1 Peter 4:1-19
Friday, 16 July 2021
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. - 1 Peter 4:1-2
The Bible tells us clearly that persecution is part of Christian faith. Jesus in Matthew 24:9 &14 told His disciples of how it would be during the end times and in the same context said, "You will be hated by all the nations." Our efforts to bring good news of salvation and everlasting life will produce joy in some and hatred in others. We are called to endure! Jesus warned his disciples again in Matthew 10:25 saying, "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household." We are not to be discouraged by the words and actions of those who are not willing to accept the Good News. We are called to persevere! The Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:24 ask us to “…fill up in the flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” We are to be propagators of the salvation that Jesus purchased for us by His death on the cross. We are called to demonstrate!
Again, Paul in 2 Timothy 1:8 says, "So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God." We are to turn people from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. It involves suffering. We are called to be partakers! Peter encourages us to arm ourselves in thought and purposes. Our thoughts and purposes are to be aligned in Christ and Christ alone, for us to be armed. The purpose to suffer if God should will it, should always reign in our thoughts. When we have prepared ourselves and our thoughts so as to face suffering we can never be taken off guard. Our armor is Jesus—the creator of the universe, the sustainer of all things, the Savior of the world, the Son of God who chose suffering willfully and called us to take up our cross and follow him, and so find real and everlasting life. We are called to suffer with Him! Get the thought and the purpose sealed in your heart that Christ is worth suffering for; live out that conviction when the choice comes between suffering and sin; and in suffering, sin will be defeated and you will be triumphant. When you suffer for the sake of righteousness it is a sign that you have renounced sinful human desires and embraced the will of God. We are called to overcome sin! Peter warns us that time spent in pursuing the things of the world is enough!!— “You have had enough in the past of the evil things the godless enjoy—sex sin, lust, getting drunk, wild parties, drinking bouts, and the worship of idols, and other terrible sins.” (1 Peter 4:3 TLB) Are we engaged, entangled in any of these sins? Be warned that the end of all things is near. This is the day God has appointed for you and me to sincerely repent of our sins, believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and be ready to accept the gift of salvation and everlasting life and lead lives according to the Word of God.
Meditate on: There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Follow Him- wherever He leads, whatever it costs!