By Jim Eschenbacher
Karla and I were unable to attend church this past Sunday, October 7… Today, Thursday, I found time to listen to the sermon on line. It is a blessing that we enjoy in today’s technically advanced age. I took college courses when the teaching was on cassette tape. That was great but there was time lapse between the teaching and me receiving it. The internet is helpful in this way.
Pastor Drew preached from 1 Peter 3:8-22. He is in a series entitled “Essentials”. They are essentials for living as delineated by Peter. He broke the sermon down into 3 points.
1. We are called to do good (works).
2. We will be blessed by God.
3. Do good, no matter what… even if it hurts.
1. “Works” is in parentheses because I have added it. Doing good is about doing good works. If it is only a thought, it is not enough. James said, “Faith without works is dead.” Having “good intentions” but doing nothing is not honest. Good intentions result in good works. It is also in James…
James 4:17… Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is in.
Did you know that? This is known of as “sins of omission” There are sins of commission when we intentionally do something we know not to do; but there are also sins of omission when we know to do something and don’t do it.
There are no white lies in the Bible… just lies. And Jesus died for our sins, not just the black ones. Or whatever color you choose. We are called to do good works; not just to stop bad works.
2. The blessing of God is not defined here, but we know forgiveness is from Him as a blessing. I think we tend to forget the value and importance of forgiveness. It is the grace of God, active in our lives. And I doubt any of us wants to try to live without God’s grace.
Verse 9… ending phrase… that you may obtain a blessing. Rather than figuring out what blessing we want, just remember, “Our Father knows best.”
3. Sometimes doing good can hurt.
Verse 17… For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
Does that say God can will hurt in our lives? Why yes it does. Many people have misrepresented God by saying, “He allows things to happen.” That is not always exact. As stated here, “He wills things to happen.” One particularly difficult passage to read is:
Isaiah 45:7… (KJV) I form light and create darkness; I make well being and create evil; I am the lord, who does all these things.
Satan is a created being; he is not a creator.
I suspect we have all known someone who has suffered, seemingly unnecessarily, while doing something good. Jesus did. We are in good company.
Noah did, while he built the ark. He was laughed at and ridiculed.
But, that ark kept him alive while God judged the evil on earth. Live according to God’s word, no matter what other people say.
Drew gave many scriptures that I did not include; listen to the sermon on the web site.
I wanted to comment on another verse:
Verse 15(part b)… always being prepared to make a defense for the hope that is in you.
When we read this, I was challenged, “Am I prepared?” I think we mistakenly hope that God will give us the words to say at times like these. Peter tells us to be prepared. I prepare for difficult conversations where I might lose money. Why would I not prepare for one that is about eternity? What is the reason for the hope that is in you?
My homework this week is to figure out, and write out, my answer. I want to Be Prepared.