The Path of Life

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday, September 30,2012.

I.  The Will of God:  I Peter 4:1-5

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

The “will of the Gentiles” reminds me of the party culture of many colleges.  For Christians who attend those colleges, but who do not participate in the popular pastimes, there is a certain degree of alienation.  There may even be a certain amount of  rejection, or even mild persecution.  Compared to what Christians around the world go through, this is very mild.  Still, to the person experiencing it, it can feel like a major issue.  We must remember that we are called to live according to the will of God.  We should pray, as Christ prayed, “not my will, but thine, be done.  If in following the will of God for our life, we become subject to persecution, and suffering in this life, so be it.  We can remember that a day of deliverance and of judgement is coming.

II.  The Way of God: Psalms 16:7-11

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

God has given us His council in His Word.  We should read the Bible so that we can know how God would have us to live our lives.  It is the will of God for us to live according to His Word.

God also speaks to us in our hearts, by His Spirit.  We should learn to be sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  By the Word of God and the Spirit of God, God’s will for our lives is revealed to us.  In the absence of specific guidance, we can pray for God’s direction and make the choice that seems best to us.  We can trust that if we have committed our ways to God, searched His Word, and asked for His guidance, that He will help us to make the right decision. He will show us the “path of life”.

As we follow the path that God has for us, the joy, gladness, peace, and the righteous pleasures of being in the will of God will be available to us.  There may be times of testing, trial, or even suffering; but overall, our lives should be filled with the joy of the Lord.

III.  The Reward of God:  Psalms 17:13-15

Arise, O Lord,
Confront him, cast him down;
Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword,
14 With Your hand from men, O Lord,
From men of the world who have their portion in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.
They are satisfied with children,
And leave the rest of their possession for their babes.

15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness

People who have rejected Christ receive their portion is this life.  If their lives appear to be good, we must realize that this life is all that they will have of good.  We should feel sorry for them.  As for us, we should seek the face of God in our lives daily.  One day, we will finally see Him face to face.  That will be our reward for a life of faith.  At that point, the tests, trials, and sufferings, of this life will no longer be remembered.  The things that seem so big to us now, will fade into obscurity in the light of His presence.

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