1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts set apart Christ Jesus as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – In a world with little hope, Christians should stand out because of their hope. This is likely to raise questions. Questions we should be able to answer (although many are unprepared). We should not be arrogant or condescending in our replies. The lost deserve our pity and compassion, not a “holier-than-thou” response.
My Advice – Be gentle in your responses. Respect their right to choose for themselves. Do not lose your gentleness if they do not choose Christ. There may be another time and how you respond to them now may make some difference later.
1 Peter 2:20-21 – If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We have been called to do good and as a result we are likely to suffer for it. We need to endure the suffering in the same way that Christ did.
My Advice – Follow the example of Christ. This does not mean you have to seek suffering, but that you endure it when it comes. Also, do not avoid doing good merely to avoid suffering.
1 Peter 2:11– Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires that war against your soul. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – As Christians, we are at war (spiritual warfare) on foreign soil (this world is not our home).
My Advice – Be careful about getting too friendly with the things of this world. They will wear down your defenses.
1 Peter 1:6-7 – Though now you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trial. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – One reason we face trials (and there are many) is to refine (remove impurities) our faith.
My Advice – Endure hardship, knowing that God will use it to refine your character and faith.
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The key to avoid falling into sin: resist the devil. The key to resisting the devil: submitting to God.
My Advice – Satan does not like opposition. If you sincerely resist him, he will leave you alone, at least for the time being. He may try again, but the more you resist, the greater your ability to resist when he next returns.
James 3:5-6 – The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The tongue can do more damage than many destructive and lethal weapons.
My Advice – Keep your tongue in check. It will keep you from a lot of grief and hurt feelings that are hard to undo.
James 2:14, 17 – What good is it my brothers if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by actions is dead. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Good actions or good deeds cannot result in salvation. But salvation, which is by grace, should produce good actions and good deeds.
My Advice – Do your best to make your faith alive by doing what is right, good and decent.