1 Peter: Children. Family. Sheep. Slaves.

This is the fourth in a series on 1 Peter. The series begins here.

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Hmmm. I see that I got carried away yesterday. Even with some editing, that post was longer than I intended. But there’s so much in 1 Peter—these short pages cannot capture the depth of what the Spirit  has to tell us. So I’m only offering some of the things that have touched me. You will have your own precious moments with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as you read and He sits with you and speaks to your heart.

If you want to share some of those thoughts in the Comments section, we’d love to hear them! Some people have reported they had trouble entering a comment. If you do, just shoot me an email with your comment and I’ll post it for you.

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The household of God

Have you noticed some of the metaphors Peter used in describing the people of God? One of the most obvious—and the one that inspired this blog site a few years ago—is “the household of God.”

“Live as God’s obedient children,” writes Peter. “And love each other deeply as brothers and sisters.”

Our birth into a new life was given by the Spirit of God. And so we are His children. As the family of God, we’re to live as He teaches us to live, not as the world lives. Our lives are to reflect our parentage!

Peter tells us several times to love each other in the household of God deeply and sincerely. We’re to be tenderhearted toward each other, keeping a humble attitude.

The best description of how we’re to love each other? 1 Corinthians 13. Take any one of the characteristics of godly love and ask yourself, Am I loving my brothers and sisters in the household of God in this way?
Am I patient and kind?
Am I without jealousy, pride, or rudeness?
Can I refrain from demanding my own way?
Do I let go of wrongs against me, not holding grudges?
Do I rejoice when truth wins out?
Can I say I will never give up or lose hope in my brothers and sisters?

That’s how we’re to live with each other in the household of God.

 

In the Guardian’s care

The image of sheep is used constantly throughout Scripture. Sheep who wander off; sheep who are rescued and cared for by their Shepherd. Sheep who know their Shepherd’s voice. Whole books have been written about We, like sheep…

But the verses here that I cling to are these that say the Great Shepherd is guarding my soul, protecting me, holding me close, bringing me safely home.

Once you were like sheep who had wandered away, But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls (1 Peter 2:25).

And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day (1:5).

We have a great Shepherd, a Guardian of our souls! The world around us might look chaotic and out of control. Our own lives may feel chaotic and out of control. But we can find great rest in knowing the Guardian holds us securely, both for today and all tomorrows. “The Lord is my Shepherd. I have all that I need. He leads me… And I will dwell with Him forever.”

 

Free Slaves

For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves… (from 2:16)

This used to trouble me. How do we reconcile these two things: freedom and slavery? How can Christianity promise freedom if we then say we’re slaves to God?

Then another verse from Peter’s second letter wove everything together for me: “For you are a slave to whatever controls you (2 Peter 2:19).”

Yes, in this second letter, Peter is talking about being a slave to sin and corruption. But the statement holds true about being a slave to God.

We like to think of ourselves as free. “Slave” is a nasty word today. Yet this is the truth—whatever controls us is our master, dictating our thoughts and actions. (We can even be slaves to fierce individualism.)

So we would do well to think about what drives us, what pushes our decisions and motivates us, what is our master. We do have a choice.

I, for one, choose to serve the Almighty God who rescued me and gives me life. I am part of His family and household. My soul rests in His care and protection.

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