1 Peter 3:1-4 – “inside the heart … which is very valuable in God’s eyes”

How do you win an argument? Be the one to hit the hardest? Be the one to strike first? Be the loudest? Be the squeaky wheel until you get what you want? Jesus could have easily pounded Satan anytime. Jesus could have easily used the God-card and ended the battle with sin in the world with a word. He could have piled suffering on those who caused suffering for Him. But He humbled Himself and responded with love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, understanding, and patience. Peter is saying that we need to make sure our hearts are ready to respond in similar ways. Rather than being ready to respond with disputing and dissatisfaction, we respond with calmness and compassion. Rather than being ready to respond with self-assertiveness and self-interest, we respond with silence and sympathy. Peter says that our life with God should be identified by a holy and respectful manner rather than how to convince people with our words. Our beauty, our attractiveness, is not our fancy clothes, our buildings, or whatever “bling” which we try to decorate Jesus. It is when our hearts are filled with responses that bring life, not death, and provide the right environment to ripen, not decay, the fruit God wants to produce.

Prayer Starter: To the all powerful and wise Father in Heaven, I am in awe at Your ability to hold back judgment and to give grace.  I have not acted the same way with those who oppose me. Help me to “bite my tongue” when I would rather give them a “piece of my mind.” Even if I am right, I know God that You could say that I am wrong because You desire for my heart to act rightly even when they don’t. Help me to care for them and to show love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, understanding, and patience. I want to be known for those things so that You can receive the glory. And perhaps by those living that way, You can bring others closer to You.

You’re reading a devotion from the Easter Devotional Plan 2016. For the rest of the 40 day plan, visit here.