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How to deal with life

The Romans conquered Macedonia in 168-167 BC. In 42 BC, Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the Roman Republican forces of Brutus and Cassius (remembered as the assassins of Julius Caesar). The victors settled many of their veteran soldiers in Philippi and established it as a Roman colony, which grew still more when additional former soldiers were given land there.

Philippi was given the high honor of the ("law of Italy"), which meant that it was governed by Roman law, its citizens were Roman citizens, its constitution was modeled after Rome's, its architecture copied Roman styles, its coins bore Roman inscriptions, Latin was widely used, and its citizens wore Roman dress. In spite of a strong Roman influence, the city's religious life was quite diverse.

It included monuments reflecting emperor worship, plus Greek gods and their Roman counterparts, especially Jupiter (known in the Greek world as Zeus). The local Thracians worshipped the goddess Artemis, while there were also sanctuaries to Egyptian gods, especially Isis and Serapis, and to the Phrygian Cybele, known as the great Mother-goddess.

There was a small Jewish community, but probably not a regular synagogue congregation which would have required ten men. The Gospel came to Philippi sometime around 49 to 52 AD. On the Second Missionary Journey, Paul and Silas were "kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia" as is recorded in Acts 16:6.

They tried to go into Bithynia, "but Acts 16:7 tells us that “the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them". They finally reached the coast at Troas, where Paul had a vision of a Macedonian begging him, in Acts 16:9 they are begged to "Come over to Macedonia and help us". Paul took this as God's call to teach them How to deal with life.

Life in those days would have been difficult for many. Although the people prospered and much of what they needed had even though it was a difficult time. The point here is that there is always a time when life is difficult. Things happen specifically and in general, that cause life to be difficult. Sometimes, like now, as we all deal with COVID-19 it is difficult. You may also be dealing with other things.

We have people close to us who are friends and family who are dealing with cancer and another with heart issues. There is one dear friend who lost the ability to work because what they do is considered non-essential. Let's be honest these are just the tip of the iceberg. People are struggling and you might be one of them. So today lets learn something from Paul so we can see how to deal with life.

1) Do it in the strength of Christ

Philippians 4:13 NKJV “! can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

It is always with great joy that we see the consistency of God as He speaks to His people through His appointed ministers.

As Paul wrote on the matter of how to deal with life, Peter also inspired by the Holy Spirit of God wrote what may well be described as a circular letter to churches in five provinces of northwestern Asia Minor it what we know as 1 Peter. Because of their conversion to Christ, these people had been alienated from their culture and their former friends, and the letter encourages them in the midst of slander, personal abuse, and ostracism.

So we can see how to deal with life if we will also- 2) Do it in the peace of Christ

Philippians 2:14 NKJV “Do all things without complaining and disputing,…”

One of the beautiful things about reading and studying God’s Word is see its continuity of thought and instruction. Peter along with Paul are often said to have been the founders of the church in Rome. According to the early writers, he suffered at or about the same time with Paul, and in the time of Nero’s persecution in A.D. 67, 68. All agree that he was crucified.

Origen, who lived from (AD 185-254) was very educated and learned of the gospels. After reading from Matthew 8 "Freely you have received, freely give" sold all he had and used it to live as he studied and taught from God’s Word.

He became a famous teacher, and even Jews, heathens, and heretics went to hear him; many of them were so led on by him that they were converted to the Gospel. He traveled a great deal; some of his journeys were taken because he had been invited into foreign countries that he might teach the Gospel to people who were desirous of instruction in it, or that he might settle disputes about religion.

Origen said of Peter that Peter felt himself to be unworthy to be put to death in the same manner as his Master, and was therefore, at his own request, crucified with his head downward.

Mark wrote his Gospel under the teaching of Peter, it is said that at the least Mark embodied in that Gospel the substance of Peter’s oral instructions.

The only written documents which Peter has left are the First Epistle-- about which no doubt has ever been entertained in the Church-- and the Second, which has been a subject of earnest controversy.

In 1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter wrote …To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

The message of 1 Peter is the genuine grace of God to be realized in disciplined response to persecution. Peter here as Paul had with the believers in Philippi helped them to know How to deal with life.

-understand their sufferings as an emulation of the passion of Christ

-anticipate the glory they will enjoy when Christ is revealed to the whole world

-recognize that the church has become their primary social group

We can see how to deal with life if we will-

3) Do it in the glory of Christ

1 Peter 4:11 NKJV “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Our lives are lived in the glory of God or should be. The great fight the believer is engaged in today is for his testimony and his commitment to God. To deal with life is have Christ at the focus point and the sum of what we are in being His body.

So how do you deal with life? Do it in the strength, peace, and in the glory of Christ.

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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