July 23 2 Kings 20; Isaiah 38,39; Psalms 75; 1 Peter 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.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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Your Nearness, My Good | Tara Wiley

S~ We thank you, oh God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 75:10 (NLT)

O~ I hear the echo Psalm 73:28 (NASB) here:

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;

I have made the Lord God my refuge,

That I may tell of all your works.

A/P- You are near, and that is good.

You are near, nearer than my very breath.

You are my next breath.

And when I sink deep into this amazing truth, I cannot help but pour out praise.

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Out of Darkness | Kelley DeAses

S~  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

O~  I chose this verse initially because my pastor cited it in Sunday’s message.  The theme of his sermon was Jesus is our priest, and He calls us to be priests as well: in our homes, in our country, and in our church.  The rituals and traditions within a family help solidify loyalty and security, which bonds us together.  Observing patriotic traditions builds national pride and a sense of brotherhood with fellow Americans, past and present.  And being a priest in our church is not reserved only for the pastors and leaders or those who have attended seminary.  We are all called to play our part within the body of Christ, the Church.  We are further called to teach and foster the tenets of our Christian faith to our watching children.

A~ After the morning we had in our house this morning, the phrase in this verse that really pierced me, though, was not about the royal priesthood but how we have been called out of darkness and into his wonderful light.  While Peter is certainly referring to how we were saved from our darkness and despair when we first accepted Jesus Christ’s offer of salvation, in my experience we can move from darkness back into the light time and time again.

Today began to go downhill fast as the simple act of getting dressed brought whining, tears, and feigned helplessness from my little boy. This, in turn, produced frustration and yelling on my part.  And my mind so quickly went to this dark place, which sounded something like this: “This child will never just do what I ask without argument, negotiation, or a full-blown tantrum!” and “I am completely out of my depth to train up this child!”  My poor husband came home from work in the middle of this messy scene, and was so good to diffuse the tension and act as mediator between us.  Within a few minutes, my son and I repaired our breach and hugged it out.  It felt a lot like coming out of the darkness and into the light, the place of peace and harmony where God wants me to remain.

P~  You have called me, not once but time and time again, to come out of the darkness brought over me by sin and clouded perspective, and come into Your wonderful light, in which I find life to the full.

Peace, not War | Robin Laney

S~ Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11 (NIV)

O~ Peter is speaking to the conduct of Christians and how living good lives in a culture so contrary to God’s character can make a positive difference in the lives of those around them by helping them to see Him.

A~ Living in perfect communion with God would be amazing. I sometimes wonder what in the world Adam and Eve could have possibly been thinking in the garden risking the relationship they had with their Father. And then I look inside myself. I don’t have to dig too deep to find examples of my own dabbling in sinful desires. Why do I entertain thoughts or give in to desires that I know cause a rift between my heart and God’s? Whenever I push aside His warnings or nudging and go my own way I feel immediately distanced from Him and disappointed in myself. Those feelings, if left to fester, can then affect other relationships in my life and sometimes even keep me from putting my faith into action as the enemy lays shame on top of my conviction. It is truly a war that happens in my soul as I fight to wade through and out of the messes I make for myself.

God longs for us to live in His perfect peace and to experience abundance of life and joy through our relationship with His Son, Jesus. Peter, I’m sure, knew the struggle these early Christians faced because he had his own sinful desires to contend with. Our battle is no different today. We must take each thought captive and reject those that would cause division between us and the Father and wage war on our souls.

P~ May each of my thoughts, Lord, each of my desires be examined to discern whether they are Godly. Give me discernment to treat each one properly for the good of my soul, our relationship, and Your Kingdom. Lord, help me deflect any sinful desires so as not to even entertain even the possibility of a war within my soul. I want to experience the fullness of our relationship and the peace You have for me. Train my mind on You and help me to guard my heart against anything that would set me against You.

Do What I Know is Right | Kim Chipman

S~ It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you…For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment. 1 Peter 2:15, 19 (NLT)

O/A~ First, I know darn well my life isn’t the life of a martyr. I don’t have to look far to see people being persecuted for their faith, beheaded by ISIS, etc. However, I am really feeling the tension lately of living out what You are calling me to do WELL. I was talking with another gymnastics Mom about this at our meet this weekend. Her perspective was a fresh reminder of what You have already planted in my heart…I love it when You speak to me…I am thankful for this reminder.

“I just live it out,” she said. Regardless of what others choose, even (especially) in our own homes, not with some crappy attitude, just live it, just do it, just BE what You ask me to be. Gently, lovingly…live it out, reflect You, be Your light. My life could speak volumes if I could get over my desire to be understood and accepted. Live truly for my audience of One, just for You.

Using Christ as my example –

v 22 You never sinned or deceived anyone

v 23 You did not retaliate when insulted

You did not threaten revenge

You left Your case int he hands of God, who always judges fairly

v 24 You personally carried my sins so that I can be dead to sin and live for what is right

If I want to live like You – and I do! – then I can follow this example. And instead of focusing on the struggle of it all I should focus on YOU – run with endurance the race You have given me by keeping my eyes on YOU (Heb 12:1-2)

P~ Help! I want to do this well. Regardless of what anyone says or thinks I want to please You. I love You!

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Posted on July 23, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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