ESOCS Devotional 10 December 2023 – Living for God
MEMORY VERSE: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracle’s of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” I Peter 4: 11
TEXT: I PETER 14:1-11 (KJV)
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Our passage gives us comfort in suffering because Christ Himself suffered. He, who is God incarnate, who totally did not deserve to suffer, suffered on our behalf. He endured great physical, mental, and spiritual pain on our behalf, and exemplified the attitude and conduct we are to have when we go through the tough stuff of life. The call for us is to be prepared and equip ourselves for what lies ahead in life. We must have our expectations based on reality and in faith, so when something comes our way-whether it is a blessing or a problem-we can take it, handle it with excellence, learn, and grow from it. Then, in turn, we can be a blessing to others because of it. However, we cannot do that if we are not following Christ and taking heed to His example, His grace, and His love. Otherwise, our desires will fill that gap and will get the best of us. The sins of others and the sins of our heart will break us down and take us over unless we focus on Christ, His ways, and His path.
God has given us some very clear instructions in His Word as to how we are to live for Him. These include the command to love one another (John 13:34-35, I John 4:8), the call to follow Him at the cost of denying our own desires (Matthew 16:24), the exhortation to care for the poor and needy (James 1:27, I John 4:9), and the warning to not fall into sinful behaviours like those who don’t know God (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8, I John 4: 2-3). Jesus summed up a life lived for God when a teacher of the law asked Him the most important of commandments. Jesus replied, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
God’s desire is that we use the gifts He has given us as good stewards to minister to people’s lives so that they can be a blessed. Our conversation and ministry, must always bring glory to God. A life lived for God glorifies God. We pursue God with our entire being – heart, soul, mind, and strength. We abide in Christ (John 15:4, 8) and therefore act like Him by loving others. In doing that, we bring glory to His name and also enjoy the relationship for which we were originally created.
Those who wish to live for God must seek Him in His Word. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to apply the Word to our lives. Living for God means giving up ourselves and desiring God’s will above all else. As we draw nearer to God and come to know Him more, His desires will more naturally become ours. As we mature, our desire to obey God’s commands increases as our love for Him increases. As Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
- If your lifestyle does not portray Christ, you are living below standard.
- Father Lord, help me to live my life for You in Jesus name
FURTHER READING: Genesis 42:29-38; Zechariah 8:9–11; 2 Corinthians 4:1–18
ESOCS Devotional 10 December 2023