For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 2:19-25 For some reason, my two oldest boys like coming in to work with me. Seriously, I don't do much that one could consider exciting: I begin my day with a personal study of the word (When they come with me, they have to do one too), a write a devotional post, usually work on a sermon, counsel people (if they show up), clean around my desks (they get messy after a while), and work on various projects. Not particularly exciting. When I asked them why, they said "we like being with you and watching you work." This morning, this got me thinking about my Heavenly Father, and how I'm called to follow His Son, Jesus. Consider those words, "follow Me." I could likely write an entire sermon series and preach for weeks just on those two words. So simple, and yet, the weight of them are so heavy! What is Jesus really saying in those words? What else could He mean, words my children live toward me (Whether I ask them to or not), but "Follow in My Footesteps"? And what does that mean? It means that we must not merely walk in His perfect love, but also share in His joys, and His sufferings. We won't merely receive blessings when we surrender to Him, but also the tribulations and persecutions that go along with it. Jesus' life was perfect, but He suffered for it! He faced those who were jealous, those who were bound by traditions contrary to the will of the Father, and those who, simply, just didn't understand where He was coming from. If we, like my boys with me, desire to be near Him, we must understand that to be close to Him also means to share in what He also faced. Yet we can count it a joy and a blessing, indeed an honor, to suffer alongside the Risen Christ, for if He suffered and died, and yet was glorified, we who are called to walk in His footsteps will share in the same, for it is what He promised.