“Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you.” 1 Peter 1:9 MSG
Growing up in a bible-believing church and being raised with Christ-following parents I was constantly taught truth from the Word of God. I remember being in Bible Drills, a program for children to memorize the books of the bible as well as memorize scriptures. I was challenged weekly to recite scripture after scripture about love, goodness, and faithfulness. My parents and church leaders taught me how important it was to keep these statutes close to my heart and how I needed to walk in them. I remember listening to the pastor preach with passion and the audience responding with amen. I remember going to Sunday school and learning about God’s son named Jesus, who came to this earth to die for the wrong I had committed and continue to commit. However, just because I learned these precepts does not mean that I chose to live by what I learned.
Simply remembering what you have been taught is not enough. We must choose to live what we have learned.
This passage from 1 Peter is kind of like a “to do” list. There is a list of virtues that we ought to live by. But how can we do that? How can we simply get past reading these words and choosing to live them out?
Here is a list of truths to encourage you in living out what you have been taught.
1) Before we attempt to live out these qualities of godliness, we must first remember what God has done for us!
“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
This verses confirms that we were once dead in our sins, but Christ saved us from that darkness by being crucified and dying on a cross. He bore every evil act, deed, thought, and moment in this world upon his shoulders! Take a moment to reflect on the truth that God has died for our sin. He came to set you free from your own sinful habits.
Not only did God die for you, but when you accepted to place your trust in Him, His Spirit invaded your heart. Read the verse below and remember the gift that Christ has given you- living by His power.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Before we can move forward with learning how to change our sinful ways, we must be grateful for the way Christ has so graciously given us His whole being to live with! What a promise!
2) Secondly, we need to remember that we are not the ones capable of becoming righteous by our own power.
In my personal walk with Christ I used to think that I did not need His power in my day-to-day life. I thought that living in righteousness was something I could achieve by acting godly enough or praying hard enough. But that is not the case. Paul writes that:
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” Titus 3:5
Take a second to reread the scripture above and mediate on what the Lord wants to remind you today. We are saved by God’s grace-not through our own power. Notice how this verse does not say “he saved us because we went to church for 20 years in a row” or “he saved us because we read the Bible for more than 20 minutes every day” or even that “he saved us because we helped feed the orphans”. You can go to church all your life and answer all the questions in life group without truly submitting to the Lord and His Power that is at work inside of you once you become a believer. Ask God to help you remember the power given to you. You are God’s daughter living by His power! How amazing is that!
3) Once you remember how God sent his son Jesus to the earth to redeem you from sin and death and is at work inside of us, you can become confident of God’s invitation to live your life on mission for Him.
When I was in high school, it clicked with me that this life was not supposed to be all about me. It was not about what career I thought I would make the most money in, which guy I thought was the cutest to go out with, or what grades I could achieve. It was not about having all the answers or having the most bible time out of all of my friends. It was about the Lord using my life as a vessel for His kingdom, His glory, His mission, and His story of restoring mankind to Himself.
Take time to read each word in these scriptures about living for God and being confident while doing so.
- “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
- “…in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” Ephesians 3:12
- “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
God is inviting you to take part in His kingdom. He wants you to surrender your rights, surrender your plans, surrender your dreams, and surrender your efforts. You are never going to have a fulfilled life without communion with Him. He is not only going fill the void in your soul but also open up your heart to many, many blessings as you seek to live the qualities of faith, love, godliness, self control, brotherly affection, and love. He is going to be with you. Beloved, He will never leave you nor forsake you. He knows what you need to accomplish the things He has asked you to do! He will equip you with those needs in order to complete His plans.
As you grow in the grace and knowledge of our God, take the time to ask God to reveal the areas in your life where you need to submit to His Lordship instead of submitting to your own efforts.