Daily Archives: May 21, 2015
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
Celebrate! | Kelley DeAses
S~ Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; … Ps. 98:1 (NIV)
O~ I am coming off a weekend of celebration: the high school graduation party of a dear family friend; the wedding of a sweet young lady with whom I traveled on a mission trip to Jamaica several years ago, which was also a reunion of sorts with other friends from the trip; the welcoming and receiving of a new pastor at the church where I am employed, this after a two-and-a-half year wait (Not only did the congregation accept the nominee, but he was voted in unanimously and with thunderous applause!). And perhaps less profound in the scheme of life (or maybe not) my husband took our little boy on his first fishing outing, from which they brought home five rainbow trout and great stories of their adventure together.
A~ It is so good to bask in these times of celebration — to marvel at the work of God’s hand — as an oasis from lives that can seem mundane at best, and just plain hard at worst. He allowed me these two days of real connection and heartfelt joy to bring me back into alignment. To give me a hint of my heavenly home. While we know that in this world we will have trouble, I think God smiles to see us take delight in the blessings of enjoying His children and His creation.
P~ Father, Thank You for this weekend. And thank You that I can sit at Your feet this morning and reflect on all these events with You. Because You were there.
Don’t Point Fingers – Robin Laney
S~ You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Romans 2:1 (NIV)
O~ Paul has just finished speaking to the people of the Church in Rome about all of the people who have been handed over, by God, to their own sinful desires. He lists all sorts of behaviors that are seen as impure to God. I’m sure the people are thinking in their heads that they are glad they are not ‘those people.’ In the next breath, though, he likens them all to those very people who sin against God. That must have been a shock to them and very humbling. Every human being created is in the same sinking boat when it comes to who we are before a Holy God without Jesus.
A~ I have felt as these people must have felt. I am maybe a bit indignant at first but then humbled as the Holy Spirit works on my heart. In fact, every time I find myself angry or disgusted by someone else’s sin, I feel this little tap on my heart (sometimes a smack.) Once He gets my attention, He reminds me of who I really am and that I am not different that the one/s I am angry with at the time. Oh, but for the grace of God, go I.
A message formed in my head against someone else becomes a lesson for my own heart and He replaces an attitude of condemnation with one of grace and compassion for the other person. He softens and sweetens my words and actions to reflect His love.
P~ Father, thank you for the grace You pour out on me every day. I am so thankful for Your Holy Spirit in me, Who reminds me constantly of who I am and guides my words and actions to reflect Your grace and compassion on others who are just like me when compared with Your goodness. Help me to have self-control to respond immediately to His direction so that people can see You more clearly through me.
Oh, Hypocritical Me! | Michelle Myers
S~ If you think you can judge others, you are wrong. When you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty, because you do the same things they do. God judges those who do wrong, but you do wrong yourselves. Do you think that you will be able to escape the judgment of God? Romans 2:1-3 (NCV)
O/A~ I am often asking God to show me what I am not seeing or understanding. The other day, I had a general conversation with my husband about how I dislike it when people expect me to do or ask me to do, something, they themselves would not be willing to do. Not being able to do something and not being willing, are two totally different things to me. In another conversation, my husband expressed some anxiety about a lifestyle change that he needed to make, that he knew would be uncomfortable at first. It is also one that I expected him to make. And then, God showed me a lifestyle change that I needed to make and have been avoiding, because it will be uncomfortable at first. He also showed me how I too, have a lot of anxiety about the discomfort I am going to go through.
Upon this revelation of my own hypocritical ways, I was able to be more empathetic toward my husband and his anxiety and struggle. I confessed to him how God had connected the dots of our previous conversation and with my own changes that need to be made.
P~ Thank you God for not leaving me blind to my own shortcomings. As we embark on these changes that we both want to make, but just don’t want the discomfort of going through, help give us strength.
God praise ONLY! | Nikki Metzger
S~ And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people. ~Romans 2:29b (NLT)
O~ This part of Romans identifies that a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God.
A~ Ruminating on this verse…why? Why would a changed heart want to find praise from God vs. from people? As one who struggles daily with wanting people praise, it’s lovely to get praise from others! It really boosts my spirit and energizes me to keep going. And if I’m really honest; God never audibly says to me, “Good job, Nikki!”
But God is WAY smarter than me. He tells me to seek praise from Him, not people. I wonder if it’s because people are fickle and base their praise off of performance? Whereas, my God, He bases His praise of me on who created me. At my very worst, when people can’t even stand to be around me, there will be no praise happening. But even in my ugly, God will ALWAYS be right there cheering me on.
I’m set apart, holy, beautiful, loved, redeemed, purposed, forgiven, anointed for His glory, blessed!
P~ Father, Thank You!!! Grow in me a faster turn to You for praise!
** PS – I hear my praise from God when I spend time with Him 🙂
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