we at least have the blessing of a clear conscience, the knowledge that we are suffering for righteousness and not for our own sin.  This will give us great hope through the trial of mistreatment, and will prompt questions from those around us.  Questions such as how we continue to love those who treat us so badly, and how we endure such mistreatment with patience, and how we continue to have hope even in situations that seem hopeless.

Of course the reason for our hope is Jesus Christ and the fact that He died for us and purchased our salvation, and that He promises not only life eternal and abundant, but even promises additional reward for those who suffer for His name.
Often I hear this verse (vs. 15) interpreted that we should study the Bible intently so we are ready to to give an answer, of course that is true, but in the context of this verse I think it is more about having a clean conscience and a good witness, so that we are ready to share whenever asked.  If we live as God calls us to, we will always be ready to share this, never feeling that we need to hold back because our actions condemn us as hypocrites.  Instead, with a clean conscience we can share Christ, knowing that we have lived out our faith. 

Praise God for His awesome gift of salvation.  May we do all we can to share this gift with others.

Praise you Lord that You have given me the gift of salvation and a true and living hope in You.  Help me to live today in such a way that I will always be ready to share the reason for my hope.

1 comment:

  1. Hello from Romania ,
    please read the blog – My heart His words – at Humbled and convicted , my friend Tammy Nischan wrote them the story and some pictures of some hungryes poors kids , what we try to help them for Christmas .Our LORD will be so proud of us if we will do something!
    I love you blog,
    sweet blessings and MERRY CHRISTMAS!