Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sore Thumb?

Do you stick out like a sore thumb? Does the life you live for Christ contrast that of the world? God calls us to holiness - to be set apart for Him. That looks quite different from what the world tells us life should be. Sometimes reading a paraphrase can put it into the context of our world. I don't do this often [ use a paraphrase ] but this one really helped me to grasp what this passage says. Actually, reading both make it really clear.
  • I Peter 3: 13-18 NIV Translation
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. [emphasis mine]

· 1 Peter 3: 13-18 The Message [a paraphrase]

13-18 If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They'll end up realizing that they're the ones who need a bath. It's better to suffer for doing good, if that's what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others' sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. [emphasis mine]

In all that we say we must say it with utmost courtesy, gentleness and respect. But it's OK to stick out like a sore thumb to the rest of the world. We're supposed to!

Choosing JOY,


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