May 13 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21; Psalms 30; 1 Thessalonians 2

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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.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan 

Consider the Cost | Tara Wiley

S~ But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” I Chronicles 21:24 (NLT)

O~ Deep principles are at work here. Coming to God on the coattails of someone else’s journey just doesn’t pack the same spiritual punch. When we come to God with our everything – when we consider the cost of saying Yes to Jesus and decide it’s worth every penny — when we go and refuse to let someone else do the work of seeking, following, obeying God fully –that is when we discover a depth of spiritual grounding that is irreplaceable. Almost indescribable.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” James 4:7-10 NLT

David drew near and God responded with fire to consume David’s guilt.

Thank God for Jesus’ sacrifice that consumes our guilt!

A~ There’s a lot in today’s readings that I do not understand (the way Satan and temptation and God work — I know the intellectual and theological explanations but it is so hard to read these parallel passages and not have questions all over again), so I have to return to faith. God’s ways are higher than my ways. I will trust Him. I do not understood the inner workings of God in a world ruined by sin.

But what I do know stands above all of that.

He is sovereign.

He is good.

He is trustworthy.

He is working.

He is redemption.

P~ So I consider the cost of going all in again today. I look at the hard choices and the exhaustion and the confusion when Your Yes flies in the face of worldly wisdom – and I say

I trust You.

I need You.

I want Your presence.

I want Your consuming fire to make me pure again.

I see the cost to me, and it is so small compared to the price You paid.

Give me courage to say Yes again today.

Show me where that Yes needs to sweep in and change me.

And help me trust You more — enough to say no to my flesh so I am free to say Yes to You and experience the amazing Fire of Your Spirit and presence.

Give Something of Value | Joni Tyner

S~ But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the LORD.  I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!”  1 Chronicles 21: 24  (NLT)

O~ Here’s the background to this response from  David.  He has greatly upset God and caused a great plague to fall upon Israel by taking a census to count his warriors.   God had specifically told him to not do this!!   He does it anyway—and  God punishes David by sending a plague and  70,000 Israelites die.  David is horrified at the ripple effect his sin had on so many others so he pleads out to God,  (v. 17)  “I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. But these people are as innocent as sheep, what have they done?  O LORD my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people.”

So, back to verse 24. David wants to repent of his sin and plans to build an altar to the LORD on Araunah’s land.   He goes to Araunah and tries to buy the land but Araunah insists he wants to give it to David.   David responds by saying that he isn’t going to offer a sacrifice to God that costs him nothing.

A~ I think we can often see the sin of pride and selfishness in others but are blind to ourselves.  Who doesn’t notice when someone is driving a nice car or living in a big house or ________ and then they give a dollar or two as the offering plate is passed?  Or perhaps someone spends hours a week entertaining themselves with tv, golf, eating out, kids activities,  facebook, _____) and then respond  with a  “I don’t have time” when they are asked to help out at church?

I think sacrificial giving is just that.  It’s sacrificial.  It’s giving up something that matters to us.  It’s probably has financial value attached to it as well as a measure of our time.  Sacrificial giving will always cost us something.  God wants us to give from our hearts—He wants us to choose Him and His Kingdom over our own desires.  I think an area where is extremely evident is seen on Sunday morning.   How many churches struggle to find volunteers to help in the nursery, to greet, to clean up , to ______ on Sunday morning because church attenders don’t want to give up a few hours of sleep or they don’t want to take two cars to church?   How many believers sacrifice their time at their kids sports or music practice yet have “no time” to offer God during the week?

P~ Dear Lord, I can so easily be selfish with my time and my money.  Please open my eyes to areas that you are calling me to be a part of.  Please give me discernment in what to say yes to . I know You don’t call me to do everything, but You have assigned me a purpose and I want to be faithful to what You ask of me.  Dear Lord, I would boldly ask that you stir the hearts of readers today,  give them wisdom about areas in their life that might need examining.  Also, I pray You give peace and rest to some of your warriors who might be doing TOO MUCH!!!—Help them see you offer rest and peace and that too can give you Glory.  As always,  we want to give You our hearts.

Audience of One | Carrie Newell

S~ Our purpose is to please God, not people.  He is the one who examines the motives of our hearts.  1Thessalonians 2:4b (NLT)

O~ Paul is speaking to the church at Thessalonica about his ministry to share the gospel.

A~ This should be our number one goal every day, right?  Sometimes this is easier said than done.  Recently God has asked me to do something- to write.   I’ve tried ignoring it and fighting it.  I know its Gods voice asking.  So I started down this scary adventure.  When I first started, I would post my blog, then wait for comments, likes, and feedback.  I think I felt so insecure about my writing that I wanted someone to tell me I was doing good. I was doing what I was supposed to do.  Sometimes I’d get comments, and other times, nothing.  I’d almost panic.  Was this  not good enough?  Am I not relating well with people?  Are they even reading this?  But it didn’t matter.  I was not writing to please them.  I was writing to please God.

He is showing me that if I just do what He asks, no matter what the response is from others, that He will bless my writing, and me. And He is using it to speak to people about His character and His unfailing love. (Myself included!)  If I write from a pure heart, and pray about the content, then I am doing it simply because God has called me.  And that is good enough for me.  It is a freeing place to be– to live my life for an audience of one.

P~ Lord, thank you for this freeing reminder, that in my writing and in everything, my goal is to bring You glory.  To do what I’m asked.  Help me resist falling into insecurities of relying on others to assure me.  Help me lean only on you!  Amen.

Assets That Become Deficits | Michelle Myers

S~ You know that we never tried to influence you by saying nice things about you.  We were not trying to get your money; we had no selfishness to hide from you.  God knows that this is true.  We were not looking for human praise, from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have used our authority over you.  1 Thessalonians 2:5-7 (NCV)

O~ Obviously, Paul is pointing out that they had no ulterior motives.  Examining my motives, as well as other people’s motives is important.  I have also found, that examining and knowing my own, as well as other people’s character deficits, is also important.

A~ At my support group meeting last night, we discussed doing a personal inventory and the assets that we have, that we can easily allow to be turned into deficits.  In some aspects, I am different than many of the other women in the group.  Many of them struggle with compulsively “snooping” on their husbands to see what they are doing, who they are with, who they are communicating with, etc.  Some say they dislike going out in public with their spouse, because they are always worried about who they are “checking out”, scantily dressed females walking around, or even, less than modest pictures on a magazine cover.  I do have a different perspective of these things than I did a few years ago, but know I am not going to be able to “control” it enough to keep my husband from doing whatever he is going to do with the temptation that he faces.  Just as he is not going to be able to “control” the world enough, to  prevent me from giving into the temptations, that can easily take me over the cliff; such as alcohol, ice cream, too much TV, etc.

I have to take ownership and responsibility for my own health and well being.  I have not always done that.  Many of my assets, turn into deficits when it comes to me.  I care about other people.  I want to help other people.  I give to other people.  This turns into a defect when I am taking on too much ownership and responsibility for others.  In the past, I have also taken a lot of blame that they unfairly put on me.  They were hiding their own selfish motives.  Unfortunately depending on their backgrounds and the state of their minds, they may not even be aware that their motives are selfish, wrong, or destructive.  And if I am not listening to the Holy Spirit, my character defects, can easily make me an easy target or more vulnerable to their character deficits.

I would never want to purposely hurt anyone’s feelings.  I also know that some people get “hurt” by me just having my own opinion, perspective, or feelings about an experience.  That is a character deficit in them.  The “not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings” can turn into a defect, when I am silencing myself, in an effort to gain human praise or affirmation.  I also know people who misuse their authority to bully, guilt, and shame people into doing and thinking what they want; and this is also a problem with their character.

I do have many issues….. layers that need to be exposed and dealt with, worked on, and healed.  I know that.  What I have not understood, is how other people’s character deficits have played on mine.  The power these have over someone are so much more intense when they are family, when they are people you love, are emotionally connected to, etc.  These bonds and connections also make it that much more confusing.   I have learned that it is, God, I have to depend on and allow to show me, what my layers are and the boundaries I need to put into place, because of my character deficits as well as someone else’s.

P~ God, once again, thank you for your wisdom.  I am open to YOU changing me.  I am willing to allow YOU to mold me.  Help me remember that it is YOU that I need to listen to in regards to the changes that need to be made in me.  When it comes from YOU, it is way more successful and way less confusing.  Please continue to help me with discernment, in regards to other people’s character deficits.  This will help me make wiser choices in my relationships with people.

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Posted on May 13, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Beautiful ladies!
    Carrie, my verse for today was the same. Love you gals so much!!!

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