Now, more than ever, is the time for God’s people to be people of purpose, living on purpose for the sole purpose of fulfilling God’s purpose for giving them His life. Two ways to ensure that happens is by living in purity and power.
All of the New Testament writers, in one way or another, spoke into the importance of this truth. And the truths they wrote about are timeless, speaking into every generation of people who read and heed their wise counsel.
Jesus, who is heaven’s model and our role-model for all life and ministry, is the Author and Perfecter of this life of faithful obedience to the Father.
May wife Donna and I have a call on our lives that in part is to train, equip, and activate maturing saints in the Biblical lifestyle of purity and power. Having a DNA of “In earth as it IS in heaven” [Matthew 6:10 KJV], requires us to pursue the life Jesus lived and to lead others into experiencing.
Mistakes happen! A mistake is a momentary lapse of good judgment. We have discovered there are way too many people who use the “I made a mistake” excuse for a lifestyle of repetitive “lapses of good judgment.” At some point people need to grasp they are not making mistakes. but they are revealing corrupt core values that if not repented of will lead them to dark places and possible eternal destruction.
Peter, a disciple of Jesus who made some mistakes in his life, wrote the following instruction to people displaced because of their commitment to Christ.
1 Peter 3 – “10 The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and [he must keep] his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Do you desire life? The life Peter is referring to is the life God possesses and passes on to those who desire His life.
Do you desire love? The love Peter is referring to is the love God possesses and passes on to those who choose to receive and communicate God’s love. God’s love does not change when a person rejects His love, because God never changes in His nature and character. He is eternally consistent!
Do you desire to see good days? The good days Peter is referring to that can be seen [experienced] are upright, honorable and therefore useful to God and to us. In other words, these “good days” are days when we live right according to the life God desires we live, and we choose to live because we choose to honor God.
Please pay close attention to this text!
This is a quote of Psalms 32:12-16 and Peter uses this text as he writes to believers in Christ who previously were not the people of God. Some believe Peter is writing just to Gentiles. Others believe he is writing to both Gentiles and Jews who previously were not born again believers in Christ. Either way, they are now Christians by virtue of their “being chosen by God, according to the foreknowledge of the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled by His blood” [1:2].
Look at what Peter says in 1:2 about the people he wrote to who were scattered into at least 5 areas quite possibly because of persecution.
1. Chosen by God according to the foreknowledge of the Father
This does not mean God only selects a select few to be saved. This means God saves those who choose to be selected to be saved. “Whosoever may come”, and “Many are called but few are chosen” are truths that reveal 1] everyone has the opportunity to come, and 2] only those who do come can be chosen. The call to salvation is offered to all, but only those who accept the call and the conditions of God’s call are saved.
2. By the sanctifying work of the Spirit
True separation to God always produces the life God saved us to live . This sanctification must lead to a holy [pure] lifestyle . In other words, if our life is not holy God did not give it to us. “14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy'” [1:14-16].
3. To obey Jesus Christ
There can be no purity without complete obedience to Christ who fully obeyed the Father. Our love for God is proved in our obedience to God. Peter is saying that we are chosen to obey Christ. This is a different reality than we are chosen to go to heaven.
- John 14:31 – “But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.”
- John 14:15 – “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
I find it interesting Jesus followed up His “Loving Me means obeying Me” with “I love the Father by doing exactly as the Father commands Me.” True leadership is seen in setting the example for those who follow us. Pharisees [False leaders] put things on people they refuse to do themselves. By the way, the world is watching to see if what we say is congruent with how we live. Do we prove to the world we love God by fully obeying Him? Jesus did! And He is our role-model.
4. To be sprinkled by His blood
Being cleansed from all impurity must lead to a consistent lifestyle of living pure. This is an illustration taken from the Old Testament examples of – 1] The Hebrew people and the mixed multitude who were delivered from Egypt and the death angel by putting the blood of a sacrificed lamb on the doorposts of their homes [hearts]; 2] The sanctifying of all the materials, furniture, and utensils of Moses’ Tabernacle and Solomon’s temple; 3] The sanctifying of the priests where blood and oil was placed on their right ears, thumbs and big toes representing cleansing and anointing for service. Once these were sprinkled they were never to be used for any other purpose.
Peter lists some vitally important lifestyle characteristics of Christian character that leads to the life God desires for all people, but especially for anyone claiming to be His.
1. Must keep their tongue from evil
- ‘Evil’ here means worthless, destructive that comes from a belief that is not true
- “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our mouths reveal what really is in our heart.
2. Must keep their lips from speaking deceit
- ‘Deceit’ here means a decoy [misleading for the purpose of luring away from what is true and holy]
3. Must turn away from evil and do good
- ‘Turn away’ here means to turn completely from the wrong direction, or to head in the correct direction, to shun anything and anyone living unholy so we do not emulate their bad behavior
- ‘Evil’ here is the same word used above [worthless, destructive that comes from a belief that is not true]
- ‘Do good’ here means to produce, be the authors of, and abide in all that is honorable and beneficial to a holy lifestyle
4. Must seek peace and pursue it
- ‘Seek’ here means to demand, require, crave and to pursue on purpose in order to find what you are seeking. It does not means meandering around pretending you are looking for something.
- ‘Peace’ here means harmony, security, safety, prosperity, connection to others, and rest. This is the equivalent of the Hebrew word shalom.
- ‘Pursue’ here means to run swiftly, passionately and purposefully in order to obtain the goal or prize.
Peter states the reason for these to be adhered to is because:
1. The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
God loves the unrighteous but His eyes are toward the righteous!
- ‘Toward’ here means over and on
- God’s eyes are not on those who are evil
- Habakkuk 1:13 – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.”
- This is why God turned away from Jesus on the Cross, and for the first time there was a disconnect between Father and Son. When Jesus became sin God could not look on the wickedness He bore for us.
2. The ears of the Lord attend to their prayer
- ”Ears attend’ here means to be aware of, attentive to, and understand
- ‘Prayer’ here means needs, desires, long for and even wants, and to make those known through seeking God, asking and entreating God. The idea here is our seeking God will direct what we desire and want to be what He desires and wants for us, which includes a holy life set apart to God and His purposes in the earth.
3. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil
- ‘Face’ here means the countenance, eyes, look, appearance, expressions, and presence
- This should convince those who believe God never shows a different “face” when He is dealing with people in different situations that He absolutely does.
- Mark 3:5 – “After looking around at them with anger.”
- This is a very descriptive verse that reveals Jesus not only looked directly at each one of them with anger, but the anger was not just for looks
- Jesus communicated with His facial expression His strong displeasure with them
- “Anger’ here means a violent emotion, temper, and an exhibition of punishment or the punishment itself. It is very hard for many to wrap their mind around this truth. Is it really possible for the perfect God who came as perfect Man to get so angry he directed it toward people with just a look?
- ‘Against’ here means to position in front of, or to be directed toward. This means God deals with those who misbehave face to face, or He confronts the people who are misbehaving. God never sweeps misbehavior under the rug or pretends it does not exist. God always approaches from the front to speak directly to those who are not living holy and or healthy, especially in a Christian community context. God never talks behind someone’s back, and neither should we.
- ‘Do’ here means the same as ‘ do good’ above. To produce, make, construct, author, to cause someone to do something – with the word ‘evil’ following it is the exact opposite of ‘do good’ in verse 11
- ‘Evil’ here means of a bad nature [which would mean live like you are still unsaved], to cause trouble or injury that originates in thoughts that are wicked [twisted, or twisting truth]
I am concluding this blog by going back to the beginning. To be people of purpose, purity and power, we must desire life, [desire] to love and want to see good days. To realize our desire we must direct our attention toward the God who through His love saved us, toward those who are in right relationship with God and us, hear [understand] what they say to us, while simultaneously turning completely away from those who do evil, and seek to harm us by ensnaring us in their evil.
Keep HIS Passion, Power, Priority, Purity, and Purpose!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A Revolutionary Hisstorymaker