It’s hard to spend a day reading the words of Scripture and not have an application for our lives. Scripture is so practical in its ability to speak into every situation either directly or indirectly. Many times people can be confused by this ancient book, worried that it might not have anything to speak to their life. I’ve found two truths evident in my own study of this ancient but amazingly relevant book:
- God WANTS to speak to me. Day after day, journal entry after journal entry, I see that God has a plan for me, for those near me, and for the entire world. He wants to redeem and renew all of creation AND he invites my participation. I don’t have to sit on the sidelines enjoying the process of the greatest “Fixer Upper” to ever exist. NO! He invites me as an active participant. God’s Kingdom is actively advancing, and I get to participate!
- God knows HOW to speak to me. Just as God wants to speak to me, he knows how to do so in a way that I will understand. I can open my Bible to 1 Peter, and with some time, can hear the Holy Spirit speak words of direction. While the directions are not usually in audible form, I still regularly walk away with guidance for my day.
If this is new to you, if you would like some help, or if you would like to S.O.A.P. with others, I invite you to join us for our ZOOM Devotion on Thursdays at 8am. Everyone is welcome and it is beneficial for ANYONE who wants to follow Jesus.
One way that we can find application is by comparing our lives with the expectations of scripture. Peter today says,
4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do.
The question would arise, do you cause your former friends to be surprised? I was 18 when I first started following Jesus. I had 18 years of practicing all kinds of destructive patterns. But when I made the decision to follow Jesus, I ended up losing a few people along the way. They were confused by this guy who seemingly overnight decided to pursue different things with his life. The parties, the relationships, and the lifestyle had all lost their luster in view of the glory of Christ. Nothing compared. But many were left confused by my choices.
Maybe you share a similar story. You’ve been transformed and left a lifestyle that caused people to wonder, “What happened to them?”
Maybe you are still figuring this out. You want to follow Jesus, but the allure of pleasure draws you back in. You are in good company. Many people are walking right alongside you to discover where our selfish desires end, and the desire to commit to Christ begins.
In any case, Jesus has more transformation in store for us as we are submitted to His ways. Maybe a life of debauchery is off the table, but a life of gossip is in full swing. Maybe days of promiscuity are behind us, but manipulation at our workplace or home is still raging. Maybe coping with drugs and alcohol is in the past, but our current coping mechanism is the quick judgement of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
God is not calling us into transformation out of disappointment or to cause suffering and pain; on the contrary, further transformation by submission to the will and ways of Jesus is the gateway to further flourishing and MORE of an abundant life!
What is God speaking to you today?
As a reminder, here are our steps for S.O.A.P.:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
- 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?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- 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:
4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead.1 Peter 4:4–5 (NLT)