Do you ever wonder if as a nation of Christians we are refusing God, if we are enduring discipline as sons? I do! My thoughts take me to the situation the world is in. We live in a world that is so far from God’s ways that it is astonishing. Are we suffering from Spiritual Amnesia?
I know there are many faithful Christians. I also believe there are many who have forgotten or have not yet learned what God wants from us. I’m not judging, I’m simply thinking out loud.
Every single day we are bombarded with sin. The television news, radio, all types of media is saturated with murders, violence, hatred, and sexual impurities of every kind imaginable. We are overwhelmed with speeches and lies from people who neither love nor fear God, we are persuaded to be tolerant of sin. New labels for covering up or trying to excuse sin are given to us almost daily. Plainly said…evil is no longer recognized as evil and sin is no longer called sin. Ecclesiastes reminds me in Chapter 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Hebrews 12 starts by reminding us of the testimonies of faithful witnesses, those who endured every hardship imaginable. We are told in Heb 12:2-3 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. We are reminded in verse 4 that —-In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. In verse 7 and following, we’re told to endure hardship as discipline that God is treating us as sons. He disciplines us for our good so we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
I believe we, as Christians, should start today being bold for Christ. We need to open our mouths and speak out against the sin and evil in this world as we are confronted with it each day. We can spread seed all day long in almost every conversation. If we have God’s word hidden in our hearts we can share it easily in everyday “around the cooler” type of conversation. How? Whenever you are confronted with almost any topic, you can share God’s view. God will not bless a nation who has turned their back on Him. Make an inner commitment to Christ. We don’t have to be speechless when it comes to defending our faith.
1 Peter 3:15-17 But in your hearts set apart 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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Heb 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Ok…if you are wondering what holiness looks like, then read on———-
1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:17-live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:15-17 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
1 Peter 3:1 Wives are to be submissive to their husbands.
1 Peter 3-7 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 4:1-3 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do — living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
1 Peter 4:7-11 Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:5-9 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
I apologize for the length of this. These thoughts have been on my mind for quite sometime. I pray each reader will consider the passages I shared today. If we practice living by all of these examples daily, we can say with confidence “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20-21