Living in a Hostile World

OPENING PRAYER

Humble Lord, help me to go with You outside the gate if that is where You are.

 

Read: 1 PETER 2:11-17

[11] Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.[12] Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. [13] Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, [14] or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. [15] For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. [16] Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. [17] Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 

 

Reflect: WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THESE VERSES?

I love the way you can see Peter’s impetuous nature coming out in his letter-writing–the way he rushes from one metaphor to another. He has moved from food (2:3) to architecture (5) to royalty (9,10); and now he comes back to Resident Aliens (11)! Then comes a challenging word of command in verse 13: “Submit!” And everything in us cries, “Not me!” We try to explain it away–submission was for first-century times; it was for slaves to submit to their owners and for wives to submit to their husbands. It’s a different culture now, we allege.But what if some things don’t change, among them this word to submit? Maybe it’s easier in the New Living Translation: “For the Lord’s sake, respect all authority…” For the Lord’s sake, yes, and because of the impact our acceptance will have on those who see how we behave. Many people judge Christianity on whether how we behave ties in with what we say we believe (12). Maybe today is a good day to show by your behavior what your beliefs are!

 

APPLY

Where is it difficult to submit, or show proper respect, to those in authority over you? Be purposeful in this place.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

God of Peace, teach me to live in Your peace and to bring it into the world.

 

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