October 18, 2018 Jeremiah 7-9; Revelation 12:7-17

“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NLT) The heart of this ministry is to inspire a love for God’s Word and encourage the discipline of daily Bible reading and SOAP journaling. These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

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Only Harming Myself | Kelley Deases

S~ But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame? Jeremiah 7:19 (NIV)

O~ God is saying to Jeremiah, speaking of the people who were deceiving themselves thinking they were protected while they brazenly disobeyed God and worshiped false idols, who is really being hurt? God is still God — Almighty, unchanging. He is love and sits on His heavenly throne. These rebellious people, however, are hurting themselves as they try to pretend they are right with God, even though they know they are not, and as they pursue their own destructive ways.

A~ One of the pastors at my church gave an apt illustration in his message this past Sunday. He talked about a ski trip he had taken with friends when they were back in college. Even though it was getting dark in Winter Park, even though they were not particularly good skiers, and even though there was caution tape warning not to ski past a certain point, they thought “it would be fun” to go their own way through the trees and off the marked path. This idea quickly ceased being fun when the snow got too deep to ski and the skies kept getting darker and darker. The guys ended up finding a highway near the bottom of the mountain, hitchhiked with strangers, and discovered they were actually several miles outside of the boundary of the ski resort.

I can think of several people my husband and I know who have grossly and arrogantly seemed to thumb their nose at God and gone their own way. Their lives, which had not previously been perfect, had nevertheless been blessed. Now, in their heart of hearts, they must certainly struggle with the guilt and shame of their rebellion against God’s ways.

But even as my mind turns to those whose turning away has been obvious and drastic, all I can do is reflect on how the girl in the mirror can get off the beaten path. It doesn’t take long to find examples where I have lost patience with my son, failed to prioritize others over myself and have been less than a stellar ambassador for Christ in my words and attitudes. God gently reminds my heart I am only hurting myself when I fail to embrace the abundant life He offers and wants me to have.

P~ Father, I confess there are many times and many ways in which I am harming myself, when I leave the protection You offer to go it alone. Convict me quickly in those places lest I stray too far.

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