June 23, 2015
The Apostle Peter knew about sin. In fact, his name is synonymous with many things, but one of those is his worst failure on the Lord’s darkest night.
So when he says in 1 Peter 4:1 that there is a way to ""cease from sin"" you have to sit up and take notice. No one will be sinless in this life, but is there a way to sin less?
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)
WE MUST LOOK AT THE SINLESS ONE
The best thing to do in any situation is to look to Christ. A gaze back at Him reminds us He did not sin and was willing to suffer for that to be accomplished. A gaze forward to Him reminds us how incredibly rewarding this choice was.
But “suffer” is the operative word. We must look to Him, understanding the “why” of His choices to suffer.
WE MUST ARM OURSELVES WITH THE SAME PURPOSE
Why do you live? What are you interested in accomplishing during this brief life? If you are a follower of Jesus, you want to glorify Him. You want to show the world there is a better, more glorious way to live, made possible through Jesus Christ. You want to lead people that you love into this life.
One of the paths to this purpose is to sin less so that we may be set apart, Spirit-filled, and useful for service. As we look at Christ we see that He had to make a conscious decision to be willing to suffer in order for that to be accomplished during His earthly life.
We all suffer for things we think are valuable. We suffer through our schooling, putting in long hours of study and preparation to gain that which will equip us.
A serious athlete suffers, making daily choices in diet and discipline, going through a rigorous regimen of training, in order to gain the prize. Finishing a marathon, for instance, is more important than binging on junk food or wasting time on a couch in front of a television for the purpose of fleshly gratification.
The craftsman puts in long hours to make something unique and beautiful. There could be other things he’s doing, but he is willing to suffer to accomplish what matters and lasts. With his finished product, all his suffering is forgotten.
A mother suffers, carrying a life in her womb. But it’s reward is breathtaking.
People who are unwilling to suffer (and there are some and there is some of this in all of us) accomplish little but self-gratification. And the tragedy is, what they vainly think will gratify them does not.
DO YOU WANT TO CEASE FROM SIN?
Embrace Christ's purpose and path. Instead of living for the lower ""lusts of men"" live for the higher ""will of God."" Let His will rather than the gratification of your lusts take precedence. And understand that with that goal comes deliberate denying of the flesh, death to what the world calls comfort and pleasure.
But embrace the denial with the happy thought that there is no greater prize than the progressive release from sin so that you can be filled with the Him and useful for every good work. Know that it is producing something in you that will release something through you and provide something for you and others that is worth every choice.
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?