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 107:1-3 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;his faithful love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim that he has redeemed them from the power of the foe 3 and has gathered them from the lands—from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
Read the Entire Psalm
Give Thanks – He is Good. Begin bringing to mind all the good things in your life. Which of those good things would you have without God? We have no good thing apart from Him. Give thanks to Him. He is Good. His faithful love endures.
1 Peter 2:13-25 – New Living Translation
13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
18 You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Express thanksgiving to God.
- 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 those who do not know God. Ask God to help you see the lost people around you and have compassion for them. Ask God for opportunities to build trust. Ask God to give you opportunity to have gospel conversations.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
In what ways do you find it difficult to know how to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s?” This isn’t always easy to figure out. The problem is that “Caesar” is always going to be a broken, inconsistent, sinful human being. How do we respect and follow someone who is so imperfect? In the military it is sometimes said, “respect the rank, even if you don’t respect the person holding the rank.” The idea is that there are leaders over you. You may not find them easy to follow, but still, you must follow them. Their position requires respect, even if they are not people who are easy to respect. The application of this principle to leaders in your life: civil, church, work, family, is clear. God has placed you under certain authorities. God himself has seen fit to give them their “rank,” at least for now. When you respect an authority’s “rank” you are respecting God. Peter said we are to submit to authority “for the Lord’s sake.” Think about this another way. If you have authority over others in the home, church, or workplace, do you want those under your authority to follow you only when you are perfect? God alone is perfect. Submit to appropriate human authority as a demonstration of your submission to God’s authority.
Application: Pray now for someone who has authority over you who you find it hard to respect. Pray for their blessing, wisdom, and success.