“For it is time for judgement to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us; what will be the outcome of those who do not obey the gospel of God.” – 1 Peter 4:17
Scripture reading: 1 Peter 4:15-18
When we suffer for being a follower of Jesus Christ we will be blessed. However, it is not good to suffer for doing wrong. Peter specifically tells us not to suffer for being a murderer, thief, evildoer or meddler. Jesus taught that saying “you fool” is considered murder and stealing starts with desiring what does not belong to you. An evildoer is anyone who does anything considered to be evil by God. A meddler wants to know everything and thinks he can fix everyone’s problems.
If we are honest, we have to admit that we do these things at times and deserve to be punished. But as followers of Jesus Christ, when we suffer for doing sinful things, we should not turn from God. Instead, as His children, we are to turn to God, seeking His forgiveness. Then we can go on our way thankfully, glorifying God, seeing that God punished us to purify us, so that more and more we live for Him in the joy of our salvation.
Peter goes on to ask that if God brings judgement on us to purify us, what will He do to those who do not follow the gospel call to repent and believe in Jesus Christ? When Peter quotes Proverbs 11:31, he does so to warn us: accept His discipline, repent and believe. Those who are ungodly and sin with no care in this life will receive their suffering, not as a purifying force, but as an eternal punishment in hell.
Suggestion for prayer
That we would accept the discipline of the Lord as a blessing that is purifying us as His beloved children.
Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.