May 26, 2021
Wednesday reminders to pray for our prodigals and revival come around very quickly. Thanks for participating.
Prayer and godly behavior go hand in hand.
The apostle Peter gives us five spiritual qualities that should mark every believer: “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude” (1 Pet. 3:8).
The Christians who first heard this message were scattered throughout the provinces of Asia Minor. They were being persecuted for their faith. They knew hardship. They experienced extreme loss. The natural tendency in this type of situation is to react with anger, revenge, arguments, and an attitude marked by self-preservation and self-focus. Peter gives an alternative.
Be united. In hard times it is easy to become distracted by circumstances and forget the purpose. Like the early believers, we need to continually come back to the central purpose of why we are here.
We have been called out of darkness into marvelous light for the reason of reflecting or proclaiming the glories of Christ. When there is division, the focus shifts from being on the beauties of Christ to our points of contention. The world sees this and it damages our testimony.
Be sympathetic. The meaning of this word according to Strong's Concordance is, “being mutually commiserative and having a fellow feeling.” This involves trying to understand as well as trying to associate and relate with what another person is going through.
Elvis Presley sang, “Walk a mile in my shoes; Just walk a mile in my shoes; Before you abuse, criticize and accuse; Then walk a mile in my shoes.” This is good advice for all of us!
Be loving. The love being emphasized here is family love. We are in this together. A family is a unit that shares hurts, joys, and goals. Yes, there are disagreements but we learn to deal with them. We get past them. Why? Because more than anything else, we love each other.
This love has been begotten by God. The moment the life of God, this eternal life, comes in we are linked by mutual love. This love bears many qualities, such as acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, and respectfulness.
Be tenderhearted. This necessitates being conscientious and aware of the needs of others, along with a desire to help in those needs. This is why it affects us deeply how our brothers and sisters are being persecuted in many areas of the world. This is why when one member suffers, we feel that deeply in our hearts, and conversely, when one rejoices, our hearts rejoice.
The opposite of a tender heart is a hard heart. This is a heart that turns away from the needs of others and keeps distant when closeness is needed. Many have mistakenly defined tenderness as weakness. Proud hearts disdain tenderness.
Be humble. This is the quality that enables it all to happen. It sees others through the lens of God’s love and treats them with value and significance. The eyes of God are slanted towards the low and vulnerable. He cares about the poor and weak. He reaches out to the hurting and downtrodden. He is not too high to value you and me.
This is the true meaning of the gospel: a great awesome, eternal God, stepping into a world of brokenness and being a part of that world. May we seek to behave like Him today!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel