NT Nov. 8-12

November 8 — James 5 — Suffering and Patience.  The Old Testament prophet was “an example of suffering and patience” (v. 10)—our example.  Those men were persecuted, ridiculed, and ignored because their message was in such conflict with the way people around them were thinking and acting.  Paul promised Timothy that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).  Are you ignored or ridiculed because of your faith?  Our reaction should be two-fold.  One is patience: “Be patient … until the coming of the Lord” (v. 7).  Like the farmer patiently waits because he knows the crop is coming, so the Christian must wait patiently because Christ will make it right at the end when He returns.  Just keep doing what is right!  James said that our second reaction should be to “establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (v. 8).  Establishing our heart includes refusing to grumble about our predicament (v. 9) and remaining steadfast, like Job, who suffered physically and with abuse from his so-called friends, yet he “remained steadfast” (v. 11).  Notice that both being patient and being steadfast are connected to our being focused on Christ’s return.

November 9 — 1 Peter 1 — Mystery Revealed.  Peter was the natural leader of the Twelve who followed Jesus’ ministry for three years.  Although God used him to first introduce the Good News to the Gentiles (Acts 10:45, 15:7), he later became one who reached out mainly to fellow Jews (Galatians 2:8).  Peter apparently wrote this first letter from Rome, which he figuratively calls “Babylon” in 1 Pet. 5:13.  It was written to believers living in what is now northern Turkey (v. 1).  In this first chapter, the Old Testament prophets were said to have prophesied about “this salvation … the grace that was to be yours” (v. 10), but they didn’t understand when or how this was to happen.  It involved things into which even the “angels long to look” (v. 12).  But this mysterious plan of salvation has “now been announced … through those who preached the good news” (v. 12).  What a privilege it is to be living in this post-resurrection era when we have the life-changing gospel to read and to share with others!

November 10 — 1 Peter 2 — In God’s Sight.  Two times in this chapter, Peter reminds us of how God looks at things differently than we do.  First, “in the sight of God,” we believers are “chosen and precious” (v. 4, cf. Isa. 28:16).  When we sometimes struggle with a poor self-image, we need to remind ourselves that in God’s sight, we are precious.  We were created by Him and are loved by Him.  Have you ever been ridiculed or rejected by others because of their misunderstanding or because they opposed your faith in Christ?  We tend to look at these experiences as sad and disappointing but God looks at them differently.  Peter said that “is a gracious thing in the sight of God” (v. 20).  God looks at our unjust suffering as a positive thing because we are standing for truth and for Him.  Jesus suffered in this way as an example for us (v. 21).  Let us follow the Leader!

November 11 — 1 Peter 3 — Gentle Believers.  There are several instructions in this chapter about how the hearts of God’s people should be gentle.  Wives should have “a gentle and quiet spirit” (v. 4), which is pleasing to God and appreciated by even unbelieving husbands.  Husbands should be “understanding … showing honor” to their wives (v. 7).  All of us should have “brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (v. 8).  And when sharing with unbelievers, we should “do it with gentleness and respect” (v. 15).  A humble, gentle spirit should characterize every Christian.  Ask God in the morning to help you be like that during the day, then evaluate how you did before you go to bed, thanking God for His help.  We are empowered to be gentle!

November 12 — 1 Peter 4 — Varied Grace.  Verse 10 says that “each has received a gift.”  This refers to the spiritual gifts also discussed in 1 Cor. 12 and Rom. 12:3-8.  Here, Peter names two of them: speaking and serving (v. 11).  Our gift is undeserved, so it is referred to as God’s “grace” (v. 10).  There are also many of them, so it is further described as God’s “varied grace” (v. 10).  God spreads His grace around in different forms to all of us.  God’s gift is not to be stored in a closet, however; it is to be used.  Peter gives us two reasons to “use it” (v. 10):  First, we are to use our gift because someone needs what we can provide: “use it to serve one another” (v. 10).  Secondly, we should use our gift because it makes God look good: “use it … in order that … God may be glorified” (v. 11).  We discover our spiritual gift by ministering in different ways.  The joy we receive will help us discover it and so will the feedback of others who are spiritually blessed by our ministry to them.

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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