Monday, January 4, 2016

1 Peter 2:13-17

1 Peter 2:13-17
Submit to every system of human governance for the sake of the Lord, whether a king while having authority or governors as while being sent out through him into a punishment of workers of evil and a praise of workers of good.  Because this way is the will of God: while doing good to silence the ignorance of foolish men – in freedom, while not having freedom as a veil over evil but rather as a slave of God.  Honor everyone.  Love the community of brothers and sisters.  Fear God.  Honor the king.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Peter gives us a word at the beginning that we do not like: submit.  But notice what Peter says.  Submit to every system of government.  This doesn’t mean that we are to do everything that they say as blind followers might do.  However, it does mean that we respect the human right to set rules for its own space.  That means that human beings might rule in mistakes.  If a human rule dictates one thing, we must remember that such a rule will govern over us for a small moment of our life.  We will be under human governance for such a small amount of time when we consider eternity.  In other words, our ability to submit to human rule is directly tied with our ability to truly consider ourselves as foreigners in this world.  If I am on vacation somewhere, do I get upset about the rules that other people put over themselves?  Of course not.  This is what Peter is arguing here.  Submit to the rules of foreign kings while you are in their land, knowing that in a short while we will be in our homeland with our true king who can govern us properly.

Can you submit?  How much of any inability to submit that you might have is rooted in your inability to see yourself as a foreigner in this world?  How does our need to hang onto things of this world impact our inability to submit as sojourners in a foreign world?

Second Thought:

Peter doesn’t mention Jesus in this section, but I think that He is the perfect example of this point of submission.  Jesus held all the power of God.  But He came to this world and submitted to rule of wicked and evil men.  They crucified Him through their wicked and evil rules.  Yet He still submitted.  He died on that cross.  He died because He knew where His homeland truly existed.  He submitted because He knew that no human rule in a foreign land can ever take away our status as citizen in our homeland.  That’s how He could submit.

Why is Jesus the perfect example of submission?  How does your submission compare to that of Jesus?  Where are there differences?  Where are there similarities?

Third Thought:

Look at the effect of genuine submission.  When we are truly foreigners and our perspective is genuinely on God, we can love all people.  We can love the community of faith.  We can fear God.  We can honor the human authorities around us.  We are free to do these things because it doesn’t actually cost me anything that is truly important!  What does it cost me to honor an earthly authority if everything that I truly value rests in God?  What earthly thing can I give away here in this world that will actually diminish my inheritance in heaven?  Nothing!  That’s why submission is the key to honor, love, and even the fear of God.

What earthly things are you holding onto that is keeping you from truly submission?  Where is your submission able to allow you to honor authority, fear God, and love the community of believers?


Passage for Tomorrow: 1 Peter 2:18-20
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