July 29 Isaiah 57,58,59; Psalms 103; 2 Peter 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.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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The Good Stuff | Robin Laney

S~ You wear yourselves out trying the new and the different, and never see what a waste it all is. You’ve always found strength for the latest fad, never got tired of trying new religions. Isaiah 57:10 (MSG)

O~ God is pointing out to his people all of the ways in which they have abandoned him for idols, other gods in their lives. They cast idols out of metals and woods and worshiped them, they sacrificed their children, they set up shrines to their gods in their homes and opened themselves up fully to their influences, they prettied themselves up and sold themselves to these false gods. Even when those idols delivered nothing of value to them and they tired of their efforts, they wouldn’t turn back to the one true God. They just chased harder or sought others.

A~ In my younger years, before I knew Christ, I chased madly after all sorts of idols. Fun, entertainment, clothes, parties, a cool car, none of which I could afford. Nothing deterred me except, finally, boredom. I needed a new place, a new scene, new people, new fun. My plan to move to another state and start a new life gave me new hope and energy. I was excited again. Chasing after something new, but not God.

And then I met Dave and my new plan was replaced by a newer plan and my attentions were now all on this new relationship. A new lease on life, new experiences, new love. It was really good but still, God had no high place in my life. We settled into life together and it was good. We recognized God in our lives but He was in no way number one. Dave had golf, work, school and Husker football. I had kids and church activities. We got a bit bored and decided to move to another state. We were excited. A new adventure for our young family. Chasing after something new, but not God.

During our five years away from Omaha, we encountered God in a new way. He became our focus more and more and we got to know Him more fully. Our desire to be part of His exciting plans led us into homeless ministry and then children’s ministry and it was an amazing 8 years of seeing Him work all around us. Then we took a break from it all. Lately, I find myself looking to other things to fill the empty places. Technology is a huge waster of my time, energy, creativity, productivity and mind. I know this and I also know what God has to offer yet I choose to immerse myself in the distractions of social media and the internet. I choose mindless activity over fun and work and creativity and my family. It’s an idol in my life and I need to rid myself of it because it does not offer me life or breath or meaning. God is the only one who offers those things and I want to chase after Him.

P~ Lord, bring to my mind what real life lived fully for You looks like. Remind me how it amazes me and fills me and grows me and fascinates me. Father, I don’t want some cheap imitation of a life offered by worthless idols and false gods. I reject a life without purpose or meaning. I want the good stuff! I want You and more of You!

Courage to Get Up Again | Tara Wiley

S~ A message from the high and towering God, who lives in Eternity, whose name is Holy:

“I live in the high and holy places,

but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed,

And what I do is put new spirit in them,

Get them up on their feet again.

For I’m not going to haul people into court endlessly,

I’m not going to be angry forever.

Otherwise, people would lose heart.

Isaiah 57:15ff The Message

O~ “I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” (NLT)

When we come before this high and holy God, He meets us where we are. And when we place our sin, raw and exposed, before Him, He not only forgives but restores.

A~ When I am grieved over my habitual sin rearing its ugly head again, Satan loves to whisper defeat-defeat-defeat to my already bruised heart.

But when I refuse his lies and listen instead for God’s true voice, I hear: “Up on your feet again! Courage, Tara!”

And courage is just what I need. He knows that. He gives it. And with hope and renewed determination, I get up to try again.

P~ Oh Lord! Holy God! That You see me in my sinfulness and don’t turn away in disgust, but reach me right where I am and put a new spirit in me… leaves me speechless and grateful. Thank You for being only a breath away, and for giving me a fresh start within that single breath. I breathe in Your restoration today and breathe out worship, for You bring healing, leadership, comfort, praise and peace (Isaiah 57:18-19).

Promises | Jill Terry

S~ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NAS)

O~ Jesus is coming back. He isn’t being slow. He isn’t abandoning His people. Jesus will be back on His timetable, not mine. Only He knows when that is going to happen. Jesus wants no one to perish, but to be able to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Someday, soon all believers will spend eternity with Jesus and this lifetime will be nothing but a blip on the screen.

A~ Jesus wants my two non-believer sons to be in Heaven with Him even more than I want them there. He loves them even more than I do. He is infinitely more patient than I am. I know He will relentlessly pursue them and that one day my sons will become believers. The depths of His love for my sons (and all of us) is unfathomable to me.

P~ Thank You Jesus for loving my boys and desiring to spend eternity with All of us. Amen

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Posted on July 29, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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