All Things New

Christmas is now behind us and we are looking toward celebrating a new year with a fresh start. If you want to “love life and see good days” this upcoming year, this message will help you learn how to do this from the wisdom and words of God! 

All Things New 

I Peter 3:10-12 

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Dec. 30th, 2018

Intro: 

  • This is the time of the year when we reflect upon the last year and set new goals for the upcoming year.  It is an important time where we can learn from the past- from what has happened- and it is equally as important to set our course for the new year.  If you have not done so already, take time to reflect and plan for the future.  Don’t just allow life to flow by and don’t just live the same year, year after year, but grow forward and plan ahead.  
  • Also, at this time of year most of us have a lot of optimism, a new blank page will do that for us.  And, most of the time we give up around the two week point and return to our old ingrained habits and our old way of life.  I want to encourage you and equip you for this next year by urging you to again think about the past and plan for the future. Give yourself the best chance for success by choosing the right goals intentionally, regularly focused, and remember them. Choose to follow them day by day, one day at a time.   Know that you will not be able to accomplish your goals without the help of the Lord, so ask Him to help you (follow the Lord’s prayer in prayer for example) and renew your mind by getting into the Word as a daily habit.  This is the best and only way to be transformed and to know and continually follow His will.    

Rom 12:2 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • You have a couple of days to find a bible reading program and put it into place before the new year.  Please do so, you will be richly benefited, and so will the world around you if you do so. The Word, empowered and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, put into practice is the most profound and powerful change agent in the world. 
  • The text we are going to be looking at this morning is 1 Peter 3:10-12.  The letter of I Peter is written to the all the churches as a whole; to give instruction as to how we are to stand firm in the faith as faithful Christians living for Christ despite difficult and challenging situations, and how to overcome them. In the section of the book we are looking at this morning, Peter quotes Psalm 34. 
  • Psalm 34 is a Psalm written by King David while he was running from Saul just after Saul tried to kill him.  He took off into enemy territory and acted like he was insane because he was afraid of the king of Gath. He latter escaped and ran to the cave of Adullam where he was joined by his family and around 400 men (See I Sam. 21–22).  From this place David wrote this psalm, giving thanks and gratitude to God and also giving advice to all who would listen and instructing them as to what to do as well.  
  • So, this was a less than ideal situation for David, for the people in Peter’s day, and for those in our day as well.  This should give us hope in recognition that what God is telling us to do does not need ideal conditions, but is actually given as what to do for people who are facing challenges.  These principles and this path will prove true for us in our times and for all times as well.  Here is what is written:  

1 Peter 3:10-12 NIV

“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 

  • Any person in their right mind would have this as a goal: “to love life and see good days”. I would suggest that this would be your overarching goal for this next year.  Here is what you must do to reach this goal. The first point has to do with our communication. 

Watch what you say

  • Keep your tongue from evil 
    • Let your words not injure others or do not cause injury on others with your words. This is what “from evil” means.  
    • So many people have made their life and the lives of others miserable because of what they have said.  This is not the way of “loving life” and “seeing good days”.  The power of life and death is in the tongue (proverbs 18:21). We must be careful and conscious about what we communicate to other people. 
    • You must exert your will, choose to stop your tongue from speaking evil, and edit what you say. (You can’t control what other people say but you can control yourself and will give an account of yourself). Use the following verse as a guide: 

Eph 4:29 NIV

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

  • Keep your lips from speaking deceit
    • “deceit” means to “create a decoy” or to “trick someone into believing something that is not entirely true.” 
      • Pretend like things are worse than they are to get sympathy and attention 
      • Covering up something by not speaking the truth
      •  Form of manipulation for you to get what you really want
    • Focus on telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but to truth.  Your life will turn out way better if you do this. 

Eph 4:25 ESV

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

  • This does take courage, but it is the best way to live.  We cannot help each other if we don’t tell the truth to each other.  We can’t get better if we don’t tell the truth. 

The second point has to do with our actions. 

Turn from evil and do good

  • When it comes to our actions, we must do two things:
    • Stop doing anything that is evil – That is causing injury or harm, evil or wickedness or woundedness with your actions. 

It is not enough to do good, but it is to do good and stop doing evil. 

  • Start doing the good that you are designed to do.  This is more than “do no harm” this is “do the most good” 

Eph 2:10 ESV

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

  • If you are doing the good that God has designed and planned for you to do, you will love life and see good days. This does not mean that there will not be problems, but you will be fulfilling your purpose, and in fulfilling your purpose you will find satisfaction.

Third

Seek peace and pursue it 

  • Let the goal of your life be peace
    • Don’t be antagonistic to people being contentious and argumentative. Try being agreeable – see how that works out for you. Do not always try to prove your point or get your way. Be a person who lives peacefully: loving your neighbor as yourself.  
    • If I asked people about you, would they say that you are a person of peace, or a person that is hard to get along with or be around? 
  • Pursue it
    • This means that it is a process not just a one-time occurrence
      • It may mean a change to a pattern of behavior over time and could take a while
      • Even when there are obstacles to it. 
  • Do what you need to do to make peace with others and keep the peace with them.

Conclusion 

1 Peter 3:12 NIV

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 

  • The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers.
    • You want to be this person, and this is a startling statement.  This means that there are people on the earth that Have the attention and favor of God and that He pays close attention to what they are praying and responds. These people have the attention and ear of God!
  • The Face of the Lord against those who do evil – God is against people who do evil.  This is good to know. You don’t want to be this person!  You don’t want to have God against you because you will not love life and see good days.  
  • So, paying attention to what you say, turning from evil and doing good, and being a person of peace and one that pursues peace not only has a natural reward but a supernatural enhancement and favor from God. 
  • Let’s make the goal for the next year to love life and see good days and let’s see this happen by watching what we say, turning from evil and doing good, and seeking peace and pursing it. 
  • Prayer