In a lighter vein, someone defined life as nothing but entering into three rings. Firstly, the engagement ring; secondly, the
wedding ring; thirdly, suffering. Suffering is an universal experience. It is unavoidable and inescapable. Going by Scripture
and human experience we can discern three kinds of sufferers in this world.
Firstly, those who suffer due to rebellion against
God. Secondly, those who suffer because of their carnality. Peter describes in 1 Pet.4:15, four kinds of people who are
believers but those who lost their intimacy with the Lord. Thirdly, those who suffer for their testimony
"...Let none of you suffer as a murderer" in 1 Pet.4: 15 was not addressed to unbelievers.We understand from 1 John 3:15 that
hatred towards my brother in Christ is equated to murder. The second class of the carnal sufferers are those who are "thieves".
"Let none of you suffer as a ...thief". A thief, by definition, is one who snatches away from another that which is not rightfully
On the Cross, Christ effected a legal transaction. Our sins were laid on Him and His righteousness is laid on every repentant,
believing inner. God's righteousness is "imputed" to our account. (Rom.4: 24,25). We were at that very moment taken out from
the first Adam and placed n the second Adam, Christ. Henceforth we are rooted IN Christ (Col.2: 7). Such a change in our
"standing" brings us under the Lordship and ownership of Christ. It is impossible to bifurcate the Saviourhood and Lordship of
Christ. We cannot have one, without the other. Christ is called "the head" of the Church and also "the Savior" of the body
(Eph.5: 23). What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Let us not also reverse the order. "Headship" first,
"Saviourhood" next. Apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, thundered, "...let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God
hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36)'. Prophetically, Isaiah spoke of the birth
and ministry of the coming Messiah. Isa.9: 6,7 tells us this truth. Notice in verse seven His ministry, "Of the in crease of his
government and peace there shall be no end". Lordship and Saviourhood. Headship and Saviourhood. We enjoy His
Saviourhood only to
the extent of the Lordship we allow Him over our lives.
Lordship speaks at once of ownership. At the Cross Christ bought us for Himself. To the elders at Ephesus Paul said in Acts
20:28. "..;the church of God, which he purchased with His own blood".
Reminding the Corinthians of this fact Paul wrote to
say in 1 Cor.6: 20 and 7:23, "Ye are bought with a price", hence it is only our reasonable service to present our bodies a living
sacrifice to God. (Rom.12: 1). Secondly, since "Christ hath suffered for us" we must no longer live the rest of our time in the
flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God" (1 Pet.4: 1,2). When Paul asked the Corinthians, "What hast thou that thou
didst not receive"? (1 Cor.4: 7), he was urging the believers to acknowledge the fact that all their abilities, substance and the
rest of it belonged to God. We are only stewards called upon to manage the property of another.
Samson, the anointed judge, failed in the matter of the stewardship of his body. Instead of using it for the deliverance of God's
people he robbed it for his own pleasure. The man who received one talent in Matthew 25 robbed his master by wasting his
master's time and talent. "Thou oughtest...to have put my money to the exchangers, and then...1 should have received mine own
with usury" was his charge in verse 27. He called him "wicked and slothful". We are called upon to honour the Lord with our
substance and the first fruits of all our increase in Prov.3: 9. Why? So shall our "barns be filled with plenty"(3: 1 0). God may
not ask each one of us to leave our nets as He did ask Peter, James and John but make sure He is the owner. Wise stewardship
of our body, time, treasure and talents is our responsibility. Failure to do so amounts to "first class" robbery and many carnal
believers suffer because of this.
"Let none of you suffer as an...evildoer" in 1 Pet.4: 15 refers to the third class of sufferers. A classic example of such
unnecessary suffering comes to us through the life of king David. 2 Sam.23: 1, 2 tells us atleast four things about him. He is the
man who is raised up on high. Secondly, he is anointed of the God of Jacob.
Thirdly, he is the sweet Psalmist of Israel and
fourthly, the man whom the Spirit used to speak out His word. First Samuel 17, reveals to us the singular and spectacular way
God used him to kill a lion, a bear in the forest and a mighty Goliath out in front of the Israelites and Philistines. Such physical
and military victories brought him fame and royal connections.
Second Samuel11 presents to us however, a different David. 2 Sam.12 tells that God took cognizance of David's offence. He
will not let go the offender scot-free. No citizen may call David an adulterer, a murderer, a schemer, a liar, a deceiver, a robber
and an evildoer. They have his beautiful book -the published collection of soul stirring psalms. They will continue to honour
and obey David. God saw this evildoer. He sent Nathan. Through Nathan God told David, "Thou art the man" (2 S.am.12: 7).
David never wielded the sword but he monitored the sword of an Ammonite to fall upon his faithful general. How shameful
and sorrowful was his life thereafter. God told him, "I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house". From 2 Sam. 12,
we find tribulations and sufferings in the life of David. David paid a bitter price for being an evildoer
.First Peter 4: 15 also tells us about the sufferings which come to us for being a busybody in other men's matters. The "unholy
curiosity", prying into the privacies of others is a common, growing disease. Even Peter who walked with the Lord and saw the
risen Christ asked regarding John, "Lord, and what shall this man do"? (John 21: 21). The Lord's reply was a mild rebuke to the
prying inquisitiveness of Peter. "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me". In other words, Christ
told Peter to mind his own business of fulfilling the terms of discipleship. The Lord is not answerable to us for the way He
chooses to deal with others. As the Lord and Master, He reserves that privilege and prerogative to Himself. In the parable of
the householder recorded in Matt.20, this was the exact problem. Instead of appreciating the generosity and magnanimity of
"the good man" in paying all equally, the labourers -those who came early, murmured. The Master had to rebuke them. "Is it
not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" (20:15). To interfere in another's decision; is to meddle with others,
Prov.26: 17 says, "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears".
The gossipmonger, the talebearer is mentioned immediately after this verse. Some act as self -appointed free of service, data
-base of other people's filth. You get their e-mail number, you log into them for the latest information. Four classes of believers
who suffer unnecessarily -the murderer, the thief, the evildoer, and the busybody.
SECRET OF A HAPPY HOME -4
The seventh condition for a happy home is given in Eph.5: 31. "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and
shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh". This is a very, very important principle.
When you are married, live separately from your parents, whosoever you are, otherwise there will be quarrels between
daughter-in-Law and mother-in-law. Before marriage, the mother-in-law said, "That girl is the best girl in the whole world".
But after marriage it is different. Now the mother-in-law says, "She is the worst girl". They quarrel with each other. The
mother-in-law waits till her son comes home. When he comes home, she takes him aside, and tells him that his wife said this or
that and so many things. The same thing happens the next day. Then the husband takes action against his wife. Live separately
whosoever you are, if you want a happy home. Even though you have to live in a small room, it will avoid quarrels between the
mother-in-law and the daughter-in-Law. Otherwise, there is bound to be quarrels. The mother-in-law is bound to be jealous. If
her son brings a large mango to his wife and a small mango to her, she will feel jealous. Divine law cannot be changed. Live
separately. You will be happy. Then you will be saved from all unhappiness.
Many wives depend upon gold, silver and expensive garments to look beautiful. All these things cannot give true beauty. It
cannot bring true satisfaction. But learning to serve others with all humility and love, gives more beauty. "But let it be the
hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of
God of great price"(1 Pet.3:4). Do not use worldly means to look more beautiful, In the same way, according to 1 Pet.3: 6, all
the burdens must be borne by the husband. That is how they can show love and respect to each other and thus become true
joint- heirs of the grace of life. Then they call share together all their spiritual experiences. That makes a happy home. May the
Lord make it so to all those who are joined by Him.