Tag Archives: The apostle Peter

Joyce Meyer – All People Are Worthy of Respect

 

And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons.- Acts 10:34

The Bible says in several places that God is not a respecter of persons (see Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9). He does not treat some people better than others because of the way they dress, their levels of income, the positions they hold, or who they know. He not only treats everyone the same, it seems He goes out of His way to treat those who are hurting especially well.

The apostle Peter said this:

Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith) [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body]. And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him). (1 Peter 4:9)

Before you rush past this part, take an inventory of how friendly you are with people you don’t know and especially those who are entirely different from you. Some people are just naturally friendly and outgoing in temperament, but those of us who don’t seem to have the “friendly gene” need to make a decision to be friendly because the Bible says to do it.

The apostle James admonished the church not to pay special attention to people who wore splendid clothes to the synagogue or to give them preferable seats when they came in. He said if people acted in these ways and wanted special treatment, they had wrong motives (see James 2:1–4). In other words, we are to treat all people as being worthy of respect.

Jesus put an end to distinction between people and said we are all one in Him (see Galatians 3:28). We simply need to see valuable people— not rich or poor, highly educated or uneducated, not the labels in their clothes, hairstyles, the cars they drive, their professions or titles—just people for whom Jesus died.

Trust in Him God knew what He was doing when He sent His Son Jesus to die for all of us. If He was willing to do that, you can trust that He wants you to treat each person for whom He died with equal respect.

John MacArthur – Hoping in God

 

“[Love] hopes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

Love refuses to take human failure as final.

Even when faith falters, hope comes to the rescue. It is that long rope that keeps us linked to the sovereignty and power of God.

The apostle Peter wrote to believers who were experiencing severe trials. To encourage them he began, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

Our hope is a living hope because our God is a living God. No matter how bleak your situation might seem, God is at work to accomplish His purposes. As Christ hung on the cross, it seemed as if sin had finally triumphed over righteousness. But sin’s finest hour became its death knell when Christ arose from the grave as Lord of life and Redeemer of His people. Now “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal [body] through His Spirit who indwells you” (Rom. 8:11). Trials and death have no power over you. They simply bring you closer to Christ.

When ministering to others, hope gives you confidence that as long as there is life, human failure is never final. God refused to accept Israel’s failures; Jesus refused to accept Peter’s; and Paul refused to accept that of the Corinthians. When your attempts to cover the sins of others have failed or your righteous expectations have been shattered, hope says, “Don’t give up. God can still work this out for good.”

Hope is illustrated in the true story of a dog who was abandoned at the airport of a large city. He stayed there for over five years, waiting for his master to return. People at the airport fed and cared for him, but he refused to leave the spot where he last saw his master. If a dog’s love for his master can produce that kind of hope, how much more should your love for God produce abiding hope?

Suggestions for Prayer

Praise God for His sovereignty and power, and for the hope that is yours in Christ.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 42, noting how the psalmist related the distressing circumstances of his life to his hope in God.

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Powerful Promises

 

The apostle Peter knew people that worshipped various gods. As he explained that Christians have power to live a righteous life in Christ, he differentiated it from the other beliefs of the day. “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

We ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

II Peter 1:18

Peter himself saw the transfiguration of Christ and heard the Father say, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5). Peter also experienced Jesus’ forgiveness in a dramatic way. After denying Jesus three times (Mark 14:66-72), the resurrected Christ gave him opportunity to renew his love three times (John 21:15-17).

Peter summed up the plight of a true spiritual seeker: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Spend time seeking the Lord. Ask and He’ll answer; seek and you’ll find; knock and it will be opened (Matthew 7:7) are powerful promises worth spending time on. Press in and pray for your concerns and the needs of this country.

Recommended Reading: I Peter 5:6-11

Our Daily Bread — Failure Is Not Fatal

 

Read: John 18:15-27

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 10-11; Acts 4:1-22

You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. —John 6:69

Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew how to bolster the spirits of the British people during World War II. On June 18, 1940, he told a frightened populace, “Hitler knows that he will have to break us . . . or lose the war. . . . Let us therefore brace . . . and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire [lasts] for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour!’ ”

We would all like to be remembered for our “finest hour.” Perhaps the apostle Peter’s finest hour was when he proclaimed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:69). Sometimes, however, we let our failures define us. After Peter repeatedly denied that he knew Jesus, he went out and wept bitterly (Matt. 26:75; John 18).

Like Peter, we all fall short—in our relationships, in our struggle with sin, in our faithfulness to God. But “failure is not fatal,” as Churchill also said. Thankfully, this is true in our spiritual life. Jesus forgave the repentant Peter for his failure (John 21) and used him to preach and lead many to the Savior.

Failure is not fatal. God lovingly restores those who turn back to Him. —Cindy Hess Kasper

Dear Father, thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You that Your mercy and grace are given freely through the shed blood of Your Son, Jesus.

When God forgives, He removes the sin and restores the soul.

INSIGHT: The story of Peter’s denial of Christ is found in each of the four gospel records (Matt. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18). Of these records, Mark’s account bears particular interest since scholars believe it is the record of Peter’s memories of his time with Jesus. If so, then in Mark’s gospel Peter recounts the story of his denials as a personal testimony of his failure.

 

Joyce Meyer – Humble Yourself and Be Exalted

 

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. 1 Peter 5:6

The apostle Peter is a good example of a man who had to be humbled. In Matthew 26:31-35 we see that Peter thought more highly of himself than he should have. In this passage, we read that just before the crucifixion Jesus told His disciples they would all be offended and fall away from Him. In verse 33, Peter declared to the Lord that he would never do such a thing. In response, Jesus warned Peter that before that very night was over, his fears would cause him to deny Him three times; but Peter could not conceive that he would ever be that weak.

Peter really did not know himself, and many of us are the same way. We look at others and judge them, thinking, I would never do that. Then when we find ourselves in a similar situation, we do things we would have never believed possible. Peter needed to go through the experience of failing, of falling apart in the crisis hour. He had to see his weaknesses before he could bring them to the cross and find God’s strength.

Yes, Peter failed miserably. He denied Jesus three times. He fell apart in a crucial time, but the end result was good. The experience humbled him and brought him to the place where God could use him greatly. God can only use humble men and women. We must humble ourselves and He will exalt us (see 1 Peter 5:6).

Our Daily Bread — Don’t Worry!

 

 

Read: 1 Peter 5:1-11
Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 25-26; Luke 12:32-59

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. —1 Peter 5:7

George Burns, American actor and humorist, said, “If you ask, ‘What is the single most important key to longevity?’ I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress, and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” Burns, who lived to be 100, enjoyed making people laugh, and apparently followed his own advice.

But how can we keep from worrying when our lives are so uncertain, so filled with problems and needs? The apostle Peter offered this encouragement to the followers of Jesus who had been forcibly scattered across Asia during the first century: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Peter’s instructions were not given to help us avoid suffering (v.9), but so we can find peace and power to stand victorious against the attacks of Satan (vv.8-10). Instead of being consumed by anxiety and worry, we are set free to enjoy God’s love for us and express it to each other.

Our goal should not be to see how many years we can live but instead to live fully in loving service to the Lord for all the years we are given. —David McCasland

Lord, I admit that I take things into my own hands and worry. That weighs my spirit down and sometimes robs my nights of rest. Lift the heaviness from my heart as I lean into You.

I will never think of anything that [God, my Father,] will forget, so why should I worry? —Oswald Chambers

INSIGHT: Peter’s words in verses 1-3 are a challenge to those who serve in shepherding ministries—that is, as pastors or spiritual leaders. He reminds us that those who serve as shepherds are to reflect the heart of the good, great, and chief Shepherd—Jesus (see John 10).

Joyce Meyer – Love Frees us to Forgive

Joyce meyer

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. —1 Peter 4:8

The apostle Peter said love covers a multitude of sins. Love doesn’t just cover one mistake; it covers a multitude. God’s love for us not only covered our sins, it actually paid the price to completely remove them. Love is a powerful cleansing agent. I want you to notice that Peter said we should love “above all things.”

When Peter asked Jesus how many times he would be expected to forgive a brother for the same offense, Jesus told him to keep on doing it as many times as it took (see Matt. 18:21–22). Peter suggested seven times, and I have often wondered if he was already at six and thought he had only one more effort in him.

We must understand that a lot of forgiveness is required of us. In fact, it will probably be part of our daily experience. Some of the things we need to forgive may be minor and fairly easy, but occasionally that big thing comes along and we start wondering if we can ever get over it. Just remember, God never tells us to do anything unless He gives us the ability to do it. We can forgive anyone for anything if we let God’s love flow through us.

The Bible tells the story of a man named Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers. When Joseph’s brothers discovered years later that he was alive and in charge of the food supply they desperately relied on, they were afraid. They remembered how badly they had treated Joseph, and so did he, but he chose not to reveal it to anyone else. He spoke with them privately and simply told them he was not God—and vengeance belonged to God, not to him. He freely forgave them, urged them not to be afraid, and proceeded to provide for them and their families. No wonder Joseph was a powerful leader who found favor everywhere he went. He knew the power of love and the importance of total forgiveness!

Trust in Him The Bible tells us to love, and in order to do so we must forgive a multitude of sins. Trust God to give you the ability to forgive all things, and thank Him for forgiving you.

John MacArthur – Hoping in God

John MacArthur

“[Love] hopes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

Love refuses to take human failure as final.

Even when faith falters, hope comes to the rescue. It is that long rope that keeps us linked to the sovereignty and power of God.

The apostle Peter wrote to believers who were experiencing severe trials. To encourage them he began, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

Our hope is a living hope because our God is a living God. No matter how bleak your situation might seem, God is at work to accomplish His purposes. As Christ hung on the cross, it seemed as if sin had finally triumphed over righteousness. But sin’s finest hour became its death knell when Christ arose from the grave as Lord of life and Redeemer of His people. Now “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal [body] through His Spirit who indwells you” (Rom. 8:11). Trials and death have no power over you. They simply bring you closer to Christ.

When ministering to others, hope gives you confidence that as long as there is life, human failure is never final. God refused to accept Israel’s failures; Jesus refused to accept Peter’s; and Paul refused to accept that of the Corinthians. When your attempts to cover the sins of others have failed or your righteous expectations have been shattered, hope says, “Don’t give up. God can still work this out for good.”

Hope is illustrated in the true story of a dog who was abandoned at the airport of a large city. He stayed there for over five years, waiting for his master to return. People at the airport fed and cared for him, but he refused to leave the spot where he last saw his master. If a dog’s love for his master can produce that kind of hope, how much more should your love for God produce abiding hope?

Suggestions for Prayer; Praise God for His sovereignty and power, and for the hope that is yours in Christ.

For Further Study; Read Psalm 42, noting how the psalmist related the distressing circumstances of his life to his hope in God.

Charles Stanley – Peter: An Ordinary Person

Charles Stanley

Matthew 4:18-20

The apostle Peter was an ordinary person who lived in an extraordinary time. His was the generation during which Jesus lived on the earth and died for the salvation of mankind.

It was Andrew who first brought his brother Peter (originally called Simon) to meet the Lord (John 1:40-42). When Jesus invited them to become disciples, both brothers immediately left their fishing trade and placed themselves under Christ’s authority (Matt 4:20).

Peter became a passionate follower who consistently demonstrated an eagerness to be near the Savior and in the middle of whatever was going on. Whether encountering Jesus on the water during a storm (14:27-29) or speaking to Him during His transfiguration (17:1-5), Peter was devoted to his Master’s service.

In the beginning, the former fisherman was quick to speak and to act, and this impulsiveness created problems for him. For example, when Jesus was talking about His imminent suffering and death, Peter objected, as if he knew better than the Lord. Christ’s rebuke was swift and direct (16:21-23). The apostle learned from his mistakes and was later given great responsibility. He’s a good example of how we should release personal desires, wholeheartedly embrace Jesus’ way, and walk closely with Him (Mark 8:34).

The Lord chooses unexceptional people like Peter and you and me to build His kingdom. He asks His followers to love Him above all else and fully commit to obeying Him. When we do, He will accomplish more through us than we could ever imagine.

Charles Stanley – Giving Away the Faith

Charles Stanley

Do you share your faith effectively and frequently? Think about that question for a minute. Does it prompt you to feel guilty, inadequate, or anxious? Many believers feel like failures when it comes to witnessing, despite all the emphasis the evangelical church places on this important subject.

Sometimes, we aren’t ready to share because we feel unequipped. The apostle Peter wrote that Christians should always be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks [them] to give an account for the hope that is in [them]” (1 Peter 3:15). The more prepared we are to present the evidence of God’s truth, the better God is able to change lives. If you feel unprepared to share what you believe, consider joining a class or reading a book on personal evangelism. Talking about faith is something anyone can learn to do.

Another obstacle to personal evangelism is the time it takes for God to move an unbeliever to saving faith. When I was younger, I wanted to plant the seed of belief, water, fertilize, cultivate, and harvest it all at once! I became frustrated when people didn’t receive Christ the first time they heard the gospel.

Now I understand that it’s “God who causes the growth” (1 Cor. 3:6). My part is to faithfully sow His Word and look for those who are ripe for harvest. In our day of instant results, it’s hard for us to be patient and trust the Lord to work in people’s hearts.

Remember, evangelism is a process. You may be doing a better job than you think. God works through your personality and faithfulness to His principles to draw someone into His Kingdom. It may be in the form of helping a neighbor with yard work, or taking food to a friend after the birth of a child.

Your efforts to reach your neighbors and friends will be fruitless, however, unless you have surrendered to the lordship of Christ. When Jesus is set apart as Lord, He will make your life so appealing to unbelievers that they will ask about the peace and contentment they observe (1 Peter 3:15).

Since evangelism is a process, we shouldn’t feel guilty if we don’t verbally witness to everyone we meet. But at the same time, we are responsible for building bridges to faith for the lost. When the time comes, we are to share verbally what Christ has done in our lives and what He is willing to do in theirs.

The attitude with which we communicate is as important as the words we say. The apostle Peter encouraged the early church to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ with “gentleness and respect”—in other words, with a sensitive and tactful spirit (1 Peter 3:15). The cross is offensive enough without a self-righteous attitude or condemning spirit getting in the way (Gal. 5:11).

As you explain God’s wonderful gift, remember that the process of evangelism may last months or years. The wonderful experience of sharing the message of Jesus with complete strangers and seeing them convert is the exception, not the rule. And even in these rare cases, someone else probably planted the seed.

Because most people don’t come to faith the first time they hear the gospel, you should be prepared for some to reject the message. It’s not unusual to have bad experiences with personal evangelism. Unfortunately, some encounters can be so traumatic and discouraging that you feel like giving up. People are easily offended, or they may feel threatened. Unbelievers may accuse you of being intolerant or “holier than thou.” Or, you may lead someone in a prayer for salvation and then see no real change in his or her life.

There is a price to be paid for being a part of another’s salvation. Some pain and frustration will be involved. But the struggle and disappointments are quickly forgotten when we see those we love birthed into God’s family. There is a joy that can’t be explained.

So, don’t give up on evangelism—that would mean giving up on God. After all, He is the One responsible to save and change lives. He simply wants us to be a part of the process.

Adapted from Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living.” 1996.

 

Related Resources

Related Audio

That All May Know Him

What should I do to help spread God’s good news of salvation? (Listen to That All May Know Him.)