Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Peter 2 Honor all people.

In my reading today first, one of my favorite verses 1 Peter 2:9 KJV.

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

I love being called "a peculiar people".  Always have, don't know why unless it goes to show that we who love Christ don't always have to fit in a mold.  We don't have to wear or do certain things to be a Christ follower.  We can be ourselves, who He called us to be.  He does call us to be in the world, not of it.  We are called to be holy, set apart, sanctified.  But we can still have our own unique and beautiful personalities.

This next part, also reinforces that which God has been dealing with me about lately.  Respecting authority.  I haven't been sharing any anti-president/goverment posts lately, even though I have wanted to.  This is why.

1 Peter 2:13-17New King James Version (NKJV)

Submission to Government
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.

There have been anti-Christian statements made about folks who have forgotten verse 17.  Honor all people. - Folks, this is simple, the word is "all".  Not some, not those you agree with.  Not just your enemies enemy.  But all.  It doesn't matter if they commit sin.  Even as a Christian, you, I, and every other Christian out there still sin.  We ask for forgiveness from God.  If we have truly repented, and have no unforgiveness on our hearts, it is given. 

Each sin, except one, the unpardonable sin, carry an equal weight, death and the separation from God if we love that sin more than Him.  So why do we point fingers at folks who sin differently from us?  What right as sinners do we have to judge others?  None!

Now, if someone has accepted Christ and become part of a church family, and falls into sin; the Bible gives direction about how to deal with that to hopefully bring the person back to repentance and fellowship.  That's not what I am talking about.

I am talking about our actions towards others.  Are they loving?  Are they kind?  Can the person look at us and see Christ looking back at them?  If not, are we really a Christian?  Being a Christian literally means being Christ-like. 

Christ never said following Him would be easy.  If fact, just the opposite. 

John 16:33New Living Translation (NLT)

33 "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”


John 15:17-19 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 This is my command: Love each other.
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

His command, that we love one another, even our enemies.

Matthew 5:43-48 NLT

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

So we must love like Christ, give everyone honor. 

Taking an example from recent news, and just using it as a thinking point, not trying to bash those businesses.  If a gay or lesbian couple wanted something from your business for their wedding.  A cake, wedding clothes, invitations, etc..  You as a Christian, may not feel comfortable about participating in an event of this type.  If you do, are you promoting this lifestyle? 

Point 1:  Does the Bible say "Honor all people", or honor only those you agree with?

Point 2:  You may not agree with the "sin issue".  But tell me have you ever done a wedding for folks who lived together or had sex before marriage?  Or someone who has been divorced and is getting remarried?  Or for someone who is a notoriously greedy or abusive, or drunkards? 

You probably have.  Everyone has sin in their lives.  All of the above sins are mentioned in the same section of 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, but read on just a bit further through 6:11.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT

9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

See in verse 11, some of you were like that.  But you were cleansed and made right through Christ. 
My question to you is, if someone doesn't show a person the love of Christ, maybe that person won't get to verse 11.  What if that person is supposed to be you?  What if you blow it by being hateful, or turning away their business?  Do you really want someone to lose out on the eternal life that Christ has to offer because of you?  I know I don't. 

So what do you do?  Get preachy, or all Church-Lady on them?  No, of course not.  Ask Christ to let you love them like He does.  Breathe, relax, they are not going to bite you.  They put their pants on, just like you do in the morning.  Give them your most sincere and heart felt smile.  Tell them it would be your pleasure to make their wedding day everything they hope it will be, then do your job.  Let them see Christ in you.  If you feel led by the Holy Spirit to say something, then do so.  Otherwise as Saint Francis of Assisi said “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”

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