2 Peter 1 B

I like how Peter describes Scripture (I’m assuming that’s what he’s referring to when he’s talking about “what the prophets wrote” but I could be wrong): light in the dark place.

This is a familiar comparison. Authors in the Bible regularly refer to God’s presence as lighting up the dark. And as believers we are called to light up dark places with the gospel.

I like when the Bible acknowledges the dark. When people are suffering, they want to it to be acknowledged! They want to be heard and to have someone flip on the light for them.

God’s word is so helpful when we’re reaching in the dark.

-Carly

1 Peter 5 B

I enjoyed Carly’s reflection about the “flocks we tend” from last time.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (5:6-7‬)

I know we are broken records on here about humility but it is E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

You focus on staying humble/honest with yourself and God, and let Him do His thing.

Why, on earth, do our grimy little mits try to grab at His job so much? Maybe it’s connected to our doubt of the second part. We think we are the only ones looking out for our best interests, because we forget He cares about/for us. This is also connected to pride. Geez.

This verse came to my mind very recently, and I thought about how I would do well to remember it more often, in more circumstances. My posture toward the LORD should always be humble. So should my posture with others.

He is strong in all cases, no matter how we perceive our weaknesses. Let’s humble ourselves under His mighty hand today. What does that look like for you?

-Bethany

1 Peter 4 B

Why does the Bible tell us to rejoice in suffering?

It sounds like something that would be told to members of a suspicious cult, doesn’t it? To be told God wants us experience suffering and that we shouldn’t just tolerate it, but delight in it? Why? How does this align with the gospel?

I found perspective in The Message translation of this chapter:

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.” (4:1-2 ish)

I’m sure there’s a rabbit hole to go down about which Greek word for ‘sufferingis being used here. (Theologians, jump in! I love the details.) But this is what I love about the different translations available to us! We can access so many different ways to understand the same sentences.

For me, learning to think like Christ helps me understand what it means to rejoice in suffering. I especially love that last sentence up there.

Don’t be afraid to switch translations now and then and use the resources available to you. There are lots of great apps and websites. What Bible translation do you connect with the most?

Carly

1 Peter 3 B

  • “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind hearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. ‘For the one who desires life, to love and see good days, he must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.'” (8-11)
  • Humility runs at the center of this exhortation. A prideful heart will always feel inclined to rebut an insult. Picking a fight can feel easy, or natural, but this must be rejected.

    What does it mean to seek peace and pursue it?

    Every day comes with opportunities to choose either peace or strife. With all of us messy humans bumping into each other, we tend to complicate things; taking our impatience, fatigue or hunger out of each other.

    How can we make a habit of stopping to remember peace?

    Think of a conflict in your life. What’s going on there? Can you find an opening for peace to enter in? If you feel too overwhelmed in the thick of it, pray! And if you still feel stuck, ask the Lord to direct you to a friend who can help you find the avenue for peace.

    Remember, it will probably start with humility.

    -Bethany

    1 Peter 2 B

    “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 2:23

    This continues to be one of my favorite qualities of Jesus (and the one I have to reach the furthest for myself).

    It takes a truly humble person to not retaliate when someone criticizes or threatens them. Someone secure in their identity in Christ, firmly planted in his love.

    The last sentence of that verse really gives us something to hold on to: entrust yourself to God, who executes perfect judgment.

    What part of the chapter, or quality of Christ, did you connect with today?

    -Carly

    1 Peter 1 B

    Back in Bible college, I had a whole semester long class on First and second Peter. It was a three hour class, every week, and we were required to do six hours of homework, each week, which needed to be thoroughly logged. I have spent a ton of time on this book. I got really tired of it. Commentaries, reading it over and over, mapping out sentences. It felt (and was) tedious.

    That semester, my sister Natalie had moved to Simi Valley, and because of my ridiculous school schedule, I wasn’t able to spend much time with her. One afternoon, she asked to hang out, and I lamented I still had a lot of hours of first Peter homework to do. She suggested we do it together. What came of the hang out, was a poster board illustrating all of chapter 1. My sister is a professional artist (I dabble). Since that time, first Peter one has had a totally different life.

    My best advice is to do something similar. Engage with each world. Meditate on it, imagine it illustrated.

    Whenever I read the verse, “though you don’t see him, you love him, and are filled with joy inexpressible”, I see our little cartoon guy, blindfolded, holding hands with Jesus with a big smile and huge heart coming from his chest.

    Let the Word come alive to you in new ways. I know the letters in the NT can start feeling worn out after awhile (since it’s common to read them more often). How can they be made fresh today?

    -Bethany

    3 John & Jude B

    “Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good.” 3 John 11

    In a culture obsessed with being unique, no one wants to admit to imitation. It really amuses me how much we strive to be original. When really, everyone is imitating something.

    My brother has always done his own thing. He use to completely mortify me when he showed up to our middle school wearing tennis balls glued to the bottom of his shoes. He wore a cape most of his freshman year of high school. He’s one of the most unique people I know, never bending towards the trends or society’s expectations. But he will be the first person to tell you that he is still influenced by something, and still imitating someone. The cape was a Seinfeld reference and the black top hat he often wore was a nod to Clockwork Orange.

    We are all imitating something. Maybe it’s a peer group, or a subculture you hang with. Maybe it’s someone famous that you don’t even know, but whose work you closely follow.

    We are sheep. It’s not an insult (but it’s not a compliment), and the quicker we embrace this about our humanity, the more intentional we can be with our lives and our influence. Notice that John didn’t write “don’t imitate sinful behavior”. To me, it’s more like “you’re going to imitate something, so make it good”.

    Do you imitate Christ? How?

    Who influences your identity the most right now?

    -Carly