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Aug 04

Paul’s Urgent Reminders For the Church I Peter 2:11-12

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Dearly beloved:

He loves those he ministered to.  He didn’t see them as projects or marks on a board.  He didn’t see them as career opportunities or as ego boasters.  He saw them as human beings with needs,  as fellow children of God,  as precious ministries,  as souls precious to God and therefore should be precious to us.

If we see people that we minister  to as God sees them then will not give up on them when they need us.  We will persevere with them no matter what the circumstances of the situation are or end being.

I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims.

We are not of this world.  We are in a temporary home.  We are just passing through.  We can enjoy the beauty of this world but not yield to the lusts and materialism of this world.  We can enjoy the fruits of labor of this world and the blessings of hard work but we must resist using the blessings of wealth only for ourselves and our desires.  We must give back all we have to God and recognize that as pilgrims and strangers, we are here temporarily utilizing the wealth and comforts of this world.  They are only tools and blessings on loan from God.  We are to be ready to give them up in a moments notice in order to serve God and bring glory to His name.

Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul:

If we recognize our true place in this world then will more easily resist the temptations of this world.   It is not that we are depriving ourselves of the world because it has so much to offer.  We are denying a present offering of an inferior product, enticement, allurement that is inferior, putried, virtually worthless in value for an eternal and superior award that is eternal and priceless.

God offers us a far superior wealth and a far higher position.

As believers, we enjoy now, and more perfectly in eternity, the privelge of fellowshipping with the creator of the universe rather with a mere president of the united states or fellowshipping with the latest star of hollywood.  There is far more promise, wealth, treasure, joy storing up precious treasures from Christ rather than accumulating and embracing the maggot infested meat of this world.

Why is it we get so confused and twisted in reality.  Many believers act like it is such a sacrifice to forgo riches of this world for poverty.  What??? What kind of faith and belief is that???  What is true reality?  To sell out walking with Christ and settle for fancy cars, homes, millions in the bank, property is to be content                 with the temporary, disposable, rat, and maggot infested great garbage dump of this world managed by the god of this world, Lucifer is ludicrious.

To forgo the trash of this world for the eternal, riches, gold, silver, received for service to Christ, obedience to Christ, suffering for Christ is the only reality that makes sense.  To embrace the suffering of this world if need be, and to let go of the trash of this world in order to gain the treasures of heaven is glorious and not even close to a fair trade.  Jesus offers us so much more than this world.  Not saying should have nothing of value but that we must be willing to give up anything of this world if it keeps us from laying up  treasures in heaven and or from serving Christ.

Paul is begging his followers to remember and embrace the reality and beauty and wealth of being a stranger and pilgrim of this world.  Paul is begging his followers to realize there is a battle for the intentions and motivation of the heart.   There is a battle that is far deeper than what we see on the surface.  Even followers who obey the word and appear to serve God diligently and sacrificially face the battle of the motivation of the heart.  For if even if our right service to God is done in pride, for our own glory, then the battle has been lost.  The flesh has won.  The treasure has been lost.  We not only battle against the flesh to be moral and serve God but we battle to serve out of love for God and struggle continually to make certain that He receives all the glory and honor due His name.