Put It Away

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”
1 Peter 2:1

I am on Twitter (@edblonski and @truemen). I am on Facebook. These two social media powerhouses are excellent ways to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a so much wider audience than I can in person, face-to-face.

That’s why I use them.

I broadcast a short devotion Monday through Friday on Facebook Live. I post a written devotion also.

I interact with dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of people every day.

But if you’ve ever been on Facebook or Twitter you know that there is a negative side to them.

If you spend any time on Facebook or Twitter you are quickly confronted with hate and vitriol like nothing or nowhere else!

So many people spouting so much ugliness about politics, religion, race, sports teams, celebrities, and on and on.

Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have thought that much unkindness and impoliteness and hatred could possibly exist!

This is where the 1 Peter 2 passage comes in. I try very hard to do what Peter says in verse 1, especially on Facebook and Twitter. Our world might be a more peaceful place if more people also did that – on social media as well as in the real world.

Of course, sharing the Gospel face-to-face is, by far, the best way to carry out what Jesus empowered us to do with his death and resurrection.

This is where carrying out 1 Peter 2:1 will have its greatest effect.

Do not doubt me on this. People are watching us Christians. Closely. And if we do not put away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander, then they will not listen to us tell them about Jesus Christ!

It’s all about relationships, and that is what Peter is getting at. What he’s telling us to “put away” will have the result of strengthening our relationships with other people.

Jesus modeled this kind of living perfectly. He loved the unlovable, touched the untouchable, and prayed for those who were killing him.

When Jesus called us to proclaim his Gospel to the world, the Holy Spirit inspired the Scripture writers to tell us how to build relationships so that we could do this in the most effective ways possible!

Whether we are on social media or talking to someone at the coffee shop or in the produce aisle, put away all the ugliness and love others as God in Christ loves us!

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Not Why. Rather, What For?

Peter was in a place he never imagined he would be.Why me

Those three years seemed to go by in a blink of an eye. Yet, that day on the beach seemed like a lifetime ago.

He and his brother fished all night, catching nothing. In the morning, an itinerant preacher came by and asked to use his boat to preach from. After the sermon, a miraculous catch of fish, and then Peter heard the words of Jesus he would never, ever forget.

“Follow me, I will make you fishers of men. Do not be afraid.”

Afraid? Peter wasn’t afraid of anything! He would stand up to even Jesus when he didn’t like what he was hearing!

But then the betrayal by Judas, the arrest by the temple guards, and the farce of a trial at the High Priest’s house.

This man who earlier wasn’t afraid to confess boldly that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of Living God, cowered in fear before a servant girl. All she did was ask him if he was one of Jesus’ followers.

Three times, Peter ended up denying he even knew Jesus.

Then the crucifixion and the bitterness of living through that Saturday with the knowledge that he had all but nailed Jesus to that cross.

Yes, all that changed the next day. Jesus was suddenly there! The tomb was empty – he had seen it was empty – and Jesus was there with him in the upper room that afternoon!

Then Jesus was gone. Peter saw Him ascend to the heavens.

Peter mulled that over for 10 days.

He gathered again with his brothers and sisters in the Upper Room. Suddenly a loud sound, like a rushing wind, and what appeared to be tongues of flame!

This was it! The promised gift! Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit and this was it!

This man who stood up to the Son of God, then cowered in fear before a servant girl, now found himself standing before a crowd of thousands.

“Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.”

And when he was finished speaking, the Holy Spirit converted over 3000 people – the Christian Church was born and set into motion!

Ah, those were heady days for Peter. But now he finds himself in a very different place. Chained to a wall, in a damp and dark Roman jail. His death sentence was delivered and he was waiting for his own crucifixion.

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials….”

Peter didn’t ask, “Why?” As in “Why me?” Rather, he focused on “What for?” For what reason do we suffer? What will be the good in my own death on a cross?

“…so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

When you go through tough and terrible times, it is only natural to ask, “Why me?”

But I challenge you (and myself!), by the power of the Holy Spirit, to ask instead, “What for?” And to know this answer – to give God glory so others may know the hope that you have within you!