Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Intentionally Focused, Day 31

The lovely graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings!
The "Intentionally Focused" Bible study from Good Morning Girls is technically finished, although I do know some people are still working their way through it at their own pace.  And I should note that I simply meditated on the verses using the SOAP method, and did not actually answer the questions in the study guide as such.  However, as I looked again at those questions, I realized that I had pretty much answered them as I SOAPED the verses.  Week 7, which focused on our ministries, was a week of study which really spoke to my heart, so I will probably be sharing my findings from each day.  Here is the first one:

S [Scripture]= "Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."  (1 Peter 4:9-10)

O [Observation]= Scofield points out that the epistle of Peter is "the fulfillment of the commission given to Peter by Christ" in Luke 22:31-32 -- "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."  Peter's writings certainly have accomplished that over time.  Scofield titles this part of 1 Peter 4 in this way: "Christian conduct in the light of the times in which we live."

Some of that teaching is here in verses 9-10.  Believers are:
1) to show hospitality to one another without grudging;
2) to use our God-given spiritual gifts to minister one to another;
3) to use these gifts as good stewards of the multi-faceted grace of God.

Concerning this manifold grace, Scofield defines it as "the method of divine dealing in salvation, and in the believer's life and service".  Once we are saved, "God ceaselessly works through grace, to impart and perfect in [believers] corresponding graces [such as the fruit of the Spirit].  Grace, therefore, stands connected with service, with Christian growth, and with giving."

A [Application]= So then, I need to show forth ungrudging hospitality, first of all.  I need to stop thinking, "There go all those expensive groceries I bought yesterday!" or "I'll have to vacuum and mop after they leave", or "I'm too tired to cook tonight", and so on.

Then, I must be a good steward of the spiritual gifts I've been so graciously given.  I need to recognize these gifts, nurture them, and use them to the glory of God and the encouragement of others, seeking to strengthen my brothers and sisters in Christ, just as Peter did with his epistles.

P [Prayer]=  "Lord, I thank You so much for the practicality of Your Word.  I know that You want me to bless and edify others for the use of all You have given me.  None of it is really mine. 
"Lord, You know that my husband and I delight in showing hospitality to Your people.  Yet, I'm sad to say, there have been times when that hospitality was somewhat grudging on my part.  I pray that You will help me to remember that You want me to show generous, ungrudging hospitality, at every opportunity.  I pray, too, that You will help me to be a good steward of the spiritual gifts You've so generously given me.  It would be more than enough to have my sins forgiven; more than enough to have a home awaiting me in heaven -- but to be given gifts, to be actually used of You in the lives of others, is just the incredible "frosting on the cake".  Help me to be faithful in cultivating and using these gifts to bless others and to glorify You.  I thank You for all You've given me!  In Jesus' name, Amen."

I hope this little study is an encouragement to someone else today!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my kitchen table! I love company here in my kitchen, so be sure to leave a comment so I'll know you've visited! I'll answer your questions and comments here on the blog unless you request otherwise.