[March 5, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Subversive Submission

By Allison Antrim

Sometimes we live in an information-rich but context-poor world. We love soundbites and short video clips, using them to make swift judgments about events and people. We consider our thoughts and feelings first, forgetting or neglecting to think about what others think or feel. Consequently, we may find ourselves treating the Bible the same way. I know I have caught myself reading scripture quickly, scanning the verses to swiftly answer the question, “What does this mean for me right now?”

God’s word is no different from other texts in that understanding its context is crucial to a proper understanding of what it means. Establishing context starts as simply as reading the text, then answering the 5 “W” questions: who, what, when, where, and why? Repeated words and phrases must also be taken at face value, stripped of any connotations they trigger in us so we can see what God has to say. This is essentially what Dan did for us today, making it possible to access some difficult parts of the letter in 1 Peter. 

When done the way Peter describes, submission shows a watching world who Jesus is. And specifically for those who rule over us politically or at work, and for some of us, those we are married to, that don’t know God, our Jesus-like submission shines his light so brightly that they can’t ignore it forever. Such submission is truly subversive, changing us – and the world – from the inside out.

This week, how will you connect to God to turn the system from within, save your words, and reveal God’s invisible kingdom?


[Monday, March 6]

Read 1 Peter 5:1-4

Peter turns to the elders of the church, using the metaphor of shepherds and sheep to remind them to take care of the believers. He’s able to instruct them this way because he himself is an elder, and not only that, but he’s one who actually saw Jesus’ suffering with his own eyes, so he knows what servant leadership looks like. Elders in the church should fulfill their roles with a willing heart, eager to serve others, in all things modeling for the church how a servant leader lives. And Peter is confident that Jesus, whom he calls “the Chief Shepherd”, has crowns of glory to share with those faithful shepherds that care for God’s people. Such sacrificial service on earth is highly valued in heaven. Who, in your experience in church, has been a good shepherd to you? Who has been a bad shepherd? How can you let Jesus, the Chief Shepherd, heal any wounds you may have experienced from bad shepherds in the church?


[Tuesday, March 7]

Read 1 Peter 5:5-7

Right after exhorting the elders of the church to lead in a manner that honors Jesus, Peter now turns to the younger members of the church. They are to submit to their elders. Sounds easy enough – but notice how Peter follows this instruction up with three mentions of humility/being humble. “Clothe yourselves with humility”, “God…shows favor to the humble” and “Humble yourselves…under God’s mighty right hand”. Why do you think these instructions follow on the heels of the call to submission? How might verse 7 be connected to the 2 verses that came before it?


[Wednesday, March 8]

Read 1 Peter 5:8-9

Peter’s instructions continue to compel the believers to action. They are first to “be alert and of sober mind”. This is because they have an enemy who is ravenous for God’s people. Interestingly, the Greek word we see translated here as “devil” in the NIV is the word diábolos. It is referencing Satan, but giving particular emphasis to his role as a false accuser and slanderer. With this in mind, what might it look like for a Jesus follower to “resist him” and “[stand] firm in the faith?” Why does Peter bring up the fact that other believers in other places are experiencing the same sufferings as his readers?


[Thursday, March 9]

Read 1 Peter 5:10-11

It’s always difficult to encounter teachings in the Bible that mention suffering. But Peter is confident that whatever suffering the believers face, in light of eternity, it won’t last long. Not only that, but there are good things to come: “God…himself will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”. He repairs what was damaged, strengthens the weak, makes firm what was shaky, and establishes a foundation that will last. A God who does this has great power, and is surely worthy of that power forever. Have you experienced suffering connected to your faith in Jesus? What encouragement can you take from these two verses?


[Friday, March 10]

Read 1 Peter 5:12

You may recognize the name of Silas in this verse, from previous stories in Acts, 2 Corinthians, or the letters to the Thessalonains. Formerly connected with Paul, now he is with Peter, helping him to write this letter. The end of verse 12 could be read as a summary of this letter, as well as a heartfelt final instruction that echoes down through the ages to us today: “…I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.” In reading 1 Peter over the past few weeks, what is something Paul wrote that encourages you regarding the “true grace of God?” How will you “stand fast” in God’s grace in the days to come?


[Saturday, March 11]

Read 1 Peter 5:13-14

1 Peter ends with a few more greetings, a final instruction, and his well-wishes to the believers as a father in the faith. “She who is in Babylon” may be a sister church in that city, while the Mark that is mentioned is the one who wrote the Gospel of Mark. The believers are to greet one another with “a kiss of love”, and Peter sends them peace in Jesus’ name. The kiss business is not a cultural practice most of us observe, so how else might you greet other believers in God’s love this week? What would it look like for you to receive the peace Peter wishes you to have in Jesus?



{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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