September 16, 2016

He Super-personal Talk

1 Peter 5:5-11

The God of all grace . . . will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

—  1 Peter 5:10

Peter knew what being restored was all about. Peter had failed miserably, denying his connection with Jesus (John 18:15-27), and Jesus had restored him (John 21:15-19). But even after being restored, Peter still totally messed up sometimes. For example, Paul once had to correct him (Galatians 2:11-14). Peter learned that you have to be humble enough to listen.

One night my friend Ron told me that the guys at his Bible study were starting to talk more openly about personal struggles. That got me thinking. So I preached a sermon on the topic. I gave the recording to Ron, and at their next meeting the guys gathered around Ron’s table and listened to it.

I’m not saying it was a great sermon. All I’m saying is that they cared enough to listen. Ron told me that at first it was a little awkward. But everybody listened, and when it was done, they ­talked some more. They benefited from the biblical teaching.

Who does this? Who opens their mind and heart, seeking God? It takes courage to talk about your deepest struggles. It takes gutsy humility to be honest with other people and to real­ly search out what God wants from us. But humility like that can open us to God’s restoring, sanctifying power.

Is there someone in your life who holds you accountable? Do you have the humility to seek after God with others?

Lord, you know all of my sins and secrets. Restore me, please, and show me someone I can trust to help me through the rough spots. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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