. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Category Archives: Bible Study

How To Be Beautiful {What I Learned From 1 Peter 3}

I read 1 Peter 3 last week. A bunch of times. And here’s what I learned:

completelysurrenderedbeautifulLL

 

It just keeps coming back to that: complete and utter surrender to God’s ways, His hand, His mercy, His life.

It’s all about surrender. This summer. This year. This life. It’s all about surrender.

That Time Peter Wrote About Mary {Finding God in 1 Peter}

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have long been enamored with Mary in the Bible. You know — Martha’s sister, Mary.

The threw herself at Jesus’ feet when her brother died and made Jesus cry Mary.

The sister got super annoyed with her for just sitting there hanging out with Jesus while she did all the work for dinner Mary.

This is the Mary who crashed her brother’s I-was-dead-and-now-I’m-not party by pouring thousands of dollars worth of perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiping it off with her hair.

This is the every time-we-find-her-in-the-Bible-she’s-at-Jesus’-feet Mary.

I am both intrigued and inspired by this Mary. (And, no, I do not have a feet fetish). Her passion for Jesus kept her regularly at His feet. And her always-at-Jesus’-feet habit kept her constantly pointing to Him, constantly inspiring His praise.

 

The fact that Mary lived in utter awe of Jesus tainted every single part of everything she did. 

That’s what Peter was trying to get across when he wrote this second chapter of his first book.

I read through the first two chapters yesterday trying to find the nugget to bank on for this post. (Seriously. There is so much in this book to dig into, it’s hard to find just one.) So I started by letting God know I wasn’t sure I was the one to lead you all through this Great Summer Slowdown study. (Have I mentioned I’m needing some clarity lately?)

Then I asked Him — again — what exactly it is that He has called me to do. What do You want for me? (Because, really, doesn’t every 42-year-old struggle with knowing what she wants to be when she grows up?) (She says sarcastically.)

So I wrote down everything 1 Peter 1 and 2 tell me to do. It was kind of a lot. Prepare your mind for action. Set your hope completely on the grace Jesus will bring when He returns. Be holy. Long for pure spiritual milk.

Then I got to verse 9 of chapter 2 and my list changed from what He has called me to do to who He has made me. And as I got to then end of that list in verse 9 I found purpose for myself…

So that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 1:9b, Holman)

And just two verses later… more purpose.

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day (Jesus) visits us. (NIV)

All that holy living and readiness and sober-mindedness? It comes from who God has made us. Royal priests. Chosen people. His very own.

And the good works? All to point to Him.

Just like Mary.

See, the more I know Him, the more I want to be like Him. And the more I am like Him, the more I point to Him. And the more I point to Him, the more I glorify Him, make Him famous, bring praise to Him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And this is my purpose.

So Mary had a good thing going spending all that time at Jesus’ feet. I mean, even now, some two-thousand years later, she’s bringing praise to Almighty God just by hanging with the King of Life.

A Question For You: Who in your life points you to Jesus?

**Are you journaling through First Peter with us? Join in the conversation. What did you learn this week from 1 Peter?

**We’re journaling through 1 Peter this summer. Slowing down and taking it one chapter per week. Want to join in? Here are some questions to help you along the way?

What I Found In First Peter One {Week 1 of The Great Summer Slowdown}

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

**We’re slowing down this summer and looking for God in First Peter. Journaling through some questions together and showing up here every Monday for some together-looking. And, well, I would be super-duper thrilled if you decided to join in. Also. Super-duper is an actual word I use. I’m kind of a dork.

You can find the questions here. Or you can study it in your own unique way. Whatever floats your boat. Then come back each Monday, and we’ll chat through what we’re learning.**

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Be holy.

It’s always scared me. This command to be holy. Just like God Himself is holy. Because, really. Holy. HOLY.

Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16)

The Greek word is hagios. It means set apart, sacred; “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world”.

What scared me about it was the understanding that holy meant perfect. Without sin. No doing anything that God doesn’t want. No sin. At all.

Completely and utterly. holy.

And, while God is certainly all of those things, and His Word says He sees me as all of those things because of Jesus Christ, the command here in 1 Peter 1:16 is more a command to be set apart. To live differently.

Because God has set us apart, made us sacred, given us a way of life that marks us as His, marks us a citizens of an entirely different place than here.

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing . . . As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. (1 Pt. 1:13-16, MSG)

Set apart.

Peter wrote these words to Jesus-followers who were suffering because of the crazy Emperor Nero who worked to make their lives a living hell. They had been banished from their homes and sent away because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

I’m sure they wondered if they would ever make it back to their real homes, where they could settle in again and get comfy.

But it wasn’t just this disbursement that had them feeling out of place, it was their new life in Jesus Christ.

The truth is, earth is just the temporary place to live for those of us who follow Jesus Christ as our Lord.

You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers . . . with the . . . blood of Christ (1 Pt. 18-19, ESV)

And I imagine this truth was quite encouraging to those banished believers Peter first wrote this letter to. Because suffering sucks. Persecution is not fun. But knowing it will end  makes it suck a little less.

It’s called living hope.

Living. Hope. Real life because of the expectation of what is sure. Forever with God.

And that changes everything about the way I live. Because I am a citizen of an entirely different place. Where suffering does not happen and sad tears have no reason to fall.

That’s why the Holy Spirit had Peter write this chapter so many years ago. So those people who were suffering for following Jesus would remember this is not their forever home. So they would know how to live here, set apart.

And so you and I could live that way too. The way of life shaped by God’s life, set apart and blazing with holiness.

Your turn!

What kinds of stuff did you find this week in First Peter? Leave a comment or post a link to your own blog or come on over to the Facebook page and join the conversation.

The Great Summer Slowdown {Find God With Me}

Well, it’s summer. And my kids are home from school.

Everyday. All day.

My oldest has already been to two different camps. And we just began what has been our favorite week of the summer for the past seven years. Vacation. Bible. School.

Because at Wooster Grace Church, the crazy chaos called VBS meets God-sized amazingness in ways that can only end in eternal memories seared into the hearts of everyone who shows up.

Also. My family moved about a week ago. So there’s that.

In the midst of the move, I crossed the Finish Line for a discipline journey God had me on this spring with about 70 women. A journey called reNew for which I was honored to lead the way with two other amazing ladies.

I also got to share my story with our adult Sunday school class, write some devotions, post a few blogs at the Life Letter Cafe, and help my daughter’s class turn into seventh-graders.

To sum up. I had way too much going on.

Can you say pushing overload?

That’s why this summer I have widdled my priorities down to a mere two.

  1. Finding God inside His Word. Seeking His truth with no agenda of my own except to find His way, know Him more, love Him more completely.
  2. Being a blessing to my husband and kids.

Maybe you’ve been feeling a little over-booked too. Like you need the natural break summer seems to provide. Why not join me for a Summer Slowdown?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Everything in me believes the refreshment we need can be found in the Word of God. Because that’s where we find real life, God’s plan, Jesus Christ.

So I’m going to take it slow and journal through First and Second Peter this summer. Eight chapters of the Bible in eight weeks. One chapter a week.

I’ve got some questions from the reNew journey I told you about that I’m going to use to help me focus my thoughts each day. You can click this link and use them too if you’d like. In fact some of those ladies are joining us here. (So, so, SO glad you are here, my friends!! Welcome.) 🙂

Then, each Monday, I’ll write something here about what God’s teaching me. And I will open up the comments for you to do the same. You can write a long comment or post it on your own blog if you have one and then leave us a link. I’ll visit my Brianna Wasson page on Facebook a lot too, so make sure to “like” my page so you can join in the convo.

Because studying the Bible is so much deeper and more meaningful when we share the truth He shows us with each other.

See you in First Peter!

Consider sharing in the comments . . . What’s one way you plan to slow down this summer?