Get Rid of the “Churchy” Gimmicks and Get a Revelation of God
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

(8) The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

slow to anger, abounding in love.

(9) He will not always accuse,

nor will he harbor his anger forever;

(10) He does not treat us as our sins deserve

or repay us according to our iniquities.

(11) For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his love for those who fear him;

(12) as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

(13) As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
-Psalm 103:8-13 (NIV)

(21) So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. (22) For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; (23) but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. (24) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (25) Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
-Romans 7:21-25 (NIV)

If we get a revelation of how much we have been forgiven then we can say with our whole being as Paul did, “Oh wretched man that I am.” But this revelation does not come to us on our own, but must be revealed by the Holy Spirit. This Christian life makes no sense to the unbeliever. This concept makes no sense until it is experienced by the individual. When a Christian draws closer, and closer to God and sees just how wretched they are, then they will lament as Paul did, “Oh Wretched man that I am!”

 

Christianity is not meant to be some set of rules and regulations, but a revelation that is lived out in our lives by the power of God. How do we manifest the life that has been deposited by God in our beings? We must draw close to God. (“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. – James 4:8 – NIV). Drawing close to God is about a relationship (Again, this is a concept that unbelievers cannot understand until they experience it.). We draw near to Him by spending time with Him, through His word and prayer. For the person who has a relationship with God these are not static experiences, but experiences that the believer is changed. Through these experiences there is a sense of peace and drawing near to a Holy and loving God (Yet another thing that an unbeliever will not experience until they become a believer and indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.) In our culture we just want to jump from one “mountain top experience” to another. These are great, but they do not produce change. Only through Study and prayer is one drawing near to God, and be changed thereby. Study and prayer is the only way to become like Him.

 

Through drawing near to God we begin to manifest His attributes in our lives, albeit dimly at first and then more brightly. We are like the moon reflecting the sun, we manifest God’s attributes, even at our best, very dimly. This is not done by sheer will, but by a relationship with a Holy, loving and powerful God.

 

Christianity is the only religion that does not depend on pure will to reach some kind of reward in the hereafter. This is the only religion in the world that says, “Come as you are and Let God do the changing of your life. He will forgive and cleanse you; not because of your will, but because He loves you.”

 

Now some people won’t even initially come to God because of the so-called “hypocrites in the church.” I like to say that just because the messenger is a mess, doesn’t mean the message is any less valid. The message is important. Now the messenger may have to do some “drawing near to God” to get their life cleaned up a bit, but the message is still valid.

 

When the church (universally speaking) gets a true sense of what God has done and draws near to Him and sees how wretched they are, only then will people come to Christ in droves. This simple message, amongst all the “Christian gimmicks,” has been lost in modern day Christianity. When we get back to just drawing near to God, then people’s lives (believers and unbelievers alike) will be changed forever.

How about you today Christian? When was the last time you drew near to God and began to reflect His “Resplendent Glory”? If it has been a while then take this time to get on your knees (spiritually, showing humility) and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you so that you can reflect His light to a lost and dying world. The Choice is yours.

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Are You Bitter and Angry?

Are You Bitter and Angry?
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

You know there are a whole lot of people out there that are bitter and angry. Can a person like this truly be a Christian? I submit that Peter tells us that if a person is this way then they may not be a Christian! A bold statement I know, but stick with me on these thoughts.

 (1:22) Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, (23) having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, (24) because

          “All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
(25)But the word of the LORD endures forever.”
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

(2:1)Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, (2) as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
-1 Peter 1:22–2:3 (NKJV)

In verse twenty-two through twenty-five Peter doesn’t just stop at what we call the Gospel message, but goes on to write about how we should respond in the Christian life. Too often we forget the Gospel is about an individual, Jesus, what He did and what our response should be in order to walk the Christian life. Peter starts out by saying that Christians should be obedient to the message that saved them (That message being the good news of the Gospel. i.e. the giving your heart and life over to Jesus by inviting Him into your heart). Now they are to carry that obedience over into life. They are supposed to allow God to help them clean their lives, and walk according to the truth. Far too often this doesn’t happen.

In this passage Peter admonishes us to purify our hearts. How does one go about doing this? Is it something we must work toward? No. You were not saved by works but out of an outpouring of God’s Spirit. We are to reflect the image of God in our actions. If we try to clean our lives up, we fail. We cannot clean our lives up any more than we can fly without the aid of technology. It is about as useless as flapping our wings and hoping that we will someday fly. So how do we reflect God’s image? We do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our actions and motives. This sounds easy, but isn’t. It requires the daily reading of God’s Word, attempting to apply it life and praying until something happens (P.U.S.H). I am not talking about “warm fuzzies” that run up and down your spine. I am talking about the evidence that your life is changing because you are displaying love to others, out of a pure heart. This is the only way we can reflect Jesus accurately in our lives.

Peter reminds us in verse twenty-five that this is the message that has been preached and we should yield to the Holy Spirit to have our lives changed. He does this by reminding us of how quickly we fade away. We are born, live, and die; just like the grass of the field.

Now in Chapter two verse one, Peter starts this with the word we translate “therefore” meaning that what he is about to say references all that came before the following statement. Peter is about to say something that is important. Peter says that we should lay some things aside. This phrase “lay aside” carries the idea of taking off clothing. Peter is saying we should lay aside deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking. He says that if we are a Christian, like a newborn baby, we should desire the good milk of God’s Word and grow from it in our spirituality and conduct. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who won’t. They want to hold on to those things because they revel in them. The problem is, are these kinds of people truly Christians? Peter questions them. He says if you have tasted the grace of God, should you be acting like this? In other words, if you are acting like this then are you truly a Christian? This is a question that each one of us must answer as we move along in life.

So what must we do today? First we need to do a true spiritual inventory. We must sit and examine our lives to make sure we are growing and reflecting the image of God. How do we do this? We need to first get away from all distractions and ask God to show us two things (1) Are we truly a Christian because of the evidences in our lives? If not we need to surrender to God (2) Are we truly walking in love, getting rid of all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking. If these things are present then you seriously need to ask yourself if you are a Christian. A bitter person has these things on their lips and in their mouth. If any one of these rules your life to the point that you are bitter, you need to seriously ask yourself if you are a Christian. How about you today? Will you surrender to God and get these things out? Or will you just do the same things you have always done, getting the same results. The choice is up to you.

Most Christians are Illogical & Irrational

Most Christians are Illogical & Irrational
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

Yup, that is another provocative title. Why would I make such a statement? What do I mean by this? Well first I make this statement because people in our western society have forgotten (or never knew) how to think logically. Do you realize basic logic is taught very briefly in today’s schools? Some schools don’t even teach it anymore. Because of this Christians have no idea how to think about what they believe in a systematized way. People can now accept two competing arguments as true. For example I know of several “Christians” who will tell you the Word of God is inerrant (no errors) but will say that abortion and homosexuality is alright. This is a travesty! How did we get here? The answer is something called Post-Modernism. Most people don’t know what this is and most people aren’t looking for some talking head to explain it to them. So today, albeit briefly, we will explore what it is, why it is bad, and what our response should look like. As the terminator said, “Come with me if you want to live.” Let us embark on a spiritual journey together.

 

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”
-2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

 

A lot of people will say that they don’t need to know this stuff. Those people are dead wrong. Our scripture says to study to present ourselves to God as one approved by God in order to combat error. So let us do that today.

 

What is Post-Modernism?

We are not looking for just another definition here; we are looking for a working understanding of what post-modernism is about. In order for there to be a “post” there must be something that came before it, which is “Modernism.” Modernism was a prevalent school of thought in the late 19th to early 20th century (some people may disagree with me on this time-frame but I think it is the best time frame seeing as how it was in full swing). Modernism was a time when people looked at the world through the telescope of the scientific method. If it could not be categorized and explained then it did not exist.

Post-modernism is a way of looking at the world without the scientific method and saying that there must be more to this life than what we are able put into the arch of science. So what is wrong with that? Well post-moderns have rejected Christianity as viable. They look to other religions and ways of thinking.

 

What is wrong with Post-Modernism?

Post-modernism has come to the point that the western culture no longer cares about two competing ideas that cannot exist together. No, they have decided that both are right. Why? Because they have adopted the following statement, “All truth is relative.” In other words if it works for you, go for it! The problem with that statement is that it is an absolute truth statement. All truth is relative is an absolute stamen? Yes! It says “all.” Therefore that statement falls apart because it is giving an absolute statement saying that truth is relative. Ridiculous! Folks, there is an absolute right and an absolute wrong.

Today when you talk to people they will agree with you that Jesus is the only way of salvation and then they will agree with the Buddhist who says that Jesus is not the way. So which is right? To the post-modern both are right. Remember they can accept two completely differing world-views under the statement that truth is relative. This is dangerous! This is a warped way of thinking and should be addressed in our churches. The churches need to stand up and do something.

 

What should our Response be?

So what should the churches do? Listen, it is the responsibility of the church to pick up the slack. Teach people how to think for themselves applying logic and reason to the Scripture. (Unfortunately some churches won’t do that, they want to keep the masses oppressed. But that is a topic we aren’t going to explore here.)Without that, what are we doing? We are just spinning our wheels. What can you do personally? You should study in order to understand what you believe and why you believe it. Have a logical and well thought out response when people ask you why you believe. Our faith is not a blind faith. It is built on evidence.  Learn about that evidence. This is called the study of Apologetics. It isn’t hard to read articles and learn about your faith, just start doing it. One great resource is CARM.org.  There are many other resources out there as well. Another great Apologist is Ravi Zacharias, his site RZIM.org. If you want more, e-mail me. The point is that you don’t sit around not doing anything. DO SOMETHING! LEARN!

So what are you going to do today? Will you just sit there and do nothing, or will you do what God has called us to do? Have an answer when people ask you why you believe something, now that you know a little bit of what you are up against. The Choice is yours.

Don’t be MEAN!

Don’t be MEAN!
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

Christians are supposed to kind hearted and tender toward one another. When someone has done wrong to us we are not supposed to repay them in kind. No, we are supposed to be above that kind of behavior. The Apostle Peter in our passage reminds us of how we are to treat one another, not as the world treats people but as God would have you to treat each other. How? Seeking forgiveness when we are wrong and pursuing peace amongst ourselves (believers).

 

(8) Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;[a] 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. (10) For

“He who would love life

And see good days,

Let him refrain his tongue from evil,

And his lips from speaking deceit.

(11) Let him turn away from evil and do good;

Let him seek peace and pursue it.

(12) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

And His ears are open to their prayers;

But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
-1 Peter 3:8-12 (NKJV)

 

In verse eight Peter is tying up everything he has said before (see previous) about submitting to authority. He is bringing his thoughts to a close on the subject of submission so he starts by saying ‘finally’ (depending on your translation, some say ‘in conclusion’ or ‘to sum up’).

He is addressing the whole Christian community. He gives them some commands on how they should behave toward one another. He tells them to be of one mind. This does not mean that they will not disagree on certain things that are not central to the Christian faith (i.e. peripheral issues). That will happen, but how should we treat one another? He says to have compassion and love toward one another and be tenderhearted toward each other. Too often when people disagree they tend to be evil toward one another, God tells us to not behave that way and to act the opposite way.

In verse nine Peter continues this sentiment with reminding them that while they are suffering persecution they should not repay evil with evil, but endure it as Christ endured suffering on our behalf. We are told that Christians are called to behave differently than the world behaves. Even in the midst of trials Christians must continue to behave as Jesus did, in love. We know that at the end of this present time that there is inheritance that awaits us in Christ, in heaven.

Verses ten through twelve is actually a quote from Psalm thirty-four. In this quotation there are three specific behaviors we are told to practice. (1) We must keep ourselves from speaking any kind of evil, which includes lying and gossiping. (2) We must run away from practicing and being a part of anything evil. (3) We must be peacemakers, in Christ. This does not mean peace at any cost, we cannot compromise our Christian faith and witness; but it means to keep ourselves from pointless and fruitless actions and activities that will only enrage and inflame passions that need not be stirred.  Also in these verses there are three reasons as to why a believer should keep the previous three commands. (1) The Lord takes a notice of our actions and is pleased when we honor Him. (2) The Lord hears the Christian and is intimately interested in us. (3) The Lord is against those who are wicked and is our protector.  Just remember that the last three things are conditional on the first three things. Keep in mind that chapter two verse twenty says that is not commendable to receive punishment for some evil that we have committed (been a part of), but only if we are punished unjustly. Therefore, the promises of the last three only apply to those who are practicing the first three.

How are you today? Have you repaid someone who has been evil to you, with evil? Have you not been living out of a pure heart and tenderness toward those whom you call brothers and sisters? Then you should repent and attempt to make things right. I know I can hear it now, “But Brother Joe you don’t know what they did to me!” Listen I have been around church people for over twenty five years and have been in the ministry, in some kind of way, for ten years. I know how “Christians” can be. I know the church is the only army that shoots its’ wounded (pardon the old analogy that has been in churches for years).  You know what I also know? That God has called us to act and react better. He has called us to make amends where we can and forgive in our hearts. Won’t you do that today? Won’t you do the three things that Peter says and receive the three blessings that God gives? Remember that bitterness can grow and it will turn into a cancer that will harm your soul! The Choice is yours today. Let God work in you anew.

A Bunch of Christians Have Spiritual Cancer

A Bunch of Christians Have Spiritual Cancer
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

“Do not keep company with those who have not faith: for what is there in common between righteousness and evil, or between light and dark?  (15)  And what agreement is there between Christ and the Evil One? or what part has one who has faith with one who has not?  (16)  And what agreement has the house of God with images? for we are a house of the living God; even as God has said, I will be living among them, and walking with them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.  (17)  For which cause, Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and let no unclean thing come near you; and I will take you for myself,”

– 2Co 6:14-17 (BBE)

                There is a cancer in our churches today. It is called Syncretism. Syncretism, in the Christian sense, is when an individual or groups of individuals try to take Christian Theology, behavior, and thinking and mix it with the World’s ways (secular ways). The problem with doing this is if we compromise on what God has told us then we no longer are living in God’s perfect will and thus are no longer subject to His blessings and power in our lives.

So what do you do with a “Christian Culture” that is looking more and more like the world? If you are not a Christian, you dismiss Christianity as hypocrisy and “do your own thing.” If you are a Christian then your walk with Christ becomes weak and you keep compromising until one day there is no difference between you and the average person stuck in sin. Why you may ask? Because you are both now in bondage to sin! How can you proclaim freedom from sin, when you are in bondage to it! You can’t! You have effectively turned your life into nothing!

To illustrate what I am talking about, there is a band named Since October. They proclaimed God’s music lyrically. Let’s look at some of the lyrics from 2006 from a song titled “Live to Die”.

I would sacrifice all my dreams and my loves
for eternal life
God I swear that’s enough
i live to
i live to die

i know that’s all i need
remember that you promised me
as the story reads
when perfect sorrow bleeds
and pours all over me
so much that i can’t see

Now let’s look at a song from 2010 after they had “made it big” titled “The Way You Move”

 

You walk in the room
Every eye on you
It’s and attraction for every view
For every step you prove
I watch the victims rise up just to fall for you

I’m so caught up in the wayyy you move

I know that I’ve already been here before
And I know that I promised my self no more
But there something about you girl
Something about
The way you move making me want to belive.
Maybe you maybe me we can try it and see
You got me thinking that your everything prefect for me
Cause there something about you girl
Something about the way you move
That’s making me want to believe
Just something about the way you move

Cuoristy has got the best of me
I can’t ignore that you and your mystry
It’s all or nothing now are you my destany
I preyed forever that’s the only possibility

I’m so caught up in the way you move

I know that I’ve already been here before
And I know that I promised my self no more
But there something about you girl
Something about
The way you move making me want to belive.
Maybe you maybe me we can try it and see
You got me thinking that your everything prefect for me
Cause there something about you girl
Something about the way you move
That’s making me want to believe
Just something about the way you move

There something about you

I I will always remember the day
That you came a moving my way
And every piece of me want to run away
But your worth the chance to take
A prefect love that I know can’t be wrong
A prefect love is why I sing this song
Together you and me will always beat the odds
Come with meeeeee

( soft voice )
I know that I’ve already been here before

I know that I’ve already been here before
And I know that I promised my self no more
But there something about you girl
Something about
The way you move making me want to belive.
Maybe you maybe me we can try it and see
You got me thinking that your everything prefect for me
Cause there something about you girl
Something about the way you move
That’s making me want to believe
Just something about the way you move

Now you tell me? How is that last song any different then what the rest of the world is offering? It isn’t and this is indicative of how the church is operating today! This is only an example I am not singling out any group or anything else. I will tell right now of a new band that just signed a contract with a Christian label, and to celebrate one of their members decided to “spend the night with his girlfriend.” Wow! That is all I can say.

How about you today? Are you compromising your walk in any way? If so, REPENT and pray for others. If not then get on your hands and knees and ask God to bring repentance on us all, the entire “Christian Community.”

Christians Today Tend to be Inconsistent in Their Lives

Christians Today Tend to be Inconsistent in Their Lives
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

You know Christians today are too busy with things that don’t matter. They are too busy in-fighting and living out of selfishness to worry about how to live. Today Peter addresses Christian behavior with the world that they are sojourning on their way to heaven.

 

(13) Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, (14) or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. (15) For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—( 16) as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. (17) Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
-1 Peter 2:13-17

 

In verses thirteen and fourteen, depending on your translation, it starts by saying “therefore.” Therefore means that we need to keep in mind what we just read. Peter is saying because you are not a permanent resident of this world, therefore do the following.

Peter tells us to submit to the worldly authorities; those that have authority within the land we sojourn. We should obey every law of the land so long as it does not directly go against scripture. Peter says that we should do this for “the Lord’s sake.” We need to remember that in all we do, we do it for Jesus Christ, not for any other reason (c.f. 1 Corinthians 10:31). This would have been a hard pill to swallow for these people reading this letter in the first century. They were being persecuted by the government, but Peter calls them to a higher level; he tells them to submit. Why?  Because it is in times of persecution and hardship in Christian’s lives that their faith is truly shown to others. It is during these times that Christians give their strongest witness for Christ or their strongest statement of hypocrisy. So it is up to Christians to decide, by every action they take during these times, as to how they will represent Christ. Peter admonishes them to chose Christ and come under the authority of the leaders of the land.

At the end of verse fourteen it states that governments have a divine right to punish evildoers and honor those who are good. Which governments do to the honor of God, unless they are evil and corrupt themselves. In that case they need to honor what is not in direct contrast to God’s Word.

In verse fifteen, it says that this is the will of God so that when Christians do good things it will silence the ignorant and foolish. The word silence has with it the idea of a muzzle! You literally muzzle people’s bad mouthing of you and Christianity, if as Christians you do good things. When Peter talks about these people being foolish he is referring to their mental state of laziness. Rather than try to find out what Christianity is really (supposed to be) about, they just bad mouth it because they could care less about trying to understand something. Christians are not immune to being lazy minded either. There are a lot of people professing to be Christians who do the same thing. So this thought of people being foolish is also used in Ephesians 5:17 to describe believers. As Christians we should study to show ourselves approved to God to rightly understand His Word (2 Timothy 2:15).

Peter says in verse sixteen that we need to act as free individuals. We should not use this freedom to promote sin and vice but liberty in the Spirit of Christ. There are a lot of people out there that use this freedom as a justification for sin, Peter tells us here that this is wrong and we should not practice sin and evil. We are supposed to be servants of Christ, living sacrificially and helping others come to a saving relationship with Jesus. Far too often though Christians will use this freedom to give a perception of self-righteousness and this turns people away from a relationship with Jesus. We need to be mindful of this and do our best, in prayer, to not be a reproach to the cause of Christ.

Now Peter brings this line of thinking to a close in verse seventeen with a series of four commands that he gives us. (1) Honor everyone, (2) Love other believers, (3) Fear God, and (4) Honor the government.

The first command was to honor everyone. In the context of the scripture Peter is saying that we must remember that all people are created in God’s image. Because all people are made in God’s image we need to live in such a way that will attract non-believers to Jesus Christ that they may become believers.

The second command is to Love other believers. In-fighting amongst believers is not only shameful, but despicable and gives Christianity a black eye. This should not be happening in Christianity. Peter is trying to bring back to our remembrance that love is what defines us as Christians. You have probably heard it said that God is love. How awful it is for Christians to not even show the nature that they claim to have inside them.  Only through dealing with people out of love for others will people come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The Third command is to fear God. This is not talking about a fearfulness that you are completely terrified of God, but it is talking about showing God reverence. If we are showing God reverence and respect then this command becomes the glue that holds the other three together.

The fourth and final command is honor the government. Remember that the government has great power and we must obey the laws of the land of which we are sojourning on our way to heaven. We must remember to not violate the law of the land unless they are in direct contrast to the Word of God.

Remember that this passage of scripture is all about how we should live, especially while we are being persecuted. Why? Because these are the times that show who Christ really is and what He is about. If we can remember the four commands above then we can win the world to Christ and bring unity to Christians in spreading the Gospel to a world that needs Jesus.

How about you today? How is your interaction with the world around you? Are you honoring Christ in Your actions? If not, you need to ask God for forgiveness and start acting properly in your witness for Christ. The Choice is yours.

Christians Just Don’t Belong in This World!

Christians Just Don’t Belong in This World!
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

Christians, with all of their faults, just don’t belong here! Why? Find out today!

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
-1 Peter 2:11-12

 

Peter in verse eleven tells us that, depending on your translation, we are sojourner or aliens in a foreign land, after we have become Christians. As aliens in any land we have limited rights because this is not our home; no, our home is with God in the kingdom of God, in heaven. Peter gives us this to frame our minds for what he is about to say. You see he is about to address something that is very important; something Christians need to keep in mind, which is still important today.

Peter tells them to abstain from the lusts of the flesh. He has reminded us that we don’t belong here and as such we should not revel in debaucheries like those who belong in this world, but need to remember how we are to behave as those belonging to another kingdom. Why? Because these things go against an individual’s soul that has been regenerated (created anew) by the Holy Spirit. Now in our current culture when we talk about the lusts of the flesh we equate that with sex. But this is not the case. There are others lusts, like the lust for power, the lust for money etc. Peter is reminding us to not get caught up in the things of this world, as they are temporary. We must remember that while the body isn’t evil, it is a battle ground for satanic and self-centered lust. We are always being influenced by something, either influenced by Scripture or by the World. We have to decide which we will be influenced. How? By every choice we make. As Christians Peter warns us that we must not yield to these lusts, because doing  so will not feed our spiritual natures but the carnal parts of our beings.

In verse twelve Peter talks about how we behave amongst the Gentiles. Is he talking about the Gentile Christians? No. He uses this word to mean those that are without God. Notice he says that those in the world will speak evil of you. Not if, but when. You see the kingdom principles are pretty much the opposite of the world’s principles. We see this in our world today, and this was especially true in the first century, where Christians were belittled and killed due to their stances. They refused to bow to idols; refused to bow to Caesar (Caesar worship was common amongst the people. They had to bow to Caesar and declare Caesar as Lord.), and were called cannibals because of the Communion terminology that Jesus laid down for all Christians. If we are to be Christians then we need to remember that this is no longer our world, we are just passing through.

Now Peter also says that by Christians good works the unbelievers may glorify God. If we don’t compromise our faith then the way we live will be a great witness to the unbelievers. How can one proclaim Jesus but not even live the way He wants you to live? Unfortunately today too many Christians have compromised their beliefs. Christianity is not just an intellectual exercise but a way of life.

So, with these two verses Peter sets up what our mindset should be I our daily living. We must always keep in mind that this world is temporary and we are just passing through it on our way to heaven. Our job is to take as many people as will go with us on our way. The way we do that is by living our faith out in front of others. We should ask ourselves with every action/thought, “Does this have any eternal value?”

If you are a Christian what do your actions say about you? Are they honoring to Christ? Or will people look at you and say, “You act LIKE I DO! Why would I want to add more drama to my life?” Unfortunately a lot of Christian’s attitudes and the way they live are less than honoring to Christ. Folks if this is you, you need to repent! What will you do today? The Choice is yours.