May 3, Reading 3 – 1 Peter 5

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

While we apply these verses to both sexes, think about their especial relevance to men – young and older. Can you see good reasons for these words to men especially? Paul is not being sexist here, but realistic. What applies to you?

SJA Notes

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you; casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Two actions loom large out of these wonderful verses today.

We can often buck under God’s mighty hand. Our pride and self-assurance can rear up and we struggle against the will of the Almighty.

Peter’s word to us here, the first action, is to humble ourselves under God’s will.

Which is a hard thing to do! But so worthwhile – Because instead of exalting ourselves in our own time, God will lift up at the right “proper” time.

And note the inference, that to submit under God’s will requires humility, a humbling of ourselves.

The second action is as hard, because we forget so quickly when in the depths of trying to humbly submit under God’s hand – When the worries and concerns threaten to overwhelm us.

Peter reveals a truly amazing mechanic that God has graciously built for us.

To cast our cares, our concerns and worries, our anxieties on Him.

Why? Because our God LOVES us!

Doing these things is good for us. Working through, wrestling with, how to humble ourselves under God’s will, remembering to cast our cares on Him – This is for our benefit!

* Dear God,

Thank You for all that You have given to us.

Thank You for Jesus.

Thank You that in humble submission under Your will we find worth and identity.

Thank You that in casting our anxieties on You we find Your care and love real.

Hallelujah Lord, what a God You are!

Amen.

May 2, Reading 3 – 1 Peter 4

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Write out Christ’s attitude in your own words. How can you apply this attitude today? What affect should it have on your worship?

SJA Notes

“… Therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”

What a clear conviction for us today.

Our prayers, our conversation with God, is best served when we are full of self-control, when our minds are sober.

It is hard to be disciplined in this world. It is hard to commit to a daily walk with the Lord. It is hard to carry our minds clear and control our selves.

But the Lord Jesus suffered for us. He was forsaken by His Father for us. He descended to the grave, for us.

And so for our conversation with God, our prayer life, we must strive for self-control and sober minds.

* Father God,

Please strengthen us today from Your word. Write Your word upon our hearts, that we might be convicted to be holy, for You are holy.

May Your peace be real and evident within us, and may it guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Amen.

May 1, Reading 3 – 1 Peter 3:8-22

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

What practical action will you take as these verses sift your life, thoughts, behaviour?

SJA Notes

It is a well-known passage, “… Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;”

But how good is the wisdom that Peter surrounds with this exhortation.

“Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,”

How hard is this to take hold of, in the moment, to remember that we have Jesus as our King, and we are not to fear those that would try to make us feel nothing and less than nothing for believing and trusting in Him.

“… But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,”

It is a good reminder and prompt to dwell on what HOLINESS means, and why it is important to consider our Lord as HOLY.

Back in chapter 1 Peter points out that it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

So not only are we to be holy, but we are to make sure we remember and bring to light and openly proclaim the HOLINESS of God, of Jesus Christ our King and Saviour.

“… Yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

How often we respond in defence with sharp words and anger, yet Peter (and remember what we read of Peter in the gospels) encourages us to be gentle and respectful in our defence.

How upside-down this logic is to our humanity, to the world around us.

But it is what we are called to.

Too, it is of great encouragement that we are not called to be intellectually ready to make a defense, but to have wrestled with what Jesus did for us and are ready to defend it, because HE SAVED US!

What more can we do, but stand clear and present in Him, regardless of the tempest that will buffet our stance.

He is our King and Lord and Saviour. He rescued us from death. He brought us from darkness into light. We who were enemies He made friends by such a love that has never been seen from any other.

* God Almighty,

Prepare our hearts to give our defense, simple and plain though it may be.

Please strengthen us to stand with You, to cling to You when we cannot stand, to completely and utterly cast ourselves on You, because You care for us. You save us.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!