Scripture reading for November 11th: 1st Peter 3
In the world we live in, conflict with others happens with regularity. Pride, worldly desires, and selfishness cause fights and quarrels. (James 4:1) Peter wrote to the church to remind them to live in harmony with one another as a picture to their world of the love of Jesus Christ! This is how they could “declare the praises of Him who had called them into His wonderful light!” (1st Peter 2:9)
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if anyone of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (1 Peter 3:1-2) Women of that time had very little say or status in the culture. Peter encouraged women who had been born again to live in harmony with their unbelieving husbands. By quietly serving and loving them, God would work on their hearts.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1st Peter 3:7) Men could be domineering and harsh to their wives. Peter encouraged them to a harmonious relationship that would help their prayer life and bring God’s purposes to pass in the family and children!
“Finally, all of you live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9) Harmonious living is a blessing and brings eternal blessings!
Scripture reading for October 8th: Colossians 3:18-4:18
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17) This Scripture is a summary of how Christ living in us should transform our lives. This kind of living can only come from a life of prayer and intimate contact with God Himself. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit and love of God daily and this will be reflected practically in how we live at home and at work.
Paul’s instruction to this company of “holy and faithful brothers” included again practical advice on getting along in the home and workplace. Wives were told to submit to God’s order in the home because of God’s design. Husbands were reminded to love their wives and not be harsh with them. Children were told to please the Lord by obedience to parents. Fathers were again reminded to be gentle towards their children. Employees were encouraged to work for their employers as unto the Lord and expect a reward from God for doing that. Masters should treat employees fairly. God will show no favorites. (Colossians 3:18-25)
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” (Colossians 4:2-4) As we pray, we put our focus on the unseen world of God’s throne and He makes us aware of dangers as well as opportunities. We sense God’s heart and begin to want what He wants.
As Paul told these believers to devote themselves to prayer, he asked for prayer himself. He was in chains in a Roman prison, but he did not ask for a deliverance. Instead he asked for open doors for ministry of the Gospel of Christ. He knew that without prayer, ministry would not happen. He asked for boldness and clarity of speech to know how to present the message to each open heart. His focus was not on himself, but on Christ’s call and purpose that he longed to complete.
May the Lord help each of us to be devoted to prayer. If we lived a life of prayer, we would find more opportunities to fulfill our calling!