Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "Don't Be Discouraged". Christians, people are watching us. Do they see you or Jesus?
Series: Don’t Be Discouraged [#4]
THEY ARE WATCHING
I have said many times that this generation of youth and children are difficult to deal with. It is discouraging to see how they behave and is more discouraging to realize that they have learned this behavior from adults. So what do we do? Peter gives us some guidance on how to live when everyone around us seems to be living for the Devil.
1 Peter 2:12 (NIV)
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
You should underline, “Live such good lives”. Instead of us being so frustrated about how others are living, we should focus on how we live. If people watch your life and follow it, how will they end up? If you are a Christian, then you need to understand that people are watching you. If they know that you are a Christian, then you are a representative of Jesus. How can you best represent Jesus with your life?
1 Peter 2:11 (NIV)
“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”
I represent Jesus best by…
1. Staying away from temptation.
Now, I need to be very clear about something- We are all tempted, so I’m not saying that you can always avoid being tempted. What I am saying is, “When you are tempted, you need to move on”. You need to “abstain from sinful desires”. You don’t have a choice if you’re tempted; but you do have a choice if you are going to fall to the temptation or not.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
God provides you a way out of temptation. The real question is, “Do you want out”? Just remember, as you are being tempted there are people watching you to see how you decide.
1 Peter 2:16 (NIV)
“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.”
Through Jesus Christ, we are free. We need to live our lives before others in a way so that they can see Jesus. When we lift Jesus up to them, they will be drawn to Jesus. They too can be free through Jesus.
1 Peter 2:13-14 (NIV)
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.”
I represent Jesus best by…
2. Showing respect for authority.
We are supposed to follow the laws of the land and submit ourselves to those who are in authority. By following the laws of the land and respecting those who are in authority we honor God. I heard a man say one time that the last part of him that God saved was his right foot, (because he had a problem with speeding).
1 Peter 2:15 (NIV)
“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”
Respect is in short supply now days. Maybe if Christians would lead out in showing respect to others, it would start to spread. Not only should we respect authority; but we should show respect to all people.
1 Peter 2:17 (NIV)
“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”
We are to show respect to all people. It doesn’t matter what color they are or where they come from, we are to show them respect.
1 Peter 2:18 (NIV)
“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
We are to also show respect to our employers. You may be thinking, “You don’t have to work for the kind of boss like I do. You don’t know how bad it is”. It doesn’t matter. We are told to submit to them anyhow. You are to work for them like you are working for God Himself.
In all of this, we are being watched by others in how we treat people, how we follow the law, how we work, etc… All of this is a part of our witness.
1 Peter 2:19-25 (NIV)
“For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”