Grow Deep - GRIT Edition - Week 5

Week 5: July 5-11

RESPECT

Memory Verse: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17

We are called to be servants. One way in which we serve is by stewarding our relationships in God in pleasing ways. The truth is, we are all stewards. We become stewards at birth. We become Christian stewards at baptism. A steward is one who manages what belongs to another. Baptized stewards know who really owns all that we have. We are God’s stewards. St. Peter encourages this in chapter four of this letter when he writes, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” In 1 Peter 2:13-25, Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us how faithful, fruitful, and respectful stewards manage the relationships God gives. He tells us the will of God for us as we relate to people in positions of authority. He tells us that we are free to serve in our relationships to our neighbors. He tells how to respond even to those in authority who are unjust. He tells us that we have been called to be followers of Christ who suffered, died and rose again for our justification. God’s stewards have grit. They have the God-given strength of character to freely serve others—even when that is hard to do. Gritty Christians submit to those in authority because that is God’s will.

Submission does not mean that we are inferior to someone else. What it does mean is that as stewards of God’s varied grace, we are willing to serve others. Mark Jeske writes in his commentary on 1 Peter: “Being willing to submit, according to your station in life, means that you love the Lord and love people enough to give up some of your freedom, willingly yielding to government (verse 13), masters (verse 18), or elders in the church (5:5).” We look to Christ to see what submission looks like. He became obedient unto death, even death on the cross for us. Christ is our Shepherd. He guides, protects, and preserves us. Christ is our Overseer. He watches over us and brings us salvation.


Sunday, July 5
Read: 1 Peter 2:13-25
God has established positions of authority for our good, for our protection, and so that we can thrive in the stations of life God gives us. We are to submit to those in positions of authority. We do so for the Lord’s sake.
Reflect: How can you be a better steward of your relationship to those in positions of authority?

 

Monday, July 6
Read: 1 Peter 2:13-15
Submission is one of the greatest of Christian virtues, yet many people struggle under the authority of others. It is commonplace today to be hyper-critical of those in positions of authority.
Reflect: What is God’s will for our attitude toward those in authority—even if they are unjust? Where do you need to adjust your attitude?

 

Tuesday, July 7
Read: 1 Peter 2:16
In his booklet, The Freedom of a Christian, Martin Luther wrote: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord, subject to no one; a Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”
Reflect: How can both of these statements be true? (See also 1 Corinthians 9:19.) What does Peter suggest we have been freed for?

 

Wednesday, July 8
Read: 1 Peter 2:17
We are to love and show honor to everyone and fear God.
Reflect: What words does Peter use to describe our relationship to others? Would “honor” be an appropriate word to describe my attitude toward those in positions of authority (presidents, senators, representatives, judges, state and local officials)? How might my attitude need some adjustment?

 

Thursday, July 9
Read: 1 Peter 2:18-20
The word “slaves”, as used in these verses, might better be translated “house-servants”, or today we would say “employees.”
Reflect: How can we be faithful, fruitful, and respectful stewards at work?

 

Friday, July 10
Read: 1 Peter 2:21-25
We are to be submissive just as Christ was submissive. Christ is to be our example, but He is more than just an example—He is our Savior!
Reflect: What do these grace-filled words, “By His wounds you have been healed,” mean to you?

 

Saturday, July 11
Read: 1 Peter 2:13-25
God calls us as His servants and stewards to respect all people, especially those in positions of authority.
Reflect: Which commands in this section of Scripture would you say are the easiest for most Christians to obey? Which are the easiest to disobey? Which verse in this section do you think God wants you to understand better?

Contributed by Pastor Wayne Knolhoff