Summary: Facing life by submitting to God, authorities, wives and spouses
Sermon: Surviving the Drought by Being Submissive I Peter 3:8-12 September 22, 2002
A. Weather Report
B. But it takes more to survive a drought then a few days of rain. It takes perseverance and change, lifestyle changes. We don’t know how long this drought is going to last. But in fact it is not about when the drought is going to end but about facing the reality of being in a drought and changing our practices, changing to get the most out of what we have. Changes that will be beneficial even if there is no drought. Changes that make sense. Changes in the way we do things like:
1) Turn the water off when you brush your teeth
2) Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load. Don’t run the water to rinse your dishes, fill the sink with water and then rinse all the dishes in the same water.
3) Instead of letting water “run to get hot”, heat it up in the microwave
4) Make changes that reflect a new attitude about water and living in the face of a drought, changes that are just good common sense for responsible living anytime not just during a drought
C. Once again we find that life in this world imitates our spiritual lives. For whether we are in a spiritual drought or not we too need to make changes in our life to reflect a new attitude, an attitude of change that reflects the reality of living life out as a Christian changes that are just good common sense for living as God would have us to even in times of drought.
1) When people are going through difficult times, the meaning of life becomes tainted by a desire for less responsibility, a sense return to the good old days, a yearning for a life with no stress, a life where nothing is happening, a life that is boring and uneventful.
2) But the reality is that we live in a world that if full of sickness and desperate needs. Many are hungry, homeless, dressed in rags, diseased, and physically and emotionally ill. And to top it off millions are lonely, empty, and unfulfilled. They feel they have no significant purpose in life. They do not love or enjoy life: life is more routine drudgery and disappointment. People are tired of living life just getting by
3) We are tired of living this way. We want to enjoy life, instead of just enduring it.
4) This is the subject of I Peter. It is a message of how to enjoy life by loving it – even when you might in the midst of pain and suffering. It is a message about how to turn your life around and find peace, not just for the moment but for a life time, for an eternity.
D. Last week we stopped after the introduction into Chapter 2 and so today we find ourselves at the beginning of some rather, shall we say, controversial verses. Verses that many would argue are not about learning to love life but about oppression and inequality for they speak of submission. People submitting to the authorities of the land, slaves submitting to their masters, women submitting to their husbands, husbands submitting to their wives. All this submitting makes us uncomfortable, makes us feel as if our human rights have been violated. We speak the word, submission with distain and distaste.
1) In fact I tried to soften the word by titling my sermon “Surviving the Drought by Loving.” But that is not being true to this scripture and I must change the title to reflect the truth of God’s Word. And so my sermon this morning is “Surviving the Drought by Submitting One to Another.”
2) Peter is writing to those who are persecuted, suffering, who feel lonely abandoned, abused to those who are living in the midst of a drought of life and he is saying submit. Submit to one another.
3) We think of submitting as giving up all that a person is to be restricted and forced into things we don’t want. But that wasn’t the way Peter saw submission and he didn’t want his words to become misconstrued or misinterpreted and so he summaries what it means to submit in Chapter 3 by restating, rewording what he said, what he meant for people to understand about submitting
E. Turn with me now if you will to that summary. I Peter 3:8 begins this summary of Peter’s thoughts and goes through to the end of the chapter. Our focus passages this morning are verses 8-12. Read with me if you will.
II. Finally…in conclusion, to finish up, ultimately, to sum up! Peter summarizes what it means to submit with five distinct things: