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1 Peter 4:1-11 Devotional – Day 4

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 22:1-2 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
Read the entire Psalm

Jesus’ Cry from the Cross – Verse 1 is the verse that Jesus spoke in anguish on the cross. Did he really want an answer? No, He knew the answer. Why did he cry out? He was in anguish. He took on our sin and experienced the separation from the Father that sin brought. Jesus is an example to us. You can cry in anguish to God if you feel forsaken. You can also say thank you to God for hearing your cries. Jesus is not just our example. He is our Savior. Thank him now for going to the cross.

1 Peter 4:1-11 – The Message
4 1-2 Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.

3-5 You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it’s time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself.

6 Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus.

7-11 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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 pursuing sexual lifestyle that is contrary to God’s design. Pray that God would reveal Himself and His good plan for our gender and sexuality. Pray that they would see God’s design as good.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon

There is no uniform list of gifts in the Bible. This and other factors point towards reality being that there are near endless combinations of gifts that we can have. While there is great variety in how God has gifted us, there is uniformity in why he has gifted us. We have been gifted to serve others. Our gifts (“charisma” in the Greek) are given to share God’s grace (“Charis”) in all its many forms. Here are some takeaways from this amazing verse. You have been given gifts by God. These are gifts, so you do not have any room to take pride in them. You have been given them by God for others. This means you must not begrudge using them to serve others; that is the very reason you have them. Finally, through the faithful use of your gifts to serve others, the church altogether is painting a fuller and more beautiful picture of the manifold grace of God. There is a lot to take in in this verse. Don’t filter it through your experience, filter your experience through it. If you think you have not been significantly gifted for service, you are wrong. If you think you have done something to deserve a gift, you are wrong. If you think any part of what you have been given is just for you, you are wrong. I know, that’s pretty critical, lots of “wrong.” So, let’s end like this: if you are thankful that God has gifted you to serve others and to reveal his glory, you are right!