Scripture:1 Peter 3:13-22
13-18 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.

19-22 He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.

Observation:
Wow, these verses are so powerful! What do you think of this statement? “if with your heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped?” The bible says that out of the abundance of our heart our mouths will speak, also death and life are in the power of the tongue. But the question is, how is what is happening on the inside affecting me externally? Our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions can take us on a roller coaster ride if we do not keep them in check…so that is why the bible says that when we read His word our minds become renewed. So when life happens, persecution is all around us, opposition, finances, relationships… whatever the situation might be, we are able to respond from a position of our eyes are on Jesus because he is our commander and chief, our life is submitted and the battle belongs to Him. Yes, suffering will happen in our life time. Yes, there will be pain. Yes, we will have confusion and chaos at times. Yes, there will be opposition, persecution and sorrow. BUT God…so rich in His mercy that He always provides a way out. Jesus, the righteous one provided a way for us as the unrighteous and suffered unjustly so we could be in right standing with God. There is always a plan. But, it is our job to get instructions from the Lord on how to walk through each situation with our hearts fixed on Him and not distracted by what is happening around us. Jesus is my commander and chief, what He says…goes. I can consider it handled and therefore my testimony will always bring glory to Him.

Application:
My job as a child of God is to renew my mind with His word… because when I have His word hidden in my heart it will come out of my mouth and my words create the world I live in. I am to always evaluate my heart, because I can never arise above the condition of my heart. When I am settled within me, when I am at peace, resting in Him, in His strength, and under the shadow of His wings I cannot be stopped! Greater is He that is in me, that he who is in the world. I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus…I have been made alive together with Christ Jesus and His life reigns in me!

Prayer:
Father I thank you for your precious Word that reigns in my life. I thank you that I have been raised to new life in Christ Jesus. I have not only been wiped clean, but I have been born again because of what Jesus suffered for me. I choose to keep my eyes on you, I choose to not let life weigh me down when I know that my commander and chief has already won the battle. I thank you for instructions on how to walk through life successfully and how to let the testimony of my life always point to you. I thank you for delivering me the work of the enemy, that through you Jesus I can overcome as you have already over came! In the mighty name of Jesus…amen…so be it!