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  • 1 Peter 5:8-9
    Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

    Peter is warning believers here in our verses for today to be alert to the tricks and schemes of satan. While we are not to live in fear of him, or with a worrisome heart, we should not be blasé about him either. We are to be mindful of his purpose and that is to trip us up and destroy our lives and testimony for Christ.
    I love to learn about animals in Africa, I am a big cat fan and am always amazed at the power and strength of lions, tigers, and cheetahs. They are very cunning hunters and stalk their prey well by hiding behind things like bushes and such that look very normal to the unsuspecting gazelle. They will pick off the weak and young many times because they usually stray from the safety of the rest of their herd.
    There is a great lesson here for us as Christians, just like the gazelle who is devoured by a big cat because he is grazing away from his herd and unaware of the present danger, so are we when we stray from God and spend time immersed in ungodly things and with ungodly people. We are easy pickings for the devil when we get so familiar with this world and its ways and then are desensitized to the Holy Spirit within us which results in not standing firm in our faith! Satan then devours our life for Christ, and brings havoc to our lives.
    However, when we stand firm in Christ by reading and obeying His Word, by staying in constant communication with Him through prayer, and by surrounding ourselves with a network of godly Christians, satan is stopped cold in his tracks! The devil is not more powerful than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Our precious Savior has already defeated the devil at the cross, and our victory over satan can only be found in a life that is Christ-centered for He is where our power to resist the evil one comes from.

    There is something a little comforting about knowing that you are not the only one who goes through suffering or trials in life, isn’t there? Peter reminds his readers in the last part of our passage today that there are brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world who are going through the very same things as we are, some even worse! One of satan’s devices is to discourage us with the thought that our troubles are unique. As we go through trials and tribulations it is easy to have the mistaken idea that no one else has as much trouble as we are presently having. Peter puts that idea to rest by saying that many are experiencing the same turmoil as we are.
    So, draw courage from Christ who is more than capable of taking care of us. Trust in God who has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). And stand firm in the knowledge that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)!

    Thank You Lord Jesus for dying for my sin, thank You for defeating satan with Your precious blood that flowed down that cross for my forgiveness. I love you so my Savior, my Sustainer, the Author and Finisher of my faith! Amen.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    When Paul tells us that all Scripture is useful, he is speaking of the Old Testament for sure, but he is also referring to those portions of the New Testament that were already in existence when he was writing this. In 1 Timothy 5:18 he quotes the Gospel of Luke (10: 7) as Scripture. And Peter speaks of Paul’s epistles as Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Today we are justified in applying this verse to the entire Bible as Scripture.
    I think it very important to point out that Bible commentaries and books about the Bible are NOT to be considered as God’s inspired Word. While there are many good and even godly authors today, they are writing their opinion of what God says and therefore may be wrong on certain issues. Our only absolute truth comes from the Bible alone.
    This verse is definitely one of the most important verses in the Word of God on the subject of interpretation for it teaches that the Scriptures are God-breathed. They did not originate with man, God used man to pen them, but the words are straight from God Himself and therefore inspired and infallible! The writers of the Bible did not give their own private interpretation of things, but wrote the words that were given them by God.

    God’s Word the Bible is useful in teaching….every single thing we need to know in life is in the Scriptures. God has told us how He wants us to think and act very clearly so that there is no misunderstanding on how to live a godly life through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.
    The Bible is useful for rebuking…it speaks to us directly concerning things in our life that are displeasing to God and for standing up against satan’s attacks.
    It is useful for correcting and training in righteousness….it not only points out what is wrong but also how it can be made right before God. As we learn to obey Him we are being “trained in righteousness”, living godly lives before our Creator.
    This is how we become fully equipped for every good work. Notice it says nothing about having to go to seminary to be equipped to do every good work. There of course is nothing wrong with going to seminary, in fact it is quite admirable for people to go to Bible colleges to get in depth study of God’s Word. But it is not required by God for doing so. All that mankind needs to learn on how to be godly in our everyday lives is in the Bible. God has not left us guessing on what pleases Him and what displeases Him. Our part is to read it and apply it to our lives through obedience to God every day!

    Thank You Father God for you perfect Word. Thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sin and redeem me to You. Help me to obey Your Word in my life and bring honor and glory to You, I love You so and give You all praise this day, Amen!

  • “In other words, he wants us to treat each other like Christ treated people. Why? Because we can’t be right with God and be wrong with people!”
    From the Ten Commandments, five of them are involved in our relationship with others, for God is interested that we see others like He does, like Jesus did when He walked this earth. Justice, mercy and compassion are God’s attributes. We were created at God’s image. We are His children, and He is our Father. And like any father here on earth wants their children to look like him, our Heavenly Father desires from us that we look like Him. Wow! What a love that He have for us!
    This attributes only function in our lives when we have love, when the love of God is in our lives.
    Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and He has to guide us, we need a close relationship with Him to bear the fruit of love. Walking in the Spirit open our eyes to see people and help them in their needs, spiritual and material need. Walking in the Spirit help us to practice justice, righteousness, show mercy and compassion.
    It is very important for a leader in the Body of Christ to serve in the love of God, and avoid oppressing others, the apostle Peter says in his letter: “…nor as being lords over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock…” ( 1 Peter 5:3) But to be honest, respectful, and show mercy to them.
    The Lord asks for our heart, (Proverbs 23:26) for our heart is deceitful and only He is the One who knows it. (Jeremiah 17:10) When our heart is the Lord’s we have peace, and our thoughts are pure, honest, like Paul says to the Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” In doing all these what the Lord ask to do we honor Him, we give reverence to His word, and we live in victory, in freedom, in the light in the truth. Then we can say that we are blessed people! Hallelujah Praise the Lord!

  • 1 Timothy 1:12
    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service.

    In verses 12-17 of this chapter, Paul is giving thanks for the true grace of God! He is not boasting of the fact that Christ has considered him trustworthy enough to appoint him to His service, rather he is still in wonder that God would love him after all the persecution of Christians that Paul had done before his salvation. And that God would choose to use him, who had been so unrighteous, instead of someone he considered more worthy.

    Don’t you just love how God works! He takes all our unrighteousness and turns us into people who are fit to be in His presence and do His work on this earth, all because of the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:7).
    It doesn’t matter how you started out on life, it is how you finish that God is interested in. God is just looking for a willing heart, a heart that loves Him and is in obedience to Him, to carry out His will for us in this life. To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the yet unsaved, and to love others as He loves.

    What ministry has God called you to? Whatever it is, do it with your whole heart! Maybe He has given you the gift of a music ministry, or a gift of evangelism, possibly the gift of praying with people or visiting widowed people in your community who are lonely and need a friend. There are thousands of ways that God gives us strength to bring about His will and bring Him glory. When we are in tune with the Holy Spirit that indwells us, He will lead us to all that God has planned for us while we walk this earth.

    Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins. Thank You for loving me and for giving me the ministries in my life that You have blessed me with. I am totally aware that apart from You I am nothing! It is only through Your strength that I get up each day and purpose in my heart to do Your will. I love You Abba, and pray that You take my life and make it one that always brings You honor, glory, and praise, Amen!

  • Isaiah 43:11-12
    “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed – I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses, “declares the Lord, “that I am God.”

    God is telling His people in this chapter that He, and He alone is God, and that the only way to salvation is through Him. No idol or foreign god among them had any power whatsoever to save them. They could worship all the statues they wanted, but there is no power there, it would only bring them death and destruction in the end!

    Even though this was written thousands of years ago, it is still very applicable to we who know Christ as Savior today. While we may not have any wood, marble, or gold statues that we bow down to, we are not off the hook as far as idolatry goes. Anything that we trust in or place before God in our lives is an idol and we would be wise to be aware of it! This could be money, power, career, or even another person, these can all become “idols” in our lives if we get our eyes off of Jesus. God is a jealous God and He wants ALL of our hearts and ALL of our trust and dependence in Him alone.

    Jesus Christ is the ONLY Savior that God offers to mankind (John 14:6), for He is the ONLY One who is God’s Son. When we place our faith in Christ’s bloodshed for the forgiveness of our sins we become children of God. From that point on we are to be worshipers of Him, and Him alone. For He is the only One with the power to save and therefore more than worthy of our worship and praise!

    Thank You Father God for providing a way of salvation through Your precious Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your constant love and care for me. I love You so and give You all honor and praise this day Abba, Amen!

  • Exodus 15:13
    In Your unfailing love you will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling.

    What a great verse to remind us that all we do cannot be done without the strength of Christ in our lives. Our abilities are God given so we must trust that since He gave us our abilities, He will be there to bring them to fruition when we follow His lead!

    This reminds me of a verse in 1 Timothy:
    1 Timothy 1:12
    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service.

    In verses 12-17 of this chapter, Paul is giving thanks for the true grace of God! He is not boasting of the fact that Christ has considered him trustworthy enough to appoint him to His service, rather he is still in wonder that God would love him after all the persecution of Christians that Paul had done before his salvation. And that God would choose to use him, who had been so unrighteous, instead of someone more worthy.

    Don’t you just love how God works! He takes all our unrighteousness and turns us into people who are fit to be in His presence and do His work on this earth, all because of the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:7).
    It doesn’t matter how you started out on life, it is how you finish that God is interested in. God is just looking for a willing heart, a heart that loves Him and is in obedience to Him, to carry out His will for us in this life. To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the yet unsaved, and to love others as He loves.

    What ministry has God called you to? Whatever it is, do it with your whole heart! Maybe He has given you the gift of a music ministry, or a gift of evangelism, possibly the gift of praying with people or visiting widowed people in your community who are lonely and need a friend. There are thousands of ways that God gives us strength to bring about His will and bring Him glory. When we are in tune with the Holy Spirit that indwells us, He will lead us to all that God has planned for us while we walk this earth.

    Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins. Thank You for loving me and for giving me the ministries in my life that You have blessed me with. I am totally aware that apart from You I am nothing! It is only through Your strength that I get up each day and purpose in my heart to do Your will. I love You Abba, and pray that You take my life and make it one that always brings You honor, glory, and praise, Amen!

  • 1 Samuel 12:15
    But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against His commands, His hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.

    God expects His children to obey Him, pure and simple. When we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, a change took place in our hearts (2 Corinthians 5:17). No longer are we to be controlled by satan, but by God who has saved us and made us His children through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    While we as children of God would say that we desire to obey Him, do our daily lives indeed show that we purpose to obey God?
    Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, obey My commands.”
    We can say we love Jesus until we are blue in the face, but if our lives do not show that we love Jesus by obeying God’s Word, then our words are empty and hollow!
    We will still sin after we are born again, but do we make a PRACTICE of sinning? It all comes down to the purpose in our heart. God knows our hearts and He knows when we are diligently seeking Him, He knows when we are purposing to live a life of obedience to Him, and when we are not.

    As God’s children, if we are living a life of sinful ways, God is a good and loving Parent and He will bring discipline down on our lives to bring us back to Him!
    Hebrews 12:5-6
    “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.”

    This reminds me of my childhood. My parents loved me very much and were good and godly parents. When I disobeyed them, there were, shall we say, unpleasant consequences! They didn’t discipline me because they hated me, to the contrary, they did so because of their love for me! I had to learn to obey those in authority over me for my own good. They knew what was best for me and I needed to learn to trust their wisdom in life. It is the very same with God. With God, however, He is perfect and incapable of making any mistakes. When He calls us to live in obedience to Him, we know that it is to make us a more mature Christian, to bring us into the life that He wants for us, and to give us peace and joy in the process!
    Lord help us to obey God’s Word in our lives, to show the world His love, and to trust God that He always does those things that are for our good.
    Romans 8:28
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

    Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to shed His blood for my sin. Thank You for giving us Your Word to teach us how to live a life that is in obedience to You. Help me to follow You each day and to live a life that pleases You. I love You so Abba, and give You all praise, honor, and glory this day, Amen!

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