Monday, August 7, 2023

Bless you!


OK, this post has nothing to do with sneezing but it has everything to do with God blessing you.  Do you want to be blessed by God?  I do!  In 1 Peter 3 there are some Dos and Don’ts that make it very clear on how to be blessed.  What you won’t find though is a lot of religion on the list. What you will find are easy-to-read, hard-to-put-into-practice expectations for a follower of Christ.  With His help, you can be assured God is listening and that He will give you His blessing.


1 Peter 3:9 - Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.


Things to think about:

·       One of the most natural things hurt people often do is to hit back (hopefully harder than they were hit).

o   It might even feel good in the heat of battle

o   Better yet, it might even be defendable – “let me tell you what they did to me!”

·       The only problem with this is that it is diametrically opposed to the example Jesus gave and to God’s law

o   1 Peter 2:23 - When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

o   Matthew 5:38-48 -  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

o    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

o   Wow, that is an extremely high bar set before us.

§  What makes this hard for you to put into action in real life?

§  Have you ever seen someone rise above and model this attitude and behavior?

·       So what should our attitude and behavior look like?

o   1 Peter 3:8 -  Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 

§  Each of these traits honors the other person and should cause us to think less about ourselves and more about other people

§  Which of these qualities do you most admire in other people?

·       In fact, our passage continues in verse 10-12:

For, “Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

o   The Lord is watching and listening, not like a policeman but like the loving Father that He is. 

o   Our calling is to obey His commands.  His desire is to bless you.  The question is - will you let Him?

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