I'm reading in 1 Peter these days. It amazes me as I read to know that Peter actually walked with Jesus! Unlike Paul, who's experience with Jesus was after the resurrection, Peter knew Jesus personally! He ate with him. He saw the miracles Jesus did firsthand. And he saw the risen Lord Jesus and watched him ascend into heaven. Wow!!
Some real nuggets of truth in chapter 4 spoke to me this morning. Verse 1-5 says:
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves 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. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead."
First, these verses remind me that I am a sinner saved only by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. They also remind me that when I chose to give my life over to Jesus Christ, I was acknowledging that I am DONE with sin! I mean, DONE! Now, that doesn't mean I'm suddenly perfect and won't ever screw up. Anyone who knows me well knows this to be true. But what it does mean is that I don't want to ever choose to sin again. To choose sin is to go against God, and I don't want to ever do that!
Verse 4 is important in a Christian's life. Here, Peter talks about the people in our lives who don't know the Lord Jesus and who basically mock our Christian life. "They think it strange that you don't plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you."
Well, I guess all I can say is, heap away! I'd rather have people heap insults and even persecution on me than to know I'd disappointed God by conforming to the world. Because the next verse tells us God WILL judge us! Every single person who has ever lived is going to be judged for the things they did here on earth.
THAT MEANS YOU!!
And that means me. So, I'm trying my hardest to live a life that is pleasing to God. Yes, there are things in my past I'm ashamed of and I dread having to face God to give an account of them. But, I'm also 100% certain that God has already forgiven me for them, because I asked him to.
That's the beauty of the cross, folks. Nothing we do is so bad that it can't be forgiven and washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ!
Live for God! That's what I'm trying to do!