I feel honored and privileged each week as I pray for our Church. I read and I listen, in contemplation as I'm led, I write. I write our devos in the hope to amplify and apply the sacred text. I write trustfully that some small part of the truth of the text will lodge in the heart and ultimately be incarnated in our living. This week we take a break from our study of Acts to focus on the daily art of considering Jesus. Read them prayerfully, intentionally and instructively. If they speak to you, share them with others. Blessings, Dave Edwards
“. . . no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:2
Of all the disciples, Peter was the natural leader of the twelve, commanding the respect of his peers by the sheer force of his personality. Peter had enormous influence in the early church. He was by far the most powerful figure in the community of believers. His high-powered preaching, fierce prayer, fearless healing and wise council confirmed the trust they placed in him.
The way Peter handled himself in that position of power is even more impressive than the power itself. He stayed out of the spotlight, he led humbly, he didn’t throw his weight around, he was extremely careful and honorable in his submission to Jesus. He could have used his bold demeanor and personality to get the upper hand in leadership. He could have easily taken over and used the prominence of his association with Jesus to promote himself.
Peter had let go of living for the lust of approval from others. From what we know of the early stories of Peter, he had all the makings of a bully, and worse yet, a religious bully, which is the worst kind. The fact that he didn’t clobber, steamroll or trounce others, considering the frequency that spiritual leaders do just that today, is impressive. As a leader, Peter was a breath of fresh air.
Peter had followed the will of God by following in the steps of Jesus, and by doing so, had the qualities of Jesus – a willingness to embrace suffering rather than fame, a wisdom developed from experience not from a book, a tenderness that came from brokenness and a humble spirit.
In spite of all of Peter’s failings, the worst of him had not gotten the best of him. By following in the example of Jesus, Peter became a boldly confident servant of Jesus Christ. His life is a compelling example of what he writes to you and me in this verse.
What areas in your life do you feel the tension between your ways and God’s will?