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4/15/2021 - TRULY LIVING FOR GOD

“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬


As I read this scripture today a light went on in my spirit. It was like a real wow moment. There was a clarity that I never had before, as to why most Christians continue living as though they’re not saved. They have not suffered physically for Christ, or as Paul puts it, they have not been crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20. Our willingness to suffer for Christ is a testament that we are done with sin. OMG! WOW!


Dead people cannot sin! If we have truly died to our old man/nature, then sinning less is now our new normal. The attractiveness of sin, no longer has the same pull that it used to. If you’re a Christian who’s still struggling with sin, ask to be crucified. Sin separates us from true fellowship with Christ. You have the ability to overcome and withstand temptation. Greater is He who is in you, 1 John 4:4. Do you believe that? Acknowledging that Jesus Christ lives within you is a deterrent to sin.


Read the scripture verses again. You’re so absorbed by your service for Christ, you won’t have time to chase your own selfish desires. Your focus is now on pleasing Him. Peter is teaching us something he’s familiar with. He understands that without being armed with the attitude of Christ we’re doomed to failure, what was Jesus’ attitude? Pleasing the Father no matter the cost. Peter discovered abandonment through a personal decision to be done with sin. To be done with excuses. He said once you have suffered for standing with Jesus, you know that sin has lost its pull. That you’re ready and willing to go the distance, finding honor in suffering for Christ. Acts 5:41


Are we dead yet? Are we willing to be done with sin? Haven’t you had enough of your own desires beating you up? Haven’t you had enough of the enemy’s lies? Promising satisfaction, but leaving you unfulfilled? This scripture has covered all the questions and answers. Isn’t it time for your unsaved friends to be surprised that you no longer want to join them? The Bible says the pleasure of sin is for a season. Hebrews 11:25. To suffer physically means to deny the flesh of its former lusts and desires. It also means being willing to be slandered and persecuted by those who do not understand or appreciate your new found freedom and commitment to Christ.


Satan isn’t going to sit back and allow us to honor Jesus, we’re his biggest threats. He loves lukewarm Christians, believers who can’t decide from one day to the next if giving up their past life is worth it. May I shock you by saying that there are times when I don’t feel saved, don’t want to teach or write. But my walk with Jesus isn’t about how I feel, it’s about what I know. 2 Timothy 1:12-14. No matter how pleasant the memories of my past, they cannot be compared with the life I now have in Christ Jesus my Lord. I’d rather suffer for Him than suffer without Him. For at least I know there’s hope at the end of the suffering.


Who enjoys living with guilt and condemnation? Who enjoys pretend joy and peace? No one! It’s like a bad hangover. I’ve never had one, but I’ve heard the horror stories. Why not make our minds up to be done with sin? When we stop to think about it, what’s the long term benefit of rebellion? I believe that if I started a list it would take up paragraph after paragraph. What is the greatest problem facing our world right now? Emotional instability, anxiety, fear and a lack of peace. This is understandable for the unbelievers. But for Christians, it comes down to one thing. Dying.


Those of us who have chosen the crucified life, have discovered that the storms may be raging, but our faith walk continues. We’re not given to despair. Our foundation is Christ, not ourselves. Our anchor is Christ not man. We’re supposed to be calling the world to follow us as we follow Christ. As we imitate God, we demonstrate His character in every area of our lives. Instead of panicking, we speak His Word and call upon Him. His word anchors us, keeping us moored to Him. Dying is living. As a matter of fact, we haven’t discovered true living until we’ve died. As I said earlier, dead people can’t sin.


Ready to suffer? Ready to abandon your old lifestyle to embrace His. Ready to be misunderstood and labeled a fanatic? Then you’re free from sinning. Satan will only tempt us with what we love to do. He’ll never come with new tricks. He will always appeal to our appetites. But the new man will resist him steadfast in the faith, we’ll expose him by refusing to yield. Your submission to the Holy Spirit will help bolster your resolve to remain dead to sin. The best way to overcome the flesh is to starve it. If you cease to feed it’s urges and impulses, it will die. Trust me on that. You’re more in control than you’re willing to admit.


You may not be able to fix your past, but you can have a glorious future. God in Christ have planned in advance for you, your best life yet. May today be your turning point. The day that you’ll declare ENOUGH! Leave the past behind. It doesn’t matter if this is your first commitment or your thirteenth. If you’re not dead, then He ain’t done. Don’t waste another moment, Peter continues his exhortation to those who have chosen to suffer.


“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.


But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name!


So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:12-14, 16, 19‬ ‭NLT‬‬


I encourage you to read the entire chapter. What a blessing! Remember that each time you read the scriptures, embrace it as though God is speaking to you personally. Obey it and seek His Spirit for revelation. Live the crucified life, then sin will no longer have dominion over you.


“So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:11-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬


It is not to the great or famous that I give My reward, but to the faithful. The world will celebrate those who walk in step with the current trends, but I celebrate those who take My hand and walk with Me in holiness. B. Simmons


Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

April 15, 2021


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