Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Devotions: A Godly Example

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

1 Peter 2:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

These commands come in the middle of Peter's instructions on how to live in front of unbelievers. Our actions in front of others are important because we are their view of God, and they watch us closely. Of course we are not supposed to do anything for the praise of others, but we are God's ambassadors and we need to live like it. And, our actions mirror our hearts so we should make sure that our hearts are right first. But these four actions will show our character and should be the basis for every interaction. 
First, we are to honor all people. Honor here means to show respect. Everyone we come in contact with, no matter who they are, deserves respect because they are human beings and God's creation, made in His image. We are no better than any other so we have no reason to view others as beneath us, in our actions or our thoughts. Second, we are to love fellow believers. This goes beyond respect to the extent that we would willingly sacrifice ourselves for them. It could be something as simple as offering help when we would rather not or as demanding as staying up all night when they are in a crisis. They are our family. And the world will know that we are of Christ by our love for each other. Third, we are to fear God. This does not mean fear in the sense of being afraid, but rather a reverent awe; the deepest respect and honor that we can give. This includes our actions, thoughts and even our decisions. We should be so in awe of God that love for Him dictates everything we do, think and say. Nothing is more unbelievable (or repulsive) to the world than Christians who deny God with their lives. Lastly, we are to honor the king. Most countries no longer have a monarchy, if they ever had one at all, but the principle here is to honor those in authority above us. Regardless of our political persuasion, we are called to respect the governing authorities. As with parents, bosses or anyone else, this is not dependent on their worthiness, but on God's appointment. He placed them in authority, He created mankind, and He has commanded that we honor all people, especially those in positions of authority. Disrespecting authority only shows the world that we are rebellious and arrogant. Again, it is love that shows we are God's and that includes respect. Real love is loving those who are different or disagree with us. In all of this, we glorify God if we do as He commands no matter what it is, we dishonor Him if we don't, and the world will know which we choose. So choose love and show respect. 

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