The World will know that we are Christians by our love. They will know us by the fruits we bear... by the way we respond to those who do us wrong.
I watched a sermon this Saturday and it talked about how to define a Christian. I wanted to share my sermon notes with you because I am a Christian writer and I write about people who love Jesus Christ all the time. But I don't think I expound on the "how."
So, I wanted to share what I learned. (And maybe... just maybe, I'll write a short story about it).
How do we Identify a Christian?
I invite you to read 1 Peter 1:22. And when you do, you will notice that the big key phrase in the verse is love one another.
A few verses back (v. 18-22) it shows us the whole picture. It tells of how there was a moment in a Christian's life when they chose the Lord. When they heard about Jesus Christ and how He gave up His life for all of us and they gave their lives to Him.
Therefore, by being with God, they automatically join a family. Because God is all about forging families that last forever.
Family = Other People
Today's culture thrives on malice, lies, hypocrisy (being fake), envy, slander, and hateful speech. And there is an enormous heavy pressure to conform to it.
In the Old Testament, God's people wanted to stop going against the culture and start blending in and live in the shadows of the culture because of the pressures, persecution, and struggle.
But God said, "no."
This culture that feels so big, so cruel, cold, and heartless... it is a flower, and it will all fade.
The fashion trends will fade
Instagram will fade
The current president will fade
The job you love so much will fade
The money you strive for will fade (have you seen the gas prices?)
The new phone you got will fade
The business you started will fade
Twitter will fade
Peter quotes Isaiah in 1 Peter 1:24-25 explaining this:
"All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever."
Everything will eventually fade, but God made a promise that He has a King who is building a Kingdom that will last forever. And that Kingdom is coming soon.
And we have a choice to either live our best life on this world or invest in this everlasting Kingdom that's coming.
The Old Testament church was encouraged when they saw Daniel, Meshack, Shadrack, and Abednego endure.
In fact, as they watched the 4 Hebrew boys stand in Babylonian culture they said, "That's how God's people live in a culture that goes against God, that thrives on chaos, indifference, and selfishness. That's how you should go about it."
You link arms with one another
And no matter what fire comes, you endure
How Do You Do This?
We learn how in 1 Peter 2:1-3. We have to take off our old ways of living and long to nourish the good ways of living.
The "old way of living" is literally poison to a community. If you ever wondered why your friends are leaving (or not caring about you), or why your relationships are dumpster fire, maybe consider if you are doing the things in 1 Peter 2:1.
The way of the World... the way you used to live (the old way) pushes people away and keeps people isolated in communities.
But God is about building communities. So, he says, "Put off the old ways."
The Gospel is all about letting go and replacing
So, once you stop your old ways of living, you have to start nourishing your new way of life.
God builds you a new body (A new creature, a new way of living), then you need to eat something that builds that body...
So what do you eat in order to nourish your new body?
Experiences (knowing God for yourself, thus experiencing Him in your life)
Read Psalms 34
Here Are the Key Take Aways of What I Learned
Don't numb out on a screen.
Don't hide or disappear.
Invest in the community of God, because God is forging a family that lasts forever.
Sustain by getting into God's word and seeing that God is good
He's made me different from the culture... for the culture
He's given me my community and together we are going to stick together and we are going to shine.
I hope you enjoyed my sermon notes. If they were helpful comment below what your favorite part was. Thank you so much for reading...
Love you muchly 🖤