Day THREE: Apr 19-25

Christians can be weird.  I don’t mean weird in a derogatory way, rather, Christians can live in a way that appears strange to those outside of faith.  

  • Christians in practice maintain regular attendance for Church Services.  This is weird. More and more, our society is flippant with its commitments.  To stay regularly committed to a gathering that seemingly offers no benefit can be strange to those outside of faith.   
  • Christians in practice are faithful to their fellow sojourners in faith.  This is weird. Our society forms loose affiliations with others only to the extent that it is convenient.  To be committed to other people without an upside is not common.
  • Christians in practice are people of forgiveness.  This is weird. Our culture is quick to cut off those that have hurt, offended, or transgressed somehow.  To walk in regular forgiveness can even be observed as a weakness. 
  • Christians in practice are quick to look for the needs of others.  This is weird. When pressed, most in our society look to protect themselves at the cost of extending a hand out to those in need. The Jesus follower when pressed still looks at how they can serve others.  

The list could go on and on.  The practices of the Jesus Follower are so countercultural that they cause others to ask questions:

And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.

1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)

I have seen lots of transformation in myself over the past decade and a half.  When I first started following Jesus, it seemed like everything was an incredible effort.  Loving others when it wasn’t convenient took all of my concentration and willpower. It seemed like I had to regularly search for joy in the midst of difficulty.  But after years of following Jesus’ rhythms of grace, I find myself living in such a way that the attitudes and actions of Jesus are becoming part of my nature as opposed to being propelled by my willpower.  

Spending time around Jesus transforms you.  Ask anyone that has followed Jesus for decades and they will tell you their stories of transformation.  Regular devotion to the Apprenticeship of Jesus transforms us—so much so that it causes people to ask questions.  To live with peace, love, forgiveness, and joy is incredibly appealing! 

Does your life look different than it did before you started following Jesus?  Jesus invades EVERY area of our lives. Nothing is off limits to the reorientation of the Holy Spirit.  Spend time today thanking God for His work so far and asking God to continue to shape you. How is God calling you to participate with your own transformation?  

S.O.A.P. is powerful because it is done daily.  I don’t pick up my journal and expect that every day there will be a HUGE change.  Some days, God gives vast amounts of clarity and it feels like a big deal. At other times, I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me towards a small change that realigns me with Jesus.  But daily encounters with the Living God lead to transformation over weeks, months, years, and decades.  

As a reminder:

  1. Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day.  Read it again.  Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
  2. What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
  3. How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read?  Be specific!
  4. Let it marinate.  Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered.  Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you. 

Here is our passage for the day: 

13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.

1 Peter 3:13–15 (NLT)
Chris Bowlby
Chris Bowlby

Chris Bowlby has been on staff at New Hope Foursquare Church as the Associate Pastor since 2017. Chris has been instrumental in aligning New Hope’s discipleship process with the vision and mission. He is married to Alyssa and together they have five daughters: Audrey, Hannah, Emma, Nora, and Charlotte. Email him through the link below!

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