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1 Peter 4:1-11 Devotional – Day 1

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 19:1-4
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Read the Entire Psalm

The Heavens Speak. They speak of God’s glory and they reveal His knowledge. Think of the heavens as magnificent ever-changing artwork. If you hung the heavens in an art gallery, every visitor would be astonished by the glorious painting. The artist would be world renowned. Now think of the heavens as a structure. Is there a feat of human engineering that could craft “the heavens”? The knowledge needed to imagine and craft the cosmos could never be matched. Praise the God who is glorious and whose wisdom knows no limit. As you look at the sky today, remember His glory and knowledge.

Scripture Reading
1 Peter 4:1-11 – New International Version
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Having God’s Ear through Prayer

  • Express thanks 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 Sarah. Ask God to encourage her, guide her, and encourage.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Why do you think we are drawn to stories of people who have endured great suffering, have survived, and eventually came to thrive? By thrive, I mean they have turned bad into something good, for themselves or for others. When someone has suffered a great deal, we often assign extra credibility to them. Perhaps we see them as being wiser for their suffering. If we think clearly about this, we know that suffering doesn’t “automatically” do anything to anyone. It is our response that dictates what “outcomes” the suffering will bring. For the Christian, suffering “well” can be very impactful on others who are watching them. It can validate and give credibility to their faith. It can also serve a “sanctifying” function in our lives. That is what Peter addressed in this passage. Of course, suffering doesn’t render us sinless and perfect. What he means, in context, is that suffering for doing right and continuing to be faithful to God causes sin to lose some of its grip on us. We are less prone to live in our physical bodies for weak and passing things. We are more likely to want to live for great and eternal things, the will of God. What direction is suffering taking your heart? Is it making you better or is it making you bitter? You may not have a choice to get out of the difficulty you face, but you always have a choice as to what that difficulty does to you.