1 Pet 2:21–25
1 Peter 2:21-25
1:1-2:12 Hope is Displayed in our Salvation
2:13-3:12 Hope is Displayed in our Submission
To Government 2:13-17
To Employers 2:18-20
Like Christ 2:21-25
To Husbands 3:1-17
To Everyone 3:8-12
Did you realize that this was what you were signing up for? It is. You have have been called to do what is right even if you have to suffer for it personally. You have been called to put down your own desires, your own plans, your own goals and aspirations so that you can endure pain, hardship, ridicule, and heartbreak for the sake of Jesus Christ. But it is also your purpose to find favor with God while you endure these things. How many of you have recently endured or are enduring unjust pain, hardship, ridicule, or heartbreak because you are trying to submit to God's will? Good! You are fulfilling your God given purpose. We often want to protect ourselves from pain, ovoid hardship and ridicule, and run away from heartbreak, but when we do we are running away from the very reason that God has placed us in the situations of our life.
Life would be easier if we didn't have to submit to the government wouldn't it. If we could cheat on our taxes like other people do or not follow buiding codes on our home renovation project. Life would be easier if I could tell my boss how I really feel about him and if I could do my job the way I wanted it done instead of the way she wants it done. Wives, wouldn't life be easier if you didn't have to submit to your husbands especially when he's in a bad mood or treating you like dirt even though you didn't do anything wrong? Yes, it would be easier. But that is not God's purpose for you and it would not be favorable to God. Voluntary submission even to those who cause you to suffer is one of the purposes of your life as a Christian. Will you embrace your purpose?
Jesus doesn't ask you to do anything that He hasn't done Himself.
Our Lord submitted to His Father's will and our needs and He suffered for it. He didn't get to pursue a great career, He didn't have the oportunity to get married and raise a family, to be friends with other kings and great thinkers, or be woshipped and adored as He rightfully deserved. Instead He traveled around in poverty meeting other peoples needs, healing their deseases, being tested constantly by people who hated him, being alone in the world without any human who was His soul mate, and hanging out with 12 men, most of whom had never even gone to school. Not to mention the suffering He endured during His trial and crucifixion. Why did He do it? For you. You know, you. The one who rebelled against Him. Who broke everyone of His commands, and who apart from His grace would have gladly spit in His face if you had the chance. He gave up everything for your benefit. He suffered for you and He called you so that you could pay it forward and suffer for the benefit other people who are just like you used to be.
He is the example, the model and we are to follow in His footsteps. What does this mean?
Eric Fellman speaks of meeting a Chinese couple in Hong Kong, while traveling to China. "A friend took me down a narrow alley to a second-floor flat to meet a man recently released from prison in China. I knew I would be pressed to carry Bibles and literature on my trip. But I was hesitant and tried to mask my fear with rationalizations about legalities and other concerns.
A Chinese man in his 6Os opened the door. His smile was radiant, but his back was bent almost double. He led us to a sparsely furnished room. A Chinese woman of about the same age came in to serve tea. As she lingered, I couldn't help but notice how they touched and lovingly looked at each other. My staring apparently didn't go unnoticed, for soon they were both giggling. "What is it?" I asked my friend. "Oh nothing," he said with a smile. "They just wanted you to know it was OK--they're newlyweds." I learned they had been engaged in 1949, when he was a student at Nanking Seminary. On the day of their wedding rehearsal, Chinese communists seized the seminary. They took the students to a hard-labor prison. For the next 30 years, the bride-to-be was allowed only one visit per year. Each time, following their brief minutes together, the man would be called to the warden's office. "You may go home with your bride," he said, "if you will renounce Christianity." Year after year, this man replied with just one word; "No." I was stunned. How had he been able to stand the strain for so long, being denied his family, his marriage, and even his health? When I asked, he seemed astonished at my question. He replied, "With all that Jesus has done for me, how could I betray Him?" The next day, I requested that my suitcase be crammed with Bibles and training literature for Chinese Christians. I determined not to lie about the materials, yet lost not one minute of sleep worrying about the consequences. And as God had planned, my suitcases were never inspected.
Eric Fellman, Moody Monthly, January 1986 p. 33.
"and while being reviled, He did not revile in return;"
"He uttered no threats but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;"
Jesus always had His eyes on His Father. He knew what kind of person He was. He knew He didn't have to defend Himself or say, "Boy are you guys in for it. I am going to crush you someday, I will have my revenge." He knew that His Father would judge all of them just as they deserved. He had faith that and time of judgement would come and that He would be exhonorated. He didn't have to have it now, but waited for the vengence of the Lord that would come.
Dave Simmons, in his book, "Dad, The Family Coach." talks about this kind of sacrificial love. He say, two weeks after the stolen steak deal, I took Helen (eight years old) and Brandon (five years old) to the Cloverleaf Mall in Hattiesburg to do a little shopping. As we drove up, we spotted a Peterbilt eighteen-wheeler parked with a big sign on it that said, "Petting Zoo." The kids jumped up in a rush and asked, "Daddy, Daddy. Can we go? Please. Please. Can we go?"
"Sure," I said, flipping them both a quarter before walking into Sears. They bolted away, and I felt free to take my time looking for a scroll saw. A petting zoo consists of a portable fence erected in the mall with about six inches of sawdust and a hundred little furry baby animals of all kinds. Kids pay their money and stay in the enclosure enraptured with the squirmy little critters while their moms and dads shop.
A few minutes later, I turned around and saw Helen walking along behind me. I was shocked to see she preferred the hardware department to the petting zoo. Recognizing my error, I bent down and asked her what was wrong.
She looked up at me with those giant limpid brown eyes and said sadly, "Well, Daddy, it cost fifty cents. So, I gave Brandon my quarter." Then she said the most beautiful thing I ever heard. She repeated the family motto. The family motto is in "Love is Action!"
She had given Brandon her quarter, and no one loves cuddly furry creatures more than Helen. She had watched Sandy take my steak and say, "Love is Action!" She had watched both of us do and say "Love is Action!" for years around the house and Kings Arrow Ranch. She had heard and seen "Love is Action," and now she had incorporated it into her little lifestyle. It had become part of her.
What do you think I did? Well, not what you might think. As soon as I finished my errands, I took Helen to the petting zoo. We stood by the fence and watched Brandon go crazy petting and feeding the animals. Helen stood with her hands and chin resting on the fence and just watched Brandon. I had fifty cents burning a hole in my pocket; I never offered it to Helen, and she never asked for it.
Because she knew the whole family motto. It's not "Love is Action." It's "Love is SACRIFICIAL Action!" Love always pays a price. Love always costs something. Love is expensive. When you love, benefits accrue to another's account. Love is for you, not for me. Love gives; it doesn't grab. Helen gave her quarter to Brandon and wanted to follow through with her lesson. She knew she had to taste the sacrifice. She wanted to experience that total family motto. Love is sacrificial action.
That is what Jesus did for us. It is also what the Father did for us as well. John 3:16
This of course is spiritual healing from our sin debt and guilt, but it will translate into our our complete physical healing in the resurection.
straying sheep refuse to submit to the shepherd's leading and expose themselves to the dangers of being outside the flock. All of us have strayed away from Jesus our Shepherd. But, now by faith we have returned to Him, submitted to his leadership, and enjoy His protection.
As think of Jesus being my shepherd and the guardian of my sould it causes tears to well up in my eyes because I get a picture of my God, my Jesus standing in front of my vulnerable soul with all the power that it took to rise from the dead. As Satan and his world bombard me with the all fiercness and violence of an animal, Jesus stands in the way taking blow after blow and says NO!, You can not have him. You will not take him from Me. As Satan asks, "Why not?" My Jesus replies, "Because I took the suffering that he deserves, I experienced the shame of his sin, I took everything that you could throw at Me. I didn't take the easy road but instead I submitted to My Father all the way to cross. So here I stand, I will not be moved. Be gone you pathetic wolf, you will not take My sheep from Me."
He is my hero. He is my heart's desire, and I will suffer any personal sacrifice, inconvenience, mistreatment, or loss for my Jesus. Will you?