Godly Lives

1 Peter 2:11-12 

11Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Basketball Star

There was a professional basketball star who expressed his desire to join a team in his home state. He was traded to a not-so-popular team but not a team he desired to join. Nevertheless, he helped the not-so-popular team to become champion. The following season, he left and joined a basketball team he dreamed to play with.

During interview, the coach of the not-so-popular basketball team praised and appreciated the work ethics of the basketball star. The basketball star did not dream to play for the not-so-popular basketball team; he just exerted and played his best effort. His professionalism as basketball player may have helped him get much higher payment from a basketball team he desired to play for the rest of his life. Certainly, his efforts were not underappreciated but it’s not what everyone may experience.

Do you think like, you deserve much better than what others treat you? Do you feel like your effort had been overlooked and underappreciated? The Scripture has open secret of how you will be appreciated for your effort. Be prayerful to practically apply what is commanded in Colossians 3:22-25? 22Obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

Even if we do not openly say that we are Christians, our behaviors and attitudes will certainly be observed. When we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, he mandated us to be his witness. He also situates us where he assigned us to practically testify for him.

Are you very conscious of our mandate to witness for Christ? Our lifestyle serves as practical proof of the transformation that the Lord has done in your life. Pray that you will be filled and empowered by his Holy Spirit and to be intentional as Christ’s witness.

As we intentionally wait for divine opportunity to tell others and testify how God transformed our life, how should we behave before others publicly or privately? How can we control our choices and desires?

1.  Desire

11Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 

Apostle Peter wrote to the scattered exiles in foreign land. He addressed possible struggles with prejudice and racism of exiled believers in a foreign land. It has been observed; it can minimize hatred, lessen hostility or even avoid animosity from hostile individuals if you compromise and associate with their lifestyle and practices.

When Apostle Peter addressed them, “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,” he may have wanted the original recipients of his letter to understand that he cared for them; and that, he understood that their struggles as exiles in a foreign land. When he instructed them “to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul,” he may have learned that the exiled believers had compromised their lifestyle.

The exiled believers desired to live in godly lifestyle, but because of pressure or prejudice, they compromised their belief with sinful practices of hostile groups, and they were not bothered much. They attracted lesser prejudice. It’s easier life for them.

Social Media

In our generation, interesting religious beliefs and polarizing political ideologies are broadcasted, published, advertised and promoted in Social Media. You may have been tempted to comment or write your opinion to particular ideology or belief. Of course, your loyal subscribers may have signified their approval of your comment, but public may have expressed annoyance and hostility in opposition to your article.

At workplaces, in school or any public gathering, there are particular individuals who are very vocal of their political ideologies and religious beliefs. If you shared your opinion to a particular subject matter, those who cannot agree with you might be hostile and even tried to bother you somehow. What did you do? How did you react?

Similar situation may have been a dilemma and problem of believers who were forced to work in a hostile environment just to survive, even in first century Christianity.

Reaction to hostility may expose dependence on self-effort and ability; response to animosity reveals reliance upon the Holy Spirit of God. Have you considered if God intentionally situates us in hostile environment? Does he want us to engage in warfare?

It is narrated in Judges 3:1-4, 1These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience: 3the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.

Do you agree that the Lord places us in hostile environment to rely upon him and not depend on our self to cope up with life concern? Do we compromise or abstain from sinful desires? We need the help of God to have determination and live in godly lifestyle.

2.  Determination

12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

The Scripture is our manual for godly lifestyle; we have to seek the Lord to grant us determination to desire, choose and practice living good lives on day-to-day basis. Deeds, actions, verbal conversations, written communications to others are practical exhibits of beliefs; they practically prove who we are and what we believe as Christians.

When it says, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong,” we agree that it’s a godly command; it requires godly effort, and we do not act upon it naturally. What does the phrase, “such good lives” pertains to?

It pertains to abstinence from sinful desires that is not very natural for us, right? Therefore, we need empowerment from the Lord to abstain from sinful desires.

The phrase, “though they accuse you of doing wrong,” suggests hostility against Christian practices or opposition to godly lifestyle. Government officials and particular groups may have required everyone to participate in social gatherings or join religious practices in the community, but the exiled believers gathered regularly and separately.

The exiled believers didn’t participate in social gatherings that included immoral activities; they did not join religious rituals that were not biblically sound. They avoided individuals whose practices simply contradicted Christian doctrines. The first century believers were isolated such that they were mocked, ridiculed or accused of wrongdoings. Such kind of social pressure may force believers to compromise and join their adversary.

Color of Politics

The color of politics in the United States has divided its citizens very outwardly. Republicans are identified with red color; Democrats are identified with blue color. Hatred toward opposing political color is deadly. They kill each other. They destroy each other’s reputation. Mainstream media joined in, and social media is very active also.

Their political ideology has been associated with religious practices. If believers prefer to simply stay out and not get involved in politics, I’m not sure if it safe. Surely, we do not desire that authorities would promote activities that may distort our belief; we cannot simply ignore any project that may displace us or put us out into oblivion. We should not compromise with popular practices that contradict our Christian beliefs.

If that is so, we cannot be safe being observers of political entertainments and stunts. Are you anxious how we should live good lives in a hostile and unfriendly environment?

First thing we need to do is pray. It instructed us in Philippians 4:6-9, 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Someone may still want clarification and ask: “What is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy things that I should think about?”

This is when knowledge of the Scripture comes very useful and helpful. The more we read the Scripture, the more we know which biblical practices are acceptable to God. How do we know if it is acceptable to God when a situation, an event, an activity or a practice is not literally written scripturally? The peace of God in us assures us if it is the will of God.

I made several unconventional decisions and choices in life; I felt no regret when I sensed the peace of God in me, even when I cannot explain intellectually to doubters.

Peace from God surpasses or transcends philosophical opinions and logical explanations, and you won’t be anxious about how you proceed in life, whether to join or ignore, participate or choose to stay away from unbiblical circumstances.

What makes you anxious whenever you are surrounded by individuals who have different political ideology or religious belief? Pray for godly wisdom. Pray that your lifestyle would testify of good deeds as result or by-product of your faith in the Lord.

3.  Deed

12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

When the Lord mandated us to witness for Christ, he implied that our lifestyle will serve as our practical proof of his transformational work in our life. The Lord wants us to have firsthand personal experience of whatever we tell others about him. He did not give us instruction to argue and debate about what we believe or about doctrines.

Christian belief and doctrines can only be accepted and understood by genuine believers. To argue, correct or teach Christian doctrines to individuals who don’t believe in Christ is not very productive. Faith in him is pre-requisite to understanding Christian beliefs. Inspiration of the Holy Spirit gives us peace despite hostility from adversaries.

Nevertheless, when observers want to know why we live in godly lifestyle, we just simply tell them how we started as Christians. We tell them that we trust in Christ. Anyone can understand God and his godly activities, if Christ chooses to reveal him.

Christ declared and invites us in Matthew 11:27-30, 27All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

If you were burdened that you cannot surely know the will of God for you, your future, your children or your acquaintances, Christ invites you to learn from him.

Christ offers that we can find in him rest for souls when we learn from him, but how?

Listening to his word or reading the Scripture can help us learn firsthand what Christ wants us to know. We do not need to know everything at one time. There are many godly ideas and Christian practices that may confuse individuals.


You may have observed that grocery stores have brought out products related to Halloween. Children and even adults can be misled about Halloweens. Why? Seemingly, it offers fun time of collecting buckets of candies and chocolates at Halloween nights.

There are hostile individuals who may knock at your doors for “Trick and Treats.” If you don’t participate and give what they want, you could be in trouble. They may cause something unpleasant to bother you. If you have children, they could be tempted to try and experience knocking door-to-door for candies and chocolates.

Pray for our church leaders that they may come up with great ideas that could promote Christian beliefs as alternative to “Trick and Treat” at Halloween nights. Our lifestyle and practice as adult Christians are closely observed by our children, may it be during Halloweens or any occasion that may challenge our Christian beliefs.

Any moment can be an opportunity to testify of transformational work of Christ in our life. We have to be alert always. We need determination to live righteously.

Christian life can be compared to rigorous and tough life of a soldier, athlete or farmer. It challenges us in 2 Timothy 2:4-7,  4No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

Have you watched a military parade where soldiers get out of line, take selfie pictures with the public or simply giving “high 5” or carrying placards of political colors? How do you appreciate watching them? Have you watched a game where players argue with the audience or referee, instead of playing their game? Can you appreciate such?

When it mentioned that the farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops, this reality reminds us when Jesus Christ returns, he rewards godly lives, for sure.

Think, plan and do something that may cause people to praise God. Pray that Christ will empower you to intentionally live good life as testimony of his grace, mercy and love, so that, observers will see your good deeds and glorify the Lord subsequently.

Maranatha, come Lord Jesus Christ!!!

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