Suffering for doing Good by liaoqinmei


									Suffering for doing Good

     1 Peter 3:13~4:19

1) Before the Earth was created, there
            was suffering.
• Before you and I were ever born…
• Before Adam and Eve ever existed…
• Before there was life on this Earth at all…
• Before there were stars, or sun, or sky; before
  there was even light shining in our world…
• Before this world ever came to be… There had
  been suffering.
• Peter portrays Jesus Christ as “…a lamb without
  blemish or defect. He was chosen before the
  creation of the World…” (1 Peter 1:19)
• And in Revelation 13:8 we read:
  “…The Lamb [Jesus Christ] that was slain from the
  creation of the world.”
• Yes, before the world came to be, Jesus Christ had
  already been chosen as God’s perfect lamb… he
  had already been destined to die for you and for
  me… and what’s more: HIS SUFFERING HAD
 Before anything else existed…

He had already suffered!!
• The center of the Gospel is the Suffering of Christ.
  John 3:16 says that “God so loved the World that
  he gave his only begotten son…”
  God gave his Son in pain, in sorrow, in suffering.
• So it is only natural that the Christian Life should
  also carry suffering with it.
• Jesus said: “It is enough for the student to be like
  his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the
  head of the house has been called Beelzebub,
  how much more the members of his household!
  (Matthew 10:25)
  So, if Jesus suffered and was persecuted, we
  should expect the same for ourselves.
• Jesus also prayed: “I have given them your word
  and the world has hated them for they are not of
  the world any more than I am of the world.” (John
Movie: Independence day (独立日)
                    The entire world
                    fighting against the
                    Aliens, fighting
                    against that which
                    does not belong to
                    this world.
                    The world will
                    always fight and
                    oppose to whatever
                    does not belong to it,
                    or whatever does
                    not fit in its evil
                2) The alien seed
• “I have given them your word and the world has
  hated them for they are not of the world any more
  than I am of the world.” (John 17:14)
• The word of God is like a seed. An alien seed, for it
  does not come from this Earth, but from God
  himself. It is our responsibility to water it, guard it,
  and provide the right environment for it to grow.
  And when it grows, it takes over our lives…
• This seed grows into something totally different
  from the standard of the World.
• As it grows, this seed will take over our thoughts,
  our values, our habits, our personality, our temper,
  our character, our whole self… and we will grow
  less and less like our old selves, and grow more
  and more like the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Romans
• As it grows, this seed will make us more and more
  unlike the pattern or the world. So it’s only natural
  to think that the world shall try to make war
  against this seed, planted in our hearts by God.
     3) The ever growing conflict
• “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly
  life in Christ Jesus, will be persecuted.” (2
  Timothy 3:12)
• The apostle Paul makes it clear that we should
  expect opposition from the World after we
  become followers of Christ. In fact, it gives no
  exception, but says that “EVERYONE” who
  wants to follow Christ, will suffer.
• Jesus said:
  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses
  its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is
  no longer good for anything, except to be thrown
  out and trampled by men. You are the light of the
  world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
• We are compared to the light that shines in the
  darkness, and to a city that’s settled on a hill. As
  the word of God becomes real in our lives, we’ll
  become more and more obvious targets for the
  world. Our actions will expose us more and more,
  showing who we are: strangers in the world.
• And as our “true identity” becomes evident, the
  world will grow more and more sensitive and cold
  to us: our coworkers will look for any chance to
  blame us and stir up troubles against us; our old
  friends will treat us more and more distantly, as we
  try to live out our faith among them; our neighbors
  will look at us as if we were strangers when we talk
  about Jesus; even our family and relatives will be
  ashamed of us, and will even lie about us, making
  fun of us, and trying to discourage our good
  intentions whenever we make a mistake.
• And it’s not till these things happen, that the true
  essence of our faith is revealed: how do we respond
  to these things? Slapping back those who slap us, or
  turning the other cheek?
• And what happens when we have to lose in order to
  win? For example, at work: “If I lie to my customer, I
  could get this business, and then my boss would
  promote me…”, or “If I do this and that, I could
  avoid paying taxes, saving my company a lot of
  money… then I can get a better position, a better
  salary, a better life…” or, “If I make this ONE SIN, I
  could win a lot!!, I just have to overlook THIS ONE
  biblical principle, that’s all!! Come on! Nobody’s
  perfect, just this one time!”
• Or maybe a more specific example:
• You and your coworker are working on the same
  project. This is a very important project for your
  company, and both you and him have been
  entrusted by the boss to make this project happen.
• Everything goes well, until your coworker decides to
  take illegal measures, to speed up the process.
• As a result, your boss promotes your coworker, and
  makes him your supervisor. Although you tried to
  be godly, and decided to do things the right way, he
  gets the promotion, not you.
• You might say “Why?” “What’s wrong with being
  godly? Why the wicked is promoted, when the
  godly is looked down on?”
• What do we do when our faith gets tested?
• What do we do when we know that choosing for
  God will make us suffer?
• What do we do when our non-christian parents
  are against our faith, and determined to make us
• What do we do when we have to decide: God or
  the World?
• Do we decide to fulfill our destiny as light of the
  world, no matter what? Or we just step back, and
  go back to being darkness?
• Jesus said:
  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
  righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute
  you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
  because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great
  is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they
  persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
• The times we are living in are evil, and very
  difficult. The 21st century is a very scary time to be
  alive. The line between good and evil becomes
  very blurry at times, and with the pressures of life,
  we may tend to grow weary of being different. We
  feel alone, sometimes even strengthless.
• Nevertheless, Jesus encourages us to “let our light
  shine before men, that they may see our good
  deeds and praise our Father in heaven.”
  (Matthew 5:16)
• If we suffer because of our belief, we can rejoice,
  because we are linked with Christ who suffered for
  us. And when we suffer, we have the opportunity
  to tell everyone, with gentleness and respect, why
  we still have hope in the time of our suffering.
  When evil men bring false charges against us, they
  may be brought to shame – not when we return
  insult for insult or evil for evil, but when we stand
  tall, model Christ’s attitude, and suffer with
  patience and a clear conscience.
                4) The promise
• “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
  righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute
  you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
  because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great
  is your reward in heaven! (Matthew 5:11~12)
• In this world we will lose. However what we lose is
  nothing more than material worldly things, that can
  never be compared with the reward.
• After all… what do we want? A reward that will
  perish together with the world, or a reward that
  will last forever?
• Jesus clearly said “Whoever finds his life will lose it,
  and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
  (Matthew 10:39)
• The standard of the world is quite opposite to the
  standard of His Kingdom. In His Kingdom, it is
  those who lose their lives for His sake, that will
  actually find life. If we want to earn a heavenly
  reward, we have to give everything up here, for
  that purpose.
• If we want to be winners in His Kingdom, we need
  to make ourselves losers in this world. If we want
  to succeed in His Kingdom, we will have to fail to
  be a part of the world.
• So as long as we live on this Earth, under the
  dominium of the Devil and his system, we will
  face sufferings. As long as we live here, and until
  we meet our Lord face to face, our sufferings are
  our pride, our glory, our joy. Everything we do, we
  do it for HIM and HIM ALONE!!
• Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary
  and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my
  yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am
  gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest
  for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my
  burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28~30)

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