Good morning, and Happy Monday! I decided to pull the "we homeschool and set our own schedule" card, and am giving us an extra day off. We have a crazy week, ahead, but I think we can still slide our homeschool work a day, and stay on schedule. Worse comes to worse, we do a little extra, next week, to catch up. I want to surprise Isabella once in a while, in this type of way. She is still so negative about school, and I'm trying to find ways to make some things more fun. I try to concentrate a lot of time on things she enjoys. But, her mind is set, so it'll be a long, slow process, I think.
So, she's off watching some You-Tube videos about a computer game she desperately wants us to buy for her. And I'm taking advantage of this morning with laundry washing, blog time, and hopefully some sewing (or at the least, organizing my sewing table and school things in such a way, I can easily move what needs to be moved to set up for either sewing or school in just a few moments). We have piano lesson and library run this afternoon, but it'll be nice to have a stress-free morning!
So, I just had to share from today's Bible study time. This morning's New Testament reading was 1 Peter 2. Wow, did that ever speak to my previous blog post! I have read it several times out of the New King James Version, my normal Bible reading Bible (I use the older version NIV for study with books by other authors). So I decided to read it in the Message version, this morning, on my Bible phone app, just for fun. And wow....
1 Peter 2: 12 (Msg): Live an exemplary life among the natives (unbelievers, who are of this world, as we believers are NOT of this world - these words, mine) so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when He arrives.
1 Peter 2:15 (Msg): It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society.
the NKJV says, in verse 15: For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men
I like both versions of that verse, but the Message speaks to me, in how Christians seem to be perceived and judged by fellow but non-believing Americans, these days. That we are a danger to society. WHAT?? If we are true Christians, if we are following what Christ laid out for us in how to live our lives here on earth, we are the exact opposite of danger to society.
BUT - we are a danger to critizing what society wants the accepted to be.
It speaks to me that Peter's words tell us to do good, to put the "foolish men" to silence. That, instead of lecturing people who are not going to understand the words we're trying to express, we speak to them by our actions without lectures. We serve with no verbal witnessing agenda - our own agenda. If God is ready for us to use words, He'll show us a way to do that in a way that doesn't turn the listener's ears off. HE has to be the one to soften their hearts, open their ears, ready their souls. We are here to serve Him by serving those around us, in whatever way He leads us. Now that's not saying we don't witness, we don't share words from God's Word. But, it is saying use discernment. Pick your time carefully. Don't turn the unbeliever off or convince them they are completely correct in their opinion of how awful or ignorant or just plain stupid Christians are. Pray, pray, and I can never stress this enough, PRAY! Let God use you as His instrument.
The last verses that speak volumes to me are 1 Peter 2:16-17 (Msg):
Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity (doesn't say just fellow believers - my words). Love your spiritual family (there are the words regarding the fellow believers - my words). Respect the government. (Gulp...okay, I may not agree with what is happening in our government. I may need to work to help ensure some changes are made however I can. I may even want a different president in office in 2 years. BUT, I am still to respect our government. That is from God! - my words).
Okay, I pray you have a blessed day, today!