Again this Sunday, I'm sharing from the Made for Community reading plan from Love God Greatly that I worked on back in 2015. With this study, as I have often done, I used the SOAP method of Bible study. Just a quick reminder that the S is for Scripture, O is for Observation, A is for Application and P is for Prayer.
The second section is Made for Community with People. So here we go with the Scripture for the fourth day of that section.
S= "Iron sharpeneth iron: so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." (Proverbs 27:17)
O= The writer observes here that iron sharpens iron. Years ago, while working in a restaurant kitchen, I have had the experience of watching a chef sharpen knives using a steel. It is a noisy but most effective process! Believer's Bible Commentary explains the comparison: "It used to be common to see the host at a table sharpening the carving knife by drawing each side of the cutting edge against a hardened steel rod with fine ridges. Just as the action of iron against iron sharpens, so the interchange of ideas among people makes them more acute in their thinking. Sharing each other's opinions gives a helpful breadth of view. Asking questions sharpens wits. Friendly intercommunication hones the personality."
Just as iron is used to sharpen iron, friends should be used to sharpen one another. We can encourage and exhort one another, and share our thoughts, ideas, and insights as we study God's Word together.
A= I love the idea of Christian friends encouraging and exhorting, sharing thoughts, insights, and testimonies of God's work in our lives to sharpen one another. I'm thankful for the opportunities God has given me to encourage others in this way. It's something that all believers should be doing!
P= "Lord, I thank You for the practical wisdom of Proverbs. I thank You for this vivid illustration of iron sharpening iron, and for your plan to use believers to sharpen one another. I'm thankful for the times You've used me to help sharpen other women -- and I pray for more such opportunities. Give me times also of being sharpened by others, for you know that is needful in my life. I thank You for all You will do, in Jesus' name, Amen."
And there is this week's very simple study! Who can you sharpen this week?