By: Waylon Bailey ~
The apostle Peter wrote to the persecuted and dispersed church about relationships. He told slaves how to get along with their masters. He helped husbands and wives, giving specific instructions to each. He even helped the church know how to survive in the midst of a hostile government and culture.
Near the conclusion of his section on relationships, the apostle called for the entire church to work on its relationship with God’s family.
These are four things he commanded the church to do. These are areas we can all do to bless our churches and to become more effective in sharing the gospel of Christ.
First, treat everyone in the church with brotherly affection and concern. The words “brotherly affection” comes from the Greek word “Philadelphia” which describes warm concern for one another.
Peter wanted the members of the church to be sympathetic (suffering for one another), tenderhearted, like-minded, and humble.
These kinds of attitudes and actions bless the church.
Second, Peter wanted the church to follow the example of Jesus. Churches which put Jesus at the heart of the church and exalt Him in all things will be blessed churches.
As you relate to other Christians and others in the church, follow the example of Jesus who did not return evil for evil or insult for insult. We should do as He told us and pray for those who despitefully use us.
Third, use your speech to bless and not to harm. Words have lasting quality. Good words bless for eternity while hurtful words harm the church and destroy its ministry.
One popular paraphrase of the New Testament at this point calls on the church to shun “sharp tongued sarcasm.”
What church wouldn’t be blessed if we all were careful about our how we speak to one another? Let our language be pure and pleasing to Christ and any church will be blessed.
Finally, be more concerned with your actions than other people’s actions. We should be harsh toward our actions and gentle toward those of others. The result will be a change in how you act and speak and a blessing to the church.
Peter concluded his encouragement to the church with the words of Psalm 34: ” For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears attentive to their prayer.”
As we seek to please God with all our hearts, we will bless the church.
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