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 15:1-5 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; 3 whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; 4 who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5 who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Who may dwell with God? What a great question. Can we live with Him? Not on our own. Jesus is the way to God. He is the way to live the life described here. Give thanks and praise to God that He would want to dwell with us. He wants us to make our home with Him. What a wonderful invitation.
1 Peter 3:8-22 – The Message
8-12 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here’s what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you’re worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he’s asked;
But he turns his back
on those who do evil things.
13-18 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.
19-22 He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.
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 Kids Camp. Today is the third day of the camp. Ask God to cause the seed that has been cast this week to fall on fertile ground in children’s hearts.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Does the thought of giving the reason for your hope intimidate you? If so, you are in good company. Moses was afraid of his calling. He didn’t consider himself an eloquent person. Jeremiah was told to speak for God, and he said, “I can’t speak, I’m like a child!” It’s okay to feel inadequate for the calling of bearing witness. This can cause you to rely on God and to experience his power manifest in your life. If you feel like “I got this!” then you are not likely to see God move. You don’t have to be well versed in all the current cultural, philosophical, scientific, and theological issues. It’s tiring just to read all those words! You are called to bear witness to the reason for your hope. The reason for your hope is Jesus. It’s okay to say, like the man Jesus healed in John 9, “I don’t know the answer to your question, but one thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Truth doesn’t depend on your ability to defend it. You are not responsible to convince anyone of anything. You are called to bear witness to the reason for your hope.