April 2 Judges 13-16; 2 Corinthians 2

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 DiscoverOneThingPrayer@gmail.com

Printable reading plan: HERE

Want a shorter reading plan? Join our chronological walk through the Gospels at www.DiscoverOneThingOnlineStudy.com

The Stirrings of My Heart | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ And in Mahaneh-dan which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol, the Spirit of the Lord began to take hold of him.  Judges 13:25  (NLT)

O~ The notes say, “Perhaps there are things that stir your heart.  These may indicate areas where God wants to use you.  God uses a variety of means to develop and prepare us: hereditary traits, environmental influences, and personal experiences.  As with Samson, this preparation often begins long before adulthood. Work at being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and the tasks God has prepared for you.  Your past may be more useful to you than you imagine.”

A/P~  There are things that my heart turns toward, is this you Lord? Is it me protecting myself because of what I’ve been through in my past?  Help me to have a healthy perspective about all I have been through, about myself.  Help me to commit it all to you: my past, the stirrings of my heart, my desire for justice.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Not So Sweet Revenge– Robin Laney

S~ The Philistines set out and made camp in Judah, preparing to attack Lehi (Jawbone). When the men of Judah asked, “Why have you come up against us?” they said, “We’re out to get Samson. We’re going after Samson to do to him what he did to us.” Three companies of men from Judah went down to the cave at Etam Rock and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines already bully and lord it over us? So what’s going on with you, making things even worse?” He said, “It was tit for tat. I only did to them what they did to me.” Judges 15:10-11 (The Message)

O~ Samson was selfish, prideful and misused his God-given strength. The Philistines were oppressive bullies. Because their hearts were all bent towards revenge, many people died and much property was destroyed. Samson’s wife to be was given to another man and then killed along with her father. His fellow countrymen handed him over to the enemy in order to save themselves and his girlfriend, Delilah, sold him out. His life ended in humiliation, blindness, and being crushed to death.

A~ So much pain in the world is caused by vengeful hearts. The desire to pay someone back, wrong for wrong, is so many times rooted in hurt, pride, and selfish ambition. We don’t want others to think we are weak. We don’t want anyone to have any advantage over us. We have been hurt by others and resolve never to feel that pain again and so we strike back to send a message that we aren’t to be messed with. We feel like we have to defend ourselves and our families and friends. Sometimes another person’s attack on us hurts so deeply that we just want them to suffer like we are suffering.

Unfortunately, our hearts are naturally bent this way. That old philosophy of an eye for an eye is in our very nature. Taking offense and seeking to make someone pay for your hurt might seem like the right thing to do and it is many times an automatic reaction to lash back. It sometimes even gives us a temporary sense of relief. But the repercussions of revenge are destructive, internally and externally. Holding unforgiveness in our hearts damages us emotionally, spiritually and physically. The hurt we inflict on others with our words and actions leave scars on their hearts as well. The collateral damage is in all of the other people who are on the receiving end of the hurts we inflict on each other. It’s a domino effect. Look at all of the damage caused by the revenge sought by Samson and the Philistines. Broken relationships, loss of property, betrayal, humiliation and death.

The law of an eye for an eye was given by God as a guideline for the carrying out of justice, corporately. It was never meant to justify personal retribution. Jesus made that very clear in Matthew when he tells us to turn the other cheek and pray for those who hurt us. True peace is found in forgiveness and kindness to one another. If you find this difficult, ask God to help you. You will be amazed at how paying back offense with love will lighten your load and allow you to experience a peace you haven’t known before.

P~ Lord, help us to extend grace instead of seeking revenge. Remind us of the grace You have given us. Make us humble enough to realize we are not perfect. Father, let us love instead of lay waste.

USING THE STRATEGY OF FORGIVENESS TO DEFEAT SATAN | Michelle Myers

S~ I did this so that Satan would not win anything from us, because we know very well what Satan’s plans are. 2 Corinthians 2:11 (NCV)

O~ Paul is writing to the Corinthians, discussing a sinner that has caused everyone among them great sadness. My Bible notes say, it may be the unrepentant sinner that he tells them to put out of church in 1 Corinthians 5. Maybe this person repented. Anyway, Paul acknowledges the sadness that this person has caused, and tells the people to forgive him.

A~ Today was a hard day. I was tired. I was overwhelmed. I woke up sad. And, then out of nowhere, the tears started. The more I tried to stop them, and redirect my attention toward the many tasks I needed to do (or I thought I needed to do), the more I cried. Finally, I just sat in the recliner and I cried. I cried for the house we had to sell. I cried for the chaos my girls went through. I cried for the chaos I went through. I cried for my retirement money. I cried for all the days I was just in survival mode. I cried for my cat that we had to put to sleep four and a half years ago, right after my husband relapsed and my world was once again turned upside down. I cried, because my husband got me that cat right after we were married, even though I didn’t want a cat. He knew that I was lonely, because I was in a new city and didn’t know many people. I cried, because the man who had the capacity to see my loneliness and meet that need for me, was a man that I hadn’t recognized in over a decade. I cried because that cat, became like my first child. I cried for my other cat, that we had to put to sleep two years later, while still in the midst of the turmoil caused by his addiction. I cried all day. I got nothing done. l picked up the kids from school, and I went to bed and I cried some more. I literally could not stop. And in between sobs, I thought, “I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know if I want to be married anymore. This sucks. This is so hard.”

None of these tears were shed for anything recent. My husband is doing great in his recovery. If I would have had “this husband” before, I never would have had to leave, even with the addiction. My kid are doing great in school. They have friends. Finances are better than they have been in years. So, there was no logical explanation for the tear fest. Except for the fact, that my husband had caused my daughters and I, great sadness over the last few years. And forgiveness is a choice, it doesn’t just automatically happen and it doesn’t just stay “forgiven” because I make the choice once. As a human being, I have memories and my emotions attach to my memories. When I remember the sins from the past, that brought about so much sadness, I have to work toward making the choice to forgive. I can’t stay angry. I can’t stay bitter. I can’t just “stuff it”. I can’t run away from the repentant sinner. So, I have to work through the tears and sadness, towards forgiveness……. once again. If I don’t, Satan will have won.

P~ Thank you God for forgiving me; because I am in no way, shape, or form superior to anybody else. Please God, help me remember who my husband is now, when the memories from the past bring about the sadness that is attached to them. Remind me, that it is ok to sit and grieve for a period of time, but that it is not ok, to pull up a chair, get comfortable, and stay for an extended visit.

Fragrant for Christ | Jill Terry

S~ For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  2 Corinthians 2:15 (NAS)

O~ We as Christians are to be a pleasing aroma to those who are not believers. We are called to be “a fragrance for Christ” so that they will look at as and say I want to be like that! As an analogy this is a good one. How many times do you smell something and think “Yum, I want that!” As Christians, we need to make our lives with Christ so appealing that others want the peace only had through Christ Jesus.

A~ I truly want to be that woman that non-believers look at and say “ I want what she has, I want to be a follower of Jesus too.” I know I am not there yet but I continue to pray and believe I am getting closer.

P~ Lord, Help me to be Your aroma to the world. Help me to show others how wonderful faith In You is. Amen

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Posted on April 2, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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