Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31 - 1 Peter 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Peter 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Just like a newborn baby craves milk and physically grows strong as a result, we should crave the word of God just as much so that we can grow spiritually strong. 
  • Many buildings and homes are built of stone. A builder will pick the perfect stone to be the "cornerstone," or the foundational stone. A building cannot be built without the cornerstone. In this chapter, Peter uses this metaphor to describe Jesus and his followers as the rest of the stones that together become a "spiritual house."
  • Twice in this chapter believers are called a priesthood. The word priest means "bridge." Before Jesus' death, only priests could go directly to God; they acted as a bridge to God for all people. But Jesus' death and resurrection opened the way for everyone to have direct access to God, so we no longer need priests. In fact, we ourselves are now priests and Jesus is our king.
  • Just like we discussed yesterday in chapter 1, Peter is reminding us once again that we are just strangers on this earth waiting to go to our heavenly home. He further encourages us to live such good lives that even non-believers turn to God by simply watching our actions.
  • Verse 12 uses the word "pagans." This is just the word for someone who doesn't believe in God.
  • Peter encourages us to accept the government authority that has been put in place. Matter of fact, he encourages respect for all people- believers, non-believers, and government officials alike.
  • In verse 18 Peter addresses slaves. This passage is not condoning slavery, but acknowledging that it was a reality of the time. In ancient times, some slaves were free and others were not. Some were treated well, and others were not. Regardless, Peter tells them to respect their masters, kind or unkind, as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice for them. He reminds the slaves that Jesus also suffered unjustly. But, just as Jesus did not retaliate, they should turn the other cheek and leave retribution up to God himself.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We should crave to know God more and learn the word of God more than anything.
  • Jesus Christ should be the cornerstone of our life, not us. We would crumble without him at the center. Our lives are meant to bring him glory.
  • In doesn't matter whether we agree or not with the authorities that God has allowed over us. God knows who they are and expects us to respect them. 
  • If we do good and show respect to others, whether they deserve it or not, God's light can shine through and his glory can be seen.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Are you like a baby that constantly craves mom's milk? Do you look forward to your quiet time with God everyday? Pray now that God will give you wisdom to understand everything that you are learning from the Bible, so that you may grow strong in him.
  • Because of Jesus' resurrection, you get to know God intimately and directly. There is no need for priests or confessional booths. That is amazing. People who lived for thousands of years before Jesus would be stunned by it and jealous of you. So... are you taking advantage of it? Are you going to God every day in prayer? If not, why not start? Why not start right now?