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November 25

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“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV).

From: November 25, 2020


The apostle Peter wrote to encourage those who were being persecuted not to fear nor worry about those who threatened them. Instead of giving into fear and worry, they were to “sanctify” and “be ready.”
The word “sanctify” has as its first meaning, “to make holy.” Yet, certainly that cannot be the meaning here. For the Lord God is holy and in no need of our help, even if that were possible. No, the context has more the sense of “to set apart,” or “to revere.” We are to “revere” Christ as Lord in our hearts. Thus revering Him, we will have no fear of man.
Having set apart Christ in our hearts, we are always to “be ready” to offer a “defense” for the “hope” we have in Him. The word “defense” (Greek: “apologia”), has the sense of “to give an answer,” or “to offer a reason.” Instead of worrying about persecution or rejection, we are to be ready to give a reasonable defense of our hope in Christ to everyone who asks.
However, the attitude of our apologetic is not to be prideful or disrespectful. No, we are to offer our defense with “meekness” (“gentleness”) and “fear” (“respect”). Our answer is not meant as a self-defense, but a defense of the gospel. We are not to attack the questioner, but to humbly reason with them, that they might be convinced to believe.
Are you always ready to give a reason for the hope you have in Christ? This readiness begins in the heart. We talk about what is most dear to our hearts.
PRAYER: Dear Father, we set apart Christ as Lord of our hearts today. We set our affections and desire on pleasing Him above all others. We fear His displeasure more than we fear the rejection or persecution of man. Father, help us to keep our hearts and minds set on Jesus, so that we are always ready to answer those who ask about the hope we have in Him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon” (Daniel 2:18 NLT).

From: November 25, 2019


When Daniel heard of King Nebuchadnezzer’s intent to execute all of Babylon’s wisemen for being unable to recount and interpret his dream, he asked the king for a time extension. That night, Daniel got with his three friends and fellow exiles, Shadrach, Meshach, and a Abednego, and urged them to join him in a prayer vigil, asking for God’s help.
There’s nothing like the threat of death to focus one’s prayer life. Just ask anyone who has spent the night next to a loved one’s hospital bed or hunkered down in a fox hole. When one’s life is at stake and eternity is at hand, even the most materialistic among us tend to lift their eyes heavenward.
That’s what Daniel and his friends did. They prayed to the “God of heaven,” asking Him to mercifully reveal to them the dream and its interpretation. The divine title, “God of heaven,” is only in the Bible 23 times. It is in the Old Testament 21 times, occurring primarily in those books where the Jews were interacting with men of other religions, stressing that their God was no mere tribal deity, but the true God who ruled over all creation from His throne in heaven. The title appears only twice in the New Testament, both times in the book of Revelation, and again to show God as the one true God over all creation.
That very night, as the Hebrew exiles prayed, the God of heaven did just as they asked. He revealed both the dream and its interpretation to Daniel, who went early the next morning to reveal it to king Nebuchadnezzer. The wisemen were saved, Nebuchadnezzer was appeased, Daniel’s position in Babylon was secured and the God of heaven received the glory due Him.
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, we are Your children because of our adoption through faith in Jesus, You Son. Yet, we know that sometimes You call us to face troubling times, in order that those around us might look up and recognize You as God. We too are like exiles in Babylon, yet we are confident that You are King over all. You are the God of Heaven and You have given all authority in heaven and earth to Your Son, who has commissioned us to make disciples of all nations. So we boldly ask for more of Your Spirit and Your power to do that which You have commanded. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.” (1 Peter 3:22 NLT).

From: November 25, 2018

In the context of encouraging the suffering recipients of his letter, Peter reminded them of Christ’s sufferings, His resurrection and current position of honor. This reminds us that suffering is temporary and that one day we shall be raised to eternal life with Christ. It also strengthens us in our suffering, for Christ is already in authority over all things, so that He is able to help us when we call on Him.
Yet, one other truth is implied, which Paul named in his letter to the Colossians. Speaking of our position in Christ, Paul wrote, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-3). So, even though we may suffer experientially in this world, our “real life” is already positionally at the right of the Father in Christ. One day, our experience and our position will be one. For we “shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn. 3:2).

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18 NKJV).

From: November 25, 2017

Peter gave the whole gospel in a single verse. The sinless Christ died for sinners that they might be reconciled to God. Peter emphasized that Christ suffered “once.” There was no need for more. His suffering and death on the cross was sufficient for perpetuity without any need of repetition. The weight and value of His singular sacrifice was sufficient to redeem all who accept His payment for sin. The eternal One exchanged His eternal life for our death sentence. The righteous One paid our sin debt, the “just for the unjust,” with His perfect righteousness. The Son of God offered His sonship, experiencing our separation, that “He might bring us to God” as His children.
O, the worth of His solitary Life! Christ has died “once” and His sacrifice is sufficient for all.

“And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus” (Daniel 1:21 ESV)

From: November 25, 2016

Daniel, along with several other young Hebrew youths (probably young teens) was taken captive by the Babylonians to serve King Nebuchadnezzar. His story is a study in how to live as a believer exiled in a foreign land. God gave Daniel great wisdom and success, as he served under many kings and even kept his post after Babylon fell to the Persians. He served under several Babylonian kings beginning with Nebuchadnezzer and ending with Belshazzar, who was king at the time of the fall of Babylon to Persia (Daniel 5:29-31). He then continued under Darius the Mede and finally under Cyrus of Persia (Daniel 6:28). His service seems to have occupied around seventy years. Regardless of the king or kingdom of man, Daniel served God and the Lord gave him wisdom on how to live in this world, but not of it.

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8 NKJV)

From: November 25, 2015

Daniel knew what it was like to live out his faith within a foreign culture. Even though he was carried off from his Jewish homeland as an exile to Babylon, God blessed him with the wisdom to live in Babylon without becoming a Babylonian. His life is a study in how a believer might live in today’s secular culture. As Christians in America, we live in an ever increasing secular society. It is no longer united by a common Judeo-Christian worldview. Yet, we can learn from Daniel how to navigate our culture with godly grace and wisdom.

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude” (1 Peter 3:8 NLT)

From: November 25, 2014

Do you seek to be of “one mind,” unified with your fellow believers? Or do you constantly need to “speak your mind,” letting others know what displeases you? Seeking to be of one mind does not mean that you have no opinion, but it does mean that you seek to understand the other with an attitude of sympathy, love, tenderheartedness, and humility. This attitude leads to oneness for it actually cares about unity in the body and mutual understanding. Living together in this way will not eliminate conflict, but it will lead to handling conflict rightly, so that unity is increased, rather than broken. What is your goal? Is it to have your own way? Or is it to keep the family of believers unified in following Jesus?

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15)

From: November 25, 2013

Be prepared to answer others with the gospel of Christ as the reason for your hope this season. When they ask why you are so joyful and thankful, reply that it’s because of Christ in you, the hope of glory. When our lives are in alignment with the gospel we believe, when our submission matches our confession, people become curious about the reason. And remember, it’s good news, so answer gently and with respect.

“Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings” (Daniel 2:20-21)

From: November 25, 2012

Daniel learned to live for God as an exile in a fallen world. He understood his dual citizenship. He looked to the Lord rather than human government for hope. Understanding the temporary nature of worldly kingdoms, he trusted his future to God. Yet, the Lord lifted him up and called him to serve in a position of influence in Babylon.

“Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble” (Proverbs 28:14)

From: November 25, 2011

Happy and completely content is the one who reveres the Lord. This person fears the departure of the Lord’s presence. The one who says ‘No’ to the Lord develops a hardened and calloused heart that doesn’t notice His absence. Living life on their own they find trouble.