Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 5:7-14 (day four)
Today is Thanksgiving Day…a time to reflect on the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Peter tells us now that Satan is prowling around (which means secretive, sneaking up without warning, etc.) trying to steal our joy and gratitude to God. He does not want us to thank God…he doesn’t even want us to acknowledge God. Resist him…don’t allow him to distract you from giving glory to God. Our world seems to be accelerating the evil that would cause despair and hopelessness more each day.
Circumstances in our lives will seek to focus our attention away from God. God has called you and, in His time, will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. This is the true grace of God. Trust Him! Trust in the truth of His Word and the promises He has given. He is faithful. Let me close with this blessing: “Peace be to you all who are in Christ.”
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 5:1-6 (day four)
“…GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” 1 Peter 5:5b
We all want God’s grace, don’t we? Peter gives us two options: pride…no grace; humility…grace! Why is God so opposed to the prideful? Pride does not acknowledge the authority to control our lives. Pride seeks its’ own way. Humility, on the other hand, is submissive and meek and acknowledges God’s position over us. We yield to His authority! No problem figuring out why God elects our humility over our pride…He is opposed to the proud!
So where do we fit in to the picture? Are we on the proud side or the humble side? Do we seek God’s direction and provision for our future? Do we pray about even the small things in life? Or, do we feel like we have a good grasp of what needs to happen in our life and we put God on the shelf, readily available, in case things get out of hand. Pride is insidious and can creep into our lives before we recognize it. Remember…God is opposed to the proud!
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 4:12-19 (day four)
Suffering is inevitable. Peter tells us that we are not to look to God for relief if we are suffering for something we did and then received our just reward for our deeds. Murder, theft, evil and meddling (whoa…did he have to include that last one?) There is no relief if we deserve what we received. Believers that suffer unjustly though should glorify God and identify with the suffering of Christ.
Verse 19 gives us a summary of all 1 Peter. We (believers) do not suffer by accident or blind fate. We suffer by God’s will. Believers must entrust themselves to God’s safe keeping…He is our Creator and has cared for us from the beginning. We are in good hands with our all-loving and faithful God. Suffering for doing right, brings glory to God and purifies us for His service.
Are you in the middle of suffering? Have you done something to deserve it or is God purifying you for a greater work? “Lord, open our eyes to see as You see. Cleanse us and make us useful vessels for You!”
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 4:1-11 (day four)
Today, our church has been called to a time of fasting and prayer. In our passage, Peter has emphasized that because Christ experienced sufferings, we too can expect them. He goes on to say that several things should characterize our lives, because the end of all things is near. Foremost in character is to be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
As you fast and pray today, how do you exercise sound judgment and sober spirit? Sound judgment suggests praying intelligently…accurately discerning the circumstances in light of biblical truth. A sober spirit describes one who is focused and alert. Prayer should not be approached with nonchalance or in a flippant manner. Prayer is serious business…coming before a holy God to hear His voice and petition His mercy and grace.
Peter’s second admonition is to have forgiving love…our culture today certainly does not encourage that. Make the most of your prayer today, because the end of all things is near!
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 3:18-22 (day four)
Prior to Christ, the picture we have of redemption is the work of the priests bringing a sacrifice to atone for sin. The sacrifices had to be repeated over and over, because they could not pay the full price. At the right time, Christ came…the sinless, spotless lamb of God…to die once for our sin. Hebrews 9:24-28 tells us that story. Christ was able to pay the full price for our sin.
When we die…which we all will…we will stand in judgment…which we all will…before God. If we have received the gift of salvation through Christ, we will stand before God, not in reference to sin, but rather for salvation.
If any message can be learned from Peter, it is ‘trust Christ’. His sacrifice, given for our redemption from sin, was planned before the beginning of time. God is an infinite God…He transcends time. The work of Christ seems to us to have been long ago, when in God’s timetable, it is as fresh as your last breath! Trust Christ!
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 3:8-17 (day four)
Picture who is writing this passage…Peter. Who was always the fiery disciple, ready to leap out of the boat before thinking…Peter. Who was the first to speak up when an opinion was needed…Peter. Who drew his sword to protect and defend his lord…Peter. Now, who has matured in his faith and has been chosen by God to be inspired to write His Holy Word…Peter. The longer Peter served the Lord, the more he grew in his courage, wisdom, and his insight into the heart of God.
Have you ever thought, “I wish I had his bible knowledge” or “I could never witness like he does.” Christian maturity comes with commitment, preparation, and experience. As we look back over our lives, we should see a growing relationship. Our lives should not be the same now as when we first came to know Christ. Do you see a growth? A maturity? Are you wiser, more knowledgeable, more willing to serve now than before? It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We cannot remain the same!
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 3:1-7 (day four)
The key to this passage seems to be found in verse 4…”but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit…” What is the ‘hidden person of the heart’? It is referring to character. Norman Blackaby and Gene Wilkes, in their book entitled Character – The Pulse of Discipleship say this: “Biblically, character is defined by the quality of our intimate fellowship with God. In our relationship with God, we find our moral compass, calling, and spiritual strength to live in an intimate relationship with Him and to complete what God has called us to do.”
All through Scripture, character is identified as residing in the “heart”. In our passage, Peter identifies adornments that can be added or taken off at will. Character requires a lifestyle that builds a foundation in our heart that guides our response to the experiences of life. Character takes time to build. Allow Christ to build in your heart…to establish His character. Qualities like a gentle and quiet spirit produces lasting benefits!
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:18-25 (day four)
God’s ways are certainly not our ways! Sin and the world have taught the exact opposite of God’s instructions here in Scripture. The world teaches us to fight back against what we judge to be inequity. God’s instruction is to keep our eyes upon Him and submit to authority.
All through Scripture, we find Satan saying we should do the opposite of what God says. God said, “Don’t eat the fruit, you’ll die.” Satan said, “you will surely not die.” God says, “Forgive your enemy,” Satan says, “Crush your enemy.” God says, “Humble yourself.” Satan says, “Exalt yourself.” Over and over, Satan perverts God’s message. We have to ask ourselves, “Who will we obey?”
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord, For as the heavens are higher that the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day four)
“Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond slaves of God.” Verse 16
Free men…free from what? Free from sin! We were under the bondage of sin until Christ set us free. Peter is admonishing us to not use our freedom for evil or personal gain. It is not freedom to do as we please, it is freedom to obey God and to paint an accurate picture to the world of a sanctified life.
What kind of picture are you painting? When people see your life, how would they describe it? Where do you invest your time? Would they say, “he loves sports,” or “she spends all her time traveling”? Does your life cause people to glorify God because of your good deeds? Is your behavior excellent before all men? Freedom is a precious thing…let’s use it for God’s intended purpose. The most free individual may be under the heaviest bondage on earth!
Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:1-10 (day four)
John MacArthur made this statement about verse 2 in his New Testament commentary:
“It is notable what Peter did not command. He did not charge believers to read the Word, study the Word, meditate on the Word, teach the Word, preach the Word, search the Word, or memorize the Word. All of those things are essential, and other passages do command believers to perform them. However, Peter focused on the more foundational element—which believers need before they will pursue any of the other things—a deep, continuous longing for the Word of truth.”
Do you have a longing for the Word of God? Peter says we should long for it as a newborn baby longs for milk…nourishment for the soul. Jesus responded to Satan in the wilderness, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Pay close attention to the desires of your heart!