Together in Christ: 'Insulted and Blessed?' — 1 Peter 4:14-16

Thursday, March 21, 2024

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If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people's affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

— 1 Peter 4:14-16 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus left a powerful example of being a blessing to others even when He was insulted and wrongly treated in His trials and crucifixion. [1] The Lord also taught that, since His adversaries abused Him, they would likely abuse us as His followers: We shouldn't be surprised when we are insulted or persecuted for wearing the name of Christian. [2]

One reality that makes Peter's words in our passage today so powerful is that he did what he commanded these early Christians (and us who read his letter today) to do while facing persecution. [3] His letter, 1 Peter, is full of practical teaching on living under the scrutiny of adversaries and the unfairness and abuse from those who are not believers while we make sure that we have lived exemplary lives so that anything we suffer is unfair and unjust. [4]

Peter never lets us forget that our goal, even under suffering, is to love our enemies as Jesus taught [5] and to have lives that eventually lead even those who hold us as enemies to ask us about our hope. [6] We have "the privilege of being called by" Jesus' name as His disciples. Let's praise God for that grace in both good times and hard times, never forgetting our Lord's last command before returning to the Father: making disciples of those we have the opportunity to influence. [7]

[1] Luke 23:34; John 19:1-3, 16-18.
[2] Matthew 5:10-11, 10:21-22; Luke 6:22; John 15:20-21, 16:1-4.
[3] Acts 5:41-42.
[4] See the Related Scripture Readings below.
[5] Matthew 5:11-12, 43-48; Luke 6:27-28; Acts 7:59-60; Romans 12:14; 1 Corinthians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 2:23.
[6] 1 Peter 3:13-17.
[7] Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8, 9:15-16; 2 Timothy 3:11-12.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, I recognize You as the source of all power and love. So, dear Father, I ask that Jesus pour the Holy Spirit's love [A] into my heart in increasing measure! As the Spirit conforms me to become more and more like my Lord and Savior, [B] I pray that Jesus' attitude and actions in the face of suffering, unfairness, persecution, and ridicule will become my attitude and actions. I commit to striving for this character in my life, but I ask for Your divine help, O God. Amen.

[A] Romans 5:5.
[B] 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Peter 1:3-9, 2:1-12, 3:8-17
  • 1 Peter 4:1-9, 12-19, 5:10-11

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Illustration

Illustration of 1 Peter 4:14-16 NLT — If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people's affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.