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 138:1-3 I will give you thanks with all my heart; I will sing your praise before the heavenly beings. 2 I will bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your constant love and truth. You have exalted your name and your promise above everything else. 3 On the day I called, you answered me; you increased strength within me.
Read the Entire Psalm
I WILL – David the writer of this Psalm determines how he will respond to God. In many Psalms David expresses his feelings. He expresses feelings of confusion, anguish, joy, and gladness. Here he says, I will give thanks, sing, bow down, and call on God. Take a moment and respond to God in one of the ways that David describes.
1 Peter 2:13-25 – The Message
13-17 Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
18-20 You who are servants, be good servants to your masters—not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. What counts is that you put up with it for God’s sake when you’re treated badly for no good reason. There’s no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God.
21-25 This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.
He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.
They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd 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 the many international students still in Wichita this summer. Ask God to bring students to faith in Him.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Peter set the bar very high. We don’t get to show respect just to those who have “earned it.” Even if a boss, teacher, or authority is a “jerk,” we don’t get to be a “jerk” in response. Look at how Christ responded to murderous tyrants:
“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 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.”
The key for how he did this is in that last line, “He entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” How we respond to unjust authority in any form says a lot about whether we trust that God is the supreme and final authority. Will we take things into our own hands, or will we entrust ourselves to God’s hands? This doesn’t mean we should never act against injustice. It doesn’t mean we are to be passive people who go along with anything. Clearly Peter didn’t live this way, and neither did the Lord. But what Peter and his Lord both did was to entrust themselves to God’s care. This shaped their hearts, which in turn shaped their response to suffering unjustly.
Application: Open your palms and hold them up to God. Tell God that you once again entrust your life to him. You cannot save your life anyway; God alone has control over your days and what happens in those days. Experience his peace now. Give your life to him again.