A MEDITATION ON THE FIRST BOOK OF PETER
The Lord Is My Shepherd
So be done with every trace of wickedness and all deceit
and insincerity and grudges, and slander and evil
speaking of every kind.
Like newborn babies you should earnestly desire the pure
spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow
unto complete salvation.
Since you have already tasted the goodness and
kindness of the Lord.
Come to Him then, to that Living Stone which men
tried and threw away, but which is chosen and precious in God's sight.
Come and like living stones, be yourselves built into a
spiritual house, for a holy priesthood, to offer up those spiritual
sacrifices that are acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.
For thus it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a
chosen precious chief Cornerstone, and they who believe in Him,
whom adhere to, trusts in, and relies on Him, shall never be
disappointed or put to shame.
For you then who believe is preciousness; but for those who
disbelieve it is true, The very Stone which the builders
rejected has become the main Cornerstone.
And, A Stone that will cause stumbling and a Rock that
will give people offense; they stumble because they disobey and
disbelieve God's Word, as those who reject Him were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation,
God's own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the
wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him
Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Once you were not a people at all, but now you are God's people;
once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy.
Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles in this
world to abstain from the sexual urges, the evil desires, the passions
of the flesh, and your lower nature, that wage war against the soul.
Conduct yourselves properly among the Gentiles, so that, although
they may slander you as evildoers, yet they may, by witnessing your
good deeds, come to glorify God in the day of inspection, when
God shall look upon you wanderers as a pastor or shepherd
looks over his flock.
Be submissive to every human institution and authority for
the sake of the Lord, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,
Or, to governors as sent by him to bring vengeance to those
who do wrong and to encourage those who do good service.
For it is God's will and intention that by doing right, your
good and honest lives should silence the ignorant charges and
ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons.
Live as free people, yet, without employing your freedom
as a pretext for wickedness; but live at all times as servants of God.
Show respect for all people, treat them honorably. Love the
brethren of which Christ is the Head, Reverence God,
Honor the emperor.
You who are household servants, be submissive to your masters
with all proper respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate
and reasonable, but also to those who are surly, unjust, and crooked.
For one is regarded favorably, if, in the sight of God, they endure the
pain of unjust suffering.
After all, what kind of glory is there in it if, when you do wrong
and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently
with suffering, which results when you do right and that is
undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.
For even to this were you called, it is inseparable from your vocation,
For Christ suffered for you, leaving you His personal example, so
that you should follow in His footsteps.
He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit ever found on His lips.
When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult
in return; when He was abused and suffered, he made no threats of
vengeance; but he trusted Himself and everything to Him Who judges fairly.
He personally bore our sins in His own body on the tree, as on an
altar and offered Himself on it, that we might die, cease to exist, to sin
and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
For you were going astray like so many sheep, but now you have
come back to the Shepherd and Guardian, the Bishop of your souls.
"I'd Rather Have Jesus"
Lindley Creek Band