April 16 1 Samuel 18; 1 Chronicles 6; Psalm 11; Matthew 3

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 

The Comparison Trap | Kimi Miller (guest post)

S~ And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:9 (NIV)

O~ Oh the comparison trap! Saul felt so threatened (jealous) of David that his thoughts turned from God, and all his energy was focused on controlling the situation and David.

A~ How many things, blessings, and relationships have I missed out on because I was jealous? Because I felt threatened by the other person and my own insecurities? Comparison is a thief! It steals our focus and causes us to exhaust ourselves by trying harder to be better. But better than who?

The truth is, we will never be better – or the best, because we were never made to compare ourselves to others. We were each uniquely created by His design to fulfill His purpose for our lives. Comparison is a trap that grabs hold of our thoughts and prevents us from seeing clearly. When we compare ourselves to others, we are measuring ourselves against a false standard. Instead, we should not compare ourselves to others, but to what God says about us. And that is found in His Word. That is why it is so important to read His word daily, so that we (I) can be reminded of how much He loves me. Simply because He does.

P~ Dear Heavenly Father, You know how quickly my mind goes to comparison. Please free me from this trap. Help me to see myself as you see me. I love you. Amen

Wind At Our Backs | Kelley DeAses

S~ In everything he [David] did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.  1 Samuel 18:14 (NIV)

O~  This verse reminds me of another verse from the Psalms, one of my favorite promises in God’s Word:  “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Ps. 37:4  When we align our desires and our lives with God’s will for us, it is like the wind at our backs.  He gives us strength and forward momentum we would not otherwise possess. (Conversely, when we stubbornly insist on our own agenda, especially one which runs counter to His purposes, we will face resistance and our steps will feel like a steep, uphill climb.)

A~  John and I are experiencing the sensation of the wind at our backs right now, which we attribute to God blessing us as we step out to minister to others.  As we make even small sacrifices to open our home for Bible studies, bring a family dinner, attend the funeral for a good friend’s relative, share a message with a group of high school students or encourage a coworker in their marriage and their walk with God, we are blessed by hearing powerful testimonies and receiving encouragement and inspiration to do more.  “Blessed to be a blessing” indeed!

P~  Father, I humbly thank You for this (often messy, but) beautiful life!

Obedience…It Usually Doesn’t Make Worldly Sense | Michelle Myers

S~ At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River and wanted John to baptize him.  But John tried to stop him, saying, ‘Why do you come to me to be baptized?  I need to be baptized by you!’  Jesus answered, ‘Let it be this way for now.  We should do all things that are God’s will.’  So John agreed to baptize Jesus.  Matthew 4:13-15 (NCV)

O~ In our worldly minds, it would make sense for the one and only, Jesus, to baptize John.  John was a good guy, a servant, a disciple;  but he wasn’t the Savior. Yet, according to Jesus, God’s will was for John to baptize Jesus.  So, even though it probably didn’t make sense or seem “worldly right” to John, he was obedient to God’s will and baptized Jesus.

A~ My husband met a man at a church group recently.  The man , who was in the Air Force, has been given another assignment, that would require him to go over seas for another year.  However, he has enough years in, that he could choose not to take the assignment and retire.  He also has been accepted into this amazing program that would train him to teach.  It would require him to teach in an inner city pubic school in Memphis.  After a year, he would have earned a MA in Education.  Then he would be required to teach three more years in Memphis’ inner city.  When my husband told him about my teaching experience, him and his wife wanted to meet with me and gather some information.

He was excited about the opportunity.  Teaching in an urban school was a dream for him.  He felt that God was leading him in this direction.  His wife, was a little more cautious.  She just finished school and started working full time as a dental assistant.  They lived in a nice upper-middle class neighborhood.  They still had two kids in school.  This teaching opportunity would require a lot of sacrifice.  His monthly pay would decrease dramatically.  So much so, that even with his retirement from the Air Force, they would have to rely on her job as a dental assistant to help support them.  She also would have to take more classes and do some additional work, to be able to be a dental assistant in another state.  Her perspective was, they had worked so hard to get where they currently were.  Why would they want to give that up?

Honestly, I could empathize with both sides.  I have had a great deal of change over the last five years.  There were days that I longed for some sense of normalcy.  I also know what it is like to have worked hard to get somewhere, to finally make some headway, and the thought of giving all of that up, can be unsettling…..to say the least!  It doesn’t make worldly sense.   I also understand having God tug at you so strongly, that the only way you will ever find peace is through obedience.  And knowing, that if you don’t follow Him, it will be a huge mistake, that you will regret the rest of your life.

Of course, I could not tell them what God’s will was for their life.  I have enough trouble trying to figure that out for myself sometimes.  All I could do, is give them some information, that might make God’s direction more clear.  I talked about the mistakes I made when I first started off teaching.  I talked about the challenges of working with inner-city youth.  There was nothing I could say to ease the fact that it would be a huge financial sacrifice.  Yet, I was able to tell them what I have gained from my students and my teaching experience…empathy, a greater understanding of people’s challenges, spiritual clarity, skills that made me a better parent, lessons that made me a better follower of Jesus, etc.  None of those can be bought.  I was also very open about why I quite teaching, the struggles my husband and I have had in our marriage, and how part of my heart still desires to currently work with inner-city youth; but God has lead me to be at home, focusing on my own children during this particular season in my life.  I also told them, that I have found, that no matter how much the sacrifice doesn’t make sense, that if it is God calling me to do it; He will give me the ability to do it.  That doesn’t mean He will make it comfortable or easy. I have given up that misconception.  It may be hard to remember this; when I am going through it, it stinks, and I am so very confused; but in the end, I am a stronger person, a better follower of Him, and way closer to Him than I was before I ever started.

P~ Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to meet with Paul and Heather.  Speaking with them, and writing this; has been beneficial in helping me recognize and remember, what I have gained from my walk with and obedience to you.  It didn’t make sense at the time.  It didn’t follow the way the world said that I should do things.  Yet,  what I gained, was something that could not be bought with money.  I never would have gained it, had I opted to stay in my own little secure world.  God, I pray that you give both Paul and Heather, clarity and discernment, in regards to the direction in which you are leading them.  Because, I know that, even though it doesn’t always make sense to us, you have a powerful and important lesson and purpose for us.

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Posted on April 16, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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