Humility, for the win – 11-15-22

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,” Peter 5:6 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the First Book of Peter, chapter 5 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Shepherd the Flock

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but [a]willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being [b]lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Submit to God, Resist the Devil

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Be [c]sober, be [d]vigilant; [e]because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But [f]may the God of all grace, who called [g]us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, [h]perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Farewell and Peace

12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Colossians 4:2 – 

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Thank you for the feedback – So let me clarify for everyone.  The last few chapters we have discussed suffering as Peter has discussed suffering. I tell you it is coming. The word of God says so. I am not speaking about the suffering of the tribulation. I am not saying we will or will not be here for the tribulation. Why do we always jump to worst case scenario? Why are we in bondage to fear – fear of suffering – so much so that in paralyzes us and prevents us from fulling surrendering to God and His will? There is a chance that you will NOT suffer. But there is a higher chance that you will! This should be our comfort: that God is preparing us not scaring us. Now that we know we are prepared.

Peter continues to encourage these believers with the discussion of suffering. Again, I believe Peter wrote this letter to Paul’s churches to encourage the after Paul was beheaded. This was after Paul ran for his life, was stones and left for dead and shipwrecked a number of times. Paul’s churches helped hide Paul and helped him escape. There also endured similar persecution and hardships.

Most modern believers are not in threat of physical violence. But many suffer emotional, psychological, and political abuse and persecution. I do feel with the lawlessness of our world, these days like Noah’s, that it won’t be long until violence comes. And since the church (kingdom body of believers, regardless of denomination) has not unified, repented, stayed lowly and humbled – God has not healed our land, and now has to humble us, and force us to our knees. God allows sufferings and we are and will continue to go through them.

1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:”

Peter exhort, encourages and build up the community saying, first to the elders and leadership, that he saw Christ’s suffering first hand, and Peter also has suffered (and soon would be hung upside down on a cross to die). Yet he wants to refocus the reader to that fact that it is participation, to partake, take part in the Glory that will be revealed. And for those who live and move in the spirit – the glory has already been revealed.

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

For those of you who are in church leadership, it is obvious these verses are for you. Peter wrote this letter to the churches and not just the leadership. So for us to assume these verses do not apply to those of us who clean in the church, assist others, are on the welcoming committee, and are NOT leaders – is wrong. The early church had a different structure. You (just for an example) were brought in by someone. That person who brought you in, then discipled you. Very quickly you are on fire and share Jesus with someone and they come in and you disciple them, while the person leading you has now grown by two and you are now the leader of one. EVERYONE in the early church was a leader, or was soon becoming a leader. Therefore, we should serve willingly not because ‘oh man, I have to?’ And we should serve humbly in self-sacrifice (not to man, but unto God – to whom you eagerly surrender all to), not for gain of money or fame. God has entrusted you with the most valuable and precious thing – the very thing He wars for – the very thing He gave His son’s life for – The soul of a person. Take care of that person, as He would, until He comes.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Submit to your elders. There is a thing to be said for respecting physical age – but not everyone who is older is an elder. You see, those who are more mature of a Christian are the ones who should be leading those who are not as mature in Christ. And those who are babies in Christ should be following the ones who are being disciple by the elders. Everyone following the person a few steps ahead and both under the one above. Good accountability and strong relationship building. This is unity and the strengthening of the Body. AND none of it can be accomplished if EVERYONE doesn’t stay prostrate before the Lord, with the Lord getting ALL the glory.

Every single day – the Bible tells us to get humble. You’d think we’d drop to the ground in humility before Christ and stop popping back up. There is a pastor, a friend of mine and I listens to, and every time he mentions humility – because it is in almost every chapter of the Bible, he speaks of it with so much false piety that I almost choke on it. Then he ALWAYS says a prideful thing after – his mouth exposes his prideful heart. We’ve taken to counting the number of times he yo-yos back and forth between piety and pride.
He cannot see that he is proud. He honestly thinks he is humble. And this is an important thing for us to take note of. You and I can be men and women of God and think we are completely surrendered and humble and NOT be. And have so much pride that it trips up in each of your sermons. And as we just read here in this book – Pride in the pastor will cause pride in the leaders, which will cause pride in the congregation, which will cause dissention, conflicts, general coldness to one another, and lack of love, holiness, humility and godliness.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Without repeating himself, Peter flows as all this things are interwoven and connected and you cannot have one without the other. So from humble leaders and congregation to God’s will and glory being accomplished to casting cares on God are all combined! You see having cares on ourselves and not surrendered – leaves one area unsurrendered. And if any area if not surrendered – we are not in complete surrender and humility – leaving room for pride to have a strong hold. And Peter continues:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Humbly submitted goes hand and hand with sobriety and vigilance. Once you see you cannot have one without the other – you start to understand that humble submission to Christ is the most powerful weapon of our warfare. Yes, it is even more powerful than the Word of God, although it is the word of God that gets us to the full humble submission.  In this the hungry lion cannot feast – because he fasts on pride.

Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

We are resistance fighters. Stubborn to clean to the full submission to God and His will. Stubbornly humble. Stubbornly meek. We are not weak and pansies – we are strong warriors, who fight with God’s power and not our own – who have no glory and worship the glory of God and Christ Jesus!

10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

With grace – the powerful actionable thing that transforms us by revealing the depth of the meaning here and the humility we need. Grace that strips away pride and blankets us when we lay down in humility.

12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.”

This is where we see Peter wrote this in high Greek because Mr. Foot-in-mouth, had an educate man, Silvanus, write this. Second peter was not penned by Silvanus and therefore no ne edited it to correct the grammar. It is the true grace – both that God provided assistance in writing as well as the whole book encouraging us about our coming suffering – it is true grace. Thank you Peter for your obedience to Christ.

13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Marcus, who wrote the gospel of Mark, and traveled with Paul, and was related to Barnabas – became a ‘son’ to Peter. He was a valuable part of the team. He was just a child when Jesus was alive and he grew and stayed in the faith. He had struggles but was not only restored – He wrote a New Testament book. Marcus was with Paul near the end and left Paul to come to Peter. Peter doesn’t mention his brother Andrew, nor any of the other disciples – whatever came of them? But this child Marcus – we know of his life.

And just for fun – I am a hugger! Yep. I give men a sideways hug and I bear hug women. Post-covid, many people are against this – they should be glad that I do not greet them with a kiss!!! Ha!

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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