Text: 1 Peter 5:12-14
Theme: Peter made sure to recognize others and think beyond himself.
Key verses: “I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you…Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet each other with a kiss of love. Peace be with all of you who are in Christ” (v. 12-14).
What God said to me: Welcome Dwayne. Are you enjoying the accommodations I arranged for you in Malindi Kenya? This day of rest is vital for you and is my way of saying I know where and whose you are. I love you and love blessing you with little surprises along your missionary journeys. Never forget those I have sent to help you along the way. That is what Peter did when he closed out this letter to the saints in various provinces around Rome. Peter appreciated his traveling companion, Silas, and he made sure to commend him as a “faithful brother.” Notice he also gave credit where credit was due. Silas had helped him pen his letter. Peter was godly-man enough to reveal he needed and received help from others. You need it too, so always be quick to point credit toward others who are helping you build NLW–people like Donald, Jordan, Josh, John, Dawn, Suzanne, the Board–and most of all, your wife Sonia. These people are gifts I have blessed you with. Appreciate them often both publicly and privately. Peter had one main purpose for writing: he aimed to encourage and give some assurance to his readers, to the saints who were living as foreigners. Peter knew they needed encouragement in the midst of their suffering. He wanted them to know God was on their side. He also wanted them to know they weren’t alone in their struggles and faith. Thus, he sent greetings from their “sister church” in Rome. Note, too, his love and affection for others. He called Mark his “son.” He urged them to greet each other with a “kiss of love.” Why would he say that? Did he really want everyone going around kissing each other in the church? Not likely. The more important exhortation here is that my saints express their love and affection for each other in tangible ways. Dwayne, don’t keep your love and appreciation for others inside of you. People can’t read your mind. Don’t be afraid to embrace your brothers and sisters and express your godly love for them. Wish peace on all of those who are in my Son–regardless of whether you agree with them and they with you or enjoy each others’ company. They are in your family if they know and follow me. Treat them with the love and respect I deserve. After all, I am both your Father and theirs.
What I said to God: Father, my Father, I am humbled by this powerful word from You today. Thank You for speaking to my soul and reminding me of the importance of those who travel this journey of life with me. You’ve also reminded me in no uncertain terms that likewise I am traveling with them on their journey. Please forgive me when I make it all about me and my adventures and mission. Everyone matters in Your Kingdom. You don’t have favorite children. You have each of us on a path toward eternal life with You. Please help me always be genuinely grateful and show sincere appreciation when You allow my path to cross with others in Your incredible Kingdom. May I always seek to assist others with their mission as much as they help me with mine.