August 12 Jeremiah 10,11,12; John 14

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

Want to walk through the Bible one book at a time? Head over to Discover One Thing Online Study!

Endurance | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Then the Lord replied to me, “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?  Jeremiah 12:5  (NLT)

O~ This verse reminds me to look to you for strength because I will need it, and to keep on keeping on.

A~ I need strength and endurance.

P~ Dear Father, thank you for being there. I ask you to strengthen me for the race.

Suffering Won’t Be Avoided | Michelle Myers

S~ If you get tired while racing against people, how can you race against horses?  If you stumble in a country that is safe, what will you do in the thick thornbushes along the Jordan River?  Even your brothers and members of your own family are making plans against you.  They are crying out against you.  Don’t trust them, even when they say nice things to you!”  Jeremiah 12:5-6 (NCV)

O~ This is God’s response to Jeremiah questioning Him about why evil people are successful and why dishonest people have such successful lives.  WOW!  I asked these same questions yesterday.  Jeremiah, like me, even talks about the people who make it look good on the outside, but ‘behind closed doors’ are not the people they present to the world.  And similar to my own case yesterday, in regards to Your justice, I presented my case about how I am trying to listen, obey, and glorify You, and there seems to be a trial and perceived failure every step of the way.

A~ I really wanted to make sure I understood Your answer to Jeremiah, because it would also be Your answer for me.  After searching various places, and asking for Your wisdom in how these verses apply to my life, I got a few things.

First, Your expectations for Jeremiah and me are different, because You have gracefully given us the power to be courageous enough to handle the greater struggles we will encounter in doing what You have called us to do.  You do this to strengthen us and prepare us for the struggles.  Struggles that other people will not face.  To be honest, I am not really looking forward to more discomfort in the future, but it is Your plan, not mine.  And, I also know the alternative for me, is to stay miserably stuck, because along with grace and power, comes the knowledge that I am not doing what You have called me to do.  You have made the knowledge and the avoidance of it, in the form of inactivity or trying to prevent it and not being able to, so unbearably uncomfortable that either way, I am going to suffer.  When I suffer for You, there is at least a point and purpose behind the suffering.

Second, from my Bible notes, I got that it is because of Your grace that I have the courage to live out Your calling on my life.  You have not given everyone this grace.  I need to appreciate and value what You have given to me in regards to this.  I need to pray for those whom You have not given it to, instead of being frustrated, impatient, and judgmental of them.  I understand, as I do not always take this approach.  This approach has become even harder for me and less frequent, the more pain they have caused me.

Third, like me, Jeremiah’s family, the people we believe should be the ones to have our backs, love us unconditionally, have our best interest in mind, etc. are not the people in which we are going to experience those things.  It is through members of my family, that the enemy has done some of his best work, and has caused me the greatest pain.  Families are made up of people, and people, including me, on some level just stink.  It is through this stinkiness, that the enemy works.  I need to not only be aware of the characteristics in me that make me a stinker, in which the enemy can work through, but also with my own family members.  My responsibility is to keep my eyes focused on You, as you are the only non-stinker, and respond to them in a manner that aligns with Your character.

P~ Thank you God for the grace You have given to me, in giving me the strength and courage to do the things that You have called me to do.  This is an honor, and I need to use it to glorify You.  I need Your help in changing my attitude and perspective, as sometimes, I don’t want go through the YUK, and spend a great deal of time trying to avoid it, then frustrated because it wasn’t avoided in spite of my efforts.  Help me accept what has not been avoided in the past, and what will not be avoided in the future, and not let it derail me into a mental hurricane of frustration and trying to figure it out.  But instead, help me respond to it, in a peaceful and joyful manner, using the wisdom that You give to me.  Please help me remember that I am going to suffer one way or another, and that suffering can either be from my own stubbornness and will (which serves no good purpose) or for Your glory (which gives purpose to the pain).

Spirit-led Obedience | Tara Wiley

S~ If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. John 14:15-17a (NIV)

O~ I’ve often heard verse 15 quoted alone. I’ve also heard verses 16 and 17 quoted by themselves. But a key rule of Bible analysis is to study verses within their context, and I find this context incredibly comforting.

“Keep my commands.” A terribly difficult thing to do. Knowing that a proof of my love for God is obedience can be so discouraging at times, when I am faced with my human tendency for failure. BUT the next verse reveals the power God gives to help me: the Holy Spirit, my helper and my advocate.

The word for advocate implies two strong ways the Spirit helps us: He is a comforter who comes to our aid, a supernatural assistant and empowering agent. The same word also means advocate in a legal sense – he comes to our defense.

“Obey my commands,” Jesus says. But knowing our human nature, he follows up with the gift of the Holy Spirit who helps us obey and defends us with the blood of Christ when we fail.

A~ I need to remember the power that is at work within me! What a gift! I can replace the lies of the enemy who whispers you can’t do this faith life with the amazing truth of this Scripture, I have a supernatural power within me Who equips and defends me!

P~ Lord, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit! Help me be submissive to Your promptings. Help me to discern your voice. Lead me to deeper submission and obedience as I fall more in love with You. Thank You for defending me when I fail. I am clean and pure in Your eyes, with new mercies and new equipping power every morning. That’s amazing.

Love is a Choice | Kim Chipman

S~ I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going. John 14:30-31 (NLT)

O~ This is Jesus speaking.

A~ I love this reminder of the choice Jesus made to willingly obey the Father. “He has no power over me” – that is true for me, too if I’m choosing to tap into the power of the Spirit. It reminds me of 1 John 4:4 …”the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” I know the evil one can mess with me…and he does! But he does not have power OVER me – He who lives in me is greater!

Like Jesus, I can choose to willfully submit to the Father and do what He asks me to do so that the world will know I love Him. What amazing love that perfect Jesus would do what the Father requires so that the world will know! He CHOSE to show His love for us by suffering, he didn’t have to do that. True love can only be shown where there is choice, and Jesus chose it for us.

P~ Lord, help me to continually choose You. So the world will know I love You.

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Posted on August 12, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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