by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
1 Peter 2:13–17
Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God (1 Pet. 2:16).
God tells his people how to live in the present world. First, we must know that our lives are battlefields of the war between evil desires and the redeeming power. Abstain from evil, God teIls us. Let your good works witness to the grace of God.
Then God instructs us about the relationship between authority and obedience. Many of the Christians addressed in Peter's first letter were slaves. They were the property of other people. They could be kept, chained, beaten, and sold. Slaves who became Christians needed a good deal of Christian maturity to handle their new situation, for they were now free in Christ. They had no master other than their Lord. Yet part of their responsible use of freedom was to submit voluntarily to their temporary owners.
"Live as free men," Peter wrote. All Christians should live as free women and free men. All of us are inclined to pay too much attention to what others say. We are too susceptible to both criticism and flattery. Neither the abrasion of criticism nor the suction of flattery should cause us to lose our freedom. Our behavior does not depend on what others say.
At the same time, we may never be self-assertive about our freedom, for we are the servants of Christ. No human is our lord, but we should always be ready to serve anyone because Christ is our master.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version