For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome
From 1 Peter:
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people; 2and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. 3For you have tasted that Adonai is good.
9Taste, and see that Adonai is good.
How blessed are those who take refuge in him!
In the fellowship groupings of Christ there should be no malice, deceit, hypocrisy, or envy. There should be none of the ways men use to speak against people. It is more effective to speak, if it is necessary, about what is good; that would be teaching practice in the opposing values of malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy. Social media give an accurate picture of the heart of society with an abundance of what should not be. There is ample evidence of backbiting, malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy.
This darkness can be fought by the same means that assist the believer in the process of growing in the spirit. Peter says be thirsty for the pure milk of the Word for by it the believer will grow up into deliverance from these destructive ways. Initial reuniting with the God of creation from the sin bound life brings a taste of Him that is good. He intends that the believer get more than just a taste.
Malice is the “desire to cause pain for the satisfaction of doing harm.” It comes in many forms: cattiness, hatefulness, meanness, spite, abusiveness, cruelty. The opposite of malice then, which one would expect to see demonstrated in fellowships of Christ are: devotion, love, amiability, civility, cordiality, friendliness, hospitality. The extent to which malice shows up in the social mainstream demands its opposing values be in full force in the fellowship of believers.
Deceit is the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery. It too comes in many ways, more subversive because of their nature. It comes or shows up as cunning, foxiness, dishonesty, furtiveness. The opposites for which the fellowship of believers should be known are: candor, directness, frankness, openness. These may make the believer seem childish or naïve in a culture full of deceit that is practiced without judgment.
Hypocrisy is the pretending of having virtues, principles or beliefs that one in fact does not have. It can show up as insincerity, piousness, dishonesty, self-righteousness. This is a term often used too loosely with the intent to attack. Its opposites are truthfulness, artlessness, naturalness, genuineness and sincerity. When truth is presented in a world that is used to judgmental statements, it often attracts the attack that calls the bearer of truth, one who practices hypocrisy. This term was used by Jesus to call out the need for correction among those who claimed to know God but followed the teachings of men.
Peter calls the believer to be like newborn babes who taste the mother’s milk and want more. The believer will grow into honesty, candor, openness, truthfulness, genuineness, without an agenda other than to seek the truth of the Word of God, “thirsty for the pure milk of the Word.”
“Taste and see” leads to a vulnerable state of being, as a newborn open to criticism, cunning, attempts to discredit. The believer, however, can identify the unseen source of these attempts is the enemy who would destroy this babe. The infant is not defenseless; it has a Father who has given an arsenal of weapons to use against the attacks. This infant can “grow up into deliverance” by the Word of God.
Taste and see that Adonai is good. How blessed are those who take refuge in him. – Psalmist.
Pray – Those who seek Adonai lack nothing good. It shows in their lifestyle. It shows in their relationships.
Repent – I repent for those times I engaged in actions that could be called malicious or deceitful.
Ask – I have tasted and the Lord is good. Teach me the fear of Adonai. Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceiving talk.
Yes – I will bless Adonai at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth. Psalm 34
Source: 1 Peter and Psalms