Living Before Evildoers
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation (1Peter 2:12).
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IT IS EASIER TO STUDY ABOUT GOD'S BLESSING UPON US than to study God’s appointed responsibilities. These verses of late from 1Peter are clearly what God wants us to be and do. It’s more sobering than a singing convention where we clap our hands and brush away the tears.
THE HOUR I SPEND TINKERING WITH WORDS CAN BE READ IN 3-4 MINUTES, but I get the biggest end of the blessing. The hard part is when we (all of us) consider what God is saying to us and accept the responsibility of practicing it in our lives. As God gives us understanding and ability, we set out to live for His glory. Reading and thinking about Peter’s instruction is hard work. I’ve borrowed heavily from Barnes because he says it best, I think. His style is stiff and scholarly but a good style for helping earnest thinkers who want to live for God.
HAVING YOUR CONVERSATION HONEST - Our conduct, how we live. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Philippians 1:27).
LIVING FOR GOD IS AN INDIVIDUAL MATTER, AND ALSO A TEAM EFFORT. The word “striving” indicates that it involves some focus and output on our part. The Spirit of God lives in us and works through us, but we are laborers together with God (1Corinthians 3:9).
LABORERS! Let me be bold as a lion: Lazy people are not going to be fruitful Christians. Part of living the Christian life involves work. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philipppians 4:8).
THINK... DOES IT SURPRISE YOU THAT TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO Christians were being asked to think? I once read of a leading American iron manufacturer who said he could hire a man to do almost anything but think. Thinking can be hard work. Christians should think.
AMONG THE GENTILES - The unsaved people who surround us are watching every move and listening to every word we say. They hope we will stumble so our troubling life will hold no power over them. Again we are reminded: “That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without” (1Thessalonians 4:12).
GOD IS SERIOUS ABOUT THIS; Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying (Romans 13:13). If we are His children, He has a right to expect us to conduct ourselves as His children. The world intuitively expects us to live like we are His children. Some are glad when we fail.. They know when we are not living like the children of God. Yes, they know.
THAT, WHEREAS THEY SPEAK AGAINST YOU AS EVIL DOERS -– “they may be silenced by seeing your upright lives. It should be true that at the very time when the enemies of religion reproach us, they should see that we are guided by Christian principles, and that in the very matter for which we are reproached we are conscientious and honest.”
THEY MAY, BY YOUR GOOD WORKS, WHICH THEY SHALL BEHOLD –“ It is to be remembered that the pagans were very little acquainted with the nature of Christianity; and it is known that in the early ages they charged on Christians the most abominable vices, and even accused them of practices at which human nature revolts. The truth taught here is, “that our conduct as Christians should be such as to bear the strictest scrutiny; such that the closest examination will lead our enemies to the conviction that we are upright and honest.” (Barnes-abbrev.)
GLORIFY GOD - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
IN THE DAY OF VISITATION – “Many different opinions have been entertained of the meaning of this phrase, some referring it to the Day of Judgment; some to times of persecution; some to the destruction of Jerusalem; and some to the time when the gospel was preached among the Gentiles, as a period when God visited them with mercy. (Barnes-abbrev.)
God displayed His light through Jesus. God seeks to display His light through His children who walk in this crooked world. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JANUARY 26, 2018 – FRIDAY
A.M. Exodus 11-12 P.M. Matthew 18:21-35
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
Song for Today:
Joy Comes in the Morning (3:56) (Joy Gardner – Gaither Group)
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