Presentation on theme: "A Firm Faith for Tough Times. Last Week… Tough Times Can Make It Difficult to Get Along Tune In to Each Other Show Sympathy to Each Other Love Each Other."— Presentation transcript:
A Firm Faith for Tough Times
Last Week… Tough Times Can Make It Difficult to Get Along Tune In to Each Other Show Sympathy to Each Other Love Each Other Like Family Show Compassion to Each Other Walk in Humility with Each Other
Meditation Scripture: Meditation: Task List (Dump your distracting thoughts and “to do’s” here to help you stay focused.) Action Steps: I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees, (Psalm 119:48). Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing, (1 Peter 3:9). The law of reciprocity is different in the kingdom. My first response is too often to retaliate with equal or greater pain, even if it is just in my mind. That is not who I am in Christ and is not what God has called me to. For me to inherit a blessing, I must respond with blessing, especially when I would rather respond much less honorably. Don’t flip people off with my horn; give them the lane Don’t get snitty with rude clerks; give them a smile
A FAITH THAT GIVES US A PURPOSE FOR LIVING 1 Peter 4:1-11
1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT) 1 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.
1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT) 3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. 4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you.
1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT) 5 But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. 6 That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.
1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT) 7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT) 10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
THE PURPOSE OF CHRIST WAS TO GIVE PURPOSE TO LIFE
The Need for Purpose “A useless life is an early death,” (Goethe) “Preparation for old age should begin not later than one's teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement,” (Dwight L. Moody).
John 10:10 (NLT) 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My (Jesus) purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose,” (Helen Keller)
Having a clear sense of God’s purpose for our lives will sustain us and give us meaningful direction in tough times.
Key Question: What does God’s purpose look like, and how do we express it?
TAKE ON THE MIND OF CHRIST
“…arm yourself with the same attitude” Ephesians 6:12-13 (NIV) 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God…
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) 23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
The starting point for walking in the purposes of God for our lives is to approach life, however it comes at us, with the mind of Christ.
LIVE FOR GOD’S WILL
1 Peter 4:2 (NIV) 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
Jesus On Doing God’s Will John 6:38 (NLT) 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.
Discover God’s Will In the Word, – (Psalm 40:8 (NIV) 8 I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” In the Leading of the Spirit, – John 16:13 (NIV) 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. In the Circumstances of Life, – 1 John 3:17 (NIV) 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
There is no greater purpose in life than to purpose in our hearts to live to do God’s will. Nothing else will sustain us so completely in tough times.
LIVE WITH THE END IN MIND
1 Peter 4:7 (NLT) The end of all things is near.
Life’s Final Exam 1 Peter 4:5 (NIV) 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Living with the end in mind will help keep us focused on pursuing God’s purposes for our lives.
LIVE WITH A CLEAR HEAD
“Clear Minded” to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking—‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’
What’s the Condition of Your Mind? Clear Minded Discerning Decisive Peace Clutter Minded Confused Indecisive Turmoil
1 Corinthians 2:16 (NIV) …But we have the mind of Christ.
We become clear minded about God’s purposes when we intentionally replace unhealthy, unwholesome messages with those that are consistent with God’s character.
LIVE A SELF-DISCIPLINED LIFE
Self-controlled to behave in a sensible manner, with the implication of thoughtful awareness of what is best—‘moderation, sensibility
A Culture Out of Control 1 Peter 4:3 (NLT) 3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good.' Stephen Covey
What is your “burning ‘yes’” that gives you the ability to pursue God’s purposes in tough times?
LIVE A LIFE OF PRAYER
1 Peter 4:7 …be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
Tough Times Call for Constant Prayer Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Nothing will sustain us in tough times like living in a spirit of continual conversation with God.
LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE
1 Peter 4:8 (HCSB) 8 Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Tough Times Call for Forgiveness Luke 23:34 (NIV) 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Forgiving Like Christ Don’t Live in Accusation, (Ps 103:9a.) Don’t Hold on to Anger, (Ps 103:9b.) Don’t Repay or Get Even, (Ps 103:10) Separate Sinner from Sin, (Ps 103:12) Choose to Forget, (Jeremiah 31:34)
Tough times provide unique opportunities for us to express God’s love through offering forgiveness to those who have hurt us.