It was good to reconnect with my Tuesday morning prayer group. I then slipped into the County Commissioners administrative meeting to observe their activities and then headed to my Rotary meeting. On my way to Loveland, my car began to lose power and I limped into a Firestone shop and found I needed a new alternator. Thanks to my friend Jim Welker for coming to my rescue. He lives on a lake in Loveland, I took a picture from his deck while waiting for my car repair.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:19 HCSB
As our culture has moved from glorifying virtue to glorifying evil behavior, we find the words of scripture bringing perspective and encouragement. Peter is writing to believers facing persecution, trials of their faith and living in a world that is hostile toward a Christian lifestyle.
As we read chapter four it is like he says, “enough already!” We read his words, “For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry.” (1 Peter 4:3 HCSB) It is important to know that you don’t represent Christ by having an arrogant, “I’m better than you” attitude; but it is equally important to see that we don’t represent Christ by living our lives by the standards of the culture around.
The world is looking for those who will embrace them in their evil conduct and make them feel better about they way they live. When that doesn’t happen, they lash out. “…they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of wild living—and they slander you.” (1 Peter 4:4 HCSB)
What is the believer’s response? Give in? Run and hide? Lash out? We should, as Peter says, “be serious and disciplined for prayer. Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:7,8 HCSB)
Peter tells his reader that if they are going to “suffer” it is better to suffer for the cause of Christ and not because of evil behavior. “None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name.” (1 Peter 4:15,16 HCSB)
Christians are to be committed to a lifestyle that is honorable to Christ. It is not easy and it will not always be affirmed by the present culture. But our right conduct is not to be a source of shame but one that should be lived with the confidence that we bear Christ’s name. We are to bring glory to Christ and gain strength from a continual commitment to Christ and the strength He provides.
Prayer to today… Lord, thank You that Your word challenges us how to live in our world today. Enable Your people to “stay above the fray” of all that is taking place and will take place as your coming draws near. Allow Your people to stay focused on You and committed to Your ways.