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Life as an Alien

Life as an Alien

Words of Faith 1-29-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Peter 2

     [11] Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. [12] 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.

 

          Almost every large city in America is marked by certain areas that carry some ethnic identity.  As people immigrated from various nations, they settled together. They created the rich enclaves called by such names as China Town, Little Havana, and Little Italy.  Many people from the old country would never have to change their customs or language because of these safe havens.  But their way of living also became a daily testimony to the heritage of a homeland.

         These enclaves even came to draw people across cultural barriers to sample the fine food, crafts, and culture of the old country.  At times when fear and ignorance stirred up hatred against such people, the dignity of their culture was often a testimony to their values and work ethic.  It seems that one of the best answers to hatred is truth in the way people live day-to-day.

        The Christians of the first century were also immigrants.  They had immigrated from the world of Rome or Judaism to the Kingdom of God.  Yet they lived scattered among the former ways and places.  The first Christians lived as aliens, even among the people they had loved.  Though they lived in the same houses and owned the same businesses, their allegiances and basic priorities had changed drastically.  

        Rome was clearly suspicious of the Christian movement.  But most painful may have been the rejection of Messianic believers by their own Jewish people.  Initially, they were received only with skepticism, but the followers of Jesus came to be viewed as a dangerous acquaintance. There was great fear that any persecution of the Jewish‑Christians might easily spill over against all Jews. There were economic sanctions as a result, plus social and religious rejection.  In such an atmosphere, it is easy to see how various false accusations would arise.

          How do you deal with persecution and false accusations?  Peter urges a lifestyle so different that it is sure to be noticed.  We are to live as a Little Kingdom of God though for now we are surrounded by the kingdoms of this world.   Our customs and culture must be radically different.  Though we live under grace, abstinence from sinful desires is essential.  We must live such a life that those around us may find good deeds and even glorify God on the last day.  In the light of such a presence of God, false accusations are answered, and hatred is confronted. 

          Is there persecution that you are trying to handle?  Fighting back won't help.  Declaring your innocence won't make the difference.  Live each day with Jesus in your life.  Let them see Jesus.  That is the only way.

           

           Lord, fill me only with You.  Let Your light so shine in me that others will see You.  Answer in my behalf should I be falsely accused.  Defend me with Your righteousness.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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