September 6, 2018 Proverbs 1-3; 1 Peter 3:1-12

“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NLT) The heart of this ministry is to inspire a love for God’s Word and encourage the discipline of daily Bible reading and SOAP journaling. These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

Want to walk through the Bible one book at a time? Head over to Discover One Thing Online Study!

Growing My Inward Beauty | Joni Tyner

S~ Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that come from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3:4 (NLT)

O~ Peter is addressing women in this scripture to prioritize the beauty in their hearts over their outward appearance.

A~ I have journaled on this scripture before, I think it will be a lifelong journey as I continue to read God’s Word and seek to have a heart that reflects more and more the characteristics of Jesus.  My heart change is slow, but I do see progress. I see myself being kinder to my husband and more patient with people when they mess up.  I see more hope, joy and peace in the world.  I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago.

I received an email yesterday from a friend that was sharing a blog from Rick Warren. He was talking about a believer’s spiritual journey and that we should look back and see progress.  I loved this quote about the process of change.

“It’s fine to pray for a miracle, but don’t be disappointed if the answer comes through a gradual change. Over time, a slow, steady stream of water will erode the hardest rock and turn giant boulders into pebbles. Over time, a little sprout can turn into a giant redwood tree towering 350 feet tall.”

P~ Dear Lord, I pray that You keep pouring water over my heart and eroding my rough spots, my selfish tendencies, my critical spirit.  I ask for You to fertilize my roots and grow me into the woman  You created me to be—sometimes I’m not sure what that looks like!!!!!—I pray for super clear direction about what activities to participate in and what to pass on.  Thank you for giving me grace when I mess up and get off track.

Evil with blessing | guest post

S~ Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

O~ Nowadays, it feels like we have the right to be upset when someone upsets us.  Or we have the right to be rude when someone is rude to us.

A~ I’m pretty sure that Peter wrote this verse for me.  I don’t often get outwardly rude with someone if they are rude with me, but if you could ‘close-caption’ my thoughts, yes, I would be very rude (and disrespectful and judgmental) back to them.

Yesterday my family and I were watching a sporting match and we were sitting on the bleachers.  Half way through the match, another family came and sat right in front of us.  Our feet were on the bench where they sat, so we moved them, but there was 1,000 feet of open bleacher space.  The woman of the group gave my husband a look, he moved his feet and then sat cramped for a bit.  Let me remind you, there was a ton of open space in that gym!

My husband and I exchanged an incredulous glance with each other, my jaw may have dropped and mouthed the word, ‘Wow!’ to him, then I shook my head in disbelief.  Nothing else was said in the match and we moved down the bleachers for an open seat.  But when we got to the car, we certainly shared our thoughts about this action, and it didn’t paint this family in a positive light.

As a woman who proclaims Christ as her Savior, I’m called to a different type of response – to not repay insult with insult, but repay insult with blessing.  Why?  As part of my position as daughter of the King, when I repay an insult with a blessing, I will inherit a blessing as well.

And when I’m sitting in the bleachers cheering for my team, I need to realize that it will all fade away and eternity is actually at stake for everyone sitting there with me.  Maybe if I can extend a blessing, instead of the deserved insult, eternity might shift?  At the bare minimum, if I extend a blessing instead of an insult, I will be blessed!

P~ Abba, forgive my vengeful and hateful and gossipy response to that family who sat in front of us!  Help me to see heaven on earth in all of my daily life so I can see how eternity matters in ALL of my reactions!  I love You!  And how could I have blessed that family yesterday?  Please bless them today in a double portion!  I pray this in Jesus’ Name!

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