1 Peter   (Today's New International Version unless otherwise noted)

1 Peter 4  

Living for God

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

Jesus, will I need to suffer in my body to finally be purged of sin in my life?  Or will I not learn even then?  I need to be done with sin.  I need to move on and live for You.  Help me Lord, and if I need to suffer to be rid of sin, let Your will be done.  

 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.

Jesus, I see now that this is really a problem for me.  People don't think I'm strange and they don't wonder why I am not sinning with them because my life is not that different than theirs.  Lord, please help me truly change.  Help me to leave all the sin behind.  Please help me to be set apart for You.  

 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Jesus, I have failed this one way too much.  My mind is clouded with my worries, desires, and even drinks.  The end is always near.  Why am I not following You unreservedly?  I need to purge my life of the unnecessary so I can live a life focused on You.  

 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Jesus, I know Your love is so much above my love.  I know I cannot love on my own.  Only by You, acting through me, can I love as I should.  Lord, give me a heart that truly loves and the courage to do Your will.  Change me Lord, so that Your love through me can cover many sins.  

 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

Jesus, I know You have given me everything, but I am so slow to say I have a gift I can share with others.  At one time I thought I was a bible teacher, and fell.  I'm more humble now.  But do I have a gift I'm not using to serve others?  I don't want to be the sinful person that isn't productive for You.  Give me the courage to serve You through others.  

 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.

Jesus, my words have so often failed to be Your words.  My tongue has sinned so much in my life.  Teach me Lord and guide my words.  Help me to only speak Your words in love of others.  

 If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus, right now I feel like nothing I could do would ever bring You glory.  I feel so trapped and sinful.  Please, some how, if I can do some small good deed today, help me do so, and use it for Your glory.  

Suffering for Being a Christian

12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Jesus, my trial right now isn't because I love You, but because I am tempted to sin.  How can that do any good at all?  How can that help me rejoice with You.  I am sure to fall without a miracle from You.  Change me so my life is so close to You that I do suffer with You.  Change me!  

 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Jesus, my first thought was, "Oh no, I haven't been insulted because of the Lord in a long timer.  I must not be living for Him."  But You remind me that I have been insulted recently by my own children in a way.  They didn't really intend it as an insult, but they at least see some of You in me.  But Lord, bring me ever closer to You so I can suffer because of You, and You hold me up, and You be glorified through me some how.. 

 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Jesus, please help me to praise You in my suffering.  Help first that my suffering be caused by Your love and holiness being alive in me, not by my own sin, which is usually the case.  And then, help me to love and praise You from within my suffering.  

 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”a

19So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Jesus, help me to do good and persevere in doing good even if I suffer for it.  Please Lord, help me to go on in Your true goodness, not some fake  Pharisee like goodness.  Please Lord, make me good through You and keep me close to You so I stay and live in Your goodness.   

a 18 Prov. 11:31