Lord, speak into my life through the reading of Your word today.
Read 1 Peter 5:8–14
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 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.
10 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. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12 With the help of Silas,[a] whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
a 1 Peter 5:12 Greek Silvanus, a variant of Silas
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectHow might Christians then and now be alert and of sober mind?
This whole letter has addressed the sufferings and persecutions of the early Christians as they seek to live as God’s people in an alien environment. They have been subject to slander, mockery, beatings, and other forms of persecution. Peter now reveals who is behind it all, who is the real enemy of God and his people (8). What does the imagery of the lion conjure up in your mind?
Whoever we may think our human enemies are, there is a greater enemy, the devil himself. Spiritual warfare is a reality and we do well to be alert to it. C. S. Lewis in his book The Screwtape Letters gives helpful advice about the devil’s schemes and is worth a read. If we resist the devil, “staying resolute in faith and remembering that you are holding your bit of the line while your Christian brothers and sisters are holding theirs, you will find that courteous and civil behavior, acting with respect and gentleness, will again and again win an answering respect from outsiders, even if they still don’t understand what makes you tick” (Tom Wright, Early Christian Letters).
Peter’s final reassurance is that whatever doubts and uncertainties have arisen because of the hard time they are having, they are standing in the true grace of God (12).
What resources are available to you to help you stand firm for Jesus in your daily life?
Lord, help me stand fast in the true grace of God.