Thursday, April 18, 2013
Choose to Serve God Above Anyone or Anything Else
1 Pet 3:15, "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." When we decide to obey God, it is an internal decision. We essentially say, "we trust you above anyone else, and we want to please you above anyone else." Thus, to some degree, we become His slaves, and He our master, or our Lord.
This decision has the perpetual ramification of separateness to some degree from the world. We cannot obediently serve Christ, and continue unchanged in regards to the way we live. The Bible is replete with commands that, if we do trust God above all else (faith) we obey, and that differentiates us from the world. In 1 Peter, a predominant command is to endure suffering as a Christian without retaliating or reviling in return. Peter claims that when we obey God in faith, others will notice a difference. If Christians eschew envying those who are doing well, retaining malicious thoughts to those who insult us, lying and deceiving others to make it seem as though we are fine when we are not, and hypocritically pretending to be perfect when we are all sinners saved by grace, then those who see us will know we are living with a different viewpoint (2 Pet 1:1). That is why Peter says we must always be ready to give a defense - at some point people will want to know why we are different (and they may ask with genuine interest or scorn). That is our opportunity to praise God publicly, which is also evangelism.
We have the hope of eternal life, and we believe that God's ways are better because we believe what He says, and so we change our thoughts and words and actions according to His word, and when we obey we are different, and when we are different people notice and ask why, and we tell them about the God who changes us. Therefore, get this process started by setting Jesus apart as Lord of your heart.