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
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Read the Entire Psalm
Praise Him So You Will Remember – We are directed to praise three times in the first three lines of this poem. Then we are told one reason to praise, so that we don’t forget. Do not forget what he has done. Note the actions listed in these verses that God has done. Praise Him for these things and other things that come to mind. Praise Him so that you won’t forget.
1 Peter 3:8-22 – English Standard Version
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
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 Youth Horizons. Ask God to use their mentoring and residential programs to make the gospel known to kids and their families.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Peter and John were threatened and told they must stop bearing witness to the gospel. Their response was, “You have to decide for yourself if you will obey God or not; we have no choice but to obey him, so we cannot stop bearing witness.” If you are a Christian, you are a witness. You are called, privileged to speak to others about what you have experienced. This doesn’t mean that you bear witness to your “experience” per se. We all bear witness to the same thing, the gospel of Christ. We do this from a personal experience vantage point, but we preach Christ, not ourselves. This should serve to take the pressure off. First, you don’t have to be perfect. It certainly helps if your life aligns with your message, but Christ was perfect. We will not be. Second, you don’t have to be smart or eloquent. The gospel doesn’t depend on our ability to defend it. Our role is to bear witness, not to change people. Being a witness is simply being faithful. It’s not perfect and often not pretty…we can be messy people. Take heart, Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for everyone who believes.” We are to be faithful; God provides the power.