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July 20 – Sojourners love life and see good days

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. – 1 Peter 3:8,9

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 3:8-12

Some of you may have been thinking that since you are not a wife, a husband, a servant, or an employee, that none of what Peter writes applies to you. But here Peter brings it all home. “Finally,” he says, this call to loving, compassionate, Christ-like surrender and service of one another, applies to all of you.

Peter calls us to love one another as brothers. This call to compassion and tender-heartedness is a beautiful description of the church of God. It also remains for us exiles the most effective cultural strategy there could be. They will know we are Christians by our love.

When we are sinned against, or when we are reviled, because of what Christ has done for us, we may follow His example of not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling. That is never easy. It may cost us, but never more than what we have been given in the gospel. By God’s grace, we seek to be at peace, to overcome evil with good and put up with ridicule. Because we know the hope of our calling, we have the certainty of our inheritance.

That is why, even in trying circumstances, we can say, “We love life! These are good days!” That’s astounding if you think about it. But we have been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus! Peter also gives us this assurance from Psalm 34: The eyes of the Lord are fixed upon us; His ears are attentive to our cries.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to increase your love for one another in the church. Thank God that by grace we may love life and see good days. Thank Him for His loving, watchful care.

Rev. John A. Bouwers is pastor of the Hope Reformed Church (URCNA) in Brampton, ON, where he has served since December 2017. He is married to Julie and they have been blessed with six children and twelve grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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