Monday

You Have An Enemy

“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.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)

Two first-graders were overheard as they left Sunday school class, “Do you really believe all that stuff about the devil?” “No, I think it’s like Santa Claus. It’s really my dad.” Two other men were talking one day when a church lady came walking up the road. One turned to the other and said, “That’s Ms. Brown. She has nothing bad to say about anyone.” The other one, wanting to put it to the test said, “Ms. Brown, what do you think about the Devil?” She turned and answered, “He sure is busily at work, isn’t he?”

We learned in the sermon Sunday that the Bible clearly teaches that Satan is real and that he is very busy. Peter calls him our adversary. An adversary describes one who is actively and continuously hostile toward someone. It could refer, in a sense, to the legal aspect of the word, since the Devil accuses men before God. The name Devil literally means “a false accuser” or “slanderer.” He’s a liar who is actively trying to stalk us like a lion.

Reflection

How do you think Satan has tried to accuse you in the past? He is our enemy who is seeking to bring us to spiritual ruin, to demoralize us so that we are on the “sidelines”,  and to weaken our faith and replace it with fear. Don’t believe his lies. Instead, confront him with the truth about who you are in Christ.

Praise

Thank God for inviting you into His family and giving you His protection. Pray for God to help you embrace the truth about who you are in Christ.

Tuesday

You Have An Enemy: Be Clear Headed

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)

A drunk stumbles into a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river. He proceeds to walk into the water and stand next to the preacher. The minister notices the old drunk and says, “Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?” The drunk looks back and says, “Yes, preacher, I sure am.” The minister dunks the fellow under the water and pulls him right back up. “Have you found Jesus?” the preacher asks. “No, I have not, Reverend,” the drunk replies. The preacher, in disgust, holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time, brings him out of the water, and says in a harsh tone, “My man, have you found Jesus yet?” The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher, “Are you sure this is where he fell in?”

 Pastor Jim encouraged us to be “sober-minded” about our real enemy. This word, “sober-minded,” is used only figuratively, meaning to be free from every form of mental and spiritual “intoxication.” William Barclay says that the Greek word used for “sober,” like the English, can have two meanings. It can mean that we must refrain from drunkenness in the literal sense of the term, and it can also mean that we must be steady in our minds. We must become intoxicated neither with intoxicating liquor nor with intoxicating thoughts; we must preserve a balanced judgment.

Reflection

One of our weapons against Satan is to think rightly about the reality of who he is and his attacks. We can’t pretend or live like he doesn’t exist. Another weapon is to think rightly about who we are and who Jesus is. How does Satan most try to attack you? What do you know about Jesus that can protect you against Satan’s attacks?

Praise

Praise God for the things you know about Jesus that are part of your defense system against Satan.

Wednesday

You Have An Enemy: Stand Guard

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)

A boy and his father were out walking on a cold day, and the way was slippery. The little fellow’s hands were deep down in the pockets of a brand new coat. His father said to him: “You had better let me take your hand,” but he could not persuade the boy to take his hands from the pockets of his new coat. They reached a slippery place and the boy had a hard fall. His pride began to slip too and he said, “I will take your hand.” And he reached up and clasped his father’s hand the best he could. When a second slippery place was reached, the grip was broken and the second fall was harder. Now all his pride was gone, and raising his little hand he said, “You may take it now,” and his father clasped his hand tightly and they continued their walk. When they reached the slippery places the little feet would start to go, but his father held him up. (J. Wilbur Chapman)

The Apostle Peter encourages us to “be watchful” in our war against Satan. Secular Greek used this word to describe people carefully crossing a river while stepping on slippery stones. If they did not pay strict attention to their steps, they would end up in the water. The same is true in our spiritual walk if we don’t pay attention to our ways; we will end up slipping in our walk with God.

Reflection

In the previous verses, Peter tells us to humble ourselves and cast all our cares on God. Being watchful involves just that. Making sure we are staying humble and putting our lives and our cares into God’s hands. What are some cares you have that you are trying to handle on your own that you need to put into God’s hands?

Praise

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said to His disciples, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch (be watchful) with Me.” They fell asleep and Jesus warned them to “Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation;” (Mt 26:41) Spend some time now praying against temptation in your life. Praise Jesus for standing guard with you.

Thursday

You Have An Enemy: Resist Him

“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.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)

A hunter raised his rifle and took careful aim at a large bear. When he was about to pull the trigger, the bear spoke in a soft soothing voice, “Isn’t it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Let’s negotiate the matter.” Lowering his rifle, the hunter replied, “I want a fur coat.” “Good,” said the bear, “that is a negotiable request. I only want a full stomach, so let us negotiate a compromise.” They sat down to negotiate and after a time the bear walked away alone. The negotiations had been successful. The bear had a full stomach, and the hunter had his fur coat!

 We learned in Pastor Jim’s message that we can’t bargain with Satan. The Apostle Peter taught that we must “resist” him. “Resist” means to arrange in a battle against and also pictures a face to face confrontation. It’s a command to resist now and to resist effectively! And we build our defense by being “firm in the faith.” John MacArthur writes: “The way to resist the devil is not with special formulas, or words directed at him and his demons, but by remaining firm in the Christian faith. This means to continue to live in accord with the truth of God’s Word. As the believer knows sound doctrine and obeys God’s truth, Satan is withstood.”

Reflection

What are some of the ways you are growing in your faith? If you need ideas, visit our website at www.secondfamily.tv.  Check out the ministries tab for ways you can connect with other believers who will help you grow and serve. You’ll find several other resources there that can also help you dig a little deeper in your faith.

Praise

Praise God that we can have a firm faith in who Jesus is and that He keeps His promises.

Friday

You Have An Enemy: You’re Not Alone

“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.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)

A Harvard study of 7,000 people found that the most isolated people were 3 times more likely to die than those with strong relationships. Reporting on the study, John Ortberg writes that “people who had bad health habits (such as smoking, poor eating habits, or alcohol use) but strong social ties lived significantly longer than people who had great health habits but were isolated. In other words, it is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone.” This principle is also true spiritually: if we want to maintain a healthy, lifelong walk with Christ, we need community. To stay faithful, we must stay connected. That’s why God gave us the Church. (Davon Huss)

The Apostle Peter wanted us to know we are part of a worldwide “brotherhood” of Christians who are in this battle with us.  All believers need to be reminded to expect hardships and persecution so that they will not be dismayed and overwhelmed by them. It also helps to know we are not in this battle against Satan alone.

Reflection

Who are the believers at our church that you have connected with that are encouraging you in your walk with Christ? Who are the believers around the world you are encouraged by? If you are not in one of our Life Groups, there is a list of groups and times on our website.

Praise 

Peter said, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.” (1 Peter 1:6) Praise God that your trials are temporary and are perfecting your faith!

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