Devotional June 15, 2020
1 Peter 3-5
By Pastor Jeffrey Walsh
Paul discusses many points in this reading today, such as the proper conduct of believers in Christ, how Christ operates in ministry through us all, suffering, as well as how the pastors and leaders of the church should be role models to the church and others.
However, an essential point that stuck out to me was the suffering that Paul describes. We live in a society that does not like to suffer. We shun any suffering. We see suffering as through God would never allow us to experience if He loved us. Paul states that suffering and cleansing purifies the spiritual believer (4:1-11).
THE TRIUMPH: Suffering causes sin to lose its power because sin brought on by our doing and lack of obedience where getting through suffering is wholly the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us.
THE TESTIMONY: The unsaved friends of a new Christian marvel that he does not desire to share their sinful lifestyle as he once did. You and I have found new power and strength through leading on the hand of God in times of suffering. 4:4-6)
THE TENDERNESS: Suffering develops our love for other believers. When we go through trials, we find that our hardness breaks down in turn into tenderness and respect for those who have gone through or currently going through tough times in suffering and pain. (4:7-9)
THE TALENTS: We should faithfully employ all of our God-given spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit's power. If God has given you abilities (which he has given to everyone), we ought to "employ them in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." If we are not doing this very thing, then all we do is suck the life out of the body of believers.
We must be givers in the church, not merely takers. When we all share in the suffering of Christ, we are able to then tap into the strength of the Holy Spirit with our testimony, tenderness, and triumph, which leads us to use the talents God has given each of you.
Challenge! Ask the Lord your talents: Cooking, Serving, Creativity in arts, media, music, Communicating through social media, and fellowship, etc? What are your giftings? When the Lord tells you, find your local church and tell them you want to use those giftings for the church. When you do, watch God's mighty blessing upon your life. He is so faithful and loving. He wants to show himself powerful through the triumph of your suffering.
Lord bless you today!