Friday, July 31, 2015, 12:50 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Living Water.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Peter 4:1-11 (NASB). Arm Yourselves Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. What was the purpose of Jesus’ suffering? – That HE might die for the sins of the entire world and be resurrected back to life, victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death. Why? – So we can die with Christ to sins and live with him to righteousness (See 1 Pet. 2:24). In other words, Jesus did not die just so we could escape hell and have the hope of heaven when we die. He said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self (his self-life), take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) Jesus. He said that if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity, but if we willingly die with Christ to sin (give up our lives), we will gain eternal life (See Lu. 9:23-25). He said his sheep know his voice, they listen to him, and they follow (obey) him, and these are the ones who can’t be snatched out of God’s hands (See John 10). The whole purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was to free us from slavery to sin, and to free us to walk daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness (See Ro. 6-8; Eph. 4:17-24). He died so that we might be turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified (purified, made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ (See Ac. 26:16-18). He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us (See 2 Co. 5:15). He also died that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but who conduct our lives according to (in agreement with) the Spirit (See Ro. 8:1-14), all in the power and working of the Spirit within us. So, if someone is telling you that all you have to do is pray a prayer to receive Christ, but that God requires nothing of you in the way of repentance (turning from sin to faith in Christ), obedience to his instructions, or submission and surrender to his will, then they are telling you a BIG FAT LIE! God’s grace is not a free license to continue living sinful lifestyles free from guilt and remorse. God’s grace which brings salvation teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions and desires, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (See Tit. 2:11-14). We are called to be holy. Holy means set apart from (different, unlike) the world, because we are becoming like Christ. So, it is not ok to continue in sin after we have received Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. God doesn’t look the other way. He is not pleased with us when we are disobeying him, and when we are willfully going against his instructions and his will for our lives. We are supposed to no longer live for human lusts, but for the will of God. That is what is meant by being born again (from above, of the Spirit). It is like metamorphosis, like being changed from a caterpillar to a butterfly, so to speak. Out with the old, in with the new. We are new creations in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Eph. 4:24). This is how we are supposed to live, by the Spirit of God. So, why is it that so many who call themselves Christians today are living much like they did before they were saved? Why is it that the church is barely distinguishable from the world anymore? Whatever happened to teachings about being separate from the world of sin? Why is so much of the church today embracing the world’s culture, adopting its ways, and ignoring or twisting scriptures they don’t like in order to make them more appealing to the people of this sinful world? And, why is it a crime to follow the Word of God in all seriousness and to live like we believe what it teaches? Why is it that so much persecution directed against those who adhere to Jesus’ and the NT apostles’ teachings is coming from within the church, not from out in the world? Why is it that, in today’s church, if you are living in sin and you are worldly, you are accepted, but if you are serious about following Jesus and dying to sin daily, you are an “extremist,” or “crazy,” and you are ostracized? This should not be! We must be crucified with Christ to sin, so we can live to righteousness. Above All The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. One day life on this earth is going to end, and we will all have to give an account to God for what we did with Jesus Christ and with his salvation he secured for us on the cross. Life is not just one big party. We are not here to entertain and to be entertained. Why is it so many Christians can gather together and can talk so easily about movies, sports and the like, but are uncomfortable talking about Jesus and their walks of faith with him? We are not going to win the world to Jesus Christ by entertaining them, and by talking with them about what is worldly. We may be the life of the party here on earth, and everyone may like us because we are funny and we make everyone laugh, but what impact are we having on people’s lives for eternity? We need to be serious about our Lord, about his gospel, and about following him in obedience, and we need to be spiritually healthy in our judgments (decisions, wisdom, and discernment) which we make about how we live our daily lives. True love does not placate or entertain sin, nor is it entertained by the sins of others. It also does not lie to people via false flattery. It does not try to make people feel good about sinning against God, nor does it excuse away or ignore sin. True love does not compromise the truths of scripture or dilute the gospel in order to make it less offensive to this sinful world. Also, it is never kind to tell people lies. True love tells the truth, but it does so in love. Yet, so much of today’s church has adopted the world’s idea of love, which is to not make waves, to not offend people with the gospel, to not make anyone uncomfortable, and to make everyone feel good about themselves, even if they are steeped in sin. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes (present tense) in him might have eternal life. This is true love, to give of ourselves to meet the legitimate needs of others. It is self-sacrificing, and it puts the true needs of others above oneself. Foremost, everyone needs to be delivered out of slavery to sin and to walk in Christ’s holiness. Let us love more like Jesus and not like the world. Yet, there are many ways in which we can love people. We can offer hospitality to others, serve others, and administer God’s grace to others in its various forms. Jesus Christ, when he walked the face of this earth, set the perfect example for us in how to serve others. The Lord Jesus used this passage yesterday to encourage my heart. My husband and I have four adult children who are all married, and we have 12 grandchildren. My in-laws arrived on Tuesday afternoon for a three week visit. So, we have had our kids and grandkids over for meals and for hanging out with the grandparents during the day. So, I was praying about how I was going to have time to write and to take care of my family, too, and the Lord encouraged me to love my family, to offer hospitality, to use whatever gifts he has given to me to serve them, and to administer God’s grace to them in its various forms, i.e. God has gifted me in many ways, and he has given me many areas of responsibility and care, and right now I am to care for my family, and write when he allots me the time to write. In summary, we are to arm ourselves with the same attitude of Christ, whether it is in being a servant in caring for people’s physical or emotional needs, or whether it is ministering to the spiritual needs of others, and that is that we must be done with sin (selfishness) so that we no longer conduct our lives according to our sinful flesh, but we walk (conduct our lives) in agreement with the Spirit, and we live for the will of God, to please our Lord in all that we do. This is God’s will for our lives, and it is why Jesus Christ came to earth and died and was resurrected from the dead that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his stripes we are healed. Amen! So, give your all to him today, if you have not already done so. Living Water / An Original Work / November 21, 2013 Based off Various Scriptures My people have forsaken Me, Their Savior, who died on a tree; Made idols, and they worshipped them; So empty, they will ne’er fulfill. Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones. Those who turn away from You will be shamed; The Spring of Living Water left behind. Living Water satisfies. The thirsty, let them come and drink; Believe in Jesus as their King; The gift of Jesus given them, So they will never thirst again. Indeed, the Living Water flows within. It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin. Eternal life in heaven promised them. Living Water glorifies. Oh people, won’t you come to Him? Obey Him and repent of sin. Let Jesus come and live within. Surrender all your life to Him. My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me? Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free. Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee? Living Water sanctifies.