Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What credit is it???

So I woke up this morning in a freezing cold room to the sound of snow/street sweeper trucks outside of my dorm. Yesterday all the snow melted and this morning it is all back! Gotta love Louisville....

As I continue to move through 1 Peter, very slowly I might add, I was captured by a specific section. 1 Peter 2:13-17 is one of the famous passages about submitting to governmental authority and although this wasn't the point I want to focus on two things that need to be said: 1) As one of my old professors said, no matter what political party you are, God has given us the leader/president that we deserve! 2) For those who are so consumed with political figures, it is interesting the advice that Peter gives, "Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." We must honor our leaders, but we are to fear (live in awe/reverence of) God alone.

But moving on, the point that stuck out to me the most was the instruction to the servants in (2:18-25). The word "servants" here isn't the same Greek word (doulos) that we translate slave or servant. This word "servant" is more of a domestic/house servant, which probably included freedmen who lived in a master's home. Masters were not commonly Christians, so he mentions only the duties of the servants. It was in this context of unbelieving masters persecuting their servants that Peter encourages them to endure despite suffering unjustly, because this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. There is so much here, but the gist of it is that the believer/servant of God will and should suffer. This suffering should not be sought out, but through a dedicated life to serving God, one will definitely be wrongfully persecuted.

The place I want to focus on is the first part of verse 20, "for what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure?" I just talked about being wrongfully persecuted and enduring, but here is a case of being rightfully persecuted and enduring, something that we seem to neglect talking about. Let me illustrate ... if a Christian teenager is going to his local high school and is being publicly and privately persecuted because of his boldness in his faith in Christ that is a wrongfully persecuted person whom God is calling to endure. But let's say that this same Christian student goes to school and is terribly prideful in his faith to others and he might have even given in to some sexual sin and because of those actions receives some form of persecution. So many of us believers are quick to claim any type of persecution as "I'm suffering for the Lord," but the truth could be that we are being called out on our sin by unbelievers.

So my concluding thoughts are this: 1) Servant of Christ, if you are receiving wrongful persecution/suffering due to your bold faith, then endure, for it is a gracious thing in the sight of God because you are following Jesus' example. 2) Servant of Christ, what credit is it if you endure through some persecution/suffering because of your sin? The answer to that is, there is no credit, no benefit. Let us watch how we live in front of unbelievers. In this instance, when we are suffering it very well may be the discipline of God!

Joke of the Day: I hope if dogs ever take over the world and they choose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas!

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