July 25 Isaiah 43,44,45; 1 Peter 4

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.

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I Will Be With You | Kim Chipman

S~ When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

O/A~ What a beautiful reminder! First, I notice that You tell me WHEN I go through difficulty – WHEN I walk through the fire – not IF, but WHEN. so often when things are hard I feel like I’m doing it wrong, but that’s not necessarily true. I need to check my self for sin, but struggle here WILL happen!

Your sweet, precious promise? You will be with me. I will not drown in it, it will not consume me. Often my feelings tell me otherwise, but this is Your TRUTH.

P~ Thank You for Your Word! I love You~

Every Day | Kelley DeAses

S~  I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, “Seek me in vain.”  I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.  Isaiah 45:19 (NIV)

O~  God — who remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow; whose truth is eternal — this God is not hiding from us.  He desires we seek Him and find Him.  He is available and waiting.  When we discover all else in this world is broken, lacking, incomplete, and ultimately disappointing, He will still be God and He will still be waiting, bidding us to come.

A~  Two days ago, I sat with my open Bible in my lap and dutifully read the passage I had set out to read that day. (After all, my accountability partner would be expecting my text!)  But I did not exactly lap up that Living Water like a thirsty animal.  Instead, I skimmed over these truths almost as if they were not God-breathed or as if His Spirit couldn’t use them to instruct me.  Maybe “prepare” me would be the better choice of words.  See, two days ago I was not feeling my need so intensely because there was no crisis on my radar.  (Maybe that is a good thing, but more likely I should be casting a wider net and purposing to be engaged with “someones” in crisis.  How else can I be His hands and feet?)  So that day I sat and read, uninspired to even journal anything God might be trying to show me.  Then I had a day that drove me back to my knees.  Some family friends reached out to our family for help.  I found myself perched between debilitating heartbreak and compassion, but at he same time a desire to mobilize and rescue.  In the middle of my heightened state of emotion, a misunderstanding erupted at the office that led to sharp words and hurt feelings.  By five o’clock, I had cried off all my make-up and by nine o’clock was ready to crawl into bed.  Okay, okay…I get it already!  I need God’s Word and God’s touch every day, even if I might not feel like it!

P~ Father, You offer Your very self through Your Word.  I tell others how they can find You there.  I guess I just needed reminding myself.

Meddling | Robin Laney

S~ If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 1 Peter 4:15 (NIV)

O~ When we are insulted because of our faith, and it is strictly because of our identity as a follower of Christ, we should rejoice in our suffering. However, we must be able to discern whether the trial is caused by our Christianity or by our own wrongful actions or attitudes.

A~ This verse caught my eye and, particularly, the word ‘meddler.’ I looked it up in Vine’s Dictionary and it said, “See BUSYBODY.” The original word in this verse meant an overseer of something belonging to another person. It was a legal term for a charge brought against Christians as being hostile to civilized society, their purpose being to make Gentiles conform to Christian standards. Some explain it as a prying into others’ affairs. Ouch!

I know what constitutes right and wrong behavior when it comes to God’s law and man’s law and, while I recognize that my behavior as a Christian might be spotlighted or scrutinized more or differently than one who doesn’t claim to follow Christ, I realize that when my actions and/or attitudes violate those laws I deserve to suffer the negative consequences. I must discern that I alone am responsible for those sufferings because I alone caused them.

According to this verse, meddling is included. Unlike criminal behavior, being a busybody is a little gray for me. What is considered meddling? In today’s world, I wonder if the use of social media to fling Scripture, meant for the ears of the people of God, at the masses would fall in this category. Posts applying God’s law and scolding those who don’t recognize Him as the ultimate authority over their lives and this world are taken as personal attacks. Could protests and sign holding and lobbying also be considered hostile to civilized society? Are angry people yelling through megaphones on street corners drawing people in to listen or condemning them to Hell? From the perspective of many, these behaviors would probably be considered meddling and their reaction to us can be mean and hurtful. So then, can we take the ill effects of these actions as persecution? Or is our approach wrong and worthy of suffering at the hands of those we offend?

I know, for me, before I chose to follow Christ, the words of the Bible very rarely made sense to me and those things that appeared to be crystal clear seemed to cover me in shame and guilt.  Not liking those feelings, I deflected the convictions and ignored the Truths. At that point, God and all who spoke His words were meddling in my business. I, like so many others, was blind and deaf to the things of God. What finally grabbed my attention was not finger pointing or a list of shoulds and should-nots, but instead a message of hope and grace and love and forgiveness that broke through the seemingly impenetrable walls I had placed around my heart.

I am glad to have found this verse today and will definitely be more measured in my words and attitudes towards those who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and I will be careful to discern whether someone’s vile response to me is truly because of my faith in Him or if it is a valid response to my wrongful actions. I don’t want to confuse negative consequences for meddling with persecution.

P~ Father, I still don’t have a crystal clear picture of what You consider to be meddling but I realize that I must pray that You would help me to discern it; that You, by Your Holy Spirit, Your Word and wise counsel, would speak through me to season my words and temper my attitudes for the benefit of those within my reach; that You would pour out Your Wisdom on me so that I would know when and how to speak about You with those You place in my path; and that Your mercy and grace and love would ooze out of me so that Your words, coming through my mouth, would be like a soothing balm, a healing salve, a refuge from the storm, and a life changing comfort to those who would hear them or read them instead of a swinging blade laying waste. I trust that You will be faithful in this! Help me to heed Your promptings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on July 25, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Oh Kelley, I have done the same thing far too many times. You think I would have learned by know. 🙂

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