SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Peter reminds us that to be like Christ is to suffer. Suffering can be physical, but it can also be spiritual. Suffering can be the act of giving up our evil desires, like sex outside of marriage, getting drunk, lust, greed, or anything that is first in our lives besides God. Peter says we used to live that way but have now chosen instead to live for God.
- He mentions the word "pagan" in verse 3. "Pagan" is another word someone who doesn't believe in God.
- Verse 8 is a reminder of Jesus' instructions that we should, above all else, love God and love others. Hospitality is just a way to show God's grace and to use our gifts to serve others.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to leave our sinful desires behind and live instead for God's desires.
- We need to love God, love others, and use our gifts to serve others.
- We should not be surprised at suffering, as Jesus himself suffered. Instead, we should rejoice when we suffer for doing good because persecution is simply a test of our devotion to Jesus Christ.
- We all struggle with sin and desire. How might you be able to replace that sinful desire with a Godly desire? What hole is that desire filling that you should give over to God?
- What are some of the skills and resources God has given you? How can you use those gifts to serve others? What is one new way you can start serving this week?
- Have you ever suffered for Jesus? Have you been made fun of for following Jesus? If not, is it possible that you may not be living fully for Jesus? If you have, what was your attitude? How does today's reading challenge you?