Seeds of Hope

OPENING PRAYER

My Beautiful King, You are my heart’s desire. You are worth my whole life laid down.

 

Read: 1 PETER 3:8-22

[8] Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. [9] Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. [10] For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. [11] They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. [12] For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” [13] Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? [14] But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” [15] But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, [16] keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. [17] For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. [18] For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. [19] After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits- [20] to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, [21] and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, [22] who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand-with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. 

 

Reflect: WHAT IS THE STANDARD WE ARE CALLED TO?

“I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow!” “I hope I haven’t forgotten my car keys.” So often, our hopes are really just wishful thinking, or a longing for life to get easier.Peter’s readers were comprised of hurting people–people who because of their love for Christ were hated by those in authority, abandoned by their families, driven out of their homes. It would have been easy for them to have felt hopeless in the face of this persecution. But Peter reminds them that we have a great hope (15). It is a hope that enables us to respond to evil, suffering and insults with blessing and courage (9,14), so that our witness has a powerful effect on those who come against us (16). And it is a hope that we can–and must–share with others. Often it’s the sharing of our own personal experience, and the difference that Christ has made in our lives, that speaks powerfully into the hearts of others. It’s not a strident arguing but the gentle sharing of the hope within us that gives others an insight into what Christ can do for them, too.

 

APPLY

Plan out an answer for those who would ask where your hope lies and be prepared to use it.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

My Sure Foundation, Your heart is always for us and Your love is without end.

 

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