Only By the Spirit [1 Peter 3, TNIV]

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, 'Whoever among you would love life and see good days must keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'

Peter, the apostle who denied Jesus three times and then by the power of the Holy Spirit became one of the men who turned the world upside down through his powerful preaching of the gospel, wrote this letter to encourage persecuted Christians to live radically in the face of their suffering. But the above passage without the context the the rest of 1 Peter can be misleading. From these few verses it can look like Peter was telling them to do these good things and they will be righteous. However, as you spend time reading and pondering the rest of the letter, you can see that the power to live right comes from Jesus and His grace. When you fix your hope on Jesus and fill with His Spirit, then, the overflow will be 1 Peter 3:8-12. May you daily meditate on the truth of the gospel of Christ, grow in His grace and let it spill out into this world that is desperate for God's love.
Beth Warlick, 10/8/2008