August 16 2 Kings 24; Jeremiah 22; Psalms 112; John 18

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 Am He | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him.  Stepping forward to meet them he asked, “Whom are you looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth, “ they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said.      John 18:4,5 (NLT)

O~  It is time.  The men, led by Judas, arrived to take Jesus and eventually lead him to be crucified.  It says here that Jesus was fully aware of all that was going to happen and he stepped forward and faced it.

A & P~ Dear Jesus, you are so courageous.  You give me courage.  Help me to face things in my life that I want to hide or run from. Give me courage to say, “Here I am.” Thank you for dying for me, for us.

Sucking it Up! | Michelle Myers

S~ They were asking this to trick Jesus so that they could have some charge against him.  John 8:6 (NCV)

O~ The people have an adulterous woman, and were ready to stone her for her sin.  Jesus’ response was to bend down and write in the dirt with His finger.  The Bible says that they kept asking Him questions.  He raised up and said, the famous remark about anyone who has not sinned, can cast the first stone.  The people then left one by one, leaving Jesus alone with the woman.  In all of chapter 8, Jesus has to put up with a lot from people.  The Pharisees tell him that what He says about himself is not true, because He is the only one who says these things.  The people don’t understand what He is talking about when He says He will leave them.  They question if He is talking about killing Himself.  They argue with Him about not being slaves, and they don’t understand why He says they will be free.  They argue about Him not knowing Abraham.  They call him a Samaritan and accuse Him of having a demon in Him.  They picked up stones and threw them at Him.  All of this junk from people, was meant to test (trick) Him.  Even if that was not their intent throughout, it certainly was the enemies. Throughout, from the incident with the adulterous woman to them throwing stones at Him, Jesus remains calm and peaceful in his words and actions.

A~ I want the calmness and peacefulness of Jesus.  I am surely not where I was prior to everything coming out, in regards to my husband’s addiction and the yuk that followed.  However, I am not where I was a year ago.  I have made progress.  Sometimes it is difficult for me to see, because I remember the BA Michelle (before the addiction Michelle).  In the healing process, You are reminding me of how I got there before, and what is keeping me from getting there now.  You are also showing me that I am sometimes the stone receiver and sometimes the stone thrower.

When I was teaching, I got to the point where I could keep my peace with my students, regardless of what their behavior was or what words they were throwing at me.  It helped me be a more successful teacher.  BA, I was this way with my husband, mother, and mother-in-law.  My mother isn’t in my life anymore.  My mother-in-law is deceased.  I am making huge strides, again, in this area with my husband.  I have even made a great deal of progress when dealing with my kids, who can bombard me with questions, needs, and want to argue every little point, at times. It is even made more difficult by the fact that our space is very limited, and finding a quiet place to reflect and recharge is hard.

In regards to our financial circumstances, I am still having stones thrown at me.  I deal with them much better than I did when I first came back.  Yet, the consistency and never ending cycle of them, can start to wear me out.  You have shown me, how the testing in this one area, still can throw me off track, and how, if I don’t deal with it by going to YOU, it can snowball and magnify the situations in my life to the point where I lose perspective.  And even going to You, sometimes is frustrating, because I want better or more helpful answers or solutions than, “This is a test”.  But, I am beginning to understand that if I ever want the success of Jesus when it comes to calmness and peacefulness and fulfill my purpose; I am going to have to stop arguing with YOU for the duration, allow you to take as long as YOU decide to take, and suck it up, and trust YOU at all times.

P~ Thank you God for not giving me a character or spirit that quits.  I want to sometimes.  I say that I am going to sometimes.  But, even I know, while speaking those words, it isn’t going to happen.  Even if I try, YOU make it so unbearably uncomfortable for me.  Please just help me with acceptance and surrender.

Truth | Kim Chipman

S~ Pilate said, “So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. John 18:37-38a (NLT)

O~ Jesus is standing trial before Pilate. Jesus is explaining that He is a king, but not of this world. Pilate seems either confused or cynical – so are you a king? what is truth?

A~ I see these attitudes in the world we live in still, even among believers sometimes. Really, is Jesus that big of a deal? What is truth, really? It seems popular/common to create our own truth. It’s all relative anyway, right? Many paths lead to one end? Blah, blah, blah. I mean, really, who wants to be such a Jesus freak anyway? Aren’t you taking this a little too seriously?

Awhile ago I read a book by Andy Stanley called “The Principle of the Path”. In it he says this: “Our problem stems from the fact that we are not on a truth quest. That is, we don’t wake up every morning with a burning desire to know what’s true, what’s right, what’s honorable. We are on a happiness quest. We want to be – as in feel – happy. And our quest for happiness often trumps our appreciation for and pursuit of what is true.”

I think this was true for Pilate and it is often true today. The quest is to be right, to be liked, to be comfortable, to have a peaceful home, to make it look good on the outside anyway…the quest…is that what the quest should be? It’s easy to see around me, but what about IN me? Where am I pursuing happiness over truth? Comfort over truth? The external over the internal? The truth will always be the truth whether I pursue it or not. Gravity doesn’t stop holding me in my chair just because I stop believing it is true.

Your truth can set me FREE if I remain faithful to it.

P~ Lord, help me see! Help me see where I am choosing comfort over truth. I know sometimes I avoid things when I get overwhelmed – or when I ‘know’ I’m doing the right thing. But my heart is deceitful above all things…help me to keep a soft, sensitive heart so I can hear You AND Your truth and choose it. Help me to have a discerning heart. I love You!

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Posted on August 16, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Jill, I don’t think it ever said what he was writing. I think the point was, that He knew they were trying to trick Him, and He wasn’t going to play their games. Instead of getting into a “battle” with them, He peacefully did his “own” thing in the dirt, made his comment about sin and throwing the first stone (truth), and let them process it on their own. I learned to do this along time ago with my students. I am getting better at it with my own kids, and not getting sucked up in the “drama” they have with each other. When they come to me with their grievances with one another, I usually counter it with truth about their own behavior, and leave the area for them to marinate on it. Usually, they have done or are doing the same thing they are complaining about their sister doing, but don’t see it. Me getting caught up in it, trying to play mediator, only ends in a circle of “she said, she did, etc,” and that only festers my frustration with them both, nor does it allow for them to reflect on their part or ownership in it all. If we are outside, maybe next time, I will pull a Jesus on them, and start writing in the dirt. If nothing else, the minor issue will be dropped, because they will be so embarrassed, they will scatter away from me and forget what they are bickering about. 🙂

  2. I thought this last week when I read this chapter. What was Jesus writing in the sand?

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