Wednesday, February 25th
For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 1 Peter 3:10-14
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:1-5
We continue today with passages that are similar to the ones from yesterday. The 1 Peter passages above also point out quite clearly the necessity of setting aside worldly ways and resisting the ongoing pressure the world exerts on us and of yielding to the transforming work of God's Spirit for all the good and right living God has in store for us. But these passages (as indicated by the highlighted portions) point out an additional challenge that comes from leaving behind worldly ways of living and embracing godly ways of living. It is the challenge that comes from people we know who react negatively to the new approach to life that has come about in our lives. So, the pressure that comes from the world to us as believers in Christ is both the appeal of worldly ways and the reaction of people to our change in lifestyle. The pressure the world exerts can be magnified even further for some of us when the appeal of worldly ways and the reactions of worldly people blend together to create a megaforce with we must contend and it can be quite an overwhelming thing. As was said earlier, we face powerful and effective pressures from our culture that frequently and significantly derail us as believers in Christ from living out our faith in the way God desires. So again, the call of God is for us to become fully established in the daily discipline of prayer.
Lord, help me to see more clearly than ever before the difference between a worldly lifestyle and a godly lifestyle. Please, help commitments and convictions to be established in my life concerning what belongs and what doesn't belong. Deliver me from relying on my own understanding or my own strength for contending with the forces of culture that I am influenced by on a daily basis. Lord, on a daily basis, help me to seek you in prayer, be with you in prayer, experience you in prayer, be changed by you in prayer, be filled with you in prayer, and be empowered by you in prayer for living life victoriously day by day.
Posted on Wed, February 25, 2015
by Ken Hart