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|Posted on October 17, 2016 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
Session 8 - 1 Peter 4:15-16 – When Ridiculed – Day 2
1 Peter 4:15 None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name.
No Christian should be suffering the consequences of wrong-doing because we should not be engaging in such abhorrent behaviors. A Christian may already be suffering the consequences of his choices before he knew the Lord but should cease from things that deserve such penalties once the Holy Spirit has entered her. Most of us will not commit murder, steal, or participate in gross evil. However, we had to look up that word “meddler.” Another definition was “busy-body.”
John MacArthur Study Bible:
4:15 busybody in other people’s matters. Someone who intrudes into matters that belong to someone else. Peter is dealing with matters that would lead to persecution, such as getting involved in revolutionary, disruptive activity, or interfering in the function and flow of government. It might also refer to being a troublesome meddler in the workplace. As a general rule, a Christian living in a non-Christian culture is to do his work faithfully, exalt Jesus Christ, and live a virtuous life, rather than try to overturn or disrupt his culture (2:13–16; cf. 1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:11; see notes on 1 Tim. 2:1–3).
We, as believers, do need to be a positive force for change. However, we must be careful to voice our concerns without being disruptive or resorting to ungodly tactics.
If a person suffers persecution or ridicule because they are following Jesus, he should feel blessed rather than ashamed. Jesus was mocked and taunted after His arrest. We should not be embarrassed to suffer as He did. I (Susan) was teased and tormented in high school for trusting Jesus and feeling called to attend Oral Roberts University. At the time, I didn’t know how to count the suffering as a privilege and an honor. I just couldn’t understand the value or the reason for the pain. However, the struggles made me stronger. We need to pray to be able to have the attitude of the apostles:
Acts 5:41 (KJV) And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Question: Are you being treated unjustly because you take a stand for the Lord? You can trust that He is perfecting the image of Christ in you. Give Him praise and glory even in the middle of your trials. Easy to say and hard to do, but it will be a testimony and encouragement to all who are watching.
|Posted on October 16, 2016 at 9:50 PM||comments (0)|
Session 8 - 1 Peter 4:12-14 – When Ridiculed – Day 1
1 Peter 4:12 (HCSB) Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you.
The fiery ordeal is not burning to destruction: it is burning to purification. In fact, one of the ways Strong’s defines the Greek word used here is “smelting,” as in a refiner’s fire.
Malachi 3:3 (KJV) And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
Trials serve to strengthen our faith and to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). How does the silversmith know when the silver is pure while heating it over the fire? He knows all the impurities are gone when he can see His own reflection in the liquefied silver. Jesus tempers us through trials until we look more and more like Him, so that others see the image of Jesus when they look at us. We reflect our Maker as we become more and more like Him.
Sometimes we feel like we are the only ones who suffer. The Enemy wants to make us feel that we are totally alone, abandoned by the Lord. But we are not, because Jesus is right there with us.
Psalm 23:4 (CJB) Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me.
Jesus did not promise believers freedom from strife and problems. In fact, He said quite the opposite:
John 16:33 (KJV) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
1 Peter 4:13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
What should be the Christian’s response to trials, to being tested in the Refiner’s fire? Our response should be rejoicing, living the reality that we are clothed in God’s glory when we do so. Rejoicing even while we are in the middle of the trial? Yes. It’s an incredibly difficult principle to live by and can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The word goes on to say we will rejoice at the revelation of His glory, as in when He returns in power and splendor. When Jesus presents us as His spotless bride, His perfected, polished, precious jewel, in our glorified bodies, our earthly sufferings will pale in comparison.
Romans 8:18 (NIV) I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
We are blessed when people degrade us because of our faith in Jesus. It certainly may not feel like a blessing at the time, but I believe the Scripture more than I believe my finite, human emotions in the moment. Peter was writing to the persecuted church exactly what he had been taught by Jesus Himself.
Matthew 5:10-12 (KJV) Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Remember that the Apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote the following words:
Philippians 4:4 (KJV) Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Question: Do you feel like you are suffering unjustly because you choose to follow Jesus? Are you able to rejoice even when things are tough? Trusting God in the middle of trials is not easy, but it is worth it. The capacity to do so is in us since we have been made new by Jesus, and His Holy Spirit resides in us.
"Joy is a pursuit and a conviction, not an elusive emotion."
Rev. Susan Slade
Precious Jewels Ministries