November 26 Matthew 23,24,25

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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

Just for Show | Carrie Newell

S~ Everything they do is for show.  Matthew 23:5 (NLT)

O~ Jesus is talking about the Pharisees, that they are the interpreters of the law and they should be listened to, but that the people should not follow their example.  For all they do is for show.

A~ It is so important for me to be authentic, it is something I hold myself to, and something I value and respect in others.  In fact, sometimes I am so transparent, that I open my big mouth and insert my foot!  I have a hard time not saying everything thats on my mind.  And it drives me crazy when I know someone else is just doing or saying something because they think it looks or sounds good. But I know that being fake and acting one way, while truly being another is not the way God wants me.  I think about our kids, and how much they pick up.   For example, I can tell them over and over again to keep their rooms clean, but if I am not showing them with my own room being clean, they pick up on the fact that its maybe not THAT important. The example we set is so much more important than what we say.

P~ Lord, thank you for this great reminder!  I pray that I would keep authenticity a priority in my life.  That you would help me to be real with the people in my life, especially my kids.  And please give me the grace for others when they seem to be living just for show.  Amen.

Transform Me | Kim Chipman

S~ The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12 (NLT)

O~ Jesus speaks strongly and directly to hypocritical hearts. He says to do what the Pharisees teach, but don’t follow their example. Everything they do is for show. They didn’t care about being holy but looking holy – “everything they do is for show” v5.

A~ You don’t care about appearances as much as hearts. You came to serve others in humility and you call me to do the same. Help me to serve others and humble myself, genuinely humble myself. When my feelings get hurt, help me to genuinely examine my heart and what You are trying to teach me, not jump to blame and defensive thinking. Help me to serve from a place of genuine humility, for Your glory.

P~ Lord, help me to not only read and learn Your Word, but apply it and allow it to transform me. Help me to serve others in humility as You did. Help me to focus on my heart and on honoring You.

Self Indulgence | Nikki Metzger

S~ Hypocrites!  For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy – full of greed and self-indulgence! Matthew 23:25 (NLT)

O~ Jesus is speaking to the teachers of religion.  There are a lot of (!) in Matthew 23.  When Jesus spoke, He usually didn’t have a lot of (!)  But He gets fired up when talking to religious people.

A~ This word self-indulgence… is something I struggle with!  But let’s be honest, it’s sin.  Jesus calls it filthy.

And that breaks my heart, because I know my self-indulgence was one of my many sins that nailed Him to the cross.

So here I sit, this battle inside of me: self-indulgence vs. self-control.  I’ve done what God has asked me to do about sin; confess and repent.  But I struggle more than just daily, it’s moment by moment.

P~ Lord, I am so sorry!  Thank You for Your forgiveness!  My self-indulgence is like a little yeast that spreads easily into all parts of my life: being a wife, mom, daughter, friend, worker, encourager.  Ugh!  Remove that please!  At the core of it, is pride.  I hate that about myself.  Help me to put You first!  I pray this in Jesus’ Name!  Amen!

God Knows! | Michelle Myers

S~ Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me’ Matthew 25:40 (NCV)

O~ Prior to this verse, Jesus tells how someday the people of the earth will be separated, like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  The people that will receive God’s blessing are the people who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, open their homes to people who were lonely and needed a place to stay, took care of the sick, and visited people in prision.  And, when we did all of those things for other people on earth, we were also doing them for Jesus.

A~ Today was a hard day.  I really had to keep my eyes focused on Jesus, as my father-in-law and his wife came to visit.  Just like many members on my side of the family, he hasn’t always taken our situation with time, money, etc. into consideration when he wants us to do something, and in the past, there has been pressure when we say we can’t do something.

About seven years ago, I had a plan that would have helped get our finances in order, so we would have more options and opportunities to do some of the things he was asking of us and that we wanted to do.  I pretty much sacrificed everything and anything I could.  I took extra classes when we didn’t have subs, and I worked summer school to earn extra money.  I thought my husband was on board.  He said he was.  But, he wasn’t.  He was hiding money, spending money on things I didn’t know about, and had taken on extra debt that I was unaware of.  I can’t even begin to explain the anger…. no rage….. that welt up inside of me when I found out.

So, as I listen to my father-in-law talk about how we need to come and visit, I felt this sense of defeat, as everything I had done before to prevent us from being in this situation, seemed to be a waste.  He used to be only one state away, but he recently moved half way across the country.  So, the trip just got longer and more expensive.  Then, he went on to talk about how they have plenty of room for us, and how his wife has pictures in her purse of the new house…blah, blah, blah.

Frustration set in, at the fact that I didn’t want to be in this financial position, and that is why I made the changes I made seven years ago.  With every new piece of information he gave, which I took as intent to get us out there, I just wanted to cry or yell at him to give it a rest already.  He was very much aware of our situation and what we had been through over the last couple of years.  But like the time he said to me, “Michelle, sometimes you just have to say, ‘What the hell’ in regards to a cruise he wanted us to go on with him and his wife and we told him we couldn’t afford, our current situation didn’t seem to matter either.

So, after some private tears of frustration and dealing with feelings from the past with God, a walk, some taking with my husband, and again some private tears of frustration and dealing with some feelings of “nothing I do makes a difference”, I ran across this verse while doing my SOAP.

And now, I have peace again.  Even if what I have done or can do now, isn’t enough for my father-in-law, it is for God.  And, He saw every sacrafice I made, every extra class I took, and every summer I gave up.  And yesterday, He saw me give him school pictures of my kids, and something to drink when he and his wife were thirsty, because those were things I could do.

P~ Thank you God for pulling me through today.  Thank you for helping me keep my tongue under control and not say anything I would regret later.  Help me remember that YOU see it all.  Help me remember that YOU know my heart.  Help me remember that I am enough for YOU, and that is what really matters!

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Posted on November 26, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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