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Summary: In our text today – Peter as he continues to talk to believers (who were undergoing some serious; trails, hardships, suffering and letdowns…) Is going to try to get them to see these letdowns from a different perspective. (Living God’s Way - 8)

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The Beautiful Letdown

Living God’s Way – part 8

1 Peter 4:12-19

One day – a tough, strong fisherman leaned up against a wall, grabbed a pen, a piece of paper and guided by the Holy Spirit, wrote the words that we as a church 2,000 years later have been studying – for 8 weeks now

FRIENDS – the words, the lesson, the truths that we have looked at so far have been incredible. This first letter from Peter is full of powerful principles for living God’s way.

YOU KNOW – I can almost see Peter sitting there as writing to them and to us. Writing to people he loves, writing to fellow travelers in this journey of faith, writing to men and women who THOUGH headed to heaven still lived a world where at times things got hard AND living God’s way got tough… AND – so the aged fisherman leans forward and writes (guided by the Holy Spirit)

Remember who you are; you are God’s people… REMEMBER - that you are not home yet, that you have an inheritance that can NEVER be destroyed; that God’s power is protecting you… that you are saved… AND…

Choose to be different then the world; choose to be holy, choose to be the light that this lost and dark world so desperately needs… choose to live different lives…

AND – Peter moves his pen and writes;

Think right about who you really are – look into God’s mirror, see yourself through the eyes of your God, Father and Creator; stare into that divine mirror AND let it remind you that you ARE; acceptable, valuable, forgivable and that you are here for a purpose… (Hey – close your eyes and take a moment to look into that mirror right now)

AND – then he writes, my fellow travelers…

Never forget that somebody is watching you – everyday – all the time, THERFORE use it as an opportunity to shine for Christ. AND YOU WILL – shine bright when you; stay away from temptation, show respect for all authority, act right in your marriages and by seek God in your suffering…

AND – then Peter lifts his pen off the paper, leans back and pauses for a moment. He’s thinking about the prayer of Jesus in the garden… The prayer for the church being one, united, together, getting along… He thinks of the times in his life when his actions and attitudes were far from being an answer to that prayer… THEN – peter lean forward and as he writes he feels the holy Spirit guide the pen;

Here’s how to diffuse conflict in your relationships – and my friends, you need to do it God’s way. LISTEN - God knows exactly what attitudes will help your relationships (all of them); BE - humble, understanding and compassionate with each other; manage your mouth better it keeps getting you into trouble, be commitment to the relationship let each other know that even though times are hard your not going anywhere and perhaps most of all forgive each other – remember how much the Lord has and does forgive you…

NOW PETER – could hardly wait to pen these next words…

BUILD Your Hope On Brick - I am deeply troubled that so many of you are choosing to build your hope on sticks and straw… On people, relationships, jobs, money.. Aren’t you growing weary of having that big and very bad wolf come by, huff and puff and blow your hope down… Aren’t you tired of living that way?

FRIENDS – God offers you bricks to build your hope on… Bricks that can withstand the wolf. Powerful promises that no storm or circumstance can EVER blow away (REMEMBER - as my good friend Paul wrote; nothing can separate you from the hope you have in Christ; Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t)

MY FRIENDS - here are the bricks… YOU - decide if they are worth building your hope on; God is watching over you; No one can really harm you God will reward your suffering; Christ has brought you safely home to God; Christ has total control of everything. Peter lifts his pen for just a moment… AS – he thinks of the very real battle that we are in… He thinks of that powerful enemy, that roaring lion who is looking for someone to devour… This causes him to firmly grip his pen and write..

Arm yourselves with the attitude of Christ, arm yourselves with selflessness!!! YES – I know it’s hard to die to yourself; I’m still working on it myself; BUT – let me tell some things that have helped me to become a little bit more selfless; just say no to sin; don’t be wrongly influenced; pray as if the end is near; love each other deeply; open up your homes, seek to out-serve others and run away (fast) from personal glory…

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