SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 4-5
- Through Peter, I hear the Lord speaking to me about the challenge of following Jesus… if we do it seriously. To not live for sinful pleasure, but to deny myself for the sake of others, loving and serving them even though I pay a price for it. This is the way (the attitude) of Jesus.
- Living for Jesus will result in “going against the flow” of society, of our peers, even of our own desires, and therefore it will result in suffering. But it is good suffering! It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing what is wrong. Those who live for selfish pleasure will also suffer the consequences of their sinful practices. We can choose to suffer now (for doing what is good) or suffer later (for doing what is wrong, unhealthy, harmful to self and others).
- We live in a battlezone, and the enemy is prowling around, looking for ways to disturb, distract, discourage us, and ultimately to defeat us. We need to be armed with the attitude and determination of Jesus, we need to be clear-minded, self-controlled and alert. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, entrusting our welfare and survival to Him. And we will overcome!
- Peter’s challenge to the community leaders is a reminder to me that I am not only responsible for myself, but also for all those that the Lord has entrusted to my care. For me, that means the crossroads community I belong to. As an undershepherd for Jesus, I need to show them the way, to model the way of Jesus with grace, love and humility.
- The Lord is encouraging me that when I commit myself to living for Him and for His purpose, and leading His people in the Jesus way – even though it means suffering and self-denial now – then one day I will receive the reward of my love and service, the crown of glory that will never fade away. Until then, as I entrust myself to Him, He will make me strong, firm and steadfast. By His Spirit He will give me what I need to persevere and overcome!
Lord, thank You for the reminder to stand firm, since I have been facing some battles lately. I sense how Satan is trying to undermine my focus on You. Make me strong, firm and steadfast, as I seek to speak and serve for You. Amen.