December 18, 2005

Read 1 Peter 3

In Today's Reading:

Duties of husbands and wives; suffering and reward; duties of the elders

There is just One True Source of spiritual knowledge and strength. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Peter to write: If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister (serve), let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever (I Peter 4:11). We must not modify or ignore the only Guide that our Creator has given as the standard by which we must live.

The last recorded words that Jesus spoke personally to Peter were on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, when Jesus asked three times: Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me. . . . Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, lovest thou Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest . . . that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep (John 21:15-17). Peter fulfilled that commission by passing the Word along to all of us. Caring for, defending, guiding, and numerous other ministries are needed by believers today; but feed My sheep means to teach them all of God's Word, from Genesis through Revelation. All of us can be involved. Some write, edit, and print, while others support the distribution of the teaching ministries for Jesus. But, to all God's people He commands: Feed My sheep.

The underlying principle of most worldly endeavors is: "How much is in it for me?" The spirits of greed, pride, and power have so permeated everything in our age that even churches are not free from the destructive influence of self-serving ambition. Because the Word of God is alive and never changes and human nature remains unchanged, the message the Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write to Timothy is still applicable to us today as an essential task of the Church: Before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom; Preach the Word; be instant (ready) in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort (encourage) with all longsuffering (patience) and doctrine (teaching) (II Timothy 4:1-2).

Cross References:

For I Peter 3:10-12: See Psalm 34:12-16. I Peter 5:5: See Proverbs 3:34.

Word Studies:

3:11 eschew = turn himself away from; ensue = earnestly pursue; 3:20 were saved by water = were saved from the water by entering the ark; 4:15 busybody = meddler, prying into.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcast for 12/18-12/31 sponsored by Carol & Ray Espenshade · Country: Bosnia and Hercegovina (4 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe · Major language: Serbo-Croatian · Little evangelism being done · 40% Muslim; 28% Serbian Orthodox; 14% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for forgiveness for particular sins (Psalm 51:1-9).

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 2:22