“… the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request.” 1 Peter 3.11
Who are the “righteous” that the Lord sees them and opens His ears to their requests? Because I want US to be those people!
God has placed His Righteousness in us at salvation (Romans 1:17). So what is the evidence that we are living-out that righteousness within the body of Christ, our congregation? Who are these people?
In 1 Peter 3.8-11 the answer is:
1. “Like-minded” people — united in spirit & purpose, of the same disposition. I see our uniting purpose as “leading people to life-changing encounters with Jesus.”
2. “Sympathetic” people — sharing each others emotions, grieving together and rejoicing together. When someone prospers or succeeds, do you get jealous? Or rejoice with them?
3. Those who “love believers” — same word as “Philadelphia” or brotherly love.
4. “Compassionate” people — feel genuine pity and tenderness toward each other.
5. “Humble” people — are friendly, kind, courteous, and consider others before self.
6. People “not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult” — not retaliatory, “insult” is literally “spearing.”
7. People “giving a blessing, since you were called for this” — they encourage each other.
8.”Keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit” kind of people — no fraud, exaggeration, gossip, dishonesty, or guile.
9. People who “turn away from evil and do what is good”
10. People who “seek peace and pursue it” — they are peacemakers and unifiers.
And the result for the congregation that lives out these “righteous” ways will be:
1. “You can inherit a blessing” (v.9)
2. You will “love life and see good days” (v.10)
3. AND BACK WHERE WE STARTED! “… the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request.” 1 Peter 3.11
Oh! How I want the Lord’s eyes upon us and His ears open to us!
Perhaps you have seen this quote floating around the Internet or have heard it said,
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, points out that the tell-tale sign that God’s righteousness is obviously present or absent is in HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS!
The most important command is to “Love God.” OK, that’s easy, He’s perfect and its easy to love a perfect, flawless person.
The second most important command is to “Love your neighbor.” OK, that’s not easy, neighbors are imperfect, dysfunctional, have problems, hang-on to their hang-ups, and are even sinners. But guess what?! It is in those relationships with those all around us, who have “battles” we know nothing about, that we are to demonstrate “righteousness.”
Oh our Father, everyone we meet today is fighting a battle about which we may or may not know. We earnestly desire for Your eyes to be upon us and Your ears open to us. Fill us with Your compassion to overflowing. May the overflow spill over into the lives of those we encounter today.