April 8 1 Samuel 3-5; Psalm 77; 2 Corinthians 8

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

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Uh oh, SOAP! – Robin Laney

S~ So Samuel told him, word for word. He held back nothing. Eli said, “He is God. Let him do whatever he thinks best.” 1 Samuel 3:18 (NIV)

O~ Samuel had just delivered the news of Eli’s family’s fate. Eli’s sons had taken advantage of their positions and the people they were to serve. They had dishonored God by mishandling the sacrifices made to Him. Eli, as their father and priest, was responsible to teach and discipline them. Instead, he honored them above God and now God’s justice would be carried out on them all. Eli responds to the message with faith and trust in God, knowing that God was good and right and just in His response to evil.

A~ I fancy myself to have this kind of faith and trust in God. The kind of faith that says, “Yes, God, I have done wrong. Do with me what You will,” or “I trust You, God, with whatever comes my way.” But, when it comes right down to the actual experience of it, I am not so great at accepting it graciously.

I suppose it’s like being a child who is punished for misbehavior. When I was young, back talking and foul language was not allowed in our house. If I was nasty to my mom, the bar of soap was coming out of the bathroom. A couple of scrapes across my front teeth and I was sent to my room to let it pool in my mouth for whatever amount of time she deemed reasonable to fit the crime. I know that sometimes she must have forgotten about me drooling pitifully in my room and, depending on how much of a poop I had been, she might have been enjoying my punishment more than she should have. Nonetheless, I knew that there was an unpleasant consequence for bad behavior and I could trust she would follow through if I chose to be unwise in my words or actions. Even so, I hated it and though I deserved it I always said I didn’t. My lack of trust in my mom’s discernment coupled with my unwillingness to acknowledge my disobedience made for an ugly scene.

Unlike me, Eli trusted God to be fair and just in His treatment of him and his family. He might not have liked punishment but he knew it was right because he served a God of justice who was also good.

P~ Lord, search me and know me. Point out to me those areas that are offensive to You and help me to turn from those ways. Give me the kind of faith and trust in You that Eli had and the grace and humility to accept the consequences of my choices, knowing that You know best and love most.

Going Through the Mighty Waters | Joni Tyner

S~ Your road led through the sea,

your pathway through the mighty waters—

a pathway no one knew was there!

You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,

With Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.  Psalm 77:19-20 (NLT)

O~ The Psalmist (Asaph) starts out in the beginning of Psalm 77 reflecting that God doesn’t listen to him. “Oh that God would listen to me.” (v. 1)  “Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me?” ( v. 7)  He concludes, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” (v. 10)  He then remembers God’s faithfulness when the Israelites were being pursued by the Egyptian army.  The approached the Rea Sea and they were stuck.  It was a dead end and they were dead!!!…except God’s road lead through the sea—a pathway no one knew was there.

God led the Israelites through impossible circumstances—the pathway became visible

as they quit looking at their circumstances and turned to Him.

A~  I have two close friends who are living some tough TOUGH circumstances right now.  They are at dead ends, there doesn’t appear to be a happy ending.   Yes, our God is capable of miracles, but quite honestly, in these 2 situations, in my human eyes, it doesn’t look like God’s plan is what our prayers are asking for.   So, what now?  What does a believer do when God says no?   I wish I had the right words, the perfect answer for both of these friends—but…I just don’t.  This psalm seemed to speak to me that sometimes we have to allow God to led us through what seems impossible circumstances and the “mighty waters”.   I don’t exactly know what that looks like, but I think it is staying connected to God.  It likely includes lots of tears and questions and some anger and doubt.  It’s somehow accepting we just don’t always get answers.  Finally, at some point, we give up and make the choice to still trust God and still believe.

I posted a link to a new song by Colton Dixon. “Through it all”.  It is my new favorite song and it sort of sums up this life that is filled with joy and pain, good and bad. I invite you to take time to watch it!

P~ Dear Lord,  this morning I pray and plead for Your Divine healing.  I want to see Your Glory!!!  I especially ask for your mercy and love to shower these families in their fear, their grieve and the journey they don’t want to be on.  Please comfort them and give them peace that doesn’t make sense to our human minds.  Dear Lord, we need You.

The Pathway Through the Deep | Tara Wiley

S~ Your road led through the sea, Your pathway through the mighty waters – a pathway no one knew was there! Psalm 77:19 (NLT)

O~ The psalmist is in a desert place, longing for God – desperate for Him, actually. So he chooses to remember another time when Israel was desperate: the enemy on their heels, the looming sea blocking any way of escape. And in this impossible place, God formed a pathway – one no one knew was there. What an encouragement. God specializes in impossible help during desperate times.

A~ I have so many friends in desperate times right now.They are struggling with recent or impending untimely deaths of young parents and children. These are places where finding comfort, peace, hope – finding ANY sense of God at all – can seem utterly impossible. But God specializes in pathways we do not even know exist. Sometimes those pathways go right through the very deepest waters of life. But He is there, and His rescue is imminent.

P~ Lord, comfort my friends. Help them through their crushing grief. Remind them of who You are, that even as their entire world tilts and shifts, You DO NOT CHANGE. Your love and help is as vast and present as ever. Be near, Lord, today, and in the days to come. Bring the hope of Your promises, of Your past faithfulness, to their minds when they cannot feel You, cannot even make sense of You. Even as you led the Israelites through the wilderness, lead my friends with Your cloud, speaking in the storm, and come behind them with Your fire, Your presence and light and protection. Lead them through this unknown (unwanted!) pathway with tenderness and help.

Title- The Gift of Giving

S~ Right now you have plenty and can help them.  Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it.  In this way, everyone’s needs will be met.  2 Corinthians 8:14 (NLT)

O~ Paul is talking about the importance of giving.  That the amount isn’t important – but just give what you can.

A~ What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.  There are times in out lives when we need help.  Maybe it’s financial or emotional support.  Maybe it’s help caring for our kids or providing meals.  When we reach out and help others it gives glory to God.

Asking for help has always been difficult for me.  Call it pride or control issues, either way, it wasn’t the way God planned it.  Two years ago when I was first sick, I fell and hit my head.  I ended up with a concussion and a broken nose.  I couldn’t function.  I certainly couldn’t drive.  And I had no other option.  I had to accept help.  Out of the woodwork came some dear friends who cooked meals and drive my kids around.  I felt helpless- stuck in bed for over 3 weeks.  But during that time, I realized that we NEED each other, that the gift of community is Gods plan.   I didn’t heave to feel guilty for receiving help.  Receiving help was difficult for me, but such a blessing to both me and the ones giving.  And now that I’m healthier, I am more intentional about helping those around me.

P~ Father thank you for the gift of community.  Help us to be joyful givers, whether it’s our time, money, or treasures.

DIFFERENT RESOURCES AND BLESSINGS | Michelle Myers

S~ It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.  We do not want you to have troubles while other people are at ease, but we want everything to be equal.  At this time you have plenty.  What you have can help others who are in need.  Then later, when they have plenty, they can help you when you are in need, and all will be equal.  2 Corinthians 8:12-14 (NCV)

O~ Paul is talking to the Corinthian church, about fulfilling their promise to the Jerusalem church.  They had told the Jerusalem church that they would take and give them a collection to help them out.

A~ At the present time, I have no basic needs that aren’t met.  In fact, I can’t remember a time when any of my basic needs were not met.  However, being a true product of our overly blessed society, I often struggle with feeling that I have “plenty”.

I am often reminding my children that they are blessed to have so much, even if it is not as much as they see their peers getting.  I also remind them that they have the luxury of having a mom that can stay home and put time into other things for them.  Many of these, were things that I was unable to do when I was working.

Apparently, it is not only my children that need to be reminded of how much they have, and that I get the luxury of staying home.  During this season of my life, I may not have a large amount of extra money to give, but when I do have extra, I give.  I think the equality comes from me in the “abundance” of time that I have.  Not that I am lacking in things to do, but I have more flexibility in my schedule.  I have more time to build true and meaningful relationships.  I have more time and flexibility to help out friends or family when they have a need.

And, at this point and time, I really can’t think of anything materialistically that I would want, that I think would enrich my life, if I were to have it.  So, why do I struggle, at times, to see my circumstances as the blessings that they are?

P~ Thank you God for the blessings that you have given to me and my family.  Please forgive me, when I fail to recognize the truth about my circumstances.  I know part of this struggle comes from the dreams, visions, and plans I had for my life.  I know in my heart it is not about me, but about YOUR will for my life.  Sometimes, my flesh has a hard time aligning with my heart.  Help me see the truth, and in doing so, this will help me fully enjoy what you have given to me and my family.

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Posted on April 8, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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