The book of I Peter was written to God’s people who were beginning to experience persecution. Peter points to Jesus to encourage Christians to remain strong in the face if suffering, mistreatment, ridicule and death. This is in no way intended to be an exhaustive study of this letter – but a short journey to help you venture deeper into the truths found here.
MONDAY: KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE (I Peter 1:1-3)
1. What two words/phrases does Peter use to describe the recipients of this letter? (1:1)
2. How does the fact that we are God’s “elect” (chosen people) help Christians keep hopeful when facing tough times?
3. How does the fact that we are “strangers in the world” help us cope with difficult times? (See Hebrew 11:13-16; Philippians 3:20)
As Christians we should strive to live with eternity in view. We are not physical beings having a spiritual existence, but we are spiritual beings having a brief physical experience while here on earth.
FAITH STEP: As a family or individually write down at least three things that you are looking forward to the most when you get to heaven. Keep that list handy so you can review it, especially when suffering.
TUESDAY: A LIVING HOPE (1:3-5)
1. In order to prepare his readers to be ready to withstand the suffering they are facing Peter reminds them of the living hope Christians have. “Living” shows us that this hope is not some sort of idle wish but it is something that is active and eternal – something we can count on daily.
2. What is the basis for our living hope? (See also I Corinthians 15:14,20,57)
3. How is this hope further described in 1:4? What three adjectives does Peter use to assure us that our hope (inheritance) is eternal and can be counted on?
4. Where is God keeping our inheritance?
5. According to verse 5 God also shields his children until we receive that inheritance. What are some ways God guard us in trials?
FAITH STEP: Peter wants to encourage his readers to focus their attention on the living hope and inheritance awaiting them in order to help them persevere in tough times here. Who do you know that needs to know about that hope. Write down their name and call them or send them a note today to encourage them by reminding them of the living hope we have in Christ.
WEDNESDAY: BE HOLY (1:13-16)
1. After focusing his readers’ attention to the hope they have in Christ and encouraging them to rejoice even in suffering because of that hope, Peter now tells them that the relationship they have with Christ should motivate them to live holy lives – even in suffering. Peter tells us to “prepare our minds for action”. What are three ways Peter says we can do this in verses 13-14?
2. As opposed to conforming to evil desires Peter want us, as obedient children, to imitate the Father. The motive for us being holy is our relationship with God – (“Be holy, because I am holy”). Look at I Peter 2:4-10. Peter describes God’s people as a “holy ________” (verse 5) and a “holy _________” (verse 9). In other words as Christians we are to live dedicated to God’s service.
FAITH STEPS: How can you be more holy at home? Work/School? Church? Make a list of area’s you need to improve in and spend some time in prayer asking God to help you “prepare your minds for action” in these areas.
THURSDAY: DEALING WITH MISTREATMENT (2:12-25)
1. Peter’s readers were undergoing government persecution. We may not experience that today but we do at times get overlooked for the promotion, cut from the team or mistreated by harsh bosses. How does God say we should act in these situations 1:13, 17, 21)?
2. What is to motivate us to suffer mistreatment like Jesus (2:12, 15)?
3. Who is our example in how to endure mistreatment?
4. Who are to trust when suffering (2:23)?
5. Are their ever any times where a Christian should take a stand for his/her rights? (See John 2:12-16; Acts 4:18-20) How do you determine what to do?
FAITH STEP: Make a list of the “authorities” in your life. How can you use verses 16-17 to better relate to them in a way that glorifies God?
FRIDAY: THE POWER OF HUMILITY (5:5-11)
1. Why does God tell us to clothe ourselves with humility (5:5)?
2. Verse 6 tells us to humble ourselves before God. In the context of the letter – Christian suffering – Peter is thus urging us to trust God even in the midst of suffering. Why? (1:6-7, 3:8-9, 4:12-13)?
3. According to verse 8 who incites persecution against the Christian? How are we to resist him (5:8,9)?
4. What does God promise to those who faithfully withstand the trials of this life (5:10)?
FAITH STEP: Read 1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6. Make a list of 10 things that are worrying you and a list of 10 things you are thankful for. . In prayer thank God for the blessings you have and then ask him to take over control of the things worrying you. Claim the peace promised after doing this.
SATURDAY: Take a few minutes to read all of 1 Peter. Find one command that you really need to focus on obeying, one promise that you can claim, one blessing to thank God for and one description of God that you wan to praise him for. Write these down on an index card and carry them with you this next week to review as you go through your daily routine.