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The Christian Walk Continued

May 31, 2020

1 Peter 4:10-19

The Christian Walk Continued The Christian Walk Continued
00:00 / 34:04

The Christian Walk Continued

1 Peter 4:10-19

10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Intro: As we have moved through this small book of, I Peter we have seen Peter describe the Christian life, practice, and hope. We have a clear picture of what is involved in the everyday challenge of living for Jesus.   I Peter divides into four parts, we have just finished the third and are starting the fourth and final section.  For the sake of review and reminder:

Section One – Believers are elect and chosen by God (1:3-12)

Section Two – Believers are sanctified by the Holy Spirit for service,  suffering, joy, and glory (1:13-3:12).,

Section Three- Believers are called to suffer as Christ (3:13-4:12)

Section Four – Believers are promised eternal glory (4:12-5:11).

This is a powerful letter that should be read frequently to remind each of us what we are, what we are supposed to do and how we are to do it.  It is not an easy sell to an unbeliever.  Who in their right mind would voluntarily sign on to this path? It is only by the grace of God after He has called us to Himself that anyone can embrace this direction for their life.

On a bright sunny day, when you first walk into a dark movie theater, you usually remark about how dark it is. If there was no usher to show you to a seat, you probably had to stand in the back for a few minutes until the darkness seemed to clear and you began to see again. Before long, you could see without difficulty. Indeed, you seemed to be able to see normally. “Normally,” that is, until you walked out into the sunlight again and the bright glare forced you to cover your eyes.

We Christians are often in the same predicament. We live in a dimly lighted world, where sin is the rule and not the exception. And yet we are really children of the light. We must always be on our guard that we do not become so accustomed to the darkness of our world that we think it is normal and conform to its destructive guidelines. It is not normal. The dim moral and spiritual insight of the world is not the standard that the Christian is to walk by.

Christian isn’t what someone has called "a barometer that’s stuck on Fair." A Christian is not like some happy-go-lucky person unaware of the difficult side of life, its sorrow and heartbreak. Paul makes it specific. We are to "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." But the difference is just there. Christians rejoice because they know that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

So, we can face the day with whatever comes with confidence and perseverance because we know that God is in charge and we can trust Him for care.

I. Equipped for service

10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Picture a church in which everyone wants to be served. Each person believes the church exists to meet their needs, to make them happy, and to cater to their whims and tastes. Imagine a congregation in which everyone has a “take care of me” attitude and is quick to complain whenever things are not just the way they feel they should be. Sadly, some people don’t have to use their imagination to picture such a church.

“This kind of church will never have a positive impact on the world. It will grow small, inward, and unhealthy. This kind of church does not honor Jesus and bring glory to God. This is not a church ruled by a servant spirit.

“Now imagine a church in which every single person has a passion to serve others. Think about what God could do through a group of people who are committed to sacrificial ministry to each other. These people know that the Holy Spirit has given each of them unique abilities (spiritual gifts) that are to be used for building up people and bringing glory to God. So they are purposeful about discovering their gifts and developing and using them.

“What could God do through such a church?

A young boy by the name of James had a desire to be the most famous manufacturer and salesman of cheese in the world. He planned on becoming rich and famous by making and selling cheese and began with a little buggy pulled by a pony named Paddy. After making his cheese, he would load his wagon and he and Paddy would drive down the streets of Chicago to sell the cheese. As the months passed, the young boy began to despair because he was not making any money, in spite of his long hours and hard work.

One day he pulled his pony to a stop and began to talk to him. He said, "Paddy, there is something wrong. We are not doing it right. I am afraid we have things turned around and our priorities are not where they ought to be. Maybe we ought to serve God and place him first in our lives." The boy drove home and made a covenant that for the rest of his life he would first serve God and then would work as God directed.

Many years after this, the young boy, now a man, stood as Sunday School Superintendent at North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago and said, "I would rather be a layman in the North Shore Baptist Church than to head the greatest corporation in America. My first job is serving Jesus."

So, every time you take a take a bite of Philadelphia Cream cheese, sip a cup of Maxwell House, mix a quart of Kool-Aid, slice up a DiGiorno Pizza, cook a pot of Macaroni & Cheese, spread some Grey Poupon, stir a bowl of Cream of Wheat, slurp down some Jell-O, eat the cream out of the middle of an Oreo cookie, or serve some Stove Top, remember a boy, his pony named Paddy, and the promise little James L. Kraft made to serve God and work as He directed.

When we chose to serve the Lord, it often means serving others.  We do not give up the possibility of being successful in business because of our service to the Lord and others.  God will bless the work of our hands when we have committed to honoring God in all that we do.

II. Equipped by God for God

11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The key thought in this verse I believe is the need to give all the glory back to God who equipped us to begin with.

J. S. Bach became known worldwide for his remarkable musical talent, but he never ceased to credit his Creator as the one who was responsible for his ability. The pages of his musical compositions could well have been used to satisfy a personal pride as his name appeared on them. But he was determined to give glory to God for his accomplishments. So he always concluded his original compositions with the three letters INS. They stood for the Latin words meaning "In the name of Christ." At other times Bach began his score with the letters JJ, meaning "Jesus help," and then ended his composition with the letters SDG for the Latin Solo Deo Gloria, meaning, "To God be the glory."

We are the recipients of so much that comes to us from God. Do we "proclaim" that fact and turn acclaim away from ourselves to God?"

III. Equipped for Trials

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters.

Trials are not to our detriment but add to our growth. For example, consider the kite flyer. He must take in hand the string of his kite and run until the kite lifts up into the heavens. But he will not reach his goal of a flying kite if there is no wind. Every kite flyer knows that wind is necessary for flying kites. But note that kites do not rise with the wind but rise against it. So it is with trials. The Christian will not ascend to patience and maturity unless he ascends against trials. Do trials make you soar above, or just plain sore?

When the time comes, an eagle stirs up the nest and turns her young ones out into mid-air, compelling them to use their wings. In a similar manner, God allows many a human heart to be disturbed by troubles to bring about an urgent sense of need for the Savior.

The trials of our faith are like God’s ironing. When the heat of trials is applied to our lives the wrinkles of spiritual immaturity begin to be smoothed out.

Notice in verse 15 Peter list busybodies with murders, thieves, and evil doers. We do not want to suffer for the wrong reasons.

16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

It is a matter of trusting God in the situation and giving Him the credit due to Him.

The suffering is due to right actions on our part we can endure the results.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?" 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

1. God will and does deal with his children and it can be hard at times when we are way off course.

2. If that is the case imagine how hard it is with the unsaved under the judgment of God for their sinful lives.

Conclusion: Imagine a field covered with freshly fallen snow. Off to the one side you notice two figures entering the field. The first is larger than the second—perhaps they are a father and his son. As they walk across the field, you notice that the father pays no particular

attention to where he is going, but his son, on the other hand, follows directly behind, making a special effort to step in his father’s footprints. After the two figures pass off the scene, you notice that there is only one set of tracks visible in the field, although two people had walked across it. The Christian life is that way. In our daily walk we ought to be following Christ’s example, particularly in times when we are suffering. If someone were to observe the snow-covered fields of your life, would there be one set of tracks, those of Christ? Or would he see two sets, one belonging to Christ and the other distinctly yours?



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