For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (1Peter 2:20-23).
DOES THE WORD OF GOD EVER BOTHER YOU? The Bible words above were written when slaves and slave trading was a big part of the economies of the world under the Roman government. Peter, Paul nor any of Jesus’ disciples had power to change the tyranny of the Romans. The example set forth here is that when Christians must live under cruel government, we live as unto God. Becoming a Christian did not deliver anyone from the iron boot of the Roman Empire.
The slave trade flourished in new America while leaders talked about building a new nation for God. We’ve visited Mount Vernon where George Washington lived and worked slaves and died. We’ve been to Monticello built by Thomas Jefferson where he lived and worked slaves and went bankrupt and died of a stroke. These champions of human liberty both had slaves. But, there’s another side to it.
How do you set slaves free who only know how to work as a slave on a plantation? Most of them would have starved or would have been captured by other slave owners. Some of Jefferson’s slaves wept when they were sold to another owner and had to leave Monticello, the only home they ever knew. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation didn’t solve everybody’s problems. Where do thousands of slaves go if they are suddenly turned out into the roads? Where are they going to eat supper? If the plantation doesn’t make enough money to keep up freed slaves, how does everyone eat?
THE LORD'S INSTRUCTION TO HIS SERVANTS was to labor as unto the Lord. When they were mistreated, the Bible does not encourage them to run away. It wasn’t that simple. A short-tempered Christian has his/her work cut out for him. Some people are born with a tendency toward patience and some are born with a tendency toward flaring like a kitchen match.
We become whatever we cultivate and give permission to thrive. Behaving like a Christian is not automatic. Jesus said: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
DYING TO SELF IS NOT ONE OF MY BEST THINGS. This verse has helped me…a lot. It comes with authority. It doesn’t demand anything. It’s “IF” I want to follow Christ. We don’t have to follow Christ. But, if we are going to follow Him, this much is up-front. I had rather sing in a quartet than to take up my cross. Singing “Amazing Grace” is such a blessing to me, but what about the use of my tongue when I’m not singing?
It reminds me of the sixth-period study hall in the tenth grade when I had finished my home-work and was bored. I mewed like a cat. Mrs. Wilson looked around to find the challenger to her domain. She looked away and I mewed like a cat, again. She moved toward me and said: “Was that you?” I said, “Yes ma’am.” (I should get a gold star for being polite?) She didn’t send me to the principal’s office.
Before I could bat an eye, she hauled off and slapped me with her open hand and I’m pretty sure I saw the milky way. Not a word of explanation from her. In a split second, she had explained the whole thing to me (and to the whole class) that she would not tolerate a challenge to her authority. I learned it so well; she never had to explain it again. The most troubling thing to me was that I was a Christian at that time and I knew better. She did me a favor in edging me a little closer to sanctification.
JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE “who, when he was reviled, reviled not again.” When He was attacked or when He stood before Herod or Pilate, He was patient. I wasn’t wired that way. When my older brother, ten years my senior, riled me, I could be on his back in a second with my arm under his chin to subdue him. It was no trouble for me to pour out half of his hair tonic and fill the bottle with bleach. (He smelled the bleach and didn’t use it on his black hair.) I collected scars on the school ground when I didn’t have enough sense to run instead of fighting. I wasn’t brave. I was stupid.
Many Christians today have trouble handling people who abuse them and treat them unfairly. But, God gave us a weapon to use against people like that. Jesus “committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” It takes faith to do that. It takes submission to the Spirit of God to do that.
BUFFETED FOR YOUR FAULTS. God tells us to take it patiently when we get chewed out.
if we are being buffeted for our faults, it's time to acknowledge our faults, apologize and ask for forgiveness.
On the other hand, whoever is chewing you out may want a pound of flesh. He/she wants you to fight back so he can have war with you. Just let him chew. He’ll get tired after a while. We can deprive that person of their prize by not engaging in war.
A little boy’s mother told her son to sit down and he didn’t want to sit down. Finally, she stood over him with fire in her eyes and he sat down. As she turned to walk away, he blurted out: “I may be sitting down on the outside, but on the inside, I’m still standing up!” As Christians, let’s not be that way. If we have to sit down, then sit down inside as we sit down on the outside. Whining and murmuring is not going to do it. In the Old Testament, the Lord sent fiery serpents after some that thought murmuring was fashionable (Numbers 21:6).
Bless them that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you (Luke 6:28). Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
FEBRUARY 6, 2018 – TUESDAY
A.M. Exodus 39-40 P.M. Matthew 24:1-22
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king (1Peter 2:17).
Song for Today:
Softly and Tenderly (3:37) (Male Trio- Calvary Memorial Church)
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