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May 14 – Embracing Grace

This month we are seeking a deeper understanding of grace — the undeserved favor given to us by God. We are following a study by Kristy at the Organic Christian Living blog. Click HERE to go to her website for this study and dig a little deeper, with a playlist and devotions for each week of the study. You can join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!

Embracing Grace toward the Undeserving —

1 Peter 3:8-4:11

Suffering for Doing Good

3:8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Living for God

4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

SOAP Note

Strength Through Gifts | Shiree King

Scripture

1 Peter 4:10

Observation

Excerpts taken from biblestudytools.com: In this passage, Peter combines all spiritual gifts into 2 categories: speaking and serving. In addition, there is a close connection between love (v8) and spiritual gifts.  Peter recognizes the spiritual gifts originate from and are provided by God and are exercised through the words and strength of God. We worship God when we speak the words of God and serve in the strength God provides.

Application

After getting involved in too many projects that don’t fit my giftings, I have been trying to be better at recognizing my strengths and weaknesses and spending my time doing things that God has gifted me to do.  Operating in my own strength leaves me exhausted and unfulfilled. Operating in the gifts God has given me naturally leaves me more energized to continue to give.  I can feel God’s grace when I use the gifts He has given me, which then, in turn, allows me to more fully extend His grace to others.

Prayer

Dear God, Thank You for giving me gifts and for the specific gifts You’ve given to me.  I want to worship You by using the gifts You’ve given to me.  Please forgive me for trying to accomplish and impress and “help” in my own strength.  Please help me to submit and surrender to You so I can clearly see the opportunities You have for me to do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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