Summary: Dealing with the call to holy living
MAKING MY LIFE COUNT
1ST PETER 1:13-23
Proverbs 14:34, ¡§Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people¡¨
Sometimes it is easy to be overwhelmed by the thought of how small and unimportant one person is when contemplating national events. How can my desire to live a holy life before God make any measurable difference in whether my country is a land exalted by righteousness or a sinful reproach to the Creator. Despite my tendency to want to pass off as inconsequential the actions of one person, I must face the reality that my actions today do have an effect on the lives of each person with whom I come in contact. If I act with integrity and honesty, I will be part of the force for good in my land (Prov. 14:34).
I can affect for good this land I call home. I am responsible for the actions of my life, and my voice can be used to promote justice. I can join with other Christians in working to improve the lot of the least and the poorest of our brothers and sisters. I can be a friend and advocate for the children of my community, especially those who have the least voice in forming the policies and programs that directly affect their lives. I can pray for the leaders of my nation and community. And I can live this day as one of God¡¦s righteous sons because of my faith in Christ.
My life counts¡K
What makes my life count?
Note verse 18-21
Empty way of life
Precious blood of Christ
Our faith and our hope are in God.
Scripture begins with the word ¡§therefore¡¨¡Xbecause of this¡K
Vs. 3¡Xwe have a new birth¡Xinto a living hope
Vs. 4 into an inheritance that can never perish
God wants our life to count while here on earth, to make a difference in the lives of others around us. To share with them the ¡§hope¡¨ that we have discovered.
Key verse: verse 15¡Xstruggle with this verse
I can¡¦t be holy because I am holey¡XI leak!
There is an important question that we must answer today. God will not force us into the answer that He wants to hear. ¡§Do you want to live your life to please God and receive the blessing and reward that God has prepared¡Xor do you want to live for this life and let this be the greatest reward that you will ever receive?
For the Christian¡Xthis is the only hell¡K
For the sinner¡Xthis is the only heaven¡K
Peter gets specific in his letter¡Xremember this is the guy who blew it regularly. Denied that he ever knew Christ with curses to punctuate his point.
Gives us specific instructions for making our lives count¡K
1) PREPARE YOUR MINDS FOR ACTION
A) Our mind is the battlefield of life.
d) Romans 8:5-8
e) Romans 12:2
C) Key word here is action
a) Our minds are going to see action
(1) James 1:13
b) Everyone of our actions begins in our minds
(1) As a man thinks in his heart, so is he
D) If my life is going to count I must realize that there is going to be a battle. Some days the fighting will be more fierce than others. But I recognize the battlefield, it is well marked, and I must prepare myself mentally for the battle that is coming. I¡¦m going to see action. I¡¦ll be on the frontlines.
a) But praise the Lord I have been redeemed with the blood of Christ-
b) Not just any blood¡Xbut this blood was precious blood.
The way that we help ourselves is to be¡K
2) BE SELF CONTROLLED
A) Job 31:1
B) Verse 14 (1st Peter)
a) Be obedient¡Knot conforming
C) Romans 12:2
a) Don¡¦t let the world squeeze you into its mold.
b) We need to realize that God has brought us transforming power. We no longer have to be slaves to sin, for we have died to sin and no longer live any longer in it.
B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, told of a
man who advertised for a coachman. Among those who came were two who seemed to him to be particularly bright. He took them aside and asked them how near they could drive to the edge of a precipice without falling over.
The first candidate answer that he could go within half an inch and had
frequently done so, just shaving the edge and feeling perfectly safe. He then asked the other the same question. "Well, sir," replied the man modestly, "I really cannot tell, because I have never allowed myself to venture near the edge of a precipice. I have always made it a rule to keep as far as possible from danger, and I have had my reward in knowing that my master and his family were kept from danger and harm."