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1 Peter 4

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14

 

SCRIPTURE: 1 PETER 4

By: Jacob Steward

Throughout chapter 4, and really the rest of 1 Peter, Peter is explaining how to trust the Lord no matter what is going on.  Stay heaven focused.

Peter begins by talking about suffering.  But not just that we are going to suffer but explaining how we have an example of suffering in Jesus.  We must have the mind of Christ to fight against the temptation of sin. God’s will can be a reality with the attitude of Christ.

As Peter continues he goes into how the attitude, or mind of Christ, interacts with those around us.  Those who do not follow Christ, do not understand Christian’s response to suffering.  Basic human nature, which is sinful, does not respond to suffering well.

Verse 7 switches from what you shouldn’t do, to active ways of following Jesus.  First, stay connected with God.  Next, love people.  It really is simple, just not always easy.  There are no conditions and no excuses. Use everything that you have to glorify God.  The end being near does not allow us to relax until it comes, but we must work until the Kingdom of God comes.

To finish the Chapter, Peter goes even farther than he did at the beginning.  Have the mind of Christ when suffering hits, but also rejoice in the suffering!  Suffering is going to happen and we will have opportunities to respond like the world or we can rejoice.  We know that suffering is a sign of the Spirit of God resting on us.  Do not be ashamed of your suffering, have joy, give God the glory.

All of this ends with Peter asking a question that he doesn’t answer directly.  “What will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (v. 18)  Peter concludes by indirectly answering the question.  Those who suffer for the will of God entrust their souls to Him.  There is no one else I would want to trust my soul to.

This entire passage talks about suffering and being full of joy.  Two seemingly contradictory things working together completely.  That is only possible when our focus is not on the things of the world, but on the Kingdom of God.  We need to focus everything we have eternal things, and work hard until Jesus comes back.

Posted by Jacob Steward with

1 Peter 5

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15

SCRIPTURE: 1 PETER 5

BY: JOSH BOLES

 

Chapter 5 starts out with instruction to elders, or pastors, much like many other verses in 1 Peter. We have had some great discussion on this so far in our devotionals over 1 Peter so I would like to focus most of our time together on verses 6-11. Throughout his first letter Peter places special attention to God’s grace and the joyful response it should produce in our lives as christ followers. This segment is a great example.

In verse 6 we are told to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Often times when we face trials or suffering our tendency is to fix it. We don’t much care for humiliation or persecution so we will do just about anything to get ourselves out of that instead of humbling ourselves and allowing the grace of God to sanctify us for a great work as we will see later in this segment.

I believe the term “mighty hand” in this passage is referring to the Exodus. We are told multiple times in the Old Testament that the Israelites were delivered “by a mighty hand of God.” Exodus 3:19 is just one example of this. Exodus is the model of salvation in the Old Testament and foreshadows Christ as our ultimate savior. These implication are important for us to understand because just like in Exodus our suffering and humiliation will not last. If we are humble and submit ourselves fully to God He will exalt us to a glorious purpose. And because of this we can cast all of our anxieties on Him as we see in verse 7 because He truly cares for each of us.

Next in verse 8 we have a warning to be on guard against our adversary. “Be sober minded,’’ is a charge to always be watching our for attacks and to be spiritually vigilant. We are to do so because the devil is prowling around like a lion seeking to devour us. It is interesting that Peter uses the analogy of a Lion to describe the devil here because we also see God referred to as a lion in numerous places throughout God’s Word. To my knowledge, this is one of just a few times in scripture that the devil is referred to as a lion.

I want to be very clear here and state that Peter is in no way equating the power of satan to the power of God. This belief would be called “dualism” which means that there is an eternal evil power in the universe similar or equal to the power of God. And by the way, this view is very wrong. The devil is very crafty but we must know that in Christ we have great power over the evil forces of this life. This power has nothing to do with anything that we have done, but is because of the mighty hand of God. When satan was cast out of heaven he did not take any of God’s power with him. God has always been and always will be the all powerful creator.

I know I have spent a great deal of our time talking about this one verse but it is so very important to know that we have power over our adversary and sin itself. We can, as we see in verse 9, resist the devil. It is important to resist sin and temptation in our lives because sin has very real and harmful results on our lives and our relationships. As Christians when we sin our legal standing towards God is unchanged, (Romans 8:1) but our fellowship wit God is disrupted. This is why it is so important for us to stand firm in our faith. The result is in verse 10. God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us in His foundation because He is the God of all grace.

Seek only His face. Resist the devil. Rest in the presence of the mighty hand of God!

Posted by Josh Boles with

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