Lesson 6 -- fourth quarter 2003
October 12, 2003
© Copyright 2003, Christian Light Publications
Aim at these today
I enjoy games and other activities that involve striking a specified target; for example, basketball, horseshoes, croquet, darts. Individuals who engage in these sorts of things with the intent to win do not indulge in careless aimlessness. The person throwing darts at the board will do exactly that. He doesn't just grab a dart and fling it off somewhere, hoping for the best. Neither does he throw the dart just in the general direction of the board, trusting chance or some yet unknown law of physics to guide the missile to its target. Rather, our friend holds the dart carefully, looks at the center of the board, and throws directly at it.
Shall our conversation (manner of living, conduct, behavior) be less purposeful than that? God forbid! An errant dart, an unaimed basketball, or a wildly slung horseshoe are unfortunate, potentially dangerous uses of opportunity. But that's nothing compared to errant, aimless living. Today God wants me fix my eye on a target, aim at it carefully, then "throw" my life at it.
The general target for our lives must always be godliness. I also believe that our specific targets can vary from day to day, depending on the needs and opportunities that present themselves. Let's fix our sight on three life targets mentioned specifically in today's lesson.
Honor. In 1 Peter 2:12 God's instructs us to have our "conversation honest" among unbelievers. That means our lives should be marked by honor and excellence. We should demonstrate truthfulness, honesty, integrity, and dependability. But we won't achieve that if we don't consciously face that target and aim our lives at it.
Purity. Next we get to 1 Peter 3:2, where we find God talking about our "chaste conversation." This presents us with the target of moral cleanliness and purity. Holiness and modesty must characterize the Christian's life -- but that won't be the case in our lives if we don't fix our eyes on the target and carefully throw ourselves at it.
Goodness. By the time we arrive at 1 Peter 3:16, God seems to "assume" that we will have a "good conversation in Christ." We know (and so does He) that goodness belongs exclusively to God. But in Christ that goodness finds expression through us! Even so, we must strive for that expression or we will not achieve it. So choose that which is good.
Do you know the answer to the question in 1 Peter 3:13 -- "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?" Some folks assume the answer to be, "Nobody!" So they let their guard down, and go on to defeat.
Aiming at godliness will raise up a host of adversaries, all of them servants of the evil one. If we do not resist them, they will surely spoil our aim and deprive us of spiritual success.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer" (1 Peter 4:7).
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