November 16 2 Corinthians 3,4,5,6

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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. Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at

Not My Ability | Michelle Myers

S~ We are not saying that we can do this work ourselves.  It is God who makes us able to do all that we do.”  2 Corinthians 3:4 (NCV)

O~ Just as God has given me everything I have, my ability to do anything comes from Him.

A~ I understand that it is through the blood of Jesus, and His sacrifice at the cross, that has allowed me to be saved and have everlasting life.  This is the big picture.  Yet, I am sure that He also wants me to look at the smaller, everyday abilities that He has given to me.

First, my own pride can get in the way of that, where I think I can do something on my own or I have achieved something on my own.  When this is the case, it doesn’t take long for whatever I am doing to fail or for me to end up in a state of all-consuming frustration.

Second, holding onto relationships, possessions, etc. that He wants me to let go of, can also get in the way of what He has given me the ability to do.  Letting go is not easy.  Letting go can be painful.  Letting go can be scary.  And sometimes, I tend to think that it doesn’t make sense.  Why would God want me to let go of my relationship with my husband?  Why wouldn’t God want me to have a relationship with my mother?  Why wouldn’t God want me to be able to live in my simple home, the one we raised our kids in, put so much work into, etc.  Why wouldn’t God want me to help other kids by remaining at my teaching job?

Coming through it, I now have a better understanding of what God wanted for me, why He wanted it for me, and the abilities that He gave me to do it.  He wants me to have relationships with people, but only if those relationships help me grow spiritually and help me fulfill His purpose.  Otherwise, they become a distraction and an obstacle to what He has planned for my life.  Compared to other homes in our area, our home was modest. Yet, it was also a distraction and obstacle with my time, energy, and finances.  This interfered with His purpose for my life. My job drained my time and energy.  It too, interfered with the plans He had for me.

There was a time in my life, when letting go of all of these things would have seemed crazy, ridiculous, and even impossible.  And even though the process of letting go wasn’t as smooth and as easy as I would have like it to be, He gave me the ability to do what needed to be done.  He prepared me for that process, knowing way before I did, what would transpire.  He gave me a teaching degree to fall back on, when I needed a quick source of income.  Moving back to my hometown, after leaving my husband, knowing that my immediate family wouldn’t be a source of emotional or spiritual support, He gave me a group of church friends who were struggling in their own marriages.  He gave me a church and a pastor, that worked with me and my husband to help restore our marriage.  I could honestly go on and on about all the ability that God gave me to fulfill His purpose in my life, and in turn, glorify Him.

Had I stayed reliant on my own abilities, my own securities, my own plan; I would not have experienced the spiritual growth that I have over the last few years.  Had I not let go of my relationship with my husband, God never would have been able to work on us as individuals, which in turn, has made us a stronger couple and family.  Had I not let go of my relationship with my mother, I would still be kowtowing to her will for my life, instead of God’s; listening to her criticism, instead of God’s conviction; and stuck in a perpetual state of dysfunction, instead of receiving the healing God wanted me to.  Had I not let go of our home; my time, energy, and financial resources would have gone to upkeep and repairs; instead of Bible studies, SOAPing, blogging, and giving.

By not relying on God in any area of my life, and not doing what He has made me able to do, whether it is hold on to or let go of, I run the risk of becoming the biggest obstacle in my life, in regards to the plans He has for me.

P~ Thank you God for never giving up on me.  Please continue to help me see what YOUR will is, and how YOU have given me the ability to do it.

Jars of Clay | Kelley DeAses

S~ But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.  2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

O~ This morning brought news of a very sick little boy.  His parents and family are anguished over a recent development which has taken him from bad to utterly critical.  They are all desperate to do anything humanly possible and, further, to implore God to show compassion and bring about healing.  But what else?  What more?  We grapple with the swirling emotions of hope, despair, trust, confusion, anger, injustice, and powerlessness.  God, what would you have us do in times such as these?

A~ This verse reminds me we are those jars of clay — crumbling, breakable vessels, which can carry within them God’s light and life, but whose outer crust is not made to last forever.  God tells us this life will bring pain and adversity and push-back and, at times, deep and gut-wrenching sorrow.  But somewhere in the midst of it we learn anew there is more than what we can see; more than this life.  So all we can do, really, is unclench our angry and defiant fists, grab hold of what seems only a tiny shred of a flicker of hope (but in reality is everything), and trust (ah, trust) that God can work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes….EVEN IF WE HAVE NOT THE FOGGIEST IDEA HOW!

P~ In the meantime, Father, as this mommy and daddy (and brothers and aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends) try to hold on to hope and struggle to know what it means to trust You in this, please hold their hands and their hearts.  Sustain them as they walk through this valley, Lord I pray.

Be Truth-Filled | Susan Aken

S~ Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

O~ Paul is teaching believers great truths about life, suffering, following Jesus and death. Here he teaches that the sufferings we have on earth including our aging and dying bodies are nothing compared to the glory we will have in heaven. So we are to fix our inner eyes on the eternal and not on this temporary world.

A~ These are some of my favorite verses. Maybe because I am so aware that this body is wasting away. Like it or not our bodies will gradually waste away and die. But inwardly, His Spirit renews us every day. All the problems and suffering I face or hear about each day, all of that is temporary. When I get to heaven, all of that will fade away. So, how do I fix my inner eyes on what is eternal? It seems like I write the same thing so many times but it is true! Plus if God keeps bringing it back to me maybe I am still not being obedient. One of the main ways for me to fix my eyes on the eternal is to meditate on His word. His word is the only truth I have. I need to saturate my heart and mind with it. I need to get back to memorizing His truth. There is a new tab on the page if you haven’t noticed called “Soap Box!”. There is a great tool there with some scriptures already formatted to fit inside. I am speaking to myself here because I have not been memorizing His word. But I am going to focus on that again. I am going to print some more scriptures to put in my ‘soap box’ and make it my goal to saturate my heart with truth. I spend so much time filling my mind with details of what is happening in this world. I want His truth to outweigh all the rest.

P~ Lord, I know I can’t do this in my strength. In my strength, I go right back to what I was doing before. Please help me focus on filling my mind and heart with your truth. Help me fix my eyes on what is eternal. Thank you Jesus.

Arms Wide Open | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.  This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.  2 Corinthians 5:19 (NLT)

O~ This is the Good News!  God has arms wide open for us.  Just as we are, right where we are!

A & P~ Thank you.

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Posted on November 16, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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