"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." 1 Peter 4:1-2
People seeking the truth in life have to study the Bible for themselves. They must come to Him with all their heart in prayer while they are in the process of studying His Word, so He may reveal to them who He is and His love for them. We love Him because He first loved us. You must read for yourself the life of Jesus and His teachings. Why would we settle for second hand, watered down versions of man’s interpretations when you have access to God Himself through the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If you desire to walk in truth with all your heart, and you desire a good conscience, as we are instructed to in the Bible, then seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7, 1 Peter 3:21)
Please have your Bible at hand when you read these devotionals and look up scripture references. You will get so much more when you put the extra effort in pursuing the truth. Follow the example of the Bereans in Acts 17:11:
"Now these were more noble minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so."
O that we might do that today!
As we read the words of Peter we are instructed to arm ourselves to suffer in our flesh as Christ suffered that we might live out the will of God in our lives rather than living to please our flesh with all of its sinful, self-centered desires. In this verse he states,
"…he who has suffered in his flesh has ceased from sin."
Prayerfully ponder these profound keys to a successful life in Christ.
Galatians 5:16-17 declares:
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things you please."
Before you panic please remember God’s ways are much higher than ours. We lose the bondage and slavery of our own sinful nature, and take on the nature of God Almighty who is perfect in all His ways.
There is Something and Someone much bigger than ourselves. He teaches us to live what is contrary to our own nature. Narcissism comes quite naturally to all of us left to ourselves. He teaches us to lay down our lives for one another. Selfish ambition and empty conceit are the motives that highly motivate all we do, but He tells us do not merely look after your own interest, but also the interest of others. Think of the Ten Commandments and realize what a different society we would have if we truly were followers of Christ and His commandments.
Most professing believers today try to have it both ways, one foot in the world and one foot in the church. You absolutely cannot have it both ways. In order to be a true disciple of Christ we must look to His Word for examples to follow, rather than today’s blended versions of God’s Word with man’s interpretation. We want to define God — not allowing God to define us. It will never work.
God the Father gave His all for us. He sacrificed His best for us, and He expects no less from us in our love for Him. He allowed His best to come down from heaven and live among us teaching us His ways. He exemplified all we are to become in order to be a disciple of Christ. He gave the ultimate gift, His life, for the Father and for us. God didn’t force Him, or enslave Him in any way. He chose to live a life of total obedience to the point of death on a cross. The men who followed Him chose the same.
We who truly want to be His disciples must realize the truth of our scriptures today. We must purpose in our hearts now to be prepared to follow Him to the end of our lives. Perhaps many of us reading this will be given the great honor of laying down our own lives for the One who is worthy and laid down His who knew no sin. I want to remind us of His Words in Revelation 3:14-16:
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God, says this:
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot, I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."
O dear brothers and sisters hear what the Holy Spirit is trying to speak to our hearts this morning. Let us seek the truth of God’s Word above all else. We must silence all the other voices in our lives in order to hear His. I pray you will receive these words with eagerness examining them with the Scriptures. May we arm ourselves with the same purpose of Christ, so that we may live out His will for our lives, no longer living for our selfish desires pleasing only ourselves. He is the Lifegiver, and He is the Righteous Judge that all nations will be judged by soon. O that He might find us faithful and true as He was, and is.
In His love.
I love scaling the high places more ways than one! I finally made it up to McCrae’s Peak on top of Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC this week. As always the views were worth the climb.