Living for God
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1 Peter 4:1-6
It is said that sometimes it may be easier to die for Christ than to live for Him. We could have an argument for or against this statement with valid reasons. The point is however, that in many ways it is not easy to live for God. This is because of the fact that our spirit has to compete with our fleshly/evil desires as well as the world which more often than not represent ungodly standards and systems. We can tell that Peter had this in mind as he wrote this passage.
What does Peter tell the believers to do?
- Be armed with the attitude of Christ – Peter views attitude and specifically the attitude of Christ as a weapon (of defence). The attitude that he singles out here is that of readiness to suffer. You will remember that in Matthew 16:21-23, the Bible explains how Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. But Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked Him. Jesus’ response was very firm: “... Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns,” (v 23) was Jesus’ answer. Peter had seen Jesus’ attitude towards suffering and he had come to learn that it was a weapon against sin. Many people will tell you that their reason for living in sin is for fear of suffering in whatever form. When we emulate Christ and rid ourselves of the fear of suffering we find that we gain power to live for God.
- Live for the will of God – verse two of the portion we have read shows that being armed with the attitude of Christ yields results. These results include stopping to live life for evil human desires and starting to live life for the will of God. This is what we mean by repentance, to deny ourselves by departing from what is evil to embracing God and His ways. We are created to fulfill the will of God. However because of human fallenness we end up chasing after evil in the name of chasing our dreams and fantasies. We will do well if and when we align our dreams to the will of God.
- Expect to look strange – as Christians take on the attitude of Christ and live for the will of God, they will surely depart from the ways of the world which are often popular. Peter points them out as debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies and detestable idolatry (4:3). These will certainly find their parallels in our time. Because of departing from these widespread practices, Peter cautioned the believers that they will be seen to be strange, even inviting abuse on themselves. He reminds them that their abusers will have to answer to God who judges the living and the dead (4:5). Human beings avoid looking strange or weird because it is easier to fit in without disrupting the status quo. If we are to live for God we will not have the luxury of jelling with everything and everyone. The nature of God confronts evil societies and norms; in Him we confront or challenge them primarily by practicing the opposite as we live in Him and for Him.
Almighty God, we pray that you will teach us to walk in your ways and live for your will. Help us when we are dismissed as strange and attacked for walking in your steps to remain true to you in every way. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
Bishop William Bahemuka reports about the horrors of the ADF terrorists attacking the Boga region, DR Congo. There is a high number of Anglicans in the region and the churches are doing what they can to support the poor and vulnerable, helping with food, transport and accommodation. Continue to pray for God's mercy and help.
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