1 Peter 4:4 Are They Surprised?

They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 1 Peter 4:4

For the majority of people in the world they have a view that anything is permissible. A person can do whatever he likes, as long as it does not directly hurt someone else.

With this type of thinking, people will do sinful acts as though there is nothing wrong. Not only do they do these things, but they also are surprised when someone else does not agree or participate in the activities with them.

After describing what believers were like, he now describes how believers are different from the world. The world is surprised when a believer no longer participates with them in reckless, wild living and they choose to abuse the believer.

One of the things that should mark a believer is the change in his lifestyle. Every believer is a person who was once just like the rest of the world, living in sinful ways. However, once becoming a believer, this should change.

As a believer, one should choose to no longer live in a sinful ways, but in a ways that serves and honors God and others.

Sadly, many in the church have not chosen to change their lifestyle as a believer, but to continue to live in sinful ways. Many have chosen to justify their sinful activities, so that the world is not surprised nor abusive towards them.

Every true believer, who chooses to turn from sin, will be abused by the world. The world will not understand why he will not participate and will call it hate when he doesn’t condone and participate in sin.

This will be one sign that a person is truly following Christ. If the world was to look at your life, what will they see? Will they see someone who is just like them, participating in all of the same activities? Or will they see someone who is different and against all sinful activities?

Only you and God know that true answer. Do not allow yourself to go back to the old, sinful way of living. Do not allow yourself to live your life as the world lives.

Be different in following Christ with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Be different in refusing to live in any sinful way, regardless of how small or big it is.

Is the world surprised with you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live your life honoring God; that God will strengthen you to turn away from all past sins; that you will live differently than the world; and that the world will see that you follow God with all of your life.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Reject All Evil

Reject every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Those who live in the world by the world’s standards do not have any real solid standard to live by. In theory the world says that there is a right and wrong, good and bad. However, the world does not have any standard that is solid to determine what is right or wrong.

Most live by the standard of if it works and feels good right now, without harming any one else immediately, it is acceptable. It does not matter if it may hurt oneself or someone else later, as long as it does not immediately hurt now.

As Paul is closing out his letter to the Thessalonians, he tells them to reject every kind of evil.

God has a standard that He has laid down since the beginning with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It is a standard of holiness, that has not changed since the beginning of time. His standard of holiness is the same as with Adam, no sin, no evil.

Sadly, many in the church have not lived by God’s standards, they have accepted some evil in their lives. Many live by standards that God has called evil and wrong while at the same time claiming to believe in and follow Jesus.

Sinful activities are accepted and even promoted by some ‘believers’. Telling lies, cheating, stealing, murder and many other things are done by believers who turn a blind eye to God’s holy standard of living.

Those who are truly following Jesus will reject every kind of evil. Not just the extreme gross end of evil, but all evil. They will make choices to have no part in sinful activities or teachings in any way, whether simple or complex. They will live by God’s holy standard.

Each day you live, you have choices of how you will live to make. You have to choose whether you will live according to the sinful ways of this world, or by God’s holy standard. You have to choose whether you will reject every kind of evil that attempts to be in your life, or will you choose to accept that evil.

God always makes a way to keep from all sin and evil, but it is up to you to choose the correct way to stay away from evil. Will you reject or accept evil that presents itself to you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will turn to God and away from all sin; that God will guide you in rejecting evil that presents itself to you; and that you will live a holy and pure life before God in all areas of your life.

John 8:11 You Must Be Willing To Leave

“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11

No one likes to be condemned or told that they are wrong. Few even like to be told that they must change. While most don’t like these things, they must occur in order for effective growth to occur.

Managers of companies will always point out things in the employees or the business that are being done wrong. This not done to destroy a person or business, but to bring about improvement of production.

A woman, who was caught in adultery, was brought before Jesus for judgement. Jesus did not condemn her, but did tell her to leave her life of sin.

People are very quick to point out that they should not be judged. As they say this, it is very common that many continue to live a life of sin. They refuse to admit that they are wrong and need to change. They are enjoying their life of sin and don’t want to leave it.

Living like this reveals the heart. The mouth can claim to believe in and follow Jesus, but the actions are saying something different.

Jesus does not, not condemn in order for a person to continue living in sin and leading towards death, but to bring a person to a new life that will extend into eternity. He brings forgiveness to allow the person to leave the life of sin and live according to His standards.

God does not condemn now, but when one dies and stands before His judgement seat, if he has not been forgiven and changed, he will be judged and condemned. If one does not leave sin, then the forgiveness given means absolutely nothing.

Just like the women caught, you have been guilty of some sin in your life. The world and many in the church may be quick to condemn you.

However, God does not condemn you right now. He is waiting and willing to forgive you of every sin. As He does so, He also expects you to turn away from that life of sin and follow Him.

Jesus has given you everything you need to live for Him and stay away from sin. Do not allow yourself to go back into that sin, but to flee it and live a holy and righteous life for God and before the world.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will guide you to leave a life of sin; that you will live according to the ways of God; and that you will know and understand God’s forgiveness given to you.

Matthew 24:9 You Will Be Hated

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Matthew 24:9

Very few people like to be hated. Most people want to be liked. On every social media platform people strive to get more people to like and follow them. The more they get, the happier they are.

When a person is not liked or is directly hated, he will often wonder why it is that way. Most often people will think that there is something wrong with them, because they are hated.

Jesus gave a promise that in the end times, those who follow Him would be hated and persecuted.

Just as the world likes to be liked, many believers like to be liked. No one wants to be hated, so they will often do what it takes to be liked.

The sad part is that many believers will compromise their walk with God in order to be liked. They will choose to overlook sin. They will choose to participate in sin and even promote it. Many will water down the gospel message that people are to leave their life of sin and follow Jesus. Some will even say that there is more than one way to God.

When a believer is truly following hard after God, he will be hated by this world. Satan will paint a large target on him to try and destroy him.

Hatred and persecution will occur, no matter how nice of a person the believer is, because he goes against the ways and thoughts of this world. The believer does this because of Jesus. The world hates him because of what Jesus stands for.

Persecution is not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. Following Jesus will bring it on.

You may not have had to suffer persecution yet, but it will come if you fully follow Jesus and are vocal about it. Do not be surprised when it occurs. They persecuted Jesus and they will persecute you.

Count it a joy when they hate you because of your belief in Jesus, because then you know you are most likely doing what God wants. Do not seek to be liked by this fallen world. Seek to be loved by God and have God be pleased with who you are and what you are doing for Him. God loves you regardless, but wants you to live for Him.

Today I pray that you will live by God’s holy standards; that you will not seek to please this world; that you will be a true witness of Jesus; that God will strengthen you in times of hatred and persecution; and that you will remain true and pure before God.

Matthew 3:10 A Cutting Down And Removal

The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:10

People in the business world expect their workers to produce for them. Workers are expected to do their job to earn what they are getting paid for. At the time of hiring, workers are given a list of what is expected of them. If he does not produce, he is warned, trained and then will be fired if he does not have good results.

John gave the people a warning that the ax was ready to chop down any tree not producing good fruit.

Those who grow fruit trees always expect each tree planted to grow fruit. They work hard on ensuring the tree is getting the needed nutrients from the soil, plenty of water and sun. As it grows, they will also take time to trim back branches to keep it in control and producing the desired fruit.

If the tree does not produce any fruit, it is cut down and thrown away. A new tree will replace the unproducing one.

This same principle works in the lives of people with God. God is always seeking believers who will produce fruit–living by His holy standards and doing what He says to do. It is easy for a person to say he believes in Jesus, however, it is another thing to live it.

Many believers claim to live for God, but are not producing Godly fruit. They are living to please themselves and others in the world. God will cut these people off from His salvation, if they do not repent and produce good fruit in their lives. Just like a farmer does not want to have to cut down a tree, God will do it also, though it is not His first choice.

Examine your life to see if you are producing good fruit or bad fruit. Good fruit is the fruit of living a holy life before God and obeying His commands. Bad fruit is any thing that is against God’s commands and desires for your life.

As long as you have breath, there is hope in Jesus. You can repent for bad or no fruit and then begin to produce good fruit. Seek the Holy Spirit to guide you, use you and help you produce the fruit God seeks in your life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; that you will produce the fruit God is seeking; and that you will not give God a reason to cut you down.