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Seven Critical Challenges for Living in This World (A Study of I Peter 2): Living Right?

Some of you are aware that I’ve been engaged in a daily Bible reading program with my friend Frank in New Jersey for a couple of years or so. We choose a book of the Bible and read the same chapter each day for a week — then move on to the next chapter after that. Our procedure is quite simple and is explained here.

Well, I’ve started a small group of four men who are doing this kind of daily Bible reading and we’ve worked our way through Philippians and I Timothy, and are now going through I Peter. We drop each other a short email on Sunday about something we’ve learned in our reading together.

In reading through I Peter 2, I believe there are seven critical challenges that Peter gives us that are particularly relevant for us right now in our world. Here’s the fourth —

How we believers live our lives is critical in our witness for Christ! It is not enough that we behave ourselves before the family of God. We live in a world watching us, accusing us, challenging us.

Nowhere in the Bible are followers of the Lord commanded to go live in caves and isolate themselves from the pagans of this world. We are to “live among the pagans” (v. 12). That is, our lives are to be visible and either commendable or condemnable by those who aren’t yet in the family of God. The reason we are to live such good lives is not primarily that they would be ashamed of their groundless slander of us believers, but that they would “glorify God on the day he visits us.” And only those who have trusted Christ can properly glorify God, right? The way we conduct ourselves in this world can directly affect others’ coming to know Christ.

Today’s Challenge: What are pagans saying about your life? Do they notice that your values are different, your choices are praiseworthy, your behavior is worth imitating? If not, why not?

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2021 in I Peter 2

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 41)

Psalm 41

For the director of music. A psalm of David.Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 6.26.20 AM

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
    they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness.

I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
    heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies say of me in malice,
    “When will he die and his name perish?”
When one of them comes to see me,
    he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
    then he goes out and spreads it around.

All my enemies whisper together against me;
    they imagine the worst for me, saying,
“A vile disease has afflicted him;
    he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
Even my close friend,
    someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
    has turned against me.

10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
    raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
    for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
    and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2016 in enemies

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 7)

Psalm 7

A shiggaion[b] of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

Lord my God, I take refuge in you;Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 6.39.53 AM
    save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
or they will tear me apart like a lion
    and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

Lord my God, if I have done this
    and there is guilt on my hands—
if I have repaid my ally with evil
    or without cause have robbed my foe—
then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
    let him trample my life to the ground
    and make me sleep in the dust.[c]

Arise, Lord, in your anger;
    rise up against the rage of my enemies.
    Awake, my God; decree justice.
Let the assembled peoples gather around you,
    while you sit enthroned over them on high.
    Let the Lord judge the peoples.
Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,
    according to my integrity, O Most High.
Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
    and make the righteous secure—Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 6.43.04 AM
you, the righteous God
    who probes minds and hearts.

10 My shield[d] is God Most High,
    who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
    a God who displays his wrath every day.
12 If he does not relent,
    he[e] will sharpen his sword;
    he will bend and string his bow.
13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;
    he makes ready his flaming arrows.

14 Whoever is pregnant with evil
    conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
    falls into the pit they have made.
16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;
    their violence comes down on their own heads.

17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in the Psalms, Uncategorized

 

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