Summary: "The obedience we give to Christ is the obedience of faith"
During the winter of 1940 Josephine Kuntz’ husband, a house painter and textile worker, was temporarily unemployed because of the weather and a seasonal lay-off. It was a difficult time for the family. They literally had no money. Their eighteen month old daughter, Rachel, was recovering from pneumonia and wasn’t doing well. The doctor insisted Rachel eat a boiled egg each day, but even that was beyond their means.
"Why not pray for an egg?" suggested a young friend. They were a church-going family, but the idea of actually praying for their needs was something they had never really considered. Josephine wasted no time. On her knees she prayed that God would provide an egg each morning for her daughter.
Later that morning Josephine heard some cackling coming from the hedge fence in front of their home. Among the bare branches sat a fat red hen. (This is a true story.) She had never seen this hen before and had no idea where it came from. She just watched in amazement as the hen laid an egg and then proceeded down the road. In a moment the hen was gone but an egg sat in her yard.
What do you do under such circumstances but thank God? The next day Josephine was startled once again to hear cackling in the hedge. The red hen came by every day for over a week and repeated this routine. Each day little Rachel had a fresh boiled egg. The little girl got better, the weather improved, and Josephine’s husband went back to work. "The next morning I waited by the window and watched," Josephine says, but the red hen did not return.
We are told that God will provide all of our needs. We are told in the Bible that God will make us new, the words…as white as snow, come to mind. We are told that he has given us this ability to have life. We are told by God over and over the promises. I know people who have put their trust, their hope in God and have been honored. I know people who don’t want to fully give everything to God, and don’t understand why God doesn’t bless them just the same. They often see God as unfair, maybe even unfaithful.
I hope your life hasn’t been like this – but I remember my coaches in High School shouting at the team – “DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD!” I remember my dad, after I disappointed him, he would tell me – “DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD!” On The baseball field, or the basketball court, doing anything less than what I was told would get me out of the game. With my dad it would get me grounded. But where does it get us in life? Where does it get us with God? He tells us to do something through his word, either the word that is read, or the word that is preached, and we don’t do it, what does that get for us? In the great words of Dr. Phil – “How’s that working for you?” He asks that question and usually the response is, “It’s not.” If it was working they wouldn’t be on national TV crying their eyes out. We might get this idea that God works the same way – he’s going to destroy every moment of happiness we have until we are his, but he never gives us any of our freedoms back. God doesn’t work like that. If the situations in your life need adjusting – seek God’s face, seek his will for your life, Read his word. The Bible says that if you seek his kingdom first everything else will be added, or given to you. Another versions says Matthew 6:33 – Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
If you would turn with me to our text this morning – 1st Peter 1:22-25 (read)
I believe as we go through this text we should ask ourselves 3 questions.
I. Are you Purified? (22)
The quick answer would be yes. The churchy answer would be of course, but listen….we should ponder in our hearts if we are purified. Have we been made clean? Let me suggest to you that once you are clean... God has laid a foundation for you to renew yourself in him.
a. If you have been purified
i. Act like it.
Our text this morning assumes a purified Christian. It assumes that if you are Christian, you act like it. Are you purified…if you are, act like it.
1. Remove the un-pure things from your life (count the cost)
a. Physically if you have to
Just like the alcoholic should physically pour the liquor down the drain…you add the cost of what you spent on the liquor, figure up what it will cost if you don’t stop – your family, your children’s health, your own physical health, your marriage – any way you add that, you should get rid of the problem.