A LIVING HOPE: Clothed In Humility – the Difference It Makes! 1 Peter 5:5-7

TUESDAY 7/7/20  1 Peter 5:5-7
 
How would you personally describe humility?
 
Describe the characteristics of someone who has been in your life and displayed humility.
 
D.L. Moody made the statement, “Be humble or you will stumble!”
Why would the lack of humility cause a person to stumble?
 
In verse five Peter motivates/tells the younger people in the church to submit/respect the Elders.
Why would this be important?
 
What do the elders (those who are older) offer to those younger and to the church?
 
Spend time today praying for the leadership at First Baptist Church and for those who are older.
 
 
 
WEDNESDAY 7/8/20  1 Peter 5:5-7
 
Peter continues in verse 6 saying to:  “clothe yourselves all with humility towards one another…”
What is the meaning of “clothe yourselves”?
 
Read Philippians 2:5-11
 
When Peter writes “all of you” he means the whole church (everyone) – …with humility towards one another…
 
The church is made up of all ages – all generations.  What would the younger generation have to offer to the church and to older generations?
 
Peter challenges all of us to show humility towards each other.  What would our church look like with all ages showing humility towards each other?
 
Read John 13:1-13.
 
Spend time today praying for humility individually and as a church family.  Pray that the spirit of humility would result in lives being changed and the glory of God being lifted up in Madison County.
 
 
 
THURSDAY 7/9/20  1 Peter 5:5-7
 
In the last part of verse five, Peter said, “…for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
 
Why does God oppose the proud?
 
Read Luke 14:11, James 4:6.
 
Why is humility essential to our relationship with God?  (our conversion and our spiritual growth)
 
Why does God oppose/hate pride?
 
Read 1 John 2:16.
 
What are some of the characteristics of a prideful person?
 
How does pride hinder our relationships with God?  With other people?  How can pride affect a church?
 
The old and the young (all ages) are to have the action of submission and the attitude of humility!
 
Spend time today asking the Lord to reveal to you any prideful areas in your life that are a hindrance to relationships and most of all to your spiritual growth.
 
 
 
FRIDAY 7/10/20  1 Peter 5:5-7
 
What is the meaning of verse six?
 
How important is it that we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God?
 
What does humbling yourself under God’s mighty hand look like in your life?
 
Describe the meaning of “the mighty hand of God.”
 
What are some of the reasons for us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God?
 
Verse six ends with “…so that at the proper time He may exalt you,”
 
Describe the difference between your timing and God’s timing.
 
Do you struggle with the idea of waiting on God’s timing?
 
Why is it vital we meet the conditions of verses five and six enabling us to claim the promise of verse seven?
 
Verse seven “casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
 
“Casting” means throwing – giving.
 
List the anxieties or worries you have at this time (struggles, stress).
 
Identify your anxieties and worries.
Describe how your anxieties/worries are presently affecting you.  (or in the past)
 
Has it had an impact on others – your marriage – family – friends – your relationship with the Lord?
 
What would happen if you cast all (give to the Lord) your anxieties and worries?
 
ow would it impact your health – your relationships – and especially your relationship with the Lord?
 
What will it take for you to do it?
 
Imagine how your life would be impacted.  (and others)
 
Humility of mind is protection against anxiety!  Read Philippians 4:6-7.
 
Why should we?  “…because He cares for you.”
 
It’s your choice!
  • The action of submission!
  • The attitude of humility!
  • Under the mighty Hand of God!
 
Close today praying for God to reveal your anxieties/worries and to give you the desire and humility to cast/give them to the Lord!
 
 
 
SATURDAY 7/11/20
 
Read through 1 Peter 5:8-9
 
Apply these verses to your life.
 
Identify your struggles and spiritual warfare in your life.
 
How can you stand firm in the midst of temptations, evil, and chaos in our world today?
 
Pray for the service tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. 
“The State of the Church!”
 
Pray also for FBC KIDZ Hour at 12:00 Noon – ‘SuperHeroes.”
 
 
 


A LIVING HOPE: Profile of a Good Shepherd 1 Peter 5:1-4

TUESDAY 6/30/20
 
This week we are looking at the profile (characteristics) of spiritual leaders in the home and the church.
Throughout the scriptures the Lord gives us a picture of a shepherd caring for – tending – feeding- guiding and protecting his flock of sheep, showing us the necessity and responsibilities of spiritual leadership (the shepherd) and the characteristics and needs of the family and the church (sheep).
 
Characteristics of Actual Sheep!
Slow to learn, stubborn, tends to wander off from the protection of the shepherd, no sense of direction, unpredictable, restless, demanding, dirty, panics, requires discipline, and even suffering at times learning to obey!
 
Do you see any similarities in ourselves – our families – Christians – our churches?  Are there any characteristics that might apply more to yourself or your situation (family/church)?
 
Give the characteristics of an effective spiritual leader in the home (marriage/family).
 
In the Church.
 
In closing today, read Psalm 23 – apply to your life and pray through it.
 
 
 
 
WEDNESDAY 7/1/20
Profile of a Good Shepherd 1 Peter 5:1-4
 
Peter writes in verse one to exhort – honor – respect elders.  Why would he write this to us, the church – then and today?
 
Why would this be important?
 
An elder is someone older, maturing, and with wisdom.  (wisdom being the main characteristic)
 
Think of someone who has been in your life or is in it who impacted your life with wisdom.  (Normally wisdom comes with time and life experiences)
 
Describe the individual (or individuals).
 
Elders were the spiritual leaders of the church and Peter identifies himself as one.  A pastor today would be considered a teaching elder and a shepherd.  The word “elder” would also apply to other spiritual servants of the church. (and can also be a model for spiritual leaders/servants in the home).  Titus 1:5-9
 
Peter also identifies himself as a “witness” and that he will also share in the Glory of Jesus Christ.
 
Peter had to learn to stand firm in an evil world in the thirty years since the crucifixion and resurrection.  Think of his short-comings years before and how the Lord brought him to the point of sharing wisdom and writing these letters to the churches.
 
What keeps us from listening and seeking wisdom?  Ask yourself.  How close is your personal relationship with the Lord?  Are you walking with Him and growing in Him?
 
Spend today praying for a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that He will give you the wisdom you need for this life.
 
 
 
THURSDAY 7/2/20
Profile of a Good Shepherd 1 Peter 5:1-4
 
As you read verses two and three today, apply it to the shepherd of a church and to the spiritual leader of the home.
 
Describe how each of the following should be carried out in the home and the church.
 
Feeding/Teaching
Acts 20:28
 
Leading/Caring For
John 15:3-7, Proverbs 3:5-6
 
Be An Example
John 13:15, Mark 10:42-44, 1 Timothy 4:12
 
As you close in prayer today, read the “Fruit of the Spirit” – Galatians 5:22-23.  How important is it that we pursue these characteristics as a shepherd and part of the flock?
 
 
 
FRIDAY 7/3/20
Profile of a Good Shepherd 1 Peter 5:1-4
 
After reading this passage today and concentrating on verse four, what should our motivation be?
 
Read 1 Corinthians 9:25 and James 1:12.
 
Verse four says “you will receive the unfading crown of glory” – eternal – unending – unchanging!
 
Spend time thinking what that means to you and pray for a Desire to Please Christ Alone!
 
 
 
SATURDAY 7/4/20
 
Spend time today in prayer for:
  • Protection for the health of our members, their families and friends, and our nation from Covid-19.
  • Pray for our country!  Pray for the presence of God to overcome all of the evil and chaos!
  • Pray for spiritual leaders in our cities, states, and in Washington D.C.- that the Lord will give them wisdom               and boldness.
  • Pray for spiritual awakening across our country and throughout the world.
  • Pray for the message tomorrow (Sunday) on Humility (1 Peter 5:5-7).
  • Pray for an uncommon unity and a growing desire for the Lord among the people of First Baptist Church!
  • Pray that the distractions and changes will not hinder our spiritual growth but drive us deeper into the Arms of       the Lord!


A LIVING HOPE: Suffering As a Follower of Christ 1 Peter 4:12-19

TUESDAY 6/23/20   1 Peter 4:12-19
 
As you read this passage, identify times in the past when you may have experienced a certain amount of persecution (opposition or negative response) to your faith in Jesus Christ.  This could have been at work, school, neighborhood, and even within your family.
 
In verse 12 Peter writes that believers are not to be surprised, but expect suffering.
 
When a Christian grows in their spiritual life (growing in the fruit of the spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 – transforming into the “mind of Christ” – Romans 23:1-2), why does the non-believing world respond negatively to growing, authentic believers?
 
Verse 12 also speaks of trials that test us – trials that we face because of our faithfulness to God – not trials brought upon us due to our sins and disobedience.
 
Read 1 Peter 1:6-7.  Visualize the process of refining fires purifying precious metals – relate to believers walking through the trials (fires) of life.  How do they impact our spiritual lives?
 
Spend time today praying that you would have the same response Jesus would have as He faced persecution or opposition.  (The same heart and mind of Christ)  Don’t be surprised!  Expect suffering!
 
 
 
WEDNESDAY 6/24/20  1 Peter 4:12-19
 
In verses 13 and 14 Peter writes that we are to rejoice (2 times), be glad, and are blessed when we share in Christ’s sufferings.
 
Read Philippians 1:29, 3:10.
 
Why should we have the attitude described in verses 13 and 14?
 
Read Daniel 3:22-25, Isaiah 41:10 and Isaiah 43:2.  What encouragement do you find in these passages?  Why?
 
Read John 16:20-22.
How does the picture of a woman giving birth show how suffering can bring Glory to God?
 
Spend time praying today that the Holy Spirit would give you the strength you need to walk through trials (maybe a trial you are experiencing at this time.)  That during this time, you would bring Glory to the Lord!
 
 
 
THURSDAY 6/25/20  1 Peter 4:12-19
 
After reading verses 15 and 16, is there something that needs to change in your life?
Something that is bringing conflict or suffering due to disobedience or sin?
 
Is your interaction – reaction – attitude Christ-like in your day to day situations?
 
Verse 15 mentions meddler.  Does this apply to you?  (or has it in the past?)
 
Is your life glorifying the name of Christ?
 
Read Romans 1:16, Philippians 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 1:12.
 
Spend time praying today that you would bring Glory to the name — JESUS!
 
Examine your life – be selective!
 
 
 
FRIDAY 6/26/20  1 Peter 4:12-19
 
As you read verses 17 and 18, it is stated that judgment is to begin in the household of God.
God’s judgment is often pictured as beginning with God’s household, with His own people, as a means of purifying them.
 
How can this impact the lost?
 
Times of persecution are times of opportunity to witness to those who persecute.
 
Read Acts 16:16-40.
Think about the opportunity Paul and Silas seized to witness.
 
Spend time praying today that we would entrust (commit) our souls to God’s will while doing good.  (verse 19)
The Purging/Purifying work of God!  Committing to our creator – keep doing good!
 
 
 
SATURDAY 6/27/20  1 Peter 4:12-19
 
Spend time praying for First Baptist Church and yourself that we would passionately pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord that glorifies His name to a lost world.
 
Pray for desire – repentance – humility – commitment – uncommon unity and love.  Pray for a move of God in our lives and First Baptist Church that impacts Madison County and beyond!
 
Pray for the Worship Service tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. as we go through the passage of 1 Peter 5:1-4.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Dealing With Fear

Dealing with fear

Have you ever felt afraid? Maybe it was the first day of school. Perhaps you were moving to someplace new, or you heard that someone you love had become very sick? We all feel afraid at timesbut fear sure isn’t a feeling we enjoy. Our stomach gets into a knot, our hands start to sweat, and all we want to do is feel normal again. 

So why does God allow this to happen?

How our bodies work 

When we feel afraid like this, our bodies go into something called the flight or fight response. This means that we’re responding to something that feels harmful to us, with an urgency to either run away or fight back. That is why our hearts start to beat really fast! 

When we’re in danger, it’s good to be afraid (like when we’re running away from a wild animal). Other times, fear isn’t good—when we think something bad may happen while there’s absolutely no reason for us to be afraid. 

What kinds of things can make us feel afraid?

  • Being left in the dark or alone somewhere
  • When someone becomes very sick
  • Worrying about our safety
  • Not being liked by our friends
  • Going to school or taking a test
  • Having a bad dream
  • Going to the doctor or dentist
  • Seeing a scary animal or insect
  • Traveling someplace new

What does God want

Even when these things make us feel afraid, God doesn’t want us feeling this way. In the bible, God says He did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control (read 2 Timothy 1:7). When we feel afraid, God is in control. He wants us to learn how to be brave! God will give us peace, but he will also teach us how to use our powerful minds to think of good and true thoughts that will help calm our bodies down. He knows us very well.

Having self-control

Self-control means the ability to control our feelings without anyone’s else’s help. When we feel afraid, it is important to learn how to have self-control. This means we can choose what we think about and do. What good thing can you think about that will calm you down? What things can you remember about God that will remind you that He is with you?

What to do the next time I feel afraid

Talking about why you feel afraid is a good start. Telling a friend, teacher, or parent what it is that is making you feel afraid will help get those icky feelings that you feel inside, out! Tell them how you’re still learning to be brave.

Praying to God is also the best way to practice being brave. When you feel afraid of something, tell God about the situation so that He can give you peace.

Going on a walk, drawing a picture, or listening to music can help calm you down the next time you feel afraid. These are great ways to practice self-control.  

Get rid of things that don’t need to be there. Sometimes we have control over a situation and can make changes to the thing that is making us feel afraid. It is good to make these adjustments so that you will feel less anxious!

…..



Dealing With Death

When someone you love has died

 

When someone dies, especially someone we loved very much, it is not only sad, it seems cruel and unfair. “Good people and those we love don’t deserve to die.”

Because we feel this way it is natural for us to be confused and angry.

*******************

The end came too quickly, too soon. Now there’s an empty space where a part of your life has been torn away. Nothing can fill that emptiness inside or take that horrible feeling away. You just want to cry and cry until you have no more tears.

Or maybe you are so scared and confused that you cannot cry, and that’s okay too, because maybe your emotions (feelings) have gone numb. The strong feeling of losing someone is just too much for you to handle right now.

It’s not supposed to happen this way!

Most times, death is sudden and people don’t get to say and do all the things they would have like to. But we can’t go back in time, and it’s probably hard for you to believe that you won’t see that person again. You may even hope that somehow everything could come right, just as it does in stories. Your favourite stories end the way you want them to, but in real life you can’t choose the way you want things to work out. Bad things do happen.

I am angry!

You may become angry about many things without understanding why. The anger comes from the hurt you are feeling, and the hurt is caused by the love you have for the person who died. Deep down you may want to blame someone for what has happened, or you may even blame God. It is okay to tell God how you feel because He understands. God also felt the hurt and sadness of death when His son, Jesus, died on the cross in a very cruel way.

You may be upset because others don’t notice how sad you really are, or because they become impatient when you keep asking questions. Perhaps they don’t know what to say to you or how to help you. Or maybe they cannot help you by sharing your sadness, because they are sad too.

Why?

It is hard to accept death without looking for a reason. Why did this have to happen? If God could have kept this from happening, why didn’t He? Although there is an answer, the answer itself may not give you the comfort you long for or the peace you need to calm your racing thoughts. Death is something your heart must accept by believing that God has everything in control. He has a plan for everyone’s life and nothing takes Him by surprise. For now, just hold onto the fact that each of us is very precious to God (Psalm 116:15).
Below are some thoughts from the Bible.

Is there hope?

Everyone has a body and an unseen spirit. When a person dies, the life of the body ends but the spirit of the person lives on forever. Those who believe in God will get a new, heavenly body that will never, ever die. “For our earthly bodies, the ones we have now that can die, must be transformed into heavenly bodies that cannot perish but will live forever” 1 Corinthians 15:53.

A heavenly body is perfect – without sin, sickness, or pain. Dying is the way God planned for us to escape from this sinful, imperfect world to an everlasting life of joy. It is sad for those who stay behind; our turn has not yet come. But we have the sure hope that when the time comes, we will also get our new bodies and spend eternity together with those who’ve gone to Heaven before us.

What now?

At first, you may not feel like being with your friends because they seem too cheerful for the way you are feeling. That is okay for a while, but don’t stay away from them for too long.

Remember, your friends may not know the right words to say, or they may be afraid that they will say the wrong thing. It will make things easier if you are able to tell them what happened. This will help take away the awkward feeling they have. It will help them realize that you have not changed, even though you are very sad right now.

To help you remember those special times

Print the page below My special page and use it to write about the fun times you can remember and perhaps some funny things that happened.

In the middle of the page, write a ‘secret’ message to say the things you didn’t get a chance to say to the person who died. Then glue a photo of the person (or a picture you have drawn) over the message. Your love-note is still there even though you cannot see it anymore—it has been sealed and covered over as well. On the rest of your page you can write whatever you like, or draw something, and then decorate it.

To keep the memories of the good times you shared, you could also use a scrapbook. Then you could paste in photos, cards and other things to make up the life story of the person.



Being Bullied

Being bullied and teased

When others tease

Are you being called names? Are you being teased about something?


Kids at school often tease those who aren’t like them or who won’t do the things they want them to do. They may also tease others about the way they look, the way they speak or the way they dress. That is very rude and unkind, and is not something that is normal or acceptable! So what should you do when you are teased or bullied?
                                                  

Don’t let them get inside

When someone says something nasty over and over, or if something is said by a number of people, it not only hurts, it sticks in your mind. You start believing that it is true. You even start telling yourself the same things you’ve heard other say to you – believing and even ‘proving’ that everyone else is right. Bullies sound so sure of themselves and it is easy to be convinced that they are right, especially if no one else sticks up for you.

And so, while you’re fighting off the jeers and jabs on the outside, your protection starts to crumble on the inside. Something inside tells you that it’s not worth the fight – that you may as well give up and let others trample all over you. Don’t ever let that happen. Be strong! You have a mighty God on your side – a God who loves you very, very much and has made you the way you are down to the smallest detail.

The ‘BIG’ bully: what to do and what not to do

  • Try to stay away from places where you are likely to meet the bully. Don’t challenge him when you are alone (especially if he is with others).
  • Whenever possible, stick with friends or hang around with others. Don’t become isolated and quiet. Go out of your way to make friends! This will make you more confident, and it will show the bullies that you are not bothered by their comments.
  • If you are afraid or upset, try not to show your feelings. (A bully feels powerful when he can make others afraid of him.) If a bully gets little or no reaction from you, he will probably become bored and eventually leave you.
  • In a firm, confident way and without being nasty, ask him/her to stop bullying you.
  • Don’t try to get back at others by becoming mean as well. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12: 17-18.
  • You might get a surprising reaction from your enemies by being kind to them. This is how the Bible puts it; “… If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” Romans 12: 20:21. (By the way, the ‘burning coals’ aren’t real coals, but that’s probably the way your kindness feels to someone who has been mean to you.)
  • If you are being teased about a personal habit, try to be aware of what others find amusing or odd about you. Avoid doing things that irritate or amuse them.
  • If you are being hurt or you feel scared, tell a teacher immediately and let your parents know too. It is not your fault that you are being picked on, and you have nothing to be ashamed of!
  • Always remember what makes you special—the abilities you have that they don’t, and the dreams you have that no one can mess with. These, coupled with a positive attitude, are things that no one can take away from you.
  • Lastly, think about this: Jesus, your best friend, was mocked too. People laughed at Him, spat on Him, cursed Him and beat Him. Jesus sees and knows what you are going through… and He is taking note. The Bible says that God will repay those who are mean and abusive. A day is coming when they will stand before God and answer to Him for every single thing they said and did (Matthew 12:36).

Remember, you need to protect yourself on the outside and the inside, so ask for help. You have a right to feel safe and be free from fear of others!



When Things Go Wrong

Why things go wrong

 Do you sometimes run into difficulty or get into trouble? Do you seem to have problems every day? Have you ever wondered why things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to?

Here are just some reasons why life isn’t always easy and trouble-free.

Everyday problems

The daily struggles and snags we get caught up in are a normal part of everyday life; they are part of the imperfect world we live in. People let us down or misunderstand us. The things we use don’t always work as we want them to and they don’t last forever. Yet these everyday problems aren’t huge barriers that completely block our way in life; they are more like obstacles we can jump over or find a way around.

There are so many things that can go wrong every day. Sometimes, one has a day when everything seems to go wrong. Even the little things seem far worse than they really are and you end up having a really bad day.

Does God know about these ‘little’ things? Does He care? The Bible says that God can make something good come out of every situation for those who love Him (read Romans 8:28).

When I mess up

You may be thinking: I know that things sometimes go wrong and that bad things happen. But it’s different when I mess things up—when it’s my fault and I’m the one to blame.

Trouble strikes! You have forgotten your bag at school or lost your mom’s purse. Maybe you have misunderstood an instruction, forgotten to pass on a message or spilled the milk. Maybe you may have messed up so badly that you actually become angry with yourself.

Do you remember the last time you were blamed for something that went wrong? How did that make you feel? Maybe you felt stupid, embarrassed or even useless, especially if, with a little more care, you could have kept things from going wrong in the first place. 

People often get upset if you’ve lost or broken something valuable or caused them a lot of trouble – even if it was a mishap or a mistake. At a time like this, you don’t only feel bad about what happened but also because you’ve caused someone to be angry with you; before you know it, you are angry with yourself too.

A mistake is not a sin even if you feel guilty about it. Sin is when you do something wrong on purpose; when you go against God’s rules or disobey your parents. So, always remember this: everyone makes mistakes—even those who love God and do their best to please Him.

When things GO wrong to keep you from DOING wrong

God sometimes allows something to go wrong when an ongoing sin becomes a growing problem. God loves us too much to let us deliberately carry on doing something that is wrong. He doesn’t want us to get into bad habits that get a grip on our lives. God may allow something to happen that seems bad, yet it may help us see our problem before it gets worse. The Bible says that we should not become discouraged: “… do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves” Hebrews 12:5-6.

But not every problem is because of a sin! So how can you know whether the problem is God’s discipline or whether it is something that would have happened anyway?

The Holy Spirit will work on your conscience, reminding you of a secret sin or warning you of a sinful habit. If you know in your heart that God is showing you a sin, you must stop doing that straight away and ask Him to forgive you. But God won’t make you feel guilty just because you are not perfect. He will always show you exactly what needs to change – one step at a time. God won’t keep reminding you of sin that has been forgiven.

If your conscience is clear and you can’t think of any sin that you have not confessed, the problem you have is not a warning sign about sin in your life.

When trouble comes because of our faith

When Jesus was on earth, He told His followers to expect things to get pretty tough at times. Jesus hasn’t promised us an easy life either, but He did say that He would be with us along the way and give us everything we need. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33.

When you put your faith in Jesus, there are those who will try to make your life miserable. They may tease you, be mean to you or ignore you in a mean way. If you have been insulted or hurt because you stood up for the truth, then you are blessed because there is already a reward waiting for you in Heaven (Matthew 5:11-12).

Each time you stand firm, your spirit grows stronger and closer to the Lord. You may not notice the change in yourself, but God is busy shaping you to become what He wants you to be. “… Is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete” James 1:2-4 (LB).

Is this from God?

Something terrible happens, crashing over your life like a huge wave. You feel powerless to stop what is happening or to put right what has already happened. Your family breaks up, you are being hurt by someone, or an accident leaves you injured for life. Suddenly everything changes and your life is never quite the same.

The pain from your wounded heart becomes part of your memory and a part of your everyday life. Your heart cries out to God but even He doesn’t seem to do anything to help. You reach out in hope but instead you are pulled down by the weight of your problem. You struggle to pray, wondering whether your prayers are even being heard.

Don’t give up hope! Jesus is right there with you – you can talk to Him like a friend. Trust Him to get you through this, for He will never, ever leave you. Even though you may not feel Him holding you, He is with you and He is feeling the pain you are feeling. He will help you carry your heavy load as you tell Him about your hurt. If you don’t know the right words to say, just say His name. He understands. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” Matthew 5:4.

You may be trying to find the reason why this has happened, hoping that the pain would go away once you discover a reason and purpose for your suffering. But there are some things we can never explain and for which we will never know the answer. Yet there is only one thing you can know for sure: that it is not a punishment from God! He does not want to see His children suffer or being hurt!

So why doesn’t God keep bad things from happening?

  • God has given every person the freedom to choose between doing good and doing evil. Sinful people who choose to do evil sometimes decide to hurt the weak, the young and the innocent ones. God is very angry when that happens and He will punish anyone hurting one of His children.
  • There are those who may hurt you by the things they do even though they don’t mean to hurt you. No one is perfect, and when someone makes a mistake, others may get hurt. Sometimes, a person’s careless action or bad decision can change your life.
  • When people disobey God’s rules for life, their sinful actions usually affect others – often those closest to them.
  • Even if we do our best to look after ourselves, our bodies can become sick or get hurt. That is the way our natural bodies are made. God did not make our bodies to last forever. But we have something to look forward to: “For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event…  We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us – bodies that will never be sick again and will never die”  Romans 8:22-23 LB.
  • Problems and difficulties make us tough for life. When we go through a time of pain, somehow our character becomes stronger and our relationships grow deeper.

Healing takes time

Hurts do heal, but be patient, it takes time. Tell God about your heartache and talk to those close to you about the way you feel. This will make it easier to get back to a more normal life again.

Remember, just like a cut on your skin, a wounded heart will also heal a lot faster if it is kept clean. Ask God to take away any feelings of bitterness and to fill your heart with His love and forgiveness.

When the wound has healed and the pain has gone there may still be a scar on your heart – a horrible reminder of what happened – but with Jesus as your best friend, even that will eventually fade away.

For now, hold on to this precious promise from God – a promise that He will heal your aching heart. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” Psalm 147:3.



A Mighty Tree

A Mighty Tree

Daily Devotional for June 16, 2020

Read: PSALM 1:1-6

 

 
 

Ben gaped at the humongous eucalyptus tree. His head was thrown back so he could look up, up, up to the crown. He and his father had planned a day trip into the lush Tasmanian rain forest just to view this megalith.

“The Centurion is the tallest tree in Australia,” his dad told him. “At a hundred meters, it’s one of the tallest trees in the world. Only a handful of redwoods stand taller.”

“Is it as tall as a skyscraper?” Ben asked in awe.

“No. But it is higher than London’s clock tower, Big Ben, and New York’s Statue of Liberty.”

“How can it stay up?” Ben asked, still gawping skyward.

“Look at its base,” said Dad. “That massive system of roots reaches deep into the earth, holding it in place.”

After circling the trunk three times, stretching to see how far they could reach around it and taking several snapshots, Ben’s father led the way out of the forest. “You know, the Centurion reminds me of the passage in Psalms that says a righteous person is like a tree.”

Ben laughed. “Will he grow leaves in his hair?”

Dad smiled. “I think it means that someone who is rooted in Jesus will be able to stand firm in his faith.” He gestured back toward the Centurion. “Can you imagine trying to push that tree over?”

“No way!” Ben exclaimed.

“When we trust in Jesus, He will help us do what’s right, even when those around us do something wrong.”

“Like when the other kids tease Billy Mason because he stutters?” His father frowned. “Do you tease Billy?”

“No.”

“Do you stand up for him?”

Ben hesitated then shook his head.

“It can be hard,” Dad said. “Loving others and doing what’s right often makes us stand out. But when we’re rooted in Jesus and rely on Him to help us obey Him, the Bible says we will flourish, just like the Centurion tree.”

Ben thought about this all the way back to the car. As they entered the parking lot, he picked a eucalyptus leaf and stuffed it in his pocket.

“What’s that for?” his father asked.

“It’s just a reminder. For the next time my friends tease Billy.” MICHELLE ISENHOFF

HOW ABOUT YOU?
Can you think of a time when you chose right when others did wrong? Were you teased for it? It may be hard sometimes, but when you’re rooted in Jesus, you can always choose to do what’s right. By His strength, you can grow to be like a mighty tree that stands firm in His goodness and love.

TODAY’S KEY VERSE: PSALM 1:1-2 (KJV)
BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO DOES NOT WALK IN STEP WITH THE WICKED…BUT WHOSE DELIGHT IS IN THE LAW OF THE LORD. (NIV)



A LIVING HOPE: The Rest of Your Time! 1 Peter 4:7-11

TUESDAY 6/16/20
 
Verse 7 opens with “The end of all things is at hand;”
 
What is the meaning of this?
 
Christ came to earth 2,000 years ago and after 33 years, He died on a cross for our sins that we may choose forgiveness.  He died in our place that we could have a relationship with the Father.
 
The last days began at Christ’s coming 2,000 years ago and will end upon His return (second coming).  Read 1 Thessalonians 8:2, Matthew 24:36, Matthew 25:13.
 
No one knows the date and time of His return, but as Christians we should live each day as He is returning at anytime!
 
Describe how we should be using the rest of our time here on earth!  What do you think Christ desires from us?
 
Verse one also tells us to be self-controlled and sober-minded – for what reason?
 
Describe being sober-minded.
 
How important are these traits to your prayer life?
 
Describe the importance of prayer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and in making the most of the rest of your time for the Kingdom of God.
 
 
 
WEDNESDAY 6/17/20  1 Peter 4:7-11
 
Verse 8 says “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (ESV)
The key thought in verse 8 is “loving one another”!  How important is this to you – to our church – to Jesus Christ?
 
How can “loving one another” help us in times of suffering?
 
Read Mark 12:30-31, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Proverbs 10:12.
 
How can “loving one another” overcome conflict and disagreements?
 
How can “loving one another” help us forgive -having the same type of love Christ has for us?  John 13:34
 
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:35 (ESV)
 
When the world sees us – the church living out this type of love – how might it impact them?
 
Think of one change you can make today to help invest more of your time in God’s work.
 
 
 
THURSDAY 6/18/20  1 Peter 4:7-11
 
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”  1 Peter 4:9 (ESV)
 
Define hospitality.
 
When have you been shown hospitality in a time of need?
 
What is the difference between hospitality and entertaining?
 
How are some of the ways hospitality might cost you?  (financially, time, emotionally)
 
How might it impact the one or ones receiving the hospitality?
 
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:35 (ESV)
 
Think of an opportunity or time you might show hospitality to someone in the near future.  
 
Pray for God to use you in this person’s (or persons’) life.
 
 
 
FRIDAY  6/19/20  1 Peter 4:7-11
 
In verse 9 it speaks of using our spiritual gift to save others.
 
Read Romans 12:4-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 to help identify your spiritual gift.
 
Are you using the spiritual gift the Lord has given you to serve others?
 
Every believer has at least one spiritual gift, given to us to serve others, by the Lord.  Some gifts are noticed and some are not; however, each gift is important and enables us to serve one another!
 
Where does our strength to serve come from?  (verse 11)
 
Working and serving together (and serving each other) as a body of believers (a church) glorifies the Lord!
 
Describe a church that serves one another, and the impact that has on those outside the Church.
 
Pray!  “…in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.”  1 Peter 4:11b (ESV)
 
 
 
SATURDAY 6/20/20
 
Pray that you will become intentional in using your Time for the glory of God in these Last Days!
 
Pray Harder!
 
Love One Another!
 
Serve One Another!
 
For the Purpose of Glorifying God!
 
Pray for Sunday, June 21st, 11:00 a.m. message.  1 Peter 4:12-19
 
Pray for our Country!!!


A LIVING HOPE: TIME 1 PETER 4:1-6

TUESDAY 6/9/20  TIME – 1 Peter 4:1-6
 
  • How important is your TIME to yourself?
  • How important is your TIME as a follower of Christ to our heavenly Father?
  • Think about the previous day – did you waste any of your time?  What could you have done differently that would impact your relationship with the Lord?   
In verse one, Peter says we are to arm ourselves with the same way of thinking (attitude) as Jesus Christ.
 
Read Philippians 2:5-11, Romans 2:2, 1 Corinthians 2:16.
 
What happens when we begin to desire the “mind of Christ” – to follow His examples – to pursue the Fruit of the Spirit?  (Galatians 5:22-23)  
 
Spend time praying for the discipline and desire for the Holy Spirit to guide you and direct you in the Time you have left.
 
 
 
WEDNESDAY 6/10/20   TIME – 1 Peter 4:1-6
 
1 Peter 4:1 says we are to resist sin!  Identify sins or activities (or attitudes) you need to delete from your life.
If you commit to making these changes – resisting sin – how does this impact your time?
 
1 Peter 4:2 says we are to live the rest of our time for the Will of God!
 
What does the will of God mean to you?
 
y do we experience an ongoing battle between our will and pursuing (surrendering to) God’s will?  Identify your greatest area of struggle.  (If unable to, ask the Lord to reveal to you what you place over God’s will.  Matthew 6:33
 
How do you pursue and desire God’s will in your life?  Is it just something that happens?  What needs to take place in your heart – your relationship with Jesus Christ?
 
 
 
THURSDAY 6/11/20  TIME – 1 Peter 4:1-6
 
1 Peter 4:3 speaks of evil and immoral activities – how we are to let go the past!
 
What things in your past have you struggled with?  Has your past distracted you, kept you from growing spiritually or serving the Lord?
 
Satan often uses guilt to make us ineffective even after we have received forgiveness from the Lord!
 
Read Philippians 3:12-14.  Paul states we are to focus on “one thing” – Jesus Christ forgetting the past!
 
Spend time praying today that the Lord will give you the strength to let go of the past and pursue the will of God for the rest of your time.
 
 
 
 
FRIDAY 6/12/20  1 Peter 4:1-6
 
1 Peter 4:4-6 speaks of reaching the lost!  The gospel is to be preached to all the world!  Matthew 28:18-20
 
Do you have co-workers, neighbors, friends, or family members who do not understand your faith in Jesus Christ?  How do they respond to you!
 
Have compassion for them!  Pray for them!  Love them!  Serve them!  Have patience!  Continue to pray!
 
It is not our place to judge, but one day the Lord will judge both Christians and non-Christians.
 
Remember they are blind!  1 Corinthians 4:3-4  Remember they are dead!  Ephesians 2:1-2
 
They need truth – Light – Hope!
 
Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel!  Pray for the lost!
Pray for a sense of urging in our lives and our church to reach the lost!
 
 
 
SATURDAY 6/13/20  TIME
 
Spend TIME today praying for the services tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. and the 12:00 PM FBC Kidz Hour.
 
Read and pray through 1 Peter 4:7-11.
 
Pray for our people to return to worship together in Spirit and in Truth!