I Peter 4:1 FORASMUCH then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
Suffer means to feel pain, undergo rejection, experience heartache and disappointments, be wounded in heart, in soul, mind, body, and spirit, to agonize over rejection and grieve over the sudden and unnecessary death of love ones, to be misunderstood, to be a victim of deceit and lies unjustly, to be reviled and persecuted for righteousness sake, and beaten down for the truth of the Word. Have you been there yet? Are you willing to go there? This is a suffering way! Are you willing to endure? Are we willing to carry the Cross of Jesus all the way to the end? We must go through with the supervision of the Holy Ghost overseeing and leading us in how to conduct ourselves in the earth. We must render total control to the Spirit of God that He may direct us into the administration of the Father and His Will.
The way that I am talking about is suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ. To serve God like Jesus did was a suffering way. Unlike us today with our happy go lucky selves Jesus held faithful to that which He had been called to. St. John 3:16 for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever should believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life. God is love and love suffers long. How far are we willing to go to suffer for the cause of Christ? If we suffer long it is because we possess the fruit of the Spirit which takes us from under the law of man. Jesus suffered the temptation of Satan as a man in the flesh as we do today. The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh and they are contrary the one to the other so then we canít do what we want to do but those things that pleases God. Denying the flesh means we suffer denial to the desire that takes us out of the Will of God where the love of God rules in our hearts.
Our problem is we desire man to love us so we sacrifice the fruit of the Spirit to be alive in us. We sacrifice true love that comes only from God. We sacrifice our joy, peace, goodness and faith that only God gives. We forget that we must have some longsuffering and want things now. The gentle way we once walked in Christ has been compromised and we are mean as a junk yard dog. Meekness and temperance are bywords that only exist on the page of the Bible in Galatians 5: 23. We sacrifice too much to be accepted by man. Jesus was not accepted by the masses or even his own people. The Word He taught, preached and lived was not acceptable to man so what make us think we are different? The difference between us and Jesus is He realized the weakness of the flesh when he found his disciples asleep when they were supposed to be watching while He prayed.
Matthew26:38-41 then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry here, and watch with me and he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed saying, O my Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep and saith unto Peter, what, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak..
Jesusí entire ministry was under the direction and power of the Spirit of God. He followed and was led by the Spirit which was not acceptable by even the church folks of that time. Jesus not only suffered these things but He suffered the death of the Cross; the most evil way to die at that time especially for something you did not deserve. John in I John 3:16 said we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren; how many of us are willing to lay ourselves aside to entreat one another as we should? If we had to die for one another we probably couldnít be found at the time. If a friend or brother would have taken a bullet will we be willing to jump in front of them and take the bullet. Most of us if we knew trouble was coming to someone wouldnít even warn them less alone run interference for them. We live in a world where the world cares only about themself not their neighbor or the next person.
We as the people of God will suffer persecution. We will suffer things as no other being in the world because most times itís by people we love and care the most about. Man will forsake us but God will never leave us. Judas betrayed Jesus and Jesus yet loved him. Peter denied him three times but He still loved him. People will hurt us, deny knowing us, and even will lie where we are concerned but we still have to love them. People accused me of murdering my husband and I didnít but I still have to love them. My daughter in law murdered my son and it hurt me too but I still have to love her. I learned through these hurtful experiences that when we love like God loves we canít hate no matter how much we want to. We hate the sin but love the people. I fell and hurt my whole body and I thought I should have been able to come back to work to my job I had been on for 27 years. I thought not allowing me to come back was the worst thing in the world
St. John 15:13 greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends. Jesus was put to death by us; those he loved so much. He called us friend; Proverbs 17:17 Solomon says that a friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity. He is put to death time and time again by us that say we love him because we continue to sin time and time again. We suffer sin to be accepted time and time again when we donít say or do anything about the prevailing sin in the world. Peter in I Peter 2:21 said Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps but we are not ready to walk in this suffering way.
Jesus told the Disciples in Matthew 10:20 for it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. In Mark 13:11 He said that it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. We donít allow our mouths to be Godís mouthpiece: Luke 12:12 for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. I Corinthians 3:16 know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. Our eyes are his eyes, our ears are his ears, Hebrews 3:7 wherefore the Holy Ghost saith today if ye will hear his voice, we will do as David said in Psalm 71:24 my tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long and our feet are to go the way He says go. When our hands are used to lift Him up He will lift us a standard against sin. We sniff out sin to rebuke it and cast it out that the Will of God is done in the earth. We the people of God does everything but what we have been called to do!
We are Angels of life that upholds righteousness, sanctification, and holiness. Jesus did not come with his own theology but with the belief and faith of the Father that sent him. No matter what He went through he held fast the profession of his faith in the one that sent him to redeem manís soul from hell! Jesus is asking today, will we too go to sleep on him when the enemy starts to ride our back? Will we too walk away and deny him when the pressure is on us to decide if we love him or not? Will we too take the trust he put in us and abuse it through denying him when pressured to stay with him or go with man? Will we let the love he has for us die by making the wrong decision not to come to Him and suffer for Christís sake? This is a suffering way do you personally want to make the transition through the suffering to make heaven your home for eternity? Eternal life is a promise but there is some suffering to obtain it. It eternal life worth the suffering we as Saints must suffer for Christ and the Kingdom sake? Make your election sure today; rededicate your life to Godís Way of Holiness, His Will to fulfill, and His Word to obey.
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