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Living and Loving the Good Life - Part 1

Good Morning Beloved,

Thank you all for joining us today

Heavenly Father,

Today, we pray that You would restore in us a right attitude
We know that must begin with us.  We ask that You would also restore a right attitude in Your church, help us to be makers of  peace, humble, lovers of people, compassionate, sympathetic toward others, that the world around us may see the change in us, and identify us with You, and that You might receive all the glory.

Father, may we come to realize that living and loving the good life starts inside, it doesn't matter what we have or don't have,
it isn't in the things we accomplish, it isn't how funny or smart we are or how popular or even how high the social position we obtain. The good life, the life we love comes when we bring to it the right attitude because if we're makers of peace, then we'll have peace. And if we love You and if we love others, we'll find our fulfillment  is not in objects. If we are kind, tender-hearted and compassionate toward others, then we have nothing to protect of our own. And if we're truly humble, then we know we are worthy of nothing, that we deserve nothing, therefore we cannot lose anything.

Father, we pray that You would just help us to understand that whatever comes to us from Your good and gracious hand will not disappoint us, because every gift from above, is good and perfect, that we will love life and we'll see good days because we'll possess the attitude of Christ our example
In His name we pray

"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing."
I Peter 3:1-8 

I would like encourage all of you, to open your Bibles and turn with me please, to our text today. I Peter 3, I Peter chapter 3, verses 1-8. As we continue in our study of the Word of God today, we come to an important, yet what frequently appears to be a controversial subject but nonetheless, a very important section in the text. It is a very instructive passage, as it is one that applies to all of us, either directly or indirectly. Whether we are married to an unsaved person, or whether we know someone who is, either way, I pray we will share these truths, with those to whom this applies.

As we embark on our study of this marvelous passage, allow me to give you some basic perspective on the thought behind this great epistle from dear Peter, because, I believe it's necessary for proper interpretation. And, I would like to note, that one of the most valuable elements of Bible interpretation, is indeed, the context. Beloved, you cannot effectively interpret any given passage apart from the context of the surrounding passages in which it is set. Context changes everything. Context, changes everything.

Here, our beloved Peter, is writing this letter, to some Christians who have been scattered about, and they are experiencing persecution. In fact, those persecutions are, in many cases, rather severe. And so, Peter is writing to them with the primary goal of encouraging them, encouraging them on how to live in the midst of the hostile society, in which they find themselves. And how to conduct yourselves in a world that is set against you. Generally he tells them to elevate themselves, and turn toward their living hope, in Christ. In other words, mentally separate themselves out of the world, as well as emotionally, spiritually, and focus on that which is eternal, that which is heavenly, what is above.

His instruction, is to keep your mind on the eternal Christ, keep your mind on His glorious future for you,  on His glorious resources, and don't become caught up in all of the fuss happening down here. Direct your focus upward. And so, he directs their attention in three ways. In the first part of the book he says, "Now I want you to focus on your living hope in Christ, first of all, by remembering your great salvation." And in chapter 1 verse 1 through chapter 2 verse 11 , he focuses on remembering our great salvation, which is the basis of our future hope. Then, secondly, he moves from the past to the present, and from chapter 2, verse 12 on he basically says, "Remember your example before men." We are to live by example. In the past you remember, the great salvation which provided your living hope. In the present you remember your responsibility to be an example before men. And that subject goes from chapter 2 verse 12 all the way through verse 6 of chapter 4, and we're in the middle of that section, and he is saying, in the midst of the hostility, persecution and rejection in a society that doesn't believe the same way you do, which makes it difficult for you, remember the necessity of your example before men. And then the final section of this great epistle, from chapter 4 verse 7 to the end says look to the future and remember that Jesus Christ is coming. Jesus is coming.

So, there you have these three perspectives in looking at your living hope, remember your past salvation, remember your present witness, and remember in the future Jesus is coming. Beloved, that's how we're to live. Now we find ourselves, as I said, in this middle section, of our text. We are discussing this whole matter of living in the world in such a way as to reach the world for Jesus Christ. It is important that we maintain our testimony.

And so, beloved, the bottom line is this, that if we are going to have an exemplary testimony in the world in which we live, in this very hostile world, and if we're going to be able to used to win people to Christ, then our lives must be distinguishable by a certain basic characteristic. Do you know what it is? I'd like to direct your attention to verse 18, the second and third words? Submit. Submit.  I Peter 2, verse 18, "Household slaves, submit." Now, I Peter Chapter 3 verse 1, "In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live."

So what Peter says is this, you're going to be caught up in a hostile world and that hostile world is going to manifest itself in all sorts of social relationships of which there are three primary ones: The government, the workplace and the family. These are the three social environments in which we all live, I've listed them from the greater to the lesser of them. Of course, the biggest social environment in which we live in, is the country where we live, and in this case, the United States of America. So, we are therefore answerable to the government and the government of the state, and as well the city and the local municipalities and so on.

Then next area of social relationship in which we find ourselves, is the workplace. We each have responsibility within our employment to submit ourselves to those who are in authority over us. The lesser of our social responsibility, is our family. And in each case he says to submit. In chapter 2 verse 13 he says "Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority." Submit to the government. In chapter 2, verse 18 he says, "Household slaves, submit with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel." Submit to your employer. And here in chapter 3, verse 1, he says in regard to marriage he says, "In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live."

The bottom line in our testimony in this society in which we live is submission. Submission, that's the key word. Now, you will also notice in verse 7 it says, "Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." and as you can see, this picks up the same thought of submission. This is very basic and an essential concept of Christianity. If we are to ever have an impact in our culture, we must submit to the social order, to the social structure, and the social patterns that God has designed. We cannot afford to be rebels. We cannot simply demand our rights, because we feel we're entitled. Now, allow me to add this very important point, we cannot feel superior to social order.

Then in verse 8, chapter 3 verse 8 and following, Peter says, "Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing. For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, and he must turn away from evil and do what is good. He must seek peace and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil."

Now, I'm not sure of you noticed, but there's one little phrase in there that I would like to direct your attention to if I might. Notice he says in verse 10, "For the one who wants to love life and to see good days." I believe that what we have in this passage is a marvelous discussion of the subject of living and loving the good life, living and loving the good life. I suppose it is most everyone's intent to love life and see good days, am I right? I mean, nobody really wants "bad days," do they? I don't know about you, but nearly everyone I encounter says, "Have a good day." So, my assumption is that everyone wants to have a good day, a lot of good days. It is everyone's desire to love life, to get out of life all that they possibly can. I suppose that the title, "Living and Loving the Good Life," sounds almost like some sort of preppie theme song. So, it appears, that everybody is just chasing the good life.

In the Italian culture, it's pretty common to hear people talk about La Dolce Vita, or the sweet life. And now, in our own society has clearly become the pursuit of living and loving the good life. For many people that means chasing different things, for some, it's chasing objects. And, for others, those objects just happen to be people, who sadly, are frequently used for  the purposes of self-gratification. But, for the majority of the population, it appears to  mean pursuing the good life via cars, houses, money and a variety of vacations, sex, often with multiple partners, drugs, alcohol, clothes, food and entertainment, and let's not forget, the body beautiful, etc. The sad reality is, however, that really is not the good life, and you don't necessarily love life like that and you don't always see good days because that kind of approach, all for a moment's pleasure, the high, fast rush, ends up falling short of the enduring love of life and the lasting goodness of days that is truly desired, the kind that really satisfies the heart. And, let's be honest, not only is everyone chasing after all these "things," but for many,
they not only want them, they obsess about them.

There's a Victorian area poet and playwright by the name of Algernon Charles Swinburne, who sort of summed up the void of attempting to love life, searching for its goodness in all the wrong places. This is excerpt what he wrote, "From too much love of living, from hope and fear set free, we thank with brief thanksgiving whatever gods may be that no life lives forever, that dead men rise up never." A rather dismal approach, wouldn't you say?

I believe, we are all familiar, with those in our society who seek the good life. Now, what about those in a different society? We can find evidence of that, even within the pages of holy Scripture, can't we? I'm sure you remember the man in the Old Testament who was looking for the good life in all the wrong places? His name was Solomon. Solomon had incredible wealth. He had many houses. He had chariots and horses. He had women, with whom he had sex. He had land, power and wealth.. And, he had fame. In fact, he had everything that people today would claim the good life must contain. He even had the Queen of Sheba, who, by the way, was no ordinary commoner herself. When she visited him, she was so taken back by his wealth, by his immense power, she was so enamored with his persona and all of his possessions that it says in Scripture, she was literally breathless in II Chronicles 9:4. Because Solomon, literally had it all, and yet was he content? Was Solomon "living and loving the good life?" Clearly, he was not. In fact, we can read, in his own words in Ecclesiastes 2:17, "So I hated life. I hated life because everything is futility and striving after wind." Beloved, that is just tragic.

People in our society today really had ought to listen to Solomon's words. Because, he had it all. If he had been living in our day he would have had huge mansions, vacation chalets and plantations, an entire fleet of Ferrari's, Lamborghini's and Bugatti's, a massive bank account and an impressive portfolio of investments, women and all of the things that people pursue today. And yet, he said "I hated life." You know, there are a great many today who seemingly have it all, yet are taking their lives. They had already obtained what everyone is chasing after, and they were miserable, and wanted out. We as a society, have got to wake up, those "things" will never make you happy, they only temporarily give the illusion of happiness until you're sucked in so deep you can't find any other way out, except death. What does that tell you??

If there was ever one character in the last century, one who sort of personifies the pursuit of the good life it would most likely, have to be Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway, who was most notably known for being a literary genius of sorts. We can at least appreciate him for that. But what really made Hemingway infamous was his avant-garde approach to every day life. Ernest Hemingway, vehemently pursued the good life. And, he did so with a vengeance.

There are quite a number of biographers, still today, who tell us about Ernest Hemingway, that he had little regard for the Bible, little regard for Victorian systems of morality, little regard for any definition of sin that impeded his cavalier lifestyle, and frivolous behavior. That he pursued his good life, the love of life, through drinking, through parties, through having women all over the world, Hemingway, basically lived life exactly the way he wanted to live it. He had money and power. He had fame and fortune. He had prestige. He traveled the world over.. He wrote and sold millions of books. He pursued pleasure incessantly. And yet, at the end, he didn't love life. He did not find good days. No, because in the end he put a gun to his head and literally blew it off. It's amazing to me. It is just amazing to think about the fact that we are told that the highest suicide rate in our country occurs among people over the age of 60, who, after all of these many years have not lived a very good life, they don't seem to love life, or have good days. In fact, I suppose we could safely say very few people today genuinely love life. Even fewer people really see good days. And, quite frankly, very few people seem to even have a good day. Hardly anyone is content. Few people are fulfilled. No one seems to be at peace. People are not happy. And what's even more sad, is that number is becoming fewer and fewer.

But certainly, if anyone should truly love life, we as Christians should love life. We as Christians should enjoy the goodness in each day. That is the inheritance we have had graciously bestowed upon us. How then is that to come to fruition? How are we to experience loving life and seeing good days?

I am unable to speak for anyone else here, but I believe what Peter tells us here. He gives us some very simple straightforward, practical insight into how we are to love life and see good days. The point of verse 10 perhaps needs to be explicated somewhat. Let's examine that phrase, "Let him who means to love life." The word "life" here is zoe. There are two words in the Greek for life, one is zoe, one is bios. Bios from which we get biology simply means the stuff of life, living as opposed to dying, being alive as opposed to being dead. The technical reality of being alive, that's bios, biological life. Zoe means not just life as opposed to death but experiencing the richness of really living life, all that which is considered to be fullness of life. And that's the word that is used here. Those who mean to love, not the biological reality that they exist, but who love all the potential goodness and fulfillment that life contains. That's what he means. The word "love," agapaōn, comes from the strongest Greek word to love, agapaōn, it is a strong-willed affection, it is a strong desire. And what Peter means here is those who intend to draw all there is in life out for their personal fulfillment.

Then he says, "And those who mean not only to love life in that way but to see good days," days that are meaningful, days that are beneficial, days that are fruitful, productive, purposeful, satisfying,  devoid, insignificant, mediocre days. That is what Peter's saying here.

Those of you who want to really love life and see those kinds of days, here's the formula. And I suppose it would be safe to say that there's nobody that doesn't want that. Right? Everybody wants that. But the question comes as it often does. Where do you find it? How do you obtain it? Where do you really find the love of life? Where do you really find those kinds of good days? What generates those kinds of days, even for those of us who are Christians?

The truth is I am confident that many of you do not love life in the way that you had hoped you would. I would expect, like many, there are particular elements in your life you simply don't love or at least dislike. There are Christians, as strange as it may seem, who even choose to take their own life. That's how badly they hate it. And I would venture to guess, that the majority of you do not experience non-stop good days. So this is a critical point where we need recognize that this directive can be applied to Christians, all right? That's a very important perspective. To understand that we're talking about Peter writing to believers, and I suppose there are times, when all of us who fail to love life as we should and do not experience good days.

In the case of the readers to whom Peter was writing, this was particularly related perhaps to the difficulty of their life. Back in chapter 1 verse 6 he says, "I recognize you have been distressed by various trials." That was true. They were experiencing difficulty and it wasn't easy. Chapter 2 verse 11, he says, "You are strangers who are aliens, you are fighting fleshly lusts which war against the soul, you are living in a hostile environment." Verse 20 and 21 he reminds them that you're going to have to suffer, that's the nature of living the Christian life in an ungodly environment. In chapter 3 verse 14  he reminds them yet again that even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you're blessed.

And so again he points to their suffering. Verse 15 again he reminds them of their suffering. Verse 17 again he reminds them of their suffering. In chapter 4 verse 1 he reminds them again of their suffering. Down in verse 12 he says, "Don't be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you which comes upon you for your testing." In verse 19 again he points to their suffering. In chapter 5 verse 8 he tells them that the devil is after them like a roaring lion. Verse 10 he reminds them again of their suffering.

So here are a group of people who from the standpoint of their circumstances, might understandably not love life and estimate their days to be good days. But Peter says to them, if you really mean to love life, and if you mean to see good days in spite of all of this, here's the formula. And he proceeds to give them basically four simple points, and I want to share them with you in part today, four simple, clear, concise points that will enable us to really love life and see good days.

If you'd like to take notes, that's fine, I'll try not to go too quickly, but of course, I do have quite a bit left to cover today, however, I'll cover what I'm able to today.

Remember back in verse 11 he said, "I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you."And what he then did was launch in verse 13 into a description of the social context in which they were to live Christ-like lives. They were aliens. They were strangers living in an ungodly society. They were to stay pure. And they were to live with exemplary behavior in three social arenas.

The first one had to do with their relationship to government. The second had to do with their relationship to their employer, labor. The third had to do with their relationship to their spouse, marriage. The three, basic, social arenas in which all of us live: We live in a relationship to the government; we live in a relationship to the employer; we live in a relationship to the marriage partner. And Peter says in those three areas you must live out a pure, irreproachable, excellent, Christian life. Those are the areas of social relationship which demand godly living, first as citizens, second as employees, and third as partners in a marriage.

In each of these specific social constructs, we are to live in an evangelistic way. Do you see that? Would you now look at the end of verse 12? You are to glorify God and you are to bring these people to the point where they will glorify God in the day of visitation. What does that mean? The day of visitation is the Day of Judgment and in the Day of Judgment they will glorify God because they are the redeemed and not suffering His judgment. In other words, you're to live evangelistically. That means you're to live to bring men to Christ.

So, regardless whether you as a citizen, or employee or a partner in marriage, you are to live evangelistically. He tells a wife in chapter 3, your husband may be won to the Lord without uttering a word by your behavior. So Peter has been clearly laying down the foundation that we as Christians live in an environment which requires us to live godly. We are strangers in this world. Yes. We are aliens in this world. Yes. But that does not mean to imply that we can be indifferent to its social order. That does not mean that we can hold ourselves to be superior to and unconcerned with these social matters. We must be model citizens, model employees, and model partners. And the assumption here is you're going to have ungodly government, ungodly employers, and ungodly marriage partners, but regardless, you must live evangelistically. That's the point here.

So those have been very specific directives. He closes in chapter 3, verse 7 and that was dealing with marriage, how the Christian wife is to live with her non-Christian husband and how the Christian husband is to live with his non-Christian wife.

Then in verse 8 he says to sum it all up. His summary of this passage on Christian conduct while living in an ungodly world. And here he comes to general exhortation. He's being specific up to this point, talking about citizens, employees and partners, now he's very general. Not just to you as citizens, not just to you as employees, not just to you as marriage partners, but everyone, here is the sum of it all. And we transition by that little word "all" out of the specific into the general. And that word "all" is key to understanding to whom he directs this message. If we are to live and love the good life, if we are to enjoy life in this hostile world, if we as aliens and strangers who don't belong here are to have all the best that life can bring and all the goodness that God intended, then here is how we are to live. The first principle, you have to have the right attitude toward everyone.

So is he saying to have the right attitude toward Christians or non-Christians?" He doesn't mean either, he's saying you have to have the right attitude and if you have the right attitude it will be the right attitude toward everyone. It has nothing to do with what's out there. It has everything to do with what's in here. So it all starts with the right attitude. There are five components that make up this right attitude. And four out of these five terms are not found anywhere else in the New Testament, so Peter is really developing  his own vocabulary for this summation.

The first word, in verse 8, "harmonious." Oh what a great word. Two Greek words make it up and I want clarify them for you. One is phronēs, which has to do with thinking, the verb phroneō, to think, we get that frontal lobe from it. Phronēs, but it's a compound word and on the first half of it is homo, which means the same, homogeneous, the same. To think the same, that's what harmonious means, to be like-minded. To put it different way, to sustain an inward unity of the heart. To give it a negative conitation, to not be in conflict, either with each other or those not in the faith. You see, as Christians in general, beloved, and I must say this to you, as Christians in general we are to demonstrate to the world an unearthly harmony. We are the purveyors of unity, we are not to create disruption.

Beloved, it is probably one of the great tragedies of our world that every conflict in our world is labeled as a religious war, therefore the world thinks that it is a war between Christians who just can't get along with each other, some are Catholic and some are Protestant and some are Muslim. That is an unbearable reproach to the name of Jesus Christ that someone would just assume that and, of course, that's just not true, that's not true Christians at war with each other. But that's the perception of the world.

I can't even begin to tell you, how it seriously causes me to cringe deep within my soul, when I see "so-called Christians" yelling and screaming and creating conflict on the streets, even though they may be protesting some good cause, and the terrible discord and conflict which they create is the antithesis of what God would have the church demonstrate to the world. Take note: We are called to be peacemakers. Least of all do we generate revolution, chaos, conflict. You see, the weapons of our warfare are Spiritual, they are not fleshly. We cannot war on that level. That is to stoop to pick up the carnal weapons. And not only are they impotent and but more importantly, will pull down the strongholds of Satan, and furthermore, they are a reproach to our testimony. We are to be the living example of harmony. And we cannot do that any other way, other than by standard set before us, Jesus Christ.

Then, the second thing that he says in these wonderful five words is sympathetic. We are to be sympathetic. This word, too, needs our understanding and attention. It is in part the word pathos. Pathos means "to suffer." Sum means "together with," sumpathos, sympathetic. It literally means to suffer alongside with someone. To put it simply, we are to be ready to share in the suffering of others, and before it's even asked, yes, even those outside the church. We should be known as sympathetic and yet isn't it tragic how very often the church pulls back and withdraws until it becomes a highly defined and malformed subculture that sits in total condemnation on the world around it with very little sympathy, if any at all.

We must understand this decay of humanity. We must find our hearts to be sympathetic. We should be like our Savior, our example, who was a sympathetic high priest, says the writer of Hebrews. We must share in the feelings of others, joining in their sorrow, joining in their joy. We should be known not as indifferent to the world, not as the critic of the world, not as those who damn or condemn people, but as sensitive to the pain and anxieties of the lost, as sensitive and tender hearted toward their needs.

To put it in simple terms, we can pity from above, but we can only sympathize from beside.

Within the church, it is those believers who are first generation, who have been converted out of lostness, who find themselves most in sympathy with those lost around them, whereas the second, third, fourth and fifth generational Christians have been the byproducts of an increasing indifference to a world they maybe don't even understand.

I can't stress this enough: we are to be sympathetic with all of their anxieties, cares and all of their burdens. We are not partakers in revolutions. We do not initiate riots. We demonstrate harmony. Not chaos and discourse. We do not castigate and damn people who are struggling with the issues of life as fallen creatures. We come alongside them in sympathy we give them hope and encourage them with truth.

The third of these five words, he uses the word philadelphoi. It's translated here "brotherly." I'm pretty sure you can see that this is where the city of Philadelphia got it's name "The City of Brotherly-love." It really should be translated as a hyphenated word, "brother-love," Brother-love  has to do with affection for those close to us. And this brother-love is that which is best illustrated in unselfish service. We are to be models of harmony, the peacemakers of our society, always bringing peace. We are to be those not only who are the purveyors of harmony but who are sympathetic, who enter into the suffering and the joy of those around us, who understand the pain of their brokenness, and who love them in an unselfish way which allows us to serve them.

Beloved, this has got to start within the church, it must of course, start with us, the church.  We have been saved, says I Peter 1:22, "By obedience to the truth, having purified yourselves for sincere love of the brothers, love one another earnestly from a pure heart since you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God." It starts with us by loving one another, but it goes far beyond that. That is not the end of it; that is only the beginning. And here we are reminded again that the love of Christ was shed abroad not only to us but to all, "For God so loved the world that He gave."

And so, we must show love to a loveless culture. And our love must increase and ever abounding. I don't need to speak incessantly about loving each other, that's replete in Scripture. But what Peter has in mind here is that if we have the right kind of attitude as believers within the assembly, it's going to expound outward. If we are peacemakers and if we are sympathizers and if we are brother lovers, the world is going to be witness to that.

Then fourthly he uses this word, "kind-hearted." It's really a unique word, very unique word indeed.  It means  to be “compassionate.” It means to be tender-hearted. It's the same word used in Ephesians 4:32, "And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ." It comes from the root word, which I find to quite an interesting root. It's the word splagchnons. So, what does it mean? Bowels, intestines, liver, kidney, the internal area; the Hebrews and the Greeks used it to speak of the feelings, the place of affection, of love of feeling, from the gut.. the bowels. You feel your emotions and when you feel them, you feel them here, in the viscera. And so it stands for the deepest human emotion. It's a lot like the word "sympathetic." It expresses the concept of entering deeply into the feelings, tender affection. It's used a number of times in the New Testament in that regard.

Surely this is at the heart of God, who Himself pitied, was kind-hearted, tender-hearted and compassionate toward sinners. In fact, Christ was so compassionate that upon seeing sinners Jesus wept.

The fifth is one word, also. It is translated three words, humble in spirit. It really is one word, "humble-minded." It's exactly what it means, nothing more, meek, humble-minded. And may I suggest to you that this is the all-encompassing and most essential of all Christian virtues? Humility; we are to be humble-minded. I cannot resist reminding you of  Philippians 2:3: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself." That's derived from the same root word. Let each of you in humility of mind consider others better than yourself. Need I remind you, that Jesus said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am  meek and lowly and you shall find rest for your souls."

In Closing...

Beloved, we need to somehow get this point across to the church: That's what God does not want us to be is protesters,  demonstrators, what God does not want us to be is revolutists, and political activists. What God does not want us to be those who disrupt the social systems of society by causing upheaval, not those who stand in condemnation of the fallen, not those who refuse to love others, not those who refuse be kind-hearted, unable to sympathize with the pain of the lost and their struggle, not those who proudly stand separated from society posturing ourselves as supreme beings.

Quite the contrary, the world should see the church and say, look at them, over there, their always making peace, always pursuing peace, always willing to share the joys and the sorrows of others, always eager to love, and love sacrificially while serving others, with compassion, with tenderness, kindheartedness, always showing pity, always lowly and meek, in humility, ever humble, never raising our fists in the air or wagging our pointing finger, demanding rights.

That is to be the mindset and attitude of every Christian. Every Christian is to have the mind and attitude of Christ. No matter how difficult the circumstances are in which we live, we are to be conciliatory, we are to be peacemakers in disposition, we are to be sympathetic and sensitive to the pain of people and their joy. We are to be sacrificial in our serving, to love to one another including those outside the church. We are to be endearing, tenderhearted and compassionate, we are never to be hurtful, unkind, critical or indifferent. And we are to bear the spirit of humility. That is the attitude that Peter calls believers to exhibit in every situation.

Where do we as Christians find all of these virtues rolled into one? In Jesus Christ. In the person of Jesus Christ, He is our example

Are we not called to be set apart from the world?

Let's all exhibit to the world, the heart and mind of Jesus Christ, because that's how we start Living and Loving the Good Life!

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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You Can't Quarantine The Word of God

" 35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36  Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37  They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!” 38  And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40  Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42  Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43  Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44  telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansin

The Things Which Must Soon Take Place

    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th