Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Like Living in a Goldfish Bowl (11/07/13)
- TITLE: Give to Inherit
By Dan Wilson
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Peter admonishes this group in I Peter 3:8,9 (NKJV) saying, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” During his time walking with Jesus, our Savior, he had learned many truths and had experience significant spiritual growth. From his past personal incidents Peter knows all too well the opposition these new believers would encounter from the world. He knows they will need to support each other to withstand the onslaughts of the devil.
The first thing Peter mentions to these pilgrims is to be of one mind. Single-mindedness is the basic truth of true Christian fellowship. All of our other reactions are framed upon this fundamental foundation.
This truth was also very important to the Apostle Paul. He said in Romans 12:16, 17 (NKJV) “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.” Paul even told the church at Philippi, “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”( Philippians 2:2, 4 and 5 NKJV). When two great leaders of the early church speak about “being of one mind” it must be very important.
Once this foundation is set we can have true compassion for others. Though we may belong to different local assemblies we, who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, are all members of the body of Christ. The world watches our every movement. When a man of God falls the mass media is ready to pounce on the breaking story. Many church disputes have ended up in a court of law with the story spread out across the front page of the local newspaper.
Then Peter tells them to “love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.” Just because we are Christians does not place us on a sacred pedestal. The world thinks Christians consider themselves to be perfect. We know we are not perfect but we can be forgiven. In our treatment of others we need to remind ourselves of our previous state of affairs before we met Christ. In the body of Christ are many hurting believers. For one reason or another they have been shunned by their Christian brothers and sisters. It is our responsibility to restore them to fellowship if at all possible. They and we need their fellowship in our walk through life.
Finally, Peter states, “but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” Christians are called to be a blessing to others, saved and unsaved. Many men, women, boys and girls have come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior because a Christian heeded this calling. The formula is very easy, be a blessing and you will receive a blessing.
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” I Peter 3:8, 9 (NKJV).
How much would the world change if we could simply display the content of these two verses in our personal lives every day that we live? How much difference would it make in our families, with our friends, business associates, fellow church members and a lost and dying world in need of a Savior?
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