Scripture: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
Have you ever seen a really attractive person — someone people can’t help but turn and stare at as they walk by? People with great God-given beauty may make a great impression, but it will be forgotten when the next beautiful person comes along.
What about a person who really knows Jesus and walks with Him? God’s grace and mercy flow through this person, resulting in encouraging words and good works. Do others pay attention when someone lives this way? We might not notice them at first, but their godly deeds leave an impression of goodness, and people’s lives can be changed because of them.
Each of those two people makes an impression. But only the second can impact others with eternal consequences.
Fleeting vs. Lasting Impact
The Bible tells us that “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) God wants women AND men to be more concerned about our character and our “inner” beauty than our outward appearance.
Today’s scripture from Peter tells us not to give so much attention to “outward adornment,” but instead to cultivate “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:3-4). There is nothing wrong with making yourself look nice, but we must remember that outward beauty will fade, and its impact just as quickly. But inner beauty can keep growing your whole life, so that it’s your character people notice instead of your appearance. And then God receives the glory.
What lasts longer than forever? Nothing! When we share God’s love with others, we can help them find eternal life: “Everyone who believes in [God’s Son] will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And, “Those who listen to My message and believe in God Who sent Me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
So in gratefulness and love for God, and by His Holy Spirit working in us, we can do so much more than leave a fleeting impression of beauty; we can let God use us to change someone’s eternal destiny.
GODS PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE..IS THE GOAL..
1 Samuel 15:19-24 and 24 provide us with real insight into an area of anxiety for many people. One that may control your life today.
This is Samuel talking to Saul,
“Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?”
Saul gives his answer in verse 24,
Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.”
Hmmm! “I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” Saul confessed that he was worried about what other people thought of him and what other people would say about him. As a result, he made a horrible decision that was counter to what God wanted.
Too many people, even good Christians, are eaten up with worry over what other people think and say about them. Let me tell you, the worst place to have your peace is in somebody else’s head. As Proverbs 29:25 says, The fear of man brings a snare.
Saul is a perfect example. He never fulfilled his destiny, he never fulfilled his purpose in life, because he was too worried about what people thought about him even though God chose him to be king.
Someone wisely said this:
“It is not what I think I am that molds me and drives me, and it is not what you think I am that molds me and drives me. It is what I think that you think I am that molds me and drives me.”
Is that your concern today? If so, let me give you some advice: Be yourself. You were created by God as an original, and it would be a shame if you died a copy.
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
Stability… Everyone desires to have it in life. After all, who wants to live life in chaos? Unfortunately, life doesn’t give us a choice. Each morning when we open our eyes we await things that will catch us off guard. Good or bad, these elements in life are part of living in a broken world. The good news is that we are not alone, and there is a source outside the chaos that we can lean on in times of instability.
Psalm 94:22 “But the LORD has been my defense, And my God the rock of my refuge.” NKJV
Throughout Scripture, God is referred to as a rock. This is not to say that he is made of granite, but it is a reference to his steadfastness. Like a mighty mountain, God is immovable and secure in all His ways. Because of this, He is our source for security and strength. When life brings surprises, we can stand on our God. When people change, our God will not. When situations arise, our God is our refuge. As you wake up this morning, spend time in God’s Word and get to know Him more. Read His promises with great anticipation. Grasp His love and mercy and allow that to strengthen you today. The more you know about God, Jesus and His might and power; the more you will be equipped to stand strong during the storms of life. Life may bring instability but with God we can remain stable.
Life Lesson: The more mature you grow in the Lord, the more stable you become in life and in all matters.
Thank You for Your great love for me and for Your steadfastness. Your Word tells me that You will never change and that Your mercy endures forever. Lord, help me to find stability on You, my Rock. Bring to mind Scriptures in my times of doubt and encouragements in my times of need. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I will remain brave, strong and steadfast in the faith. In Jesus Christ’ name, Amen.
When Paul established the church at Ephesus, he wanted the believers to understand they had the power to withstand the attacks of the enemy, Satan. He wanted them to know that they could stand firm in their faith and refuse to yield to sin and thoughts of defeat. They had been given spiritual weapons more powerful and effective than the enemy’s.
But first they needed to understand they were not strong enough on their own to resist Satan’s temptations and tactics. God’s power and strength empowered them to rebuke the wiles of the devil. Paul explained to the Ephesians that they needed use weapons of spiritual warfare on a daily basis. Yes, God protected them and protects us, but every believer must daily put on the full armor of God.
Paul further explained the importance of truly committing our lives to Jesus Christ. One day, our hour of sinful behavior is a sure setup for discouragement and defeat at hands of the enemy. The power that is alive within you and me is OVERCOMING power.
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
The reality is that we all have done wrong. We have sinned against God and others and without help; we are condemned to pay for our wrongs. While this may be true, the Bible says that we have an advocate. His name is Jesus Christ, and He is the One who stands between us and condemnation. How can Jesus stand as an advocate for us? It is because He is the perfect, sinless Son of God. He has done no wrong and even more than that, Jesus has taken our wrong to the grave when He died on the cross. When He rose again three days later, He rose as our redeemer and our advocate.
There is one important distinction to also be aware of in regards to our advocate, Jesus. Notice that He is the only advocate we have. There is no other person in Heaven or on earth who can stand before God and plead our case. There is no one who is able to declare our innocence but Jesus, because He is the very one who took our sin from us. He is the greatest Advocate we could ever desire and He promises to never leave us or forsake us for all eternity.
Life Lesson: It is the righteous, sinless life of Jesus Christ that makes Him the only viable advocate for us.
I am humbled by the love, grace and advocacy I have in Jesus. Thank You for sending Him to earth so that I could be forgiven and free. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I can live a life that points others to the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen
2 Corinthians 8:2
“They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.”
It’s been said that you can tell the spiritual commitment of someone by looking at their day planner and their checkbook. The day planner shows the way they spend their time and the checkbook shows where they invest their resources. As believers, we should be walking generously in both of these areas. While we all understand this truth, it’s harder in the application. One of the reasons it is a struggle is because our enemy does not want you to be blessed, and he knows that if you live a generous life, God is going to bless that. Why does God bless the giver? He blesses because He knows we will continue to use His blessings to bless others. This is why giving is more than just a church or ministry funding effort. God uses giving to grow His children. Here are some important truths about giving:
Giving is obedience.
Giving is rewarded.
Giving is worship.
Giving is glorifying.
Giving is blessed.
After you look at all those descriptions the question remains, “Why not give?” If we can worship the Lord through our finances, then shouldn’t we jump on that? If it glorifies God and blesses others, shouldn’t that be a priority? Today, let’s pray for God to instill in us generous hearts that love to worship Him with our whole life, including our checkbook.
Life Lesson: True joy does not come through what we get, but lasting joy comes through what we give. God encourages us to give. There is great joy in giving.
Thank You for the many blessings You have given me. You have blessed me with my life as well as eternal life through Jesus. Help me to live generously with my time and money. Give me opportunities to love others and support Your work in my community and around the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
2 Chronicles 6:34-42
When God’s people are disobedient, we suffer His wrath because we have rejected His way. God desires a restored relationship with His people, but we, as believers, still have a responsibility in our own revival. That responsibility, outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:14, calls for specific action:“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray . . . “ With these words, God reveals that revival is primarily focused on His people.
When believers come to God on His terms with humble hearts, we give God permission to take action. When we open the door for revival through prayer, God works on our sins and addresses how they affect our lives.
“. . . and seek my face . . . ” Seeking His face means seeking His presence, submitting to His authority, and approaching God on His terms.
“. . . and turn from their wicked ways . . . “ With these words, God is calling for spiritual and physical action as prerequisites to His intervention. We must rid ourselves of excuses and crutches, which are often disguised as addictions and issues.
Only when we seek God’s will with humility, prayer and obedience will true revival occur
David cries out in Psalm 85:6, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You?” and as Christians we must echo that petition. How do we know if we need a revival? Historically, revivals are preceded by spiritual decline, such as divisiveness, anger, continuous crises, addictions and service without passion. Simply put, the need for revival is a result of sin in our lives.
Revival is the restoration of the spiritual life of God’s people and a return to the abundant life God intended for His followers. When God revives us, we can expect real change!
If you have experienced a crisis in your life lately, examine whether God has a purpose behind it. Perhaps God has taken steps to get your attention, and the next step is yours.
First, you must identify the change that needs to take place in your own life for true revival. I encourage you to spend time asking God to let you see yourself from His perspective. Let Him tell you what needs to change!
WALKING THE WALK..
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
Here we have an encouragement to keep on walking the walk. God will help us to persevere. He would never give us something that we cannot do through Him. As partakers of Christ, we have the privilege of having Christ’s righteousness put on us. Then God sees Christ’s righteousness instead of our sin. We are allowed this privilege if we persevere in the practice and proclamation of Christianity.