By Leora Schmucker
Greetings of love in Jesus’ name! We have a great God who is worthy of all our praise, is worthy of all our love, and is worthy of our whole life!
We live in a time when there are many distractions. The prince of this world is truly out to destroy lives at whatever cost. We have amusement parks, video arcades, theaters, Internet, Facebook, fashion malls, and whatever else you can think of … it’s there. But God would have our hearts stirred to not be entangled with these distractions, but to work for Him and His kingdom. If we are entangled with the affairs of this life, we will have no time left for our Lord. We cannot serve two masters. There seems to be some things trying to steal the time of our dear sisters and brothers (young and old alike). Let us beware of these things, that we can be free from them and in that freedom serve the Lord with our whole hearts.
One thing that we should be aware of is called adornment, and the other is foolishness or looseness. To me it is so amazing how God works. He tells us in His Word what not to adorn ourselves with, but He also tells us what to adorn ourselves with. He tells us what fruit should be coming from our lives, and what fruit shouldn’t be coming from our lives. For every evil way that presents itself, God also shows us the right way. I know many of us would not go to fashion malls to buy our clothes, but I fear that many of us are still looking for clothes that accent the body rather than glorify our Lord. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Mt. 5:8
Analyzing the Scriptures
1 Peter 3:3-6
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Adorn—to deck or beautify; set off; to embellish by anything external or adventitious; to display the beauty or excellence of
Remember, God wants us to adorn ourselves with things that will bring glory to Him; for example if I put some type of clothing on and when people see me and all they notice is my clothing and how great it looks, I’m getting all the glory. But if somebody sees me and they can see the clear countenance on my face and that I’ve been with Jesus, then they will give God all the glory that He deserves and we will be displaying the beauty or excellence of God’s Spirit in our lives.
Plaiting—folding, doubling, braiding
Apparel—clothing; external habiliments or decorations
Ornament—that which embellishes; or something which, added to another thing, renders it more beautiful to the eye
How beautiful is it to our Lord when we are born again and obtain a broken spirit and become meek and quiet! Can people see the fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives (as ornaments)? Truly that is an ornament of great price! Remember, we can add ornaments to our lives that bring sadness to our Father. Let us not make Him ashamed to call us His sons and daughters.
Meek—mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding, given to forbearance under injuries
Are we irritated if somebody has something to share with us that will help us in our walk with the Lord? Remember, our Lord wants the fruit of meekness adorning our new lives.
Quiet—still; being in a state of rest; not moving; peaceable; not turbulent; not giving offense; not exciting controversy, disorder, or trouble; mild; meek; contented
With every new style that comes in, are we quick to change for no spiritual reasons, but simply adding something to our life that only brings glory to our fleshly bodies? Are we content with the standard of God for our lives? Are we firm and grounded in what we believe? Do we know why we believe what we believe?
Subjection—the act of subduing; the act of vanquishing and bringing under the dominion of another
Are we under the dominion of our Lord in every aspect of our lives?
Afraid—impressed with fear or apprehension
Amazement—astonishment; confusion or perplexity from a sudden impression of fear, surprise, or wonder
So we are daughters of Sara as long as we do well, and are not impressed with fear with any confusion or perplexity. God is not the author of confusion, because His way is perfect, converting the soul. Remember, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” not the beginning of confusion.
2 Timothy 2:4,16,22
(4) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (16) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Entangleth—to twist or interweave in such a manner as not to be easily separated; to perplex or distract, as with cares
Are we allowing our lives to be interwoven with the fashions and foolishness of this world?
Shun—to avoid; to keep clear of; not to fall on or come in contact with; not to mix or associate with.
Are we shunning the practices of this world? More specifically are we shunning loose and empty talk?
Profane—irreverent to anything sacred; polluted; not pure;
Vain—empty; worthless; having no substance, value or importance
Remember, what we fill ourselves with will come out. If we are filling ourselves with God’s holy Word, then that will be flowing out of our lives. But if we are filling ourselves with vain things, then that shall come out as well.
Is our talk centered on the Bible? Or is it centered on the new clothes that we bought, or the new vehicle we bought, or all the people we meet on Facebook?
Flee—to run with rapidity, as from danger; to hasten from danger; or expected evil
If we are with a group of people whose talk is foolish, do we stay for fear of losing friends, or do we walk (or run) away from the expected or dangerous evil? Remember, the more we interweave our lives with the ways of the world, the harder it is to untangle ourselves.
Lusts—longing desire; eagerness to possess or enjoy; carnal appetite; unlawful desire of carnal pleasure
God will give us the true desires of our heart. We may say that we desire pure things, but if our heart is yearning for unlawful things, we shall yield to those things. Our lives consist not only in what we say, but more importantly what we live. Take courage; the inward desires of our heart can be forever changed through the spiritual operation called the “new birth.”
Righteousness—a state of living in that which God has declared as right. If we are to follow righteousness, then that means we should follow the teachings of Jesus, and strive to imitate what Christ showed us by His example.
Faith—the object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed.
What truly does our faith consist of? Do we really believe God and what He tells us through His written Word? Remember, it was because Abraham believed God that he was able to sacrifice his only son Isaac through whom Abraham’s descendants would be counted. So if God tells us in His Word to shun ungodliness because it will lead to more ungodliness, do we believe God and flee those things, or do we think that just a little bit of fun won’t hurt?
Charity—love; benevolence; goodwill; that disposition of the heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good; it includes supreme love to God our Maker and universal good will to men
Do we have the love of God dwelling within, and flowing out of our lives like a spring of running water?
Peace—heavenly rest; harmony; freedom from disturbance or agitation
Again, we are to follow the example of our dear Savior Jesus Christ, whose whole life was in perfect harmony with God the Father. Christ was not disturbed or disrupted by the ways of this world, but He was at rest doing His Father’s will. Are we?
Pure—clear; free from moral defilement; without spot; holy; incorrupt;
So we are to follow or have these fruits adorned in our lives, and practicing these things with others who are striving to put them in their own lives. Remember, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump!
1 Timothy 4:12-13
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Attendance—service; ministry; attention; regard; careful application of mind
What does our life consist of when we compare our lives to the Word of our Lord?
Conversation—general course of manners; behavior; deportment.
What is our walk really showing about our lives?
Exhortation—advice; counsel; the act or practice of exhorting
Are we encouraging other believers in their walk with God, or are we too involved with the ways of this world?
Doctrine—instruction and confirmation in the truths of the gospel
Are we able to give a clear answer on the faith and hope that lies within us? If we do not continue to seek for answers in God’s holy Word, we will not find, and therefore we will not have, a ready answer.
1 Timothy 2:9-10
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Shamefacedness—bashfulness; excess of modesty
So we should be adorned with shamefacedness and not giddiness or sensuality.
Sobriety—habitual soberness; seriousness; gravity without sadness or melancholy
Yes, even if we are sober we don’t have to be sad but we can have the joy of the Lord adorning our lives. There should be a light in our eyes because Jesus is the Light of our lives. Truly, if God’s Spirit is dwelling within us we have so much to be thankful for. And it should be evident in every aspect of our lives.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Titus 2:11-12
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10
The jewels of modesty, shamefacedness, sobriety, faith, charity, peace, righteousness, meekness, and quietness are truly jewels of great price. These jewels are worth surrendering our whole lives to God our Maker that we may have our lives adorned with them. But if we are surrendered to the prince of the air, we will have the ornaments of pride, envy, hate, jealousy, and so forth. Which one is the more beautiful?
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Are we preparing to meet Jesus? Is God dwelling in us? Is He our God and are we His people?
Remember time is swiftly passing by. We can be here today and gone tomorrow. Do we want to be with Jesus in eternity, or do we want to be with the Devil and his angels? The choices we make for our lives today will affect where we spend eternity. God will not be mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth so shall he reap. Don’t be misled; that verse is also for the believer, not just for the unconverted. Each one of us can ask ourselves, “What are we sowing?”
Concerning adornment, are we sowing the thought that outward beauty is very important, or are we sowing the thought that inward beauty is the most precious thing to have and obtain? And just for clarification, I am not talking about being dirty and unkempt. God is a God of order and cleanliness, but he is not a God of ribbons, bows, frills, laces, expensive and attractive clothing. Remember, the people that design most clothing, design the clothing that it will be appealing and attractive to the eye so that people will buy it.
Again, when people look at us, do they glorify our fleshly body, or are they praising God for the work that He is doing in our lives? It is so important that we understand that it is our inward change of heart that should beautify us. Many people say that we can dress to beautify ourselves because of how God clothes the trees and flowers. But I believe that God designed plant life with many colors because that is the only way to beautify them. With us, He plants in us a beautiful spirit and does not want beautiful clothing to conflict with His work.
Concerning foolishness and looseness, if we are grounded in the Word of God we will not have time for vain babblings and pleasure-seeking idleness. Let us be busy doing the work of our Lord. For example, helping our neighbor who could use an extra hand, or sharing our testimonies with people that we meet. Let us not fear man who can only kill the body, but rather let us fear God who has power to cast body and soul into eternal torment.
As we live in these last times, the message is that “as long as you believe in a god, you’ll be okay.” That is a false message! Jesus tells us there is only one way. Again he says “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Praise the Lord that God gave us an example to follow!
Originally published in The Heartbeat of the Remnant (September/October 2012), 400 W. Main Street Ste. 1, Ephrata, PA 17522.