Hearing God’s Voice from His Word
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.
Psalm of the Day
Psalm 16:1-4 Protect me, God, for I take refuge in you. 2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides you.” 3 As for the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones. All my delight is in them. 4 The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips.
Read the Entire Psalm
I take refuge in the Lord. Could there be a better place to take refuge? God, the designer, creator, and sustainer of all of life is a sure refuge. Pray verse one and two back to God. Maybe you don’t feel like you need protection right now but you do. Ask for protection and determine to make God your refuge. Proclaim Him as Lord and confess that you have nothing good without Him.
1 Peter 2:13-25 – English Standard Version
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Give thanks to God for His gifts and His goodness.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
- Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
(1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
- Bring your personal requests to God.
(Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
- Pray for someone in your small group.
- Join with others from River and pray for FCA. Ask God to guide and strengthen Keith Townsend’s ministry over the summer months.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Peter told his readers that they should be subject, for the Lord’s sake, to the emperor. This is a staggering statement when you realize that the emperor was the murderous tyrant, Nero. Peter was not condoning Nero’s actions or saying that he should be submitted to in everything. He believed that God was the ultimate authority and final judge, and he was confident that Nero would someday stand before God. As we live in this world of “Neros,” we are to imitate Christ in our own imperfect cultures. Wherever we can, we must obey authorities and be good citizens. When we cannot obey authority in our temporary homelands, we must be ready to pay whatever price is necessary to be good citizens of our ultimate homeland, Heaven.
Application: Stop griping and complaining about politicians and their policies. Does this help bring change, either in the world or in you? Commit to be a person who doesn’t complain. This doesn’t mean you have to agree or that you can’t have productive conversations about politicians and their policies. Let your words demonstrate a heart that trusts God by showing honor to those he has placed in authority.