Daily Bible Readings
Monday. Read Romans 8:31-39. 1) What is the great reassurance of this passage? 2) What threats stand against Christ’s disciples? What did Paul say about their ability to isolate us from God’s love? 3) If we persevere in spite of suffering, what is the outcome?
Tuesday. Read Matthew 5:10-12. 1) What does Jesus say to people who are being persecuted? 2) What will be given to them as a result?
Wednesday. Read Isaiah 8:11-15. 1) What did God say to Isaiah about “walking in the way of this people”? 2) What type of relationship is Isaiah called to keep with God, and what would be the outcome of that?
Thursday. Read Isaiah 50:7-11. 1) Isaiah said he would set his face like a stone/flint because of knowing what about God? 2) What does Isaiah say about his accusers?
Friday. Read 2 Timothy 3:10-13. 1) What does Paul say to Timothy about Paul’s life, in spite of suffering? 2) What kinds of suffering did Paul endure? 3) What does Paul say about evil people?
Saturday. Read 1 Peter 3:18-22. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Hymn of the Week:
More Holiness Give Me
by P.P. Bliss, 1873
More holiness give me, more strivings within.
More patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin.
More faith in my Saviour, more sense of His care.
More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.
More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord.
More zeal for His glory, more hope in His Word.
More tears for His sorrows, more pain at His grief.
More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.
More purity give me, more strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains, more longings for home.
More fit for the kingdom, more useful I’d be,
More blessèd and holy, more, Saviour, like Thee.
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Father, You have never promised us a life free of struggle and even persecution. Indeed, from almost Jesus’ first words of his ministry, you pronounce blessing over those who persevere in struggle. And you promise that virtue grows out of overcoming in spite of persecution. Please give us the fortitude and stamina we need to continue our life of discipleship. Never shrinking back when times grow difficult. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Devotional Article of the Week:
For Those Under Trial
What about those who are not free to worship the Lord?
by Phil Ware
All this week, Heartlight is asking you to pray for our hearts to be open to God’s work among the nations, and to pray for God to exercise His sovereign will to do what is best for bringing people all over the world into His fold of grace! We will only be publishing Scripture text for our daily articles this week. We encourage you to use these messages from the Word of God to be your starting point for prayer.
As you enjoy this Lord’s Day, please remember your brothers and sisters throughout the world who live out their faith under threat, persecution, and hostility. Not all those who receive this message can worship the Lord Jesus openly and without persecution. Today, let’s pray for those who are our persecuted family. As we do, let’s hear the words of God to the suffering people of God in the first century!
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith — being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9 NRSV)
Have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called — that you might inherit a blessing. For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Now, who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good if suffering should be God’s will than to suffer for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:8-17)
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme. But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. (1 Peter 4:1-5)
Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary, the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:8-11)