Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Believer's Survival Guide

How to live in this world while you are looking forward to eternity.

spiritual warfare, enemy, suffering

1 Peter 2:12  Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world.

1 Peter 3:13-18 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?

14 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.

15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

It is important for God's children to behave differently than the rest of the world, Peter tells us to live "properly" in front of our unbelieving neighbors, they are watching you and you need to be concerned about what they see.

Peter has been telling the recipients of his letter that they will suffer, as an alien in an ungodly culture, there will be attacks. The ungodly will harass and persecute believers and so we need to be ready for it and know how to defend ourselves and we need to know how to cope with not fitting in.

Be Careful How You Live

Survival Guide Tip #1

There is a pretty good chance that if you do the right thing then very few people will try and harm you or give you a difficult time. Being passionate about living with the fruit of the spirit will silence most of your critics.

This isn't always true, your passion for goodness will be more than some people can take, sometimes a righteous person will suffer at the hand of godless men because your virtuous life will irritate them.

Worship God Constantly

Survival Guide Tip #2

Instead of worrying about it we should be worshiping and honoring God. Our concern should be with God and his desire for my life but instead we take our eyes off of him and worry about what man can do and what they may think about us.

Jesus is Lord and we need to remember that is sovereign and he is in control. It takes a total surrender to God to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord in the midst of your pain and suffering. If God's plan and purpose is to work through you in your suffering then you should rejoice that he is working his plan out through you.

Be Ready To Explain

Survival Guide Tip #3

Your godly living will make a stir and people will probably have some questions for you. After you have their attention you should be ready to tell them why you are so strange. We should be able to give a polite, biblical answer to explain the motivation for our lifestyle and the reason that we are a Christian.

You may think, "How will that help me?" The fact is if you don't fully understand what you believe and why then there is the possibility that you will doubt what you believe when the pressure is on.

A Pure Conscience

Survival Guide Tip #4

You have to rely on your conscience when the accusations and insults are flying at you, your conscience is a device that God gave you to keep you out of trouble, it is a source of conviction or affirmation.

If the conscience knows that we are in sin, it will nag at us. If the conscience knows that we are living in obedience, it will affirm us and help us realize that our accusers are wrong.

It is up to us to decide why we are suffering. Are you suffering for doing good? Are you suffering because God is trying to correct you?

Thank you Lord for giving me hope and encouraging me with the wisdom found in your word.