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Topic: Peer Pressure (07/05/04)
TITLE: Positive Peer Pressure
By Charlotte Schafer
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The first generation church used positive-peer-pressure to cause others to be drawn to the Lord, and added thousands to the church. It seemed that the more they were persecuted, the more they willingly sacrificed and shared with one another, each building up the other upon their most holy faith.
Even when persecution scattered these Christians across many nations, causing whole households to be imprisoned, and some to be burned at the stake, it only served to make the others emboldened. Perhaps, they felt that the death of a brother or sister in Christ must not be in vain; therefore, their souls burned to make those deaths valuable assets.
Today, the church is floundering under a weight of societal peer pressure, and we wonder where the power to over come, and the power to live the Christian life has gone. We are out of control, flesh serving, poor examples.
Well, dear one, this power is as close as falling on our knees and repenting, this power is as close as the Bible laying over there on the night stand; in fact, the power to be more than a conqueror, is as close to you and me as our very breath.
Romans 10 from the Message Bible says, “The word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth…” “It is to proclaim Jesus as “Master.”
God has placed the body of Christ, His church, here to be a light, a standard, and a societal peer pressure that will stand against the tide of the antagonist. Yet, when we are lazy about our own Christian walk, depending upon others to do our praying, and fasting, and Bible reading for us, we become weak examples to follow. Those who follow weaklings become weaklings themselves. Paul the Apostle, said to follow Him, and those who walk as he walked.
The world is looking to see if we are a fearful, and powerless people, or, are we a people with purpose and strength. When we show them our powerless side, they spurn us as fools, and who could blame them. Yet, when we show them victory over defeat, and a peaceful joy in the face of despair, that catches their attention, and even becomes a mighty force.
True victory and power for living, can only be found as we lay aside our mere words of commitment to God, and truly surrender at the foot of the cross. This is where new life begins, and where strength for daily living, is found. It seems to me, that we have become winebibbers on Saturday night, and worshippers on Sunday morning, and just getting by the rest of the week. I personally want more than that as my Christian testimony, don’t you?
We must not think we can skip a few days of Bible reading and prayer and still be all right. Truth is, we need to be praying unceasingly, for guidance and opportunities, so that we can be ready at anytime to share the great good news of Jesus Christ, with our world.
I admit, I have been guilty of not always taking the time to spend with my Lord, either in Bible study or prayer. Soon, like Moses, I sense His powerful glory fading away from me, and I miss the company, of His ever-present personhood.
I recently came across the concept that being too busy was a sin. I had to repent, for in my busyness I had failed to touch the face of God, and had missed out on opportunities to be used by Him.
Every day, is a fresh new start. But, don’t go out to the battle alone, like the Israelites did; make sure he is leading, and you are following.
We each, as believers, have been “left behind” to be an example of His mercy, and glory and a trophy of His grace. We each are positive-peer-pressure, because the restrainer lives, in us.