Summary: Not being idle in the christian life
Idle Living - 1 Peter 4
July 20, 2008
Turn with me this morning to the end of your Bibles, to the book of 1 Peter, chapter 4. We want to continue on in our study of the book of 1 Peter. Remember that Peter is writing to give practical help to Christians dealing with daily problems. He starts by reminding us that we all face trials. They come in all shapes and sizes of trial. Peter says we can expect them to come; so don’t be surprised when they do come. They can be very hard to deal with, but with God’s help, we can make it through. Peter says in spite of the trials in our lives, we are to Live in Hope. Hope is not a futile wishing for a good future, rather hope is the confident expectation that God will work, based upon his character. I can have hope in the midst of trials, Peter tells me, because I am chosen of God - God loved me and elected ME! I am born of God - God not only loved me, but he made me his child. I am destined for good - I have an incorruptible inheritance waiting for me. I am shielded by God’s power - I am completely protected as I face these various trials. Therefore, I can have JOY in the midst of the trials, and I can GROW spiritually.
Because we have hope, we are called to Live in Holiness. To do that, Peter calls us to
control our minds, imitate our master, inquire of scripture, anticipate judgment, and confirm our faith. In living holy lives, we are to Live in Harmony with one another. Peter calls us to holiness - remember this word holiness is really the idea of being “different” than the world - and then he calls us to live in harmony in response to the holy life we live. We have a fond affection, a brotherly love for one another, but we go on to extend ourselves to sacrificial love, and seek to live in unity, because we are children in the same family, stones in the same building, priests in the same temple, and citizens of the same nation.
The we saw we are to Live as a Herald - to live advertising Jesus, wherever we are. And we saw that to do a good job of advertising Jesus, we need to Live Humbly - to live a life of submission. Today, we are going to look at the idea of wasting our time, wasting our lives, idle living.
Let’s see what Peter has to say. READ 1 Peter 4:1-11. Pray.
How do you spend your time? Think about the impact you make with your life. The reality is that each one of us here today has the same amount of time to spend - 24 hours a day. Some accomplish much and some accomplish little. What makes the difference? Priorities! What is really important to you?
Rick Warren says “show me your checkbook and show me your daytimer and I can tell you what is important to you.” The things we spend our time and money on are the real priorities in our lives.
A lot of people say “I want to spend time with my kids, my wife, my church” - and it just doesn’t happen. The reality is that they really DON’T want to. They just think it would be a nice idea if they ever did. Let’s be honest. The things that really matter to us, the things that are priorities in our lives, we make time for.
So, think about how you spent your time this past week. What does that say about what is really important to you? Take a moment to consider that.
We live in a culture that is spoiled, we have easy lives, and many workers just live for the weekend. If you’ve ever been near a lake, they call them “weekend warriors” - the lake is peaceful all week long, and then on the weekend, everyone comes to get away and “live it up.”
And as Christians, sometimes we fall into the trap of following the pattern of the world. We just “put in” our time at work so we can live it up on the weekend and do all the things we want to do. But often we end up wasting our time and our lives in things that really don’t matter much in light of eternity. We follow the pattern of the world around us, and waste our time and our money foolishly.
We give the excuse, “there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun!” But Peter warns us not to waste our lives. Here in verse 2, Peter reminds us that a Christian is not to live his life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. We have a different reason for living: not to get a lot of money; not to have a lot of fun; not to make a lot of people like us; we live to do the will of God. And in verse 3 Peter reminds us, For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. The truth is that each one of us here have wasted so much of our lives that we don’t need to spend another minute of our life living frivolously - living to fill our passions and desires.