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 41:4 I said, “Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
Read the entire Psalm
Pause for a moment and consider God’s grace. Does He have to forgive when we sin? When we sin we are in effect saying – “God I don’t want you. I know better than you. I will find good apart from you.” When we turn back, He does not turn His back on us. He is gracious. Praise Him for His grace.
1 Peter 5:1-5 – English Standard Version
5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
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 Embrace as they serve women considering abortion. Pray that these women would carry their babies to term. Pray that they would find salvation in Christ.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Peter addresses the pastors of this suffering church directly as a fellow pastor and as someone who has experienced suffering himself. His word of encouragement to them is simply this: don’t give up! Shepherd the flock! Suffering and hardship are especially trying for leaders. The pastors who have experienced suffering may be tempted to give up, or perhaps they simply feel like they don’t have capacity to lead. But Peter encourages them, “do the work of a shepherd.” Peter’s exhortation to the entire church is this: in the midst of your suffering, entrust your soul to a faithful Creator (4:19). Remember God’s faithfulness in the midst of this trial. Look to the hope of the future glory that is going to be revealed.