Family Bible Study lesson for August 29: Take Courage : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
August 6 2004 by Phyllis Elvington

Family Bible Study lesson for August 29: Take Courage : Friday, Aug. 6, 2004
Friday, Aug. 6, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for August 29: Take Courage

By Phyllis Elvington
Focal Passage: 1 Peter 3:13-17; 4:1-3, 12-16, 19

When was the last time you suffered for being a Christian? Makes you stop and think, doesn't it? I am not quite sure we could put our modern-day "suffering" in the same category as the "suffering" Peter was referring to in this passage.

Peter was writing to believers living in the northern part of Asia Minor who were facing opposition and persecution because of their commitment to Jesus. A footnote in the Life Application Bible explains that this persecution came "from three main sources: the Romans, the Jews and their own families."

Who opposes or persecutes you because of your commitment to Jesus? Do you live your life in such a way that it is obvious to those around you that you belong to Christ?

Luke tells us in Acts 5:41, "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name."

And Paul tells us in Philippians 1:29, "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him ..."

Be ready to defend your faith

1 Peter 3:13-17

Peter wrote this letter to Christians who had been scattered throughout the world because of their faith. This persecution, rather than being a hindrance to the spread of the gospel, had actually been the reason for the gospel being taken to the "uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8b).

Therefore, Peter told believers, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (v.15).

What about you? Are you prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you? What about the Jehovah's Witnesses who pull into your driveway? Are you ready to defend your faith to that person?

Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Remember Christ's example

1 Peter 4:1-3

Jesus' total desire was to do the Father's will. He told His disciples in John 4:34, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work."

If we are to follow Christ's example, then we must have "the same attitude" (v.1) that He had. "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus who ... emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:5-7). Jesus put it this way: "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24).

Count it a privilege to suffer for Christ

1 Peter 4:12-16

  • "Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials ..." (James 1:2-4).
  • "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven ..." (Matt. 5:10-12).
  • "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings ..." (Rom. 5:3-5).
  • "Blessed is the man who endures trials, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life..." (James 1:12).
  • Trust God and do right

    1 Peter 4:19

    It really doesn't get much simpler than these five words: trust God and do right. This phrase sums up the essence of the Christian faith. Trust God in everything, and do right at all times. That sounds like pretty good advice for believers in the early church and believers today.

    Do you have the courage to follow these two commands on a daily basis? Joshua 1:9 is God's promise to help you do both!

    8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM by Phyllis Elvington | with 0 comments

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