Don't Just Talk About It....
Updated: May 20
I Peter 3:13-17 (NAS) “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”
What verses to memorize when facing severe persecution. Who is there to harm God’s people? If you belong to God, who can take you away from His love? The answer is clearly stated, NO ONE. Romans 8:35-39 (NAS) says, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created things, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So why fear? Hebrews 13:6, NAS, says, “so that we confidently say, The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid, what will man do to me?” Why fear the crowd, the people in your life that are afflicting you or the situation that gives you distress? Didn’t God give permission for the persecution to happen to you? Of course He did, as you see in the verse above in I Peter 3, if God should will it so, it is better to suffer for doing what is right rather than to suffer for doing what is wrong. Keep a good conscience. I have always prayed this prayer for my life, “Lord let my life cry HOLY! Let others around me see you so clearly that there is no denying that I belong to YOU!” Live a life above reproach, so in the thing you are slandered, those who want to destroy you will be put to shame.
Personal story here….A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take a trip to Sulphur, Oklahoma, to have a relaxing weekend at a spa resort. I was so excited because facials, body scrubs and manicures are right up my alley. As we unpacked our bags upon arrival, I realized I left my entire makeup bag at home. Folks, this is a crisis and we had no choice but to make a run to Wal-Mart to buy necessity makeup items. After spending an hour in Wal-Mart trying to find my selections, Jared and I went to the check-out line. We were greeted by a nice lady who we will name, “Thelma” to protect the innocent. “Thelma” was a talker to say the least. I don’t know how we got on this subject, but Thelma said she is a hit on Facebook and shares stories from her experiences at work each day. (At that moment I was secretly hoping we would make her next top story post.) She told us she has hundreds of followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As we were talking about random funny stories and moments of motivation, Thelma said these words that would forever change the way I view a Wal-Mart cashier. She said, “Listen, don’t just talk about it, be about it!” I tried to hold back the surprise look on my face, but Thelma was right. It’s time that we be about it instead of talking about it. Faith into action is what is required of us as believers. When faith is put into action, fear of what others think, or being judged or anything else becomes less important. We step out in faith despite our fears, insecurities and selfishness. God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him by laying those things (fears, insecurities, selfishness) down and following Him.
In I Peter 3:13-17 the key passage I believe that summarizes the whole text is the first part of verse 15, “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts…” This is the key to living a holy, blameless and pure life before God and man. To sanctify means, to make holy, to hallow or to treat as sacred, to make pure from sin. By sanctifying, (making holy or sacred or pure) Christ as Lord of your hearts, God is first and foremost the most important thing in your life. Nothing else matters, not the people around you, not the promotion, not the money or fame, nothing but GOD.
It also states, “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” Be ready to share your faith to any man, whether a believer or non believer.
Hebrews 10:35-39 (NAS) says, “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.”
As always, I’m learning right there with ya,
Thankful for His Grace,