Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 1 - 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 so that we can grow spiritually strong. 
  • Back in Bible times, buildings and homes were typically built of stone. A builder would pick the perfect stone to be the "cornerstone," or the foundational stone. In this chapter, Peter uses this metaphor of a cornerstone to describe Jesus and pictures 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 the 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.
  • Peter reminds us again that we are just strangers on this earth waiting to go to our heavenly home. He 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.
  • 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 slaves 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. And, just as Jesus did not retaliate, they should turn the other cheek and leave retribution to God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We should crave to know God more and learn the word of God more than anything.
  • Jesus 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 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 time with God everyday? Pray for that desire, and 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' death and 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?