Standing Tall

By Doing Good
1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to submit ourselves to the governing authorities over us. And, we are to obey the laws of the land. The only exceptions to this that I know of are if they require that we disobey God, that we deny our Lord, that we take the mark of the beast, bow down to their idols, stop praying to and worshiping our God, and if they tell us we must stop speaking in the name of Jesus and sharing the gospel of our salvation. These are the biblical exceptions of which I am aware.

But, we must understand here that “the beast” is very deceptive, for it is of Satan, and so is the false prophet, so we must know that they will find ways to convince us to bow to their gods, or to take the mark, or to deny Jesus, or to disobey God’s Word, which are very subtle. For example, they twist the gospel message by taking scriptures out of context and by building entire doctrines around them, and so they can show you that “scripture says,” but out of context they can make it say whatever it is they want it to say.

Another thing they do is push “unity,” and they will show you the scriptures which say we are to be of one heart, one voice, etc., and they will call out all those who they say are disunifiers. But, you have to look at what it is they are asking you to unite with, and what it is that the “disunifiers” are not uniting with and why. For, much of this “unity” is with man and with businesses and with marketing schemes, but not with God. And, those they call “disunifiers” may actually be those who are on God’s side, and who are standing strong on the Word of God, and are not compromising with the world of sin or with the worldly church and their worldly gospel.

So, the good that we should do in these situations is to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, to expose the lies and the deceptions, to put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us, and to tell the truth. In this way we will silence the ignorance of foolish people who are being duped by these master manipulators, or who are themselves the manipulators, liars and deceivers. And, you will help others to not fall into their evil traps of deception, and you will save many lives from hell, because you exposed the lies and told the truth. For, many are following after lies these days and need their eyes opened to the truth.

One of the biggest deceptions going on within the church and propagated also by people in high places is this whole idea that we need world peace, and that we all need to come together as one people, with one voice and with one heart and mind to bring peace to the world. But, this is not the peace we are to bring. Peace with the world means compromise of faith and practice, and of the Word of God, so that we can all “unify.” But, unity is supposed to be with Jesus Christ, and his mind, heart and will, and with His Word, but not with the world or with the worldly “business” church.

The other big deception being propagated by the church and people in high places is this diluted gospel message which is a false grace because it requires no repentance, no obedience, no submission to Christ and no death to sin and living to righteousness. All one has to do is say they believe in Jesus and they are promised heaven when they die, while they are given the freedom to keep on in their sinful addictions. We must know here that scripture says if we walk in our sins we will die in our sins (Rom. 8:1-17). Our freedom in Christ should never be used as a cover-up for evil.

You’ve Been Called
1 Peter 2:18-21 ESV

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

We all serve somebody, or most all of us do. We serve God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), Holy Spirit – or ourselves, the flesh, or our bosses, or our spouses, etc.

We are to be subject to those humans in authority over us, yet, again, to never do so in ways which deny Christ or disobey God and his Word. Yet, in our subjection to human authority we may be faced with mistreatment, and we may be called upon to suffer unjustly for righteousness’ sake. If we endure unjust suffering with the right heart attitudes, in obedience to God, then we are blessed. For, we have all been called to suffer for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of his gospel.

I can tell you from experience that if you do not unify with the worldly church and the one world order, which is pushing this unity of all people globally, and you stand for what is right, and you speak the truth, and you expose the lies, that you will be called to suffer for it, for you will be persecuted. If you are separate from the world and unto God, you will be rejected, misjudged and mistreated. Jesus was.

Jesus was hated because he told people the truth about their sin and he called for repentance and faith in himself. He was hated, too, because he didn’t compromise with the world of sin, and because he didn’t join in with the hypocrisies of the religious leaders, but he exposed them. And, he didn’t follow the customs and traditions of men, but he followed his Father in heaven, and he did what was right even if it wasn’t popular. And so he was persecuted, falsely accused, falsely arrested, beaten, given a mock trial and then hung on a cross to die, although he had done no wrong.

And, we are to follow his example for us in what to do and in how to respond to unjust suffering. We never back down or give up or shut up when we need to speak; when God says to speak. Jesus spoke much when it was necessary, and even to those in authority over him, and he spoke the truth, and he didn’t allow mistreatment of him to keep him from obeying the Father or to keep him from doing what he was called to do. But, he kept on, even knowing that one day it would lead to his death. And, so must we.

Christ’s Example to Us
1 Peter 2:22-25 ESV

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

But, we have to have the right heart attitudes before God, and we have to be listening to our Lord and we must follow our Lord’s direction and not respond in the flesh. We must not sin in response to unjust treatment. And, we must never lower ourselves to lies and deception as a means of avoiding such unjust treatment, either. We also must not try to get even with our persecutors, but we must leave the wrath to God. Vengeance is his.

When we are treated unfairly or even cruelly, we must entrust our lives into God’s hands, trust in his sovereignty over our lives, and do whatever he asks us to do. He may have us speak to our persecutors, especially if they are those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and he may have us appeal to their consciences before God and to love, mercy, compassion and justice. He may have us speak the truth in love to them to save their own souls from hell. Note that Jesus was not always silent. He spoke most of the time, and he defended himself against false accusations on numerous occasions.

But, he submitted to the cross when it came time for him to give his life up for us, but he struggled with that, and even asked the Father if it was possible for that cup of suffering to pass from him, if there was another way that he could provide salvation to all of mankind. But, in his struggle, he submitted to the Father, and he said, “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”

I understand that, for there are times when I struggle with the suffering I have been called upon to endure, and sometimes I ask the Lord to remove it, but then I yield to the Lord and to his sovereignty. For, I know he has a plan and a purpose for it all, and he will accomplish his purposes.

So, why did Jesus suffer and die for us? That we might die to sin and live to righteousness. And, why should we suffer, too, for righteousness’ sake? That we might die to sin and live to righteousness, but also that we might lead others to do likewise. If because we are telling people the truth about the gospel we are suffering unjustly, then praise the Lord, because God is using us in others’ lives to give them the truth so that they will believe the truth and reject the lies, and so they won’t fall into the trap of deception, so that is a good thing, and a good cause for suffering. So…

No Less
An Original Work / March 19, 2012

I can do no less than praise You,
Lord, for all You’ve done for me.
You died for my sins to save me,
So I would be set free.
I adore You! Lord, I praise You!
Jesus, Savior, King of kings!
You provided my redemption.
Your grace has pardoned me.

I can do no less than serve You.
Lord, Your witness I would be,
Telling others of Your love,
And why You died on that tree.
Tell of how You gave of Your life,
So from sin we’d be set free,
So we could worship You forever,
And live eternally.

I can do no less than love You,
Lord, for You have first loved me.
You gave of Your life so willing,
Because You cared for me.
Turn from my sin! Obey freely!
Live for You each passing day.
Read Your word, and follow Your lead,
Lord, as I humbly pray.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 3:33 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus!

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