April 25, 2018 Judges 3,4; Psalm 39; Romans 14:13-23

“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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I’m mad and I’m right! | guest post

S~ The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words Psalm 39:3 (NLT)

O~ Did I write Psalm 39? No, I did not, but I could have 🙂  When I sit and stew about a situation, especially when I’m in the right in the situation (which is quite often – ha!), the frustration and turmoil inside me builds and I explode with my words.  My ugly words about me being right go all over the person who was wrong.  Now, I’m sure after my fire storm of words, they will want to change.  Yeah right!

A~ God in so good in answering prayer!  I find myself in these types of situations and I don’t know what to do.  I’ve been wronged, and my typical reaction, the type the author of this Psalm talks about, is a fire of words.  I’ve grown in my faith a bit to know that this isn’t the right answer though.

So I’ve asked God what do I do when I’m in this situation?  What honors Him?  What shows love and grace to the person wronging me?  How do I forgive them when they have hurt me?

He has answered me with this Psalm!   (Emphasis is mine)

“Remind me how fleeting MY life is…….”
“My only hope is in YOU……”
“Rescue ME from MY rebellion…..”
“Listen to my cries….”

P~ Father, thank You for this gem today!  I’m pretty sure I will be in a situation soon where I want to spew some fiery words.  Remind me what You say to me!  Give me love, grace, and forgiveness and let it run from heart, brain, and mouth!  I LOVE YOU!  Thank You!  I pray this in Jesus’ Name!  Amen!

Busy for What? | Kim Chipman

S~ We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalm 39:6-7 (NLT)

O~ David is recounting the brief time our life truly is. Often we rush around over committed and busy but we are spending ourselves for the wrong things. THINGS.

A~ I’m confident this is me. I know I’m growing in this area as I focus on being intentional about my time and energy – choosing to invest in things that have eternal consequences, like relationships. I also know that spiritual warfare is alive and well and the most cunning, insidious weapon in our day and in my life is DISTRACTION! I must be intentional and focus my heart on You continually. My hope is in You…my ONLY hope is in You. It is not in approval from others, not in my bank account, not in nice things or a life of comfort. My ONLY hope is in YOU.

P~ I need You. I hope in You. I love You!

You Know My Heart, and Love Me Still | Kimi Miller

S~ For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. Romans 14:17-18 (NLT)

O~ How do I live a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit? It sounds simple enough, but it is certainly not easy. I have feelings and emotions and thoughts and hormones! I feel as though I wrestle with those things all the time and always lose. Sometimes I think having a list of rules to follow would be easier – A list of rules to follow – my own measuring stick to see can compare how I am doing in what I think I should be doing, saying, behaving, etc.

There it is. The great “should.” My friend reminded me the other day that when I “should” on myself, I’m actually shaming myself. And that never feels good. I mean, who likes being “should” on?

I know a list of rules would not make anything easier, but sometimes I think that way – especially when I’m trying so hard to live a life of goodness and peace and joy. My problem is I think I try more times to do this life on my own, than with You, Holy Spirit.

A~ I’m currently listening to Bob Goff’s most recent book, Everybody Always. In it, he talks about believing Jesus and obeying Jesus. I work really hard to obey Jesus. (I think we all do at times, like, W.W.J.D, right?) But believing Jesus is different. I mean, what if I just started there? With myself. What if I started each day (and moment and interaction with others) believing that what He says about me and those created in His image – the ones He loves! – is absolute truth? Wouldn’t that change my entire outlook (and in-look) on…everything?

I think if I believe Jesus – wholeheartedly – then the obeying Him comes a little more naturally without me having to be so forceful or hard on myself. My obedience would come out of my belief – my faith. And then, I WOULD be living out of a life of goodness, peace, and joy in the Spirit, and not working so hard to make it appear/feel that way.

I still struggle with unearned grace. I do. I think that is what a lot of this leg of my journey is about. It is about really believing the things Jesus says about me – more than what anyone else (including me) says. Sounds simple enough, but for me it’s not easy.

I turned 40 this month, and it has given me fresh perspective – more so than any other birthday. Maybe it’s the reality that (on average) half my life is over, but better yet, I still (hopefully) have half left. And I get to take all I know – which only reinforces how much I don’t know – with me. I can choose to live differently.

So I choose to live out of goodness, peace and joy by believing that those things Jesus says about me are true.

P~ Jesus, thank You for Your great love for me. Thank You for Your patience. I know I have a long way to go, but knowing You are with me gives me great anticipation for what is to come. I love You!

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