21: Church, Be Alert!

Message 21 of 34 in the series Letters from Peter

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Expand Passage …
1 Peter 5:8-14, ESV

Discussion Questions

  • Read James 1:14-15

    What is the cause of our temptation? Who is ultimately responsible for our sin? According to the sermon, what is the devil’s involvement with our sin struggles? Read John 10:10. What is the devil’s aim in our life?

  • Read James 1:14-15

    In your own words, what does it mean that the Son of God came to destroy the devil’s works? How does the Gospel stop the work of the devil in our life?

  • Rather than react out of fear or worry, what does Peter tell us we should do in light of the devil’s attacks (Read 1 Peter 5:8)? What does it mean to “be watchful”?

  • What are the 4 ways discussed in the sermon that we can resist the work of the devil in our lives? Is there 1 of these 4 that you struggle with the most? Which one and why?

  • Read 1 Peter 5:10-11

    What is the promise Peter gives regarding God’s work on behalf of His people who have been through suffering? Write or discuss what each of these words mean in relation to God’s help for us when we suffer: Restore, Confirm, Strengthen, and Establish.

Audio Transcript

Today we wrap up our study of Peter’s first recorded letter to the church. Next week, we will transition to his second recorded letter. Within this, that Josh has just read, within this closing section is a sobering warning, as well as a magnificent promise. And the sobering warning is around spiritual warfare, around troubles, difficulties, attacks that come from the unseen realm. And I don’t have the quote in front of me, I will butcher it. But I believe it was CS Lewis, who said there are two errors of men, when it comes to that spiritual realm, one is to make far too much of the devils or the devil. And the other is to make far too little, to ignore that reality.

And so I pray this morning as we go through the word that we will be able to avoid both of those errors. 1 Peter has been full of many warnings, many admonitions from God through Peter, that we’ve looked at over the last 20 weeks, we have been warned that we will face persecution for the name of Christ, and for being obedient to His word. We have been warned that our sinful passions, if they’re left unchecked, will wage war against our souls. We have been warned that — or admonished that it is critically important for us to keep our conduct honorable for the world to see, no matter what happens to us. We have been told that we will often have to live under and subject ourselves to leaders in various spheres of life who are not of high character or display godly behavior. And we’ve been warned that we will experience sufferings and trials and that we must, in the midst of them be ready to serve and love other people, especially the church.

And so as we get to this last closing section of this letter, we are given a final warning in this letter from God, through Peter to the church in his day, and to the church in our day. And if you are a note-taker and have one of the outlines, I have that final warning written this way. You Christian, have a vicious and cunning opponent who seeks to annihilate your soul.

You have a vicious and cunning opponent who seeks to annihilate your soul.

And as we talk about spiritual warfare, and I realized that perhaps the enemy has gotten into our sound system today, I’m going to mute one mic and turn on another one. Go this way.

I want to, in the midst of this warning, give us a quick framework by which we should consider the warning. Because I realize it is a sobering statement that you have this vicious, this cunning opponent and his aim is to annihilate to destroy to swallow you up. What does that mean? And how do we process that as believers?

So I want to give us a quick framework by which we consider this warning. First of all, in your outline, every person, each person, all of us here, anyone who hears this — Each person is responsible for their own sin. Every individual is responsible for their own sin. And I should add here, that it is sin that ultimately results in the destruction of a person’s soul. In this, in the first chapter of his letter, James lays out that you and I have a sin nature, and that sin nature is filled with corrupted desires. And those desires serve to lure and entice us to do evil, and to rebel against our Creator. And that is a nature that we have inherited from our first father, mother, Adam and Eve — Who chose not to rest in what God had given them but to disobey and distrust God and seek their welfare apart from Him.

And so, from that moment on, we have all wrestled with that same nature that seeks to not trust God and to make a pathway in life without Him. And without some type of intervention. That pattern of sin will ultimately lead a person to judgment and for their soul to be destroyed. It is not Satan who destroys their soul. It is not Satan who judges their soul. That judgment comes from God. When we rebel, we don’t get to say the devil made me do it. When we sin, we don’t get to say, the devil calls that every place in scripture where you see one of the apostles or a leader of God coming across someone who is in sin, the message is repent, turn and repent. And that is the calling that we have. So every person is responsible for their own sin.

But secondly, the second part of that framework is the devil is the author of sin. He is the author of rebellion. And he seeks to attack and exploit those made in God’s image, in order to bring them to ruin. He seeks to attack and to exploit those made in God’s image to bring them to ruin. The devil is a personal being. He is a fallen angel, who the Bible says, desire God’s glory and wanted God’s throne. And so he led a rebellion against God. And eventually, he made his way to man, and he tempted man — Adam and Eve — to follow in his footsteps, to reject the worship of God, and to worship themselves. And he leads, the Bible says, A kingdom of darkness. And according to Jesus, in John chapter 10, he has one aim to steal, kill, and destroy.

Satan cannot throw you into hell. Because Satan is not the lord of hell. Hell is Satan’s Final destination, created by God for his punishment, and the punishment of anyone who follows in his steps. But Satan does have a limited amount of power, leading this kingdom of darkness. And he seeks to use that limited power, to what Paul says, in 2 Corinthians 4, Blind the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.

He is active in the world. He is active, trying to blind unbelievers, so they don’t see the gospel. So they don’t come to Christ, so they don’t get saved. He doesn’t want anyone to come to Jesus. He doesn’t want anyone to become a worshipper of God. He doesn’t want anyone to have everlasting life. And he is actively working to steal, kill, and destroy, and blind people from the Gospel. And if he can blind them with prosperity, or he blinds them with suffering, it doesn’t matter to him, as long as they’re blinded. That is part of how he devours, annihilates, swallows up people.

People are blinded, they are so blinded that they don’t even realize that they’re in darkness. And even those of us who are not in the darkness, even those of us who have come to know Christ, even those of us who have had our eyes opened by the light of Jesus, we often have an entirely natural view of the world around us. We forget about this spiritual realm. We forget about the work of Satan, we forget who our true adversary is. We see people in the world who are evil and doing evil things. And we think to ourselves, if just that person, or just that group of people, or just that ideology would go away, everything would be okay. completely forgetting and ignoring the fact that they’re not the true enemy. The devil is. The true enemy is the one who’s been sinning from the beginning.

We are not the first Christians to struggle with this reality. The very disciples of Jesus that He called Himself in the beginning of His ministry struggled with this, they wanted Jesus to set up His earthly kingdom, then — Right away. They wanted the Messiah to exert His authority because they wanted the evil rulers in the regime that they hated. They wanted that to be removed and for God’s people to reign. And Jesus had to tell them that His Father’s purpose was to build up a new kingdom. Not just to remove the one of darkness, but to build up a new kingdom filled with worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth, and that that kingdom would sit, subdue and supplant the darkness. And that’s how John said in 1 John 3:8, The reason the Son of God appeared, was to destroy the works of the devil.

The purpose of the sufferings of Christ was not merely to bring an end to the people or the systems that we suffer because of. But the purpose of the sufferings of Christ was to end the very heart of rebellion that causes evil to begin with. And that has to start in us, the people of His kingdom. Peters already told us that judgment starts in the household of God, we want judgment to start with the world. And the Bible says it starts with us because he’s building a new kingdom of worshipers. We are to be the light that supersedes the darkness. And so this particular warning that we have today that there is an enemy who desires to seek to annihilate your soul. That warning is written to the church. You church, have a powerful, cunning adversary, his desire is for you. He wants to devour you. He wants to devour you by filling you with the same mistrust and rebellion toward God that he had. He wants to devour you to cause you to live in the same malice and hatred toward other people that he has. If he can cause you to hate people, even your enemies, he is bringing you to his way of thinking. He wants your heart and your mind to be filled with bitterness, rage, despair, that he might make ruin of your life.

The imagery that Peter uses is a prowling lion. That gives us the picture of a sudden, unforeseen attack or strike on a victim. That’s how the devil operates. And there’s no better time for the devil to attack and exploit believers than during periods of trials and sufferings and prosecutions. Which is why I think it was on Peters mind as he closed this letter.

And so his instructions to us, God’s instructions to us, through Peter, isn’t cower in fear. It is it panic out of worry. It is, be watchful and resist. That’s the command. You have an adversary an opponent who wants to annihilate you. So be aware, Be alert, and resist. Be watchful means stay spiritually vigilant.

Here’s the reality about the devil. He has centuries upon centuries upon centuries of experience blinding people to his existence. He doesn’t care if you believe in him or not. He has centuries upon centuries, upon centuries of experience of blinding people to his schemes against their lives, he doesn’t show up, knock on your door, introduce himself and say, Hey, this week, I’m going to be working to ruin your marriage, your life, your testimony, he doesn’t do that. He wants you to be unaware, to not see it, to not realize it to not know it’s coming.

And so part of what Peter wants is for us to grow in recognition. Where we get to the point where we’re able to say, in discernment, in the Spirit of God, You know what? This may be an attack. You know what? This may be the enemy. This circumstance, this situation, this problem, this opportunity, the way that I’m about to react or the way I just reacted, this may be the enemy. And I need to be aware of that. And I need to resist.

Resisting is an active intentional opposition. Which means your defeat is not assured. Quite the opposite. James in his letter, that also calls us to resist the devil says that if you do resist him, he will flee from you.

And so, what I want us to explore for a few minutes is how do we resist him? Peter doesn’t give us a specific answer to that question. He doesn’t tell us exactly how we go about resisting the devil. But I do think we can find some answers by examining his instructions and also we’re going to compare it to James’ instructions. Because James gives this same admonition, resist the devil, he will flee from you.

So, hold your place in 1 Peter 5, but also make a place in James chapter four. And we’re gonna go back and forth between the two. And we’re going to consider some ways in which we resist the devil’s attacks and his exploitation. And in each one of these, I’m going to phrase it in the form of a prayer. And the reason I’m doing that is I want to remind us that this battle that we’re waging, against this unseen enemy is to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. We exert our will, but we do so in the power of the Holy Spirit. We don’t do it just in our own actions.

So how do we resist the enemy? First of all, we resist the devil, by continually asking God for a spirit of humble dependence on Jesus. We resist him by asking God to give us a spirit of humble dependence on Jesus. What is very interesting, if you look in both 1 Peter 5 and James 4, is this exhortation to resist the devil comes immediately after the warning in both of those letters that God opposes the proud, and the subsequent command that he gives to humble ourselves.

So the idea is God opposes the proud, gives grace to the humble, resist the devil. Which tells us that if humility is a pathway to grace, which is what we talked about last week, that pride is the pathway to judgment. And pride is also a way in which the enemy can exploit and attack you. Satan will take advantage of any pride in your soul. He seeks to take advantage of that. Because your pride says, my pride says, I’ve got all the answers. I know what I’m doing. I don’t need help. I don’t need to ask questions. I got this. I understand exactly what’s going on. I don’t need anyone to tell me anything. My opinions are the right opinions. My opinions are the searched-out opinions. The enemy will exploit that. He will attack us through that line of thinking, without us even realizing that it’s happened.

When you get over to James — In James 4, James talks about the pride of man this way. He says human boasting will include us living our life in a way in which we say you know what, today, I’m going to go over here and do this, and tomorrow I’m going to go over there and do that. And James says, Who are you? Like your life’s amiss. Here’s what you should say, James says. If the Lord wills, I’ll do that. If the Lord wills, I’ll go there. If the Lord wills, this will be my plan. In other words, our hearts should be so dependent on Jesus that we even in our thinking in our language, submit every plan and say, if the Lord wills, this is what I’ll do. He reminds us we don’t have all the answers. We don’t know what we think we know.

And so we have to do what Peter instructs us to do, clothe ourselves with humility, 1 Peter 5. Because unless you and I can really, really, really get to the point of saying, there is nothing good in me apart from Christ. I know nothing apart from Christ. I have nothing apart from Christ — Unless we can get there, then we are open to an attack and exploitation from the devil. We must have humble dependence on Christ.

It’s so odd how physical growth in the world — Those who would look at us as we grow up and mature, we think about maturity in the world as being becoming more independent. You’re growing up, you’re maturing because you can do more things on your own. You can do more things by yourself. spiritual growth and maturity is the exact opposite. The more you mature, the more you realize I am completely dependent on Jesus. immaturity is thinking, I got this, spiritually. Spiritual maturity is knowing I need Jesus for everything.

Secondly, we resist the devil, by continually asking God for a mind that is set on His word, His ways, His purposes. continually ask God for a mind that is set on His word, His ways, and His purposes.

So in 1 Peter 8, excuse me, in 1 Peter 5, verse 8, — Didn’t mean to add more chapters there, in 1 Peter 5:8, he says, Be sober-minded. It’s part of this command of resisting the devil. Be sober-minded, be watchful — Literally means don’t be drunk in the way you think. If you’re intoxicated, you can’t think clearly. If you’re physically drunk, you misjudge everything around you, and you act and react totally, inappropriately.

In a spiritual way, the Bible presents to us that you and I can be intoxicated by many things, not just alcohol. We can be drunk, in our thinking, on many things. You can be intoxicated on any care of the world, on any pleasure of the world, or any worry of the world. It can be any delight, it can be any anger, anything that you set your mind on so strongly that you’re distracted. That is intoxicating. That this is the thing that you ponder, think about, chew over, it occupies your mind that is where your mind goes, that is, that is what is keeping you happy, or that is what is keeping you awake. You are intoxicated on it. You can’t think clearly. That is what Peter is working against. When he says be sober-minded. James chapter four, he hits on a very similar theme. In verses four and five and James four, he says that if you and I have friendship with the world, a fondness of the world, a preoccupation with the world, then we will actually be at enmity with God. That we could be so preoccupied with what is going on in the world, that we are actually finding ourselves in opposition of God.

So if you’re drunk on the things of the world, in pleasure or in rage, you will miss judge you will not act you will not react appropriately. And you are open to the devil’s work. you’re open to his attack, you’re open to his exploitation. So we resist. How do we resist? We intentionally, actively, oppose him by filling our minds with the Word of God.

I had this conversation with someone Friday night. This that we’re doing right now, this is good, this is godly, this is biblical I believe — That we come together as a church, we worship corporately, people use their gifts. We are helped by this. But this is not enough for you to live a godly life.

This 40 minutes or so a week that someone is attempting to fill your heart and mind with the Word of God is not enough. It’s not enough. We must actively resist the devil by filling our mind, every day with what God has said. We also fill our mind with God’s ways and we seek to live the way He did. We remind ourselves of how Jesus lived, how Jesus acted, how Jesus reacted, and then we try to do the same thing — In the power of the Spirit and we fill our mind with His purposes. We set our sights on His mission. I am to be light, I am to be light, I am to be light, I am to be salt. I am to season this world. I am to share the gospel. I am to show people Jesus — That’s my mission. Wherever He has me, He has me there for that primary reason.

We resist the devil by setting our minds on God’s word, God’s ways, God’s purposes.

Number three. we resist the devil by continually asking God for a heart that is sincerely dedicated to His worship. We ask God continually for a heart that is sincerely dedicated to his worship.

So we’ll start in James’s this time. James 4:8. Right after James says, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Immediately after that, he says, draw near to God and God will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, which means repent of your sin, and purify your hearts, which means be devoted to God. How do you resist the devil? Flee to Christ. Draw near to God through Jesus, repent of your sin, and ask for a purified devoted heart.

Peter says something very similar in verse nine in 1 Peter 5. Right after he says, resist the devil, he says, firm in your faith. How do you resist him? firm, steadfast in your faith. Unmoving, steady. One of the ways the enemy attacks us is when we’re not wholehearted in our devotion to God. One of the ways that he can exploit us is when we are apathetic or unstable — What James calls being double-minded when Christ is part of our life, but not all of our life, when we think and act and react with a combination of worldliness and godliness. When piety when our life’s direction, depends on our circumstance. Things are going good — I’m very pious. But I’m not all that wholehearted when things are going bad. For some of us, it’s the opposite. When things are going bad, I’m seeking Christ with all my heart. But when things are good, I’m not.

We resist the devil by growing as people that are entirely sincerely dedicated to the worship of God. Think about it. What does the devil hate and oppose? The worship of God. That’s what he’s opposed from the beginning. That’s why he rebelled. He wanted the throne.

Worship is warfare. When you put in your headphones in the midst of a bad moment, or you turn on your radio, or whatever the case is, and you began to sing and praise God, maybe with some of the songs that you hear, proclaimed in your corporate gatherings. When you do that it is a form of warfare, of resisting the enemy. When you fill your mind with His word and pray His word and seek to obey His word, it is a form of warfare it is worship against the enemy. When you lay your life before Christ and say, I’m going to seek to do what you have done and react the way you reacted. And what I see in the word, that is a form of warfare, of worship. We resist the devil, asking God for a heart sincerely dedicated to His worship, becoming people who worship in spirit and truth.

And then number four. We resist the devil by continually asking God for a reality of true fellowship and unity with His people. We resist the devil by continually asking God for a reality. I started to put there a desire But I would say a desire isn’t enough. We want it to be reality. We want it to be true. We don’t want to just desire it and say it’s a good thing. But we actually want to be a reality in our lives, that we have true fellowship with one another. Koinonia, as the Bible puts it, and unity.

So Peter says in chapter five, verse nine, he says, resist the devil firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. Peter says I want you to know that what you’re going through this warning that I’m giving you, it is a common experience of the church. This is meant to be a comfort to us, you’re not alone. You’re not by yourself, you’re not on an island, you’re not the only one who’s wrestling with these things. You’re not the only one who the enemy is seeking to attack and exploit. You’re not the only one who feels that way thinks that way. wrestles that way, struggles that way. You’re not the only one.

People say all the time. I want Jesus, not religion. And I would shake my head at that. Although it’s really important that we define our terms. Sometimes, when people say I want Jesus, not religion, they’ve had an experience where they were a part of a church or they were part of a group and someone tried to hold them to God’s word, by telling them maybe in a gentle and kind manner, maybe not, but calling them to say, you really need to obey what God is saying. And they look at that and say, that’s religion. That’s not religion. Not that’s not the kind of religion that the Bible opposes.

The kind of religion the Bible opposes is the kind of religion that says, you, in your own power become godly. You in your own power, act like everything’s okay? Don’t be transparent. Don’t be honest. Cover up your sin and act like everything’s okay. Try to show everyone a godly face when actually you’re riddled with sin. That is the type of religion that Jesus opposed. The type that puts an emphasis on what we do in order to become more godly.

The common experience of the church is to have a fellowship that is transparent and open, where we admit to one another, our sins and our struggles. And we propel and compel one another toward Jesus. And maybe sometimes we drag one another toward Jesus. The enemy wants your reality to be isolation. Predators look for prey that are on their own. And the devil is no different. It’s why you have heard me say, so many times in this second wave of COVID, that we can’t become spiritually isolated. Because it is a deadly danger. It is as real as the physical danger of COVID. And we can’t fight one by ignoring the other.

But it’s not just isolation that we have to watch out for in the church, it’s also conflict. He doesn’t want us to have true fellowship. So if he can isolate us he will. Or if he can insert conflict and disunity into the church, so it destroys fellowship, he will do that. And that’s what James four deals with. James for the first three verses of the chapter. James warns that there are conflicts and fights in the church that are happening because people have become so passionate about something that’s not of God, that they’re allowing it to dis unify the church. Their passions within them are creating conflict. Unity has always been hard.

I don’t remember who Josh quotes when he talks about it, but he’s talked about many times how our natural disposition is not unity. So if we just leave ourselves to our own devices, we will wonder from unity. We have to continually strive for — It’s always been hard. But it’s even harder now than it has been at any point in my life. Because there are so many opportunities for us to be divided. There are so many opportunities for Christians to have differing opinions on many different things that is not specific about God’s word. And here’s the reality, it’s okay to have differing opinions. It’s okay to share those differing opinions with other people in the church. As long as you’re willing to listen to someone else’s viewpoint in humility and consider it. As long as you are willing to not make your viewpoint the superior one, as long as you are willing to strive so that your heart doesn’t become bitter or doesn’t dislike someone who thinks differently about something going on than you do.

If we’re not in a place to be able to do that, then I think the reality is we should keep our opinions to ourselves until we’re able to do that. Real conversations and discourse are meant to be face to face, verbal. They’re not meant to play out publicly, in brief comments, on the internet, if the Bible says it would be better to let your stuff be stolen from you, than for you to sue a brother in a secular court, then surely it is better for us to swallow our pride on our opinions and just be silent if that’s the only way we can have peace.

I don’t think it has to be that way. But I think that’s where we have to start. Because we have an enemy that wants to divide us. We have an enemy that wants to destroy fellowship, we have an enemy that wants to destroy unity. If I’m the only one saying this, reject it, throw it away, bury it and forget it. But if you see it in the word, hold on to it, believe it, live it, embrace it, and don’t let yourself get away from it. We resist the enemy, by being in fellowship and striving for unity with one another. We resist him when we do that. It is warfare when we do that.

So let me end with this gospel plea. let me read verses 9 through 11 again. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while church, the God of all grace who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you to Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Peter indicates that the reality of the devil’s prowling is another form of suffering that we will face in this life. But as we’ve already talked about, because of the sovereignty of God, this suffering, like every other kind of suffering for His people is limited. It has limits. Every spiritual attack is mediated by God on behalf of those He has called to Himself. He doesn’t leave you alone in it. He, if He allows it sets its limits. He has called you, Peter says, to be a part of His eternal kingdom. He has called you to His eternal glory in Christ to share in the experience of glory. I don’t think we can even fathom what that means. Now in a limited way, but then in full, we are going to share in the glory of Christ, we’re going to experience that. Those that He has called to Himself.

In other places in the letter, he refers to us as the elect. When God says, the suffering in the life of the elect, those that He has called. When he says that suffering is done, it’s done. When it’s accomplished, its purpose, it’s over. And you will see a taste of that on this earth, and you will see the fullness of it in heaven. And what it will look like is this. God Himself will restore you. He will put all things in order. He will give back to you anything you lost in suffering. He will confirm you. He will affix to you every privilege, every responsibility that He has planned for you, suffering will not take that from you. He will strengthen you. He will overcome any weakness or any inability caused by your suffering. And he will establish you positionally, He will ground you in moveable in a place in any place that suffering swept you from. He will establish you there.

And I don’t think this is just what God will one day do in fullness. I think he’s what he’s doing right now in the midst of your trials. And if you really look, you can probably see it. But even if you can’t, you’re assured that this is what He will do. So in your outline, this gospel plea for us today, three parts. Number one, know that you have a dangerous enemy, but you have a far more powerful Redeemer, whose spirit lives in you. You have a dangerous enemy, but a far more powerful Redeemer, whose spirit lives in you.

You are not to make too little of the devil. In the Bible, the highest of angels wouldn’t bring a word against him. Because it isn’t our place to do that it is God’s place to do that. But we also don’t make too much of it. Don’t fear him. Because 1 John 4:4 says, Greater is He that is in you than the devil that is in the world. You are — in your outline — not helpless, even in times of confusion or in the midst of suffering. You may feel it but you are not you are not helpless. Even when you’re confused, even when things are chaotic, even when you’re suffering. Remember how I said earlier without intervention, the pattern of sin would lead us to judgment and destruction. The intervention is Jesus. It’s you being called to Jesus and believing in Jesus. And in John 10. Jesus said, while the thief has come to steal, kill, and destroy, I have come to give you life and life abundantly. So the third part of this plea, cling to Christ. Seek to obey everything you read in His Word. And pray that He would clothe you in this world with His very likeness.

John 3:30 what John the Baptist said about himself is the testimony of the Christian life. What does it look like to be a believer? I must decrease, He must increase. My whole life must be the pattern of me becoming less of myself and more like Jesus. You cling to Christ by seeking to obey everything He said to you in His power and asking Him over and over again. Make me more like you. Sometimes you’re going to need to pray that right after you were acting in a way that wasn’t like Jesus. But it’s good that you’ll be able to recognize in that moment, and I really, I really messed up there. Jesus, make me more like you. He says yes to that. It’s not a doubt it’s not a question.

I want to ask the worship team to come up in our prayer partners for today, if they’ll come up if you’ve never done so would you today, follow Jesus believe in Him, Repent of your sins. If you’re watching this on replay later, follow Christ. If you’re in this room. And you want to talk about your relationship with Jesus. Before you leave today, just come and let me know that and we’ll make arrangements to talk on the replay. You can get ahold of us on the website and send us a message.

Church, all of us, let’s grow today in our faith. Let’s grow in what God is working in us. Let’s respond to His Word. Say it again. Don’t respond to me. Respond to His Word. Cling to Him. Ask for miracles. We have our prayer partners up here. If you want someone to pray with you. Come ask them to pray, whatever that miracle may be — Whether it is physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, they’re not up here, because they’ve got all that figured out. They’re just standing in place willing to pray with you. They might ask you to pray for them while you’re up there. Let’s respond to God and what He has said to us.

Father, I asked you this morning to help us not be afraid of the reality of an adversary that wants to annihilate us. Let us be aware, make us aware. And help us resist Him with all the tools that you have given us. Let us be desirers, desiring of filling our hearts and our minds with your word and obeying it. That the cry of our heart be less of myself and more Jesus. God, I pray this morning that nothing that has been said would bring condemnation, that is not of you. I pray this morning you would bring conviction, hope, that we can repent, we can seek you, you will help us. True Religion is dependence on Christ. Let the cry of our heart be more of Him. Let us trust you this morning that whatever we’re going through in suffering or trials, you yourself will restore us, we will rise above because Christ will raise us above these things. God help us to be salt and light. We are confused. We are at times angry. We see so many things that should not be, keep us in your love, protect us and help us. We cannot accomplish this mission you have given us without you. God if someone boldly comes this morning and asked for a miracle of any kind would you please hear and answer? Would you please respond to them in grace? Help us to worship. Right what is wrong in our lives? Let us see Christ. In your name, we pray. Amen.

If you’re willing and able to stand to worship, please do so. Come and ask for miracles. Pray at the altar. Pray where you are. Let’s sing out to our Savior and our Redeemer. Amen.

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