Preparing for the Best
Text: 1 Peter 3:8-17
1.Cultivate Christian Love 3:8-12
What might this look like? Well Peter gives us some pointers. In v.8 he suggests we should begin with a love for God’s people.
The word ‘finally’ means to ‘sum it all up’. Just as the whole law is summed up in love in Romans 13:8-10 so too the whole of human relationship is fulfilled in love.
This love is evidenced by a ‘unity of mind’ 8. Unity does not mean uniformity it means cooperation in the midst of diversity.
As members of the body we work together in unity, even though we are all different. We may differ on how things are done but we must agree on what is to be done and why?
We are deluged with so much bad news at the moment about health, economy and unemployment that if we do not guard our hearts it is easy to become insulated, isolated and indifferent.
But we need to cultivate compassion and actively show others that we are concerned about our world.
We should not just love God’s people but v.9 rallies us to love our enemies, those who would persecute us for our faith.
As students of Jesus we can choose to live on one of three levels.
- Return evil for good – Satanic level
- Return good for good and evil for evil – Human level
- Return good for evil – Divine level
In Jesus, we see the perfect example of living life at the divine level.
2.Practice the Lordship of Christ (Preparing for the Best)
13-15 introduces us to God’s grace in suffering. It shows us the principle that fear of the Lord overcomes every other fear.
Peter was referencing Isaiah 8 when he said in 15 ‘in your hearts honour/set apart Christ as Lord’
As students of Jesus we are faced with crises and are tempted to give in to our fears and make the wrong decision. However, if we hold Jesus as Lord in our hearts, we do not need to fear men or circumstances.
When Jesus is truly Lord in our lives , each crisis becomes an opportunity for our witness. We are always ready to give a reason for our hope.
Every student of Jesus should be able to give a reasoned defence for our hope in Christ, especially in seemingly hopeless situations.
Crisis creates opportunity for our witness when we respond with faith and hope, because it causes people to sit up and take notice. Peter is not suggesting that we argue with people but rather present an account of what we believe and why in a loving manner.
This hope we have is not to win an argument but to win lost souls to Christ.
3.Maintain A Good Conscience 3:16-17 (Preparing for the Best)
The word conscience comes from two Latin words meaning ‘Know with’ Our conscience is that internal judge that enables us to know with either approving or accusing our actions. Romans 2:14-15.
The more we get to know God the more we become sensitive to right and wrong.
A good conscience gives us peace in our hearts. When there is peace within, we can face the battles without.
The restlessness of uneasy conscience, divides the heart and drains us of our strength, robbing us of being able to function at our best.
A good conscience removes the fear of what people may know about us, say about us or do to us. When Christ is Lord and we fear and revere only Him, we do not need to fear the threats, opinions or actions of our adversaries.
Important – Conscience is only a safe guide with the Holy Spirit as the teacher and the word of God as the measure.
We are called lights in a dark world Philippians 2:15 and our purpose is to expose the unfruitful works of darkness. Ephesians 5:11
Things may seem to be getting worse but we do not prepare for the worse, we prepare for the best by
Practising Christian love
Practicing the Lordship of Christ
Maintaining A Good Conscience