God's Refining Process – Surprising, Strange?

Paul Hostetter

READ : 1 Peter 4:12-19 . . . don’t panic . . . when caught in God’s spiritual refining process, count yourself fortunate (my paraphrase) When life really gets difficult do you feel God is not on the job? Do you believe that bad things should never happen to good people? If that were God’s structure of things, Jesus never would have died. In dying he saved us, but he also set a pattern we should look for and be …

Above All Else, Love Extravagantly

Paul Hostetter

READ : 1 Peter 4:8-11 . . . love each other intensely . . . use your wonderful gifts of service to each other lavishly (my paraphrase) Peter keeps on giving us commands like a well-trained Jew. But his commands are suffused and permeated with love. They are not harsh legal demands and threats. Peter is a Jew transformed by Jesus, a changed person with a new, dynamic outlook on God’s commands and design for living. Let’s review his commands …

Peter's Posture on Paganism

Paul Hostetter

READ : 1 Peter 4:1-5 . . . do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation . . . (v. 4) Peter pulls no punches about paganism. If he were to visit the USA today I am sure he would say we have gotten soft and spineless in our attitude toward sin. He sums up sinful behavior as ‘what pagans choose to do.’ His command to believers is: arm yourselves with the same conviction as Jesus-aim at …

How to Surprise the Opposition

Paul Hostetter

READ : 1 Peter 3:15-18 Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. (The Message) While serving as Minister of Mission and Evangelism during the early 80s at the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California, one of my duties was to advise the volunteers who led tours for visitors who came to see our then new, stunning and well-publicized glass sanctuary and ministry campus. These volunteers complained to me, …

How to Suppress the Fear Factor

Paul Hostetter

READ : 1 Peter 3:13-14 God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry about what people might do. (NIV) Peter keeps on adding directives for living. What about the fear factor? Think a moment-what weighs heaviest on your worry circuit-the people who might hurt you, or the unfairness that might be dished out to you even for doing good? Is there a safe haven, a fearless cove where you might hide? You can’t really hide or escape …