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We continue the sermon series, Seek Peace and Pursue It with the sermon, Engaging.  It seems that we are witnesses to a perfect storm of unrest.  The tension in our society and in our lives is like a pressure cooker which has reached its limit and is about to explode!  It is impacting our homes, our cities, and our nation.  God does not want us to explode, instead God wants us to release the pressure of our lives with hope and joy.  Maybe we have been lazy about genuine peace.  A lazy peace is only concerned about “my” peace, but unconcerned when others are suffering.  As believers, we are lulled into contentment because everything is good in our world.  This week, we turn to 1 Peter 3:8-18.  The Apostle Peter quotes Psalm 34 which we used last week, and he helps us to better apply pursuing peace to the pressure of our lives.  These early Christians were suffering.  They were being insulted, shamed, and mistreated.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter tells them that what they were enduring is a blessing not a curse! How can this be?  As he writes to the early believers, he gives us great direction for our time.  Peter wants them engage in a peace that will see them through tough times!  As you read 1 Peter 3:8-18, we pray that you will sense the release of the tension in your heart and be filled with the Holy Spirit!  1 Peter 3:8-18: 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. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.  (NIV)