Tag Archives: 1 Peter

1 Chronicles 22; 1 Peter 3; Micah 1; Luke 10

It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you – the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NCV)

Every day (yes, even in India), I am bombarded with images of male and female models who project what the world values as beautiful. The men are well dressed, muscular, a trace of 5 o’clock shadow, eyes staring dreamily at something on the unseen horizon, a flirty smile on their lips. The women, more often than not, are adolescent girls exposing stick thin figures and ample cleavage in barely-there fashions with come-hither expressions painted on their faces.

The world’s definition of beauty has always left me feeling inadequate, falling just short of the perceived ideal. Even though I did some local modeling while in high school, I still always felt too dumpy, too fat, not enough this, not enough that.

Throughout the years, I have experienced times where I looked at myself and liked what I saw in the mirror. My positive self-esteem strengthened by my understanding that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and being unique is appreciated. I have also experienced times when I was unhappy with my reflection, especially after being a veteran of childbirth. Though I love my daughters immeasurably, getting to know my post-pregnancy body has sometimes been a less than pleasurable encounter.

In the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, Andie (played by Kate Hudson) is going to a gala event with Barry (played by Matthew McConaughey). She steps out of her apartment building in a stunning gold dress, walks to the edge of the steps and turns a 360 in front of Barry who is standing at the bottom of the stairs on the sidewalk. He is awed by her outer beauty.

A few years ago, while I was in the midst of a self-image struggle, God showed me a picture similar to this scene. Dressed in a gorgeous red gown, I walk out of the building, walk to the edge of the step and slowly twirl around. Jesus, standing near the road, looks at me with awe. God whispered in my ear, “You are beautiful. You’re covered in the blood of Christ. You are made perfect in me.”

“Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NCV)

Beauty isn’t simply skin deep. It isn’t about how I dress up or accessorize; it isn’t about wearing the latest trends or having the latest hairstyle.

Choosing Jesus made me beautiful. My beauty is found in my character, in my spirit. It originates inside of me and radiates to the outside. Being beautiful is about Christ in me and the fruits produced as a result of our relationship. Being beautiful is about what I do with that harvest.

The beauty the world prizes will fade – aging is inevitable. But, my inner beauty, the beauty that is precious to God and ultimately treasured by those around me, will never be taken away. It will only grow more beautiful because of Jesus.

Yesappa, Thank You for loving me. Thank You for proving my value and worth when You died for me on the cross and covered me with Your blood. Thank You for making me beautiful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Peter, 66 Books, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Micah, New Testament, Old Testament

Numbers 23; Psalm 64, 65; Isaiah 13; 1 Peter 1

God is not a human being, and he will not lie.

He is not a human, and he does not change his mind.

What he says he will do, he does.

What he promises, he makes come true. Numbers 23:19 (NCV)

I try to find opportune moments throughout the day to share with my children about God. Sometimes, those moments are served up on a silver platter, easy to find and easy to talk about. Sometimes they are scattered about like breadcrumbs, tiny morsels of His goodness, for us to find together.

On Sunday, my oldest daughter found a rainbow-shaped eraser at the restaurant where we ate dinner for Mother’s Day and I recognized an opportunity to remind her of another facet of God.

We all love rainbows for some reason or another. Some love them simply because of their beautiful colors. Some love the mystery and the science of how they emerge in the sky, through a prism of glass, or in a puddle of oily water. Some love the idea of legends of leprechauns and pots of gold.

I love rainbows because they represent the promises of the Creator.

When the first rainbow appeared in the sky after the flood waters had receded in the days of Noah, God explained that it was a sign of His promise, a promise that would never be forgotten and would never be broken.

I think about the promises that I have made in my lifetime and I can’t even count how many I have broken. My imperfect humanness left those promises in the past never to be remembered again. I never set out to break them, but they were broken just the same.

I think about the promises that God has whispered into my heart and I am encouraged to believe, to trust that those promises will never be forgotten. Those promises will always bear fruit because God’s ‘Yes’ is always ‘Yes’.

After my second daughter was born, I spent a few days in the hospital as most new mothers do. I had recently woken up and the nurse had taken my little bundle for her daily checkup. I wasn’t expecting any visitors until the next day. My postpartum hormones were out of control and I was feeling gloomy. The quiet in the room made me lonely.

And that is when God showed up…

I looked out of the window at the view of the river and for just a few moments a rainbow appeared over the water. Almost as soon as I saw it, it was gone.

In that twinkling, I was encouraged by God’s presence, a reminder that He will never leave me or forsake me, I will never be alone. It was a memento of the promises He has for me, as well as, the promises He has for my children.

Yesappa, thank you for never lying, for never changing your mind, and for always keeping your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 1 Peter, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms

1 Chronicles 19 & 20, 1Peter 1, Jonah 3, Luke 8

Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:25

Fear & amazement stimulate questions.

Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8:37

Giving into fear causes distance and isolation.

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” Luke 20:50

Everyone experiences fear, but faith can move us beyond it.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1Peter 1: 14, 17-19

Fear with reverence helps us remain obedient to God.

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3:10

Fear or faith. That which we believe in, we hold dear and close. That which we fear, we avoid. What is our response to Jesus?

After Jesus sent a legion of demons into a herd of pigs, that subsequently plunged into the sea, the people wanted Jesus to be far from them. Those with faith, like the woman with the bleeding issue pushed through their fear to get closer to Jesus.

Where is my faith? Sometimes I do the same thing as the disciples. I look at what Jesus does and I am astonished by all the miracles around me. Sometimes I want to be close. Sometimes I don’t want Him to look at me. I’m afraid he will see my sin.

My faith should remind me that I have nothing to fear anymore because his precious blood covered my sin once and for all.

Thank you Jesus.

yicareggie


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Numbers 25; Psalm 68; Isaiah 15; 1 Peter 3

And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”  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; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  [1 Peter 3:13-17]

I go through so many seasons in life.  Seasons of joy, seasons of discovery, seasons of renewal and sometimes even seasons of strong confidence.  But there are other seasons that are a bit tougher to swallow…one of which is a season of ridicule or judgment based simply on what I believe and/or because of a path I’ve chosen to follow that others may not agree with.

There is so much in the human psyche that yearns for acceptance and praise from our peers…that, when what I believe is called into question, I so often acquiesce back to a safe zone of tolerability.  This section of scripture reminds me that I will suffer hardship for what I believe, but when that happens…the truth should always outweigh my comfort.  This shouldn’t really surprise me though since anything in the life that has any degree of importance…always comes with a cost…and always requires being fought for.  In fact, it could very well be that the hardships I face based upon what I believe are there for the mere reason to remind me of importance of those beliefs.

I should not be fearful of these seasons of ridicule or the toll they sometimes take on my confidence…they should instead be the wake-up call catalyst to inspire me to press on.  For I know the truth…and that truth should give me the confidence to take on the world.

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  [v. 18]

 ~ chefdave11

“If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round.  Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.  I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy.  But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.  “~Oliver Wendell Holmes

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