Our scripture this morning is 1 Peter 3:13-18.
“Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.”
Peter gives us wise teaching, essential then and now for our interaction with others. If Christ is the center of our lives and we are “eager to do good”, we are living as He intends. Peter realizes this through his own failings, but he was restored by Christ Himself and called to feed His sheep (John 21:17).
If we no longer worry about what the world thinks of us, we are free in the love of Jesus to do good. It is often hard to stand against earthly opinions, but we know who we live for and what we are called to do. When we face opposition, we take courage in knowing the world opposed Jesus as well.
Jesus showed us by word and example – by His life, death and resurrection – what God wants of us and what we can expect of Him. When we follow His example, we are made whole again. Our faith in Him as our savior and Lord is all we need to live in His love and share it with everyone.
Gracious God, thank You for sending Jesus to love and save and free us. May we live new lives, bringing the Good News to all the world. Amen.