THE POWER OF BLESSING
Lord, we continue to resist the adversary.
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)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).
Those living a comfortable faith usually have no awareness of an adversary “prowling around” them (8). Calling him a lion conjures up the image of a dangerous, aggressive animal in a Roman amphitheater—persecution of the most obvious and deadly form. If that kind of persecution is not happening around us and the reality of a personal devil has been lost to us, a Christian can be blithely unaware of the danger and certainly not in a place to resist, as both Peter and James (Jas. 4:7) call us to do.
Satan is called the deceiver, and one of his wiles is the internal dialogue that invites us to doubt God or become uncertain as to whether we are in good standing with him. Satan also seeks to undermine the church from within. That is indeed sneaky and deadly, so Peter’s warning is timely. It is instructive that both Peter and Paul (Rom. 16:20) give their most direct reminders about Satan at the end of their letters. Each seems to be saying: your best defense is to take to heart all that I have written and use it to resist the devil with truth. It is also reassuring to know that you are not the only one resisting.
Peter begins his letter by praying grace and peace on these exiles. He ends with again declaring peace on all who are in Christ. This is not just wishful thinking, nor is it a magical formula that achieves peace by routinely spoken words. It is a declaration of what God has already done in Christ, a reminder that, whether they live or suffer or even die for their faith, everything lies within God’s all-encompassing grace. When we repeat the grace to one another at the conclusion of a worship service, we are continuing that wonderful tradition. Like Peter, we are conﬁdently affirming God’s favor to fellow Christians (Edmund P. Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter, 27).
What is your strategy for being alert to and resisting the enemy who still prowls around? Who is helping you in this?
Lord, continue to establish all of us in the faith so that we may collectively function as a bulwark against what the devil desires to accomplish.
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