Prayer: O God, teach me through your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Standing before the bema
14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed.
Our devotion writer explains; “…because the very spot where Paul stood to face Gallio, proconsul of Achaia (Acts 18:12-17), is clearly evident by the existence of the bema—a raised platform where public speeches were made and legal judgements rendered…Here Paul faced his accusers and gave his witness.”
Paul, as we have learned, was not a cowering “violet.” He had an internal conviction and stood fast to his faith and his beliefs. For him, discomfort was worth suffering for the sake of the Gospel. The words that Peter writes for us today, show us that we can use Paul as an example of one who did right in the face of persecution and harm.
Our devotion writer again; “Paul’s confidence was justified. No bema-moments need ever be a threat for us when we are convinced about the love of God in Christ, the grace that blesses and sustains us, and God who is ever faithful.”
18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.
Prayer: “Fill me with the confidence, power, and joy of your Holy Spirit, O God, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
1 Peter 3:13-22
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.