For His Name Alone

For His Name Alone
1 Peter 3:8-9
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 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.
“Repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called…” What if this is actually why we were saved? Instead of focusing on simply escaping Hell or “inheriting a blessing,” what if God intended us to be in relationship with others the way that He is in relationship to you and I. Posing this question doesn’t make Heaven any less a reality or our inheritance therein, but since Peter says it here, what if this is the purpose of our salvation?
You know Peter would’ve been present when Jesus said things like “love your enemy, go the extra mile and turn the other cheek.” So, since Jesus placed such emphasis on loving our offenders, maybe Peter (leader of the Disciples) places emphasis on it for us as well, because it is the point to a life on mission. It is the key to a life redeemed and it is the very purpose of the (saved) living walking amongst “the dead.”
It is a hard teaching. It was for Jesus’ audience. It was for Peter’s reader, and it is just as difficult for you and I. In fact, it cannot be done in our own power. It is a call that requires His strength and inspiration. Apart from the empowering of the Holy Spirit it is humanly impossible. It requires seeking no blessing in return, and it is absent of personal recognition. It requires that you abandon the need to be “right,” and the seeking of credit for the good you do. Apart from the peace that comes from a job well done, and the assurance of God’s smile upon you, there is no other accolade to expect until the hereafter itself. This is true worship of Jesus in Spirit and in truth. It is our call. The question is… is it also our desire?
If this is what salvation truly meant, do we still want it? Do we still want our life hidden in His and our legacy aligned with His name? Are we OK to never be known as long as He is remembered? And, are we going to bless those that curse us, …love those that hate us and …pray for those that intentionally smite us? “because to this you were called.” Today, Church, let us love as we were loved… by Him, … and today, let us live as we’ve been called to … for Him. Today, for His name alone.