GODLY CHARACTER & LIFESTYLE
I concluded a recent blog by simply quoting 1 Peter 3:8-9 NKJV Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
NLT. Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.
MESSAGE Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
As I read Peter’s words I am continually greatly challenged, especially as the various translations so expand, what we should do and be as Christians. I am so aware of my heart even as a born again believer as Jeremiah describes it in Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV .
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
In a sense Peter is telling us:
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ALL ABOUT GODLY CHARACTER & LIFESTYLE.
Let me just list (from these verses) what OUR GOAL SHOULD BE;
Be united in spirit
Be one mind
Love each other as members of the family of God
Have a humble attitude
Don’t5 repay evil for evil
Don’t retaliate with insults
Pay with blessings.
Sadly, I have failed over and over again in all these areas over my 68 years as a born again Believer.
Would Peter suggest a list of goals that were unattainable? I don’t think so, some of us have learnt to internalise many of these sinful negative traits, but we know the reactions of our heart (and so does the Lord).. I may be considered an Idealist (more than a Realist) but if Peter challenges us, then this is THE WORD OF GOD, and through the finished work of Christ on the cross, and His unfinished Ministry of ever living to make intercession for us , we can walk in victory and holiness.
What is the answer?
It must be LEARNING TO CONTINUALLY SURRENDER TO THE LORD.
LETTING GOD’S DNA IMPACT EVERY PART OF US
LETTING THE AGAPE LOVE OF GOD CONTINUALLY BE POURED OUT INTO OUR LIFE AND THEN LETTINGT IT FLOW OUT THREOUGH US TO THOSE WE COME IN CONTACT WITH.
Let us make a constant act of will and as Paul says in Colossians 3:12 NLT Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must CLOTHE (PUT ON) yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember,
we must learn to throw myself on God and confess WITHOUT YOU I CAN DO NOTHING.
This blog is not written to condemn you, but the Word of God lifts up a standard of living and character that we personally cannot fulfil unless we let God live His life out through us.
If we have a “buddy” Mentor who we love and trust, and can learn to open our hearts to him/her. and let him bear the burden and pray with us and for us.
My heart’s desire is for people to see JESUS IN ME, and my whole CHARACTER AND LIFESTYLE TO DISPLAY JESUS IN ALL HIS GLORY. Amen
Once again I trust this blog has challenged you, I would appreciate your comments, and any further keys you would like to add to help Believers be all we can be for Jesus.