It’s All In The Attitude

I Peter 3

1 Peter 3 8 9

Aretha Franklin said it best in her hit song:   RESPECT – all she needed and wanted  was to be given a little bit of respect.   Are we not the same?  In I Peter 3 the apostle starts off by reminding the readers that they are to give respect and behave respectfully so that others will be won to Christ through their exemplary conduct.    What it all boils down to; summarizing his words is that;  in relationships mutual respect is key for both individuals, having the attitude of  honoring  the other person above themselves.  Imagine if everyone in our world today adopted this same kind of respectful attitude.  What a different world we would live in.

Have you ever seen someone who was dressed beautifully but then opened their mouth to display an ugly attitude?  Isn’t  it always disappointing to see?  In this chapter the apostle Peter reminds us that true beauty is found on the inside.  Our attitudes and  actions towards others speak louder than the clothing or jewelry we wear or the hairstyle we choose.  God desires for us to be beautiful on the inside and shine that outwardly.  In our world today we seem to be bombarded with the notion that beauty can be bought or acquired through purchasing – however true beauty is a quality that cannot be bought or sold.

Further on in verse 7 and 8 He points out that answers to prayer can be hindered by actions and attitudes of not being respectful toward one another.  We are not to be quarrelsome, we are to seek peace and pursue it.  This is the righteous expectation that believers are called to.  In verse 12 we are reminded that the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears attend to their prayers.

We are to live righteous lives being sure of the hope we have in Christ.  In the final section of I Peter 3 the apostle Peter reminds the believers that they are to be sure of the hope they have.  This hope is believing  that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, that his death provides forgiveness and salvation from sin, and that his resurrection gives us the hope of eternal life.  Belief in these things and the outward symbol of baptism is the indicator of the believer’s new life with Christ.   With this new life in Christ, the believer is then called to live a life of righteousness that pleases God our Father.

-Merry Peterson

 

 

Why Do Some Prayers Go Unanswered?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Matt 7-7

Before I even begin to try to answer this beast of a question, I want to say that it’s a question that is still tough for me, and you may find my answer completely inadequate. That’s fine. I just want to share some of my thoughts on the matter.

First, I want to go slightly off topic and talk about hearing the voice of God. Some people have the opinion that there are far fewer people in the world today that God chooses to reveal himself to than there were in the times of the Bible. However, I believe that even in the times of the Bible, God rarely let anyone hear his voice. The Bible has stories of a few select people to whom God chose to speak directly, people like Moses, Samuel and the other prophets and Jesus. This is only a handful of people and I don’t think it is any surprise that the vast majority of us will live our whole earthly lives without ever actually hearing God’s voice. There is no verse in the Bible that says that God will stop speaking to man, so I see no reason to exclude that possibility, but I think it is highly unlikely to happen to any one of us.

Now when we pray for something and that prayer goes unanswered, that can be hard to deal with. We can feel hurt and betrayed when we are praying for something particularly important, like the health of a loved one. When this kind of prayer goes unanswered, how do we reconcile that with 1 John 5:14? That verse says that if we ask God anything according to His will, that he will hear us. Does this mean that when we pray for healing and that prayer isn’t granted that for someone to stay unhealthy is God’s will? I actually don’t believe that. In fact, I believe very strongly that God desires with all his heart for us to live long, healthy and fruitful lives (Deuteronomy 6:2, 1 Kings 3:14, Ephesians 6:3). The reason, I believe, that prayers go unanswered, is because he is very hands-off with the Earth since creation. I know many people disagree with this, and there are certainly examples of God interacting with the world and providing miracles, but on the whole, the world behaves as he planned for it to. When we pray for something to happen, God uses us, people, to do his work. When we pray for healing, he provides humans, their brains and a logical world that makes sense when observed closely that have led to the development of medicine that can be used to provide healing. When we pray for a new job, he can change our minds so that we use the skills that he intended for us to have when he created us. In this way our prayers are answered. When they go unanswered, it isn’t that God has been answering your prayers up until now and has decided that this prayer is unworthy of a response. It is that what he has provided to answer those prayers (his servants), aren’t able to fulfill that request.

Like I said in the beginning, you may not find this answer adequate. That just means that we need to study further, because I believe that God always provides us with answers. If we can’t seem to find one, then maybe we aren’t looking in the right place (Matthew 7:7). Keep looking and keep praying so that we can become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

-Nathaniel Johnson