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Loving Others Into The Kingdom

Loving Others Into The Kingdom
    Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Gods sight. 1Peter 3:1-4 (NIV)
    As people come to know the Lord, they face many challenges in their life. They have just been freed from all sin, and are feeling an extreme sense of joy and hope. The next step will be pivotal as they go back to family and friends and convey their new decision to follow the Lord.
    Unfortunately this isnt always met with the enthusiasm that would be hoped for. And in fact many families will not initially accept family members choices to give their lives to God. Its probably because its almost as if they are being put on the spot themselves. If they are genuinely happy for the new believer, and they themselves are not saved, it can be very uncomfortable to identify that someone else has just come clean and confessed that they have sinned and committed their life to following Jesus.
    There is probably no tougher circumstance than to be married and have one of the two people make a decision to follow Christ, while the other has not, or chooses not to seek God. And yet, God has made provisions for this situation because He knew this would be the case in certain relationships.
    In some cases, this relationship of being unequally yoked can go on for years and years. For some Christians, they cant believe that they should continue to stay together after giving their spouse ample chance to accept, and they might even begin to draw back from the relationship until it is strained even further which can lead to them wanting to end it all together.
    But this is not Gods will at all. The scriptures above give great detail as to how a wife should live with an unbelieving Husband, and these outlines are the same for the men as well.
    We are to live in such a way as to win them over to the faith. This is done by displaying a love that can only come from God and be displayed through the believer by the Holy Spirit. It is our attributes and actions that show that we are truly changed people, and this is our testimony. The believer should never harp on, badger, or complain to the unbelieving spouse about not wanting to know the Lord, or attend Church, because this usually can push them away from wanting to try, and a bitter root can sprout that brings trouble (cf Heb 12:15).
    Instead, simply make the offer and be respectful of their decision knowing that God is working on them continually, even if you dont see it. Make every effort to live in peace with them and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
    Remember, as the Spirit of God convicts the non-believer, it is not uncommon to see uneasiness or even an antagonistic attitude. It is important to be praying for the non-believer daily.
    Ephesians 5:1 tells us to imitate God, and there is no better way to imitate God then to love others in a way that God loves them. Jesus laid down His life because He loved us and cared for us, and this means that we should be willing to lay our lives down for others as well. For a married person who is unequally yoked with a non-believer, God has commanded that you lay your life down and live a life that reflects Gods love and servants heart.
    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:13-14 (NIV)
    As Christians, we need to know that we can fundamentally do and say the right things and even defend our actions with others who know of our situation, but that doesnt always make it justified by God. We need to do everything in love, because if we dont, we can cause others to stumble or even choose to never know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
    STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 Peter 3:1-4, how should a believing spouse live with their unbelieving spouse?
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you know of Christians that are unequally yoked that are struggling? Are you encouraging them to stay the course and allow God to work through them?
    APPLICATION: Whether you or someone you know is going through a relationship that is unequally yoked, remember that if is our responsibility as Christians to live in a way that reflects Gods glory. You may be the only Christ that this person sees, and this may be the closest that they may get to going to Church. Seek the wisdom of God and the strength of the Holy Spirit every day so that others will see the glory of God through you.
    Father, Thank You for Your wisdom and guidance for my life. I pray that I may know fully all that I need to know about living a life that is pleasing to You. Empower me to do what I know to be right. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000