September 2, 2020
1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.   Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

New International Version (NIV)
                A cat in our neighborhood picks fights with dogs much larger than he.  This is counterintuitive to me, and my dogs.  Do you ever wonder, in a real fight, who wins, a lion or a bear?  I saw a video recently of just such an altercation.  The results surprised me.  Suffice it to say the bear will think twice before he engages a lion in the future. 

                Peter believed in a powerful personal presence of evil in the world.  Jesus once said to him, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.”  As Peter wrote to the believers, he warned them that the devil is prowling like a lion, looking for someone to devour.  What chance do people like us have to overcome a roaring lion?  It sounds like an unfair fight.  Days like these call for humility, prayerful release of anxiety, and sobriety.

                As Martin Luther wrote, “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing.  Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.  Dost ask who that may be?  Christ Jesus, it is he.  Lord Sabaoth, His name, from age to age the same.  And he must win the battle.”

                Listen to the promise:  "The God of all grace, who has called us to eternal glory, will himself restore us and make us strong firm and steadfast.”  Peter had seen the roaring lion lose to the Lion of Judah.  It is not a fair fight.  Jesus wins.  Lesslie Newbigin was right:  “The resurrection was not the reversal of a defeat but the manifestation of a victory.”  Our God is undefeated.  Let’s be on his team today.  Humble yourself under his mighty hand.  He will lift you up in due time.    
Pray with me:         
Father, when we suffer help us to remember that you are still the God of grace.  We trust that you, yourself restore your sifted saints today.  Remind us that all of our strength comes from you.  Help us to humble ourselves as we trust in your eternal power.  Take off our hands the anxiety which immobilizes us today.  Thank you for caring so much.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:27-28
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 

Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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