I’ve noticed those folks (including us often, me all the time) living in the world and not apart from it, who may value worldly things over those spiritual satisfactions of living in the Word. The Word being Jesus, the Word-living being us emulating Jesus in forgiveness of others, emulating Jesus in teaching/preaching/reaching, shining Jesus thru our spirit, in living a surrendered life that God wants us to live.
When we live in the Word apart yet entrenched in the world, we can let go of worldly things. We can “not sweat the small stuff” as well as bear up to the beatings of cruelty. In war, and in small skirmishes, how much more does the Lord reward those who tolerate rather than retaliate.
I’ve noticed some people without money become very jealous of it – and some people with money live greedily for more of it. I myself often retract in penny pinching after God has given the dollars to dole out freely. If we lived spiritually in the Word yet entrenched in the world, we would best see money as a tool. There’s a classic phrase: “money is a cruel master.” But we are all to know, “money is not everything.”
I’ve noticed some people without (or with) titles at work or seeming social rankings, who value them over simply just getting the best job done. I’ve seen climbers who have invented mountains. They don’t stay on anything that starts to crumble but are seen to jump ship,or supporting themselves with the stuff they ignored now piled underneath. I’ve noticed people looking for earthly glory, caught myself doing the same.
I’ve grown to appreciate instead, the people who walk the real ground under their feet. Don’t take time to self-preserve by separation. Who know all that previous earthly glory has crumbled. Theri attitude makes it easier for us to look at others with compassion and awareness.
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Let us follow Jesus’s example and do good, do Our Father’s Will and Love. Jesus looked at Peter LOVINGLY. Loved Peter who walked WITH Jesus even while he was often fumbling with his faltering faith.
Peter grew up from these early days, he grew spiritually to live in outreach to the Gentiles and to us. He could teach: “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”, because Peter Himself grew upto taste the Lord’s goodness.
Peter and we can learn the ancient scripture: For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Let us try to walk more with the Word, even if in the World but not of it. Let us walk alongside Jesus and see the people He needs us to see. Let our suffering be set apart as something we endure for HIS SAKE.
1st Peter 2:10-21
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, 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 he visits us.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”