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Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life
- LIVE AND SHARE CHRIST
- 3rd International Podcast with the Servant General in Canada
- JUSTICE AND ETERNAL LIFE – 2
Posted: 23 May 2016 06:20 PM PDT
FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
LIVE AND SHARE CHRIST
May 24, 2016
Today’s reading: 1 Peter 1:10-16
Our goal in life is to make it to heaven. It is all “concerning this salvation” (v.10a). How? We need to live and share Christ.
To live Christ is not just to be a good person but to be a holy person, for “as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, ‘Be holy because I am holy.’” (v.15-16). To be holy is to be set apart. It is to be different from the world and its ways.
How do we grow in holiness? This happens through the ways we conduct our day-to-day lives.
- First, we must learn about the ways of God. You should “not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance” (v.14b). The lack of knowledge of God leads inevitably to godless conduct. Many in the world today do not know God and His ways. Thus they easily conform to the ways of the world.
- Second, we must be obedient to God. We are to be “like obedient children” (v.14a). As we learn about the ways of God, then we must obey what God tells us. The Father knows best. We must set aside our own desires and priorities, and look to God’s.
- Third, we must “live soberly” (v.13b). The world delights in wayward ways, including carousing, pleasure-seeking, excessive consumption, becoming drunk with power. We must live simply. We must avoid the pleasures of life that can bring us away from God.
- Fourth, we must totally be open to and receptive of the grace of God. You must “set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (v.13c). We cannot be holy apart from God’s grace and the power of the Spirit. We must not depend on our weak, sinful selves, or on our human strength and wisdom. We are to surrender our lives to God, and fully trust in His grace and mercy.
- Fifth, we are to be vigilant in expectation of the return of Christ. You must “gird up the loins of your mind” (v.13a). Like the Israelites at Passover who were in flight from their oppressors, we must prepare for the second coming of Christ. We must not to be caught unprepared.
Now we are not only to live Christ, but we must also share Christ. Indeed one cannot live Christ unless one has met Christ, and one cannot meet Christ unless someone else has shared Christ. We must do the work of evangelization. We must strive to get people to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. This happens through the proclamation of the gospel, “by those who preached the good news to you through the holy Spirit sent from heaven” (v.12b).
Evangelization is divine work. It is all about the salvation of people for whom Jesus suffered and died. It is a great mystery, that weak and sinful human flesh can become instruments of God’s divine will and power. It is a truly great privilege for us to do this work. We join the ranks of prophets and angels who were privileged to serve the living God. “Concerning this salvation, prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and investigated it” (v.10). The fullness of this salvific work is about “things into which angels longed to look.” (v.12c).
Let us move on to live and share Christ.
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Posted: 22 May 2016 06:16 PM PDT
Posted: 22 May 2016 06:13 PM PDT
FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
NO ONE IN NEED
JUSTICE AND ETERNAL LIFE – 2
May 23, 2016
1 Peter 1:3-9
What is our goal in life? It should be to make it to heaven. This is “the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pt 1:9). Now according to what Jesus says, one criterion for whether we will make it to heaven or not is how we treat the least of our brethren.
God has a covenant with His people, by which He desires that we make it to heaven, to be with Him eternally. Part of this covenant is His provision for His people, whom He is committed to care for. “He gives food to those who fear him, he remembers his covenant forever.” (Ps 111:5). What is important to God is justice and equity. “The works of his hands are true and just” (Ps 111:7a). Justice is giving to others what is their due. What is due to the poor is an equitable share of the world’s goods. God expects such equity, as His decrees are “to be observed with truth and equity.” (Ps 111:8b).
Now God created a wonderful world of abundance, where there should be enough for everyone. But the world’s goods are unevenly and not equitably shared. There are the very rich and the very poor. God then expects the rich to share with the poor. To the rich man who wanted “to inherit eternal life” (Mk 10:17b), Jesus said, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mk 10:21b).
“At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” (Mk 10:22). Now notice that the rich man kept the commandments from his youth (Mk 10:19-20). But now, even his eternal salvation was under threat. “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mk 10:23). Is it wrong to be wealthy? No. But it is wrong not to share with the poor and care for the least of our brethren.
Most if not all look to possessions, even wealth. These are supposed to be blessings. And they indeed are, but only if we handle our resources in the right way, according to the ways of God. We must always be mindful of the needs of the poor, and of the call to justice.
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