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In trials, Speak fearlessly!

1 Peter 3:8-22 NIV. Our actions in trials are significant, but so are our words. So believers—"all of you"—are to live Christ-like to one another (v8) as witnesses in the world (2:11-3:7) . But often, Christ-like living attracts different kinds of responses from unbelievers, ranging from hostility to curiosity. So, Peter encourages believers in trials to use their words wisely. Speak fearlessly (8-17) Speak blessing fearlessly (9-14a). To hostile unbelievers, believers must not speak evil, but blessing because that's what it means to be a Christian with an eternal inheritance (v9, 1:4) and because there is a reward for righteous speaking (v10). This reward includes life, good days, God's presence and attentiveness (v10-12, quoting Psalm 34:12-16). The section ends with a challenge to be fearless in speaking blessing—to be eager in good deeds (13), even if you suffe

In trials, Live as Witnesses!

1 Peter 2:11-3:7 NIV. My friend once came across a tasty sauce and decided that that was his new secret ingredient. He added it to everything, to bread, to rice, name it, and it eventually became annoying. I guess if you found something that brought out the taste of your food, you'd use it recklessly too. In the passage, Peter shows us something that brings out a taste—something that impacts lives in trials. What impacts lives in trials? Verse 12 says, "Live such good lives...so that though they accuse you, they will see your good deeds and glorify God". The passage shows that our trials are opportunities to live as witnesses pointing people to God. Live as a witness by submission—which means to yield, be considerate or endure: Submission to Christ (2:11-12). Those awaiting God's visitation are to submit to Christ (12c). This means abstaining from sin (11-12) and letting

In trials, Come to Jesus!

1 Peter 2:4-10 NIV. The passage describes Jesus as the living Stone and then believers as living stones, i.e. of the same kind as Jesus. Therefore, what happens to the living Stone happens to the living stones. Jesus was chosen by God but humans rejected Him (v4). Likewise, believers are chosen by God to offer spiritual sacrifices by holy living and to declare God’s goodness (v5,9). Also, believers are rejected (1:1,6). So, what do you do when you feel rejected in trials? Come to Jesus (v4), who is: A cornerstone. Jesus is a precious cornerstone to those who believe in Him and have received God’s mercy (v5-7a,10). A cornerstone is the foundation stone that determines the direction and stability of a building. Similarly, Jesus provides believers with direction (as living stones chosen, royal, holy and special; v9) and stability (as living stones being built together and unashamed; v5-6).

In trials, Be Holy!

1 Peter 1:13-2:3 NIV. Knowing the joyful truths from the last session about our faith, Peter then goes on to say, therefore...be holy! (v13). Being holy means to live a God-centred life. It looks like not conforming to ungodly desires (v14, 2v1) but setting our minds on the eternal things of God (v13, 2v2), living in reverent fear of God (v17) and loving God's people (v22). This cuts against the grain of the me-centred worldview of life. It is, therefore, no surprise that every trial and distraction in life combats any attempt at living a God-centred life. So how do we respond? Peter's encouragement in verse 15 is: be holy in all you do — keep being holy, continue (2 Timothy 3:12-13). In trials, be holy for three profound reasons - all based on the very nature of God. In trials, we are to be holy (keep being, continue to be) because: God is holy. Verse 16 says "Be holy, bec

In trials, Rejoice!

1 Peter 1:1-12 NIV. Have you ever been in a situation where you've been mistreated or made to feel awkward because you're a Christian? Or you're aware of a worldly pattern in your circle - maybe with work or peers - that makes it hard to live as a Christian. These and similar are examples of trials. The challenge of trials is to lose heart or give in. So Peter writes in his epistle to encourage persecuted Christians in his day and us today. Peter addresses believers as God's elect exiles (v1), chosen by God but exiles to the world, facing all kinds of trials (v6). And in the face of trials, what do we do? Rather than lose heart or give in, Peter says Rejoice! Rejoice and be thankful to God because of the kind of new birth - the kind of faith - He gave us. When you undergo trials, rejoice because: Your faith is awarded! (v3-6) Peter begins by praising God for our living hope,

In Christ is all we need

Luke 5:1-11 NIV; 2 Peter 1:3 NIV. Praise God! Happy new year!!! One time, I was meeting friends for a game of badminton. When I arrived at the court, I noticed I had come with the wrong bag. I planned to play in shorts, but I played in trousers, and my very competitive friends were not merciful. Peter described the Christian life almost like my backpack experience, except that he made the right switch. He picked the one that had all he needed for his journey. In Luke's passage (Luke 5:1-11 NIV), he records Peter's first meeting with Jesus. It was at a time when he had toiled all night but couldn't catch any fish. So he parked his boat by the seashore. But when Jesus saw Peter's boat, he got into it and used it to teach the crowd the word of God - to meet their spiritual needs. Again, in displaying his divine miraculous power, he used the boat to provide much fish - to meet the physical needs of Pet