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
1 To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
The Lord is – God’s existence is dependent on no one. He is and always will be. We depend on Him. He exists free needs and free of unmet wants. He is complete and independent. He can be your source of strength. He is always able to strengthen. Praise Him because He is. Praise Him because He is ready and able to strengthen His people.
1 Peter 5:6-14 – Christian Standard Bible
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. 8 Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. 11 To him be dominion forever. Amen.
12 Through Silvanus, a faithful brother (as I consider him), I have written to you briefly in order to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
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 the war in Ukraine. Ask God to bring an end to that conflict. Pray that lives would spared and through this difficulty the church would be strengthened.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Being watchful is not the same as being fearful. Peter tells us to resist Satan, firm in our faith. He is not saying “resist, though resistance is futile.” He is saying we should resist because we can resist. It is a coin toss as to whether the enemy will have power over us. Perhaps we will be able to resist, perhaps we will not. We will be able to resist him if we have the will to do so. The key is not whether you feel spiritually up to the task, the key is whether you believe Jesus is. Humble yourself before God, live in his grace, now…resist the enemy. The order of this is important. When we start with us, then seek to resist Satan, we will fail because we don’t have what it takes to defeat him. When we begin with God, then seek to resist Satan, Satan will fail because he doesn’t have what it takes to defeat God. It is important that as you trust God and resist Satan, you also resist the temptation towards the “poor me’s.” This is where we think that no one has it as hard as we do. No one understands us. No one struggles like we do. “Poor me.” No, Peter writes, the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by other believers all over the world (and throughout time). Put away all forms of “poor me,” and instead turn your attention away from self to the God of all grace. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.