Wednesday, December 5, 2012

1 and 2 Peter

Life Project: 1st and 2nd Peter Candice Roberts When I was a little girl I had the opportunity to listen to missionaries speak at my church on many occasions. I would always look forward to their visits. I lost myself in their stories of adventure and passion. They always spoke with such fervor about their mission field and I dreamed of one day going on the mission field myself. I wanted desperately to bring the Good News to the farthest corner of the earth. And here I am, in Utah. While Utah may not have been exactly what I had in mind as a child, I do believe that I am on a mission field. And furthermore, I believe my Christian brothers and sisters across all of America are on a mission field. 1st Peter 1:17 calls us Christians “foreigners”. 1st Peter 2:11 calls us “strangers and aliens”. So while I may not be surrounded by Aborigines, I am surrounded by a mission field, because I have been called to represent Christ to a world that does not know Him. God’s ultimate goal is redemption of His creation. He desires that every man, woman and child would come to Him. In fact in 2nd Peter 3, we are told that God is not slow in returning but patient as He does not “want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God desires to use our lives as witnesses to those around us. For this reason, Peter’s charge to the first century church is still compelling us today. “I urge you, friends, as strangers and aliens, to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day that He visits us.” 1 Peter 2:11-12. Good lives. Good deeds. That is the missionary calling that has been placed on my life. You see, it is much more than the words that come out of my mouth. The real power of my witness resides in the way I live my life. There is a name for this way of living- Lifestyle Evangelism. Matthew Crane gives this definition of Lifestyle Evangelism: “Christians living such an amazing and sin free lifestyle that it causes all the non-Christians to ponder why we are so different. As a result the non-Christian searches for the answer and realizes that God is real and living all because of an amazing lifestyle of a Christian. “ From this definition (but ultimately from God’s Word) we can identify two components of Lifestyle Evangelism. One is a sin free lifestyle. Two is an amazing lifestyle; the Bible calls it an abundant life. Our charge, should we choose to accept it, is to live in this manner. We are also called in 1st Peter 3:15 to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.” When your lifestyle causes others to stop and question what makes you so different, and it will, you tell them, JESUS!! When I think about the grace I have received and the family of faith I have inherited, I am humbled to have this calling of missionary on my life. I am sure you have felt the same way. Undeserving but inspired to be a witness for my Savior. I would like to leave you with a few quotes from some of our most respected co-laborers in this great Missionary work. “We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” DL Moody “Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me.” DL Moody “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can” John Wesley “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.” John Wesley

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