Google+ 08/08/13 Deflect the Darkness By Living in the Light!

1 Peter 4:3-5

 

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 will judge everyone, both the living and the dead.

 

In part four of our five-part devotion series on gossip and slander, we move to the New Testament.  Peter's epistle has long been referred to as the "Proverbs" of the New Testament.  There is much wisdom from the half-brother of Jesus in today's Scripture.  If we have been prone to gossip and slander and have turned away from these practices, we have experienced a change in the past friendships that we treasured during our former period of disobedience.  Unfortunately, we have a tendency to act like the people that we fellowship with on a regular basis.  This reality is very healthy when these people are practicing members of our family of God.  We keep each other accountable and support each other in times of joy and sorrow.  This is exactly what God intended when He pointed out in Scripture that it is good when His people break bread together, fellowship and worship.  When the people that we choose to spend time with are willfully living outside of God's instructions and being disobedient, the same effect occurs, but in reverse.  Gossip and slander abound.  Every group conversation centers around talking about people who are not present.  Our family of God becomes "Satan's suckers" and things go downhill quickly.  There are wild parties and people begin to worship false idols, which in this case, are no longer the Greek or Roman deities that history has recorded for centuries.  They are rather bigger houses, faster cars, positions of power, large bank accounts, and lavish trips to exotic locations where more sin can abound.   During these life-changing events, Peter tells us not to be surprised that our former friends slander us.  Peter even states that of course this will happen.  This fact makes it even harder to continue to serve God and turn from our evil ways.  We are often left alone in this world as God's people.   What is our consolation?  Peter tells us.  Everyone has to face God on judgment day.  God will begin to read our list of atrocities.  As a child of God and believer in His Son Jesus Christ, we will have the greatest advocate standing with us.  Jesus will look at His Father and claim us as His own.  The converse will be true of those who have disobeyed God and His commandments.  Jesus will tell His Father that He simply doesn't know them.  Seek out others who serve God, sacrificially, every day here on earth.  Make them part of your family of God.  Stay close to Jesus.  We need to declare that we have had enough of evil things.  Expect to be slandered for God.  Expect people to gossip daily about what you do that is so different.  By following Jesus, we can "Deflect the Darkness, By Living in the Light!"