Summary: Adopt the mindset of Christ to daily live for God.

Living For God

1 Peter 4:1-11

Has anyone ever heard the phrase "Attitude is everything?" Today we are going to look at that thought from the standpoint of standing firm in our obedience to God.

The greatest example of Godly mindset was our Lord Jesus. Jesus had a steadfast mindset. He was committed to doing the will of God, no matter what the cost. Staying committed and standing firm to the will of God cost Jesus physically. He was beaten, spit upon, whipped and mauled for lack of a better term. His obedience even cost Him his life. He was nailed to a wooden cross, in obedience to God’s plan of grace for you and I. To remain steadfast, meant Jesus had to suffer.

The mindest of Jesus is our example for life. If we are to follow Him we must be willing to adopt His mindset. That mindset is to remain obedient to God’s will for your life, no matter what the cost may be. The scripture actually says to arm. To arm is to make ready for battle, for conflict. We must realize that the pull of sin will be furious. By taking on His attitude, we have made a decision to no longer be controlled by sin. We make a conscious decision to seek God and His will anxiously. I like to think of anxiously as the same type of demeanor my kids have on Christmas morning. We should have that same compulsion, excitement and enthusiasm for doing the will of God.

We have new life in Jesus, therefore, the things of our former life, are just that former. The sin of the past is in the past. For it to be in the past it must always be behind you. Once we were just like everyone else, a godless people. Our lives were characterized by a lack of hope. We see these same characteristics outlined in the scripture in our godless socieity of today. Our society is characterized by immorality and lust - adultery, pornography, etc....; gluttony - the majority of Americans are overweight, addictions are on the rise; drunkenness and partying - we are told "you only go around once, make the most of it";

and idolatry - money, things, self reliance. For the Christian, these things, must be left behind.

When you stand firm in the obedience of God, you will endure suffering. Others will be surprised. I can remember when I began taking a stand. I was asked by many, why I didn’t participate in the same activities as everyone elsel. As a result many friends will become enemies. When you begin to follow God unwaveringly expect ridicule and plan on being ostracized. When I first became I lost some friends, I lost a whole lot more when I became a Pastor. Seems no one wants a man of God around to prick their conscience.

We must remember that God will judge us all. Eventually we all die. I heard an interesting statistic once. It seems that 1 out of every 1 persons will die at some point. We will all stand before God’s throne to be judged. We will be judged one of two ways according to our actions or according to God’s grace. This judgement is eternal, because the spririt will live on eternally. We can either experience eternity in God’s glory or in eternal judgement. Only by following God’s will, allowing Jesus to become the Lord and Savior of your life, can you experience the fullness of His eternal glory and grace.

Time is short, for Jesus is coming again, and none of us knows the day or hour. In preparation we are given some tips for standing firm in God’s will. Be diligent in your prayrers. By being diligent, I mean that you should pray often, pray sincerely, pray for those around you. Any time in prayer is time well spent.

We should also show love to one another. The scripture qualifies this as deep love. Deep love is not just lip service, but deep love is well rooted and not easily destroyed. Deep love comes from the depths of the soul and is rooted in Christ. Love covers a multitude of sins. To truly love means to forgive those who have hurt you, those who offended you, and

those who have let you down. You may be saying, what about those people who are just flat unlovable. Ask Jesus to change your heart and then allow Jesus to love them through you. To truly love you must willingly forgive as Christ has willingly forgiven you.

Be hospitable to others. Don’t just talk love, but show it. Open your home. Let it be a place of shelter for those in need. A place of rest for those who are weary. A place of comfort for those who are hungry. A place of fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t just ignore needs, but address them.

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