October 20 Job 6,7,8; Acts 12
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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Loving for God’s Sake | Tara Wiley
S~ One should be kind to a fainting friend, but you accuse me without any fear of the Almighty. Job 6:14 NLT
O~ This verse is a difficult one to translate, apparently, because different translations give widely varied takes on it. So I need to use the Bible study skills I’ve learned through inductive Bible study teachings by Kay Arthur (if you ever want to learn how to interpret Scripture, I highly recommend her 30 day book “How to Study Your Bible”): look at the context, and look at the overarching, clear themes of Scripture. The context: Job is in misery and in desperate need of strong support by Godly friends as he struggles through trials of a level few ever experience. The overarching themes: the fear of God leads us to action. Action that honors God almost always leads to loving people sacrificially.
Our culture says we should surround ourselves with strong people, avoid the weak, do things that make us feel strong and happy and secure. Sitting with a weak, desperate, perhaps even faith-questioning friend is messy. It is not happy-making. It may make us hurt, or cry, or be really worn out.
But it is a Godly directive. We are to ‘mourn with those who mourn’ (Romans 12:15) and ‘bear one another’s burdens’ (Galatians 6:2). And, oh, the pain is worth it. This is the real meat-and-potatoes of following Christ (Galatians 6:2 even says we ‘fulfill the law of Christ’ when we bear one another’s burdens). It’s living out what He did for us – entering into our mess, offering hope and perspective and rescue. And love. Oh, the love. So we comfort others with the comfort we have received (2 Corinthians 1) because we are so grateful and we just have to share it with others who are hurting. Even if it hurts us to do so.
We choose to be kind to a fainting friend.
A~ A dear friend lost a co-worker and friend to cancer this morning. The woman was a young mother of three who was healthy and working six weeks ago. It happened so fast. My friend has never lost anyone close to her, not even a grandparent. This road into grief is completely unknown. My eyes filled with tears as I held my friend today. I know what’s coming. I also know there’s a way through these murky waters that leads to hope. But I know there will be dark days where hope may seem lost.
As Christians, especially as Christian leaders, we are tempted to think we need to do all this ‘well,’ whatever that means. We need to be sad, but not too sad. Angry, but under control. Questioning, maybe, but not really doubting. And there must be an appropriate time frame for grief, and then we must heal, or move on, or whatever you want to say.
Real life is messy. Real grief can be very messy. We do one another a terrible disservice to just say ‘I’ll be praying for you,’ and walk away.
So, in the days to come, I will choose to be intentional. I will send a few random texts. I will call. I will bring comfort foods and little hope-reminders. And I won’t quit after the funeral, because that’s when the rubber really meets the road (hey, reader, here’s an idea: if you know someone has lost someone dear, and the highly-attended funeral will be overflowing with flowers, why not hold off and send your flowers a week or two later, when everyone else has gone back to life-as-usual and the griever is left wondering how in the world everyone else is back to Technicolor happy when their world is still dripping gray? Just a thought.). And oh, I will pray. Because our fainting friends really need our prayers (that’s when the enemy spies a weakness and closes in with all sorts of awfulness. We need to pray for their protection in the middle of the yuck!).
P~ Lord, my heart just breaks for Natalie’s family and friends, and especially for my close friend who is facing the unchartered waters of grief. Walk with them. Carry them, Lord. Keep the light of hope clear as You light their path through the valley of the shadow of death. And help me be a good friend.
Are you grieving? This song is from an amazing grief-album by Karla Adolphe, available to download for a small suggested donation at http://noisetrade.com/karlaadolphe/honeycomb-tombs. The songs are honest and can give words to the unspeakable seasons of grief.
Special scripture—back from the Dominican Republic | Joni Tyner
S~ As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Luke 10:38 NLT
O~ This verse is preceding Luke 10:42, “there is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”—(hopefully readers recognize Luke 10:42 as the key verse of Discover One Thing)( Quick background, Jesus and his disciples are traveling through the country and have stopped at the home of Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. Martha is excited Jesus is coming and has been busy preparing food for the weary travelers.)
A~ I shared in a post a couple of weeks back about my opportunity to go on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic. I am now back home and I find myself thinking through the details of trip as well as what my specific purpose was. And I was torn… does giving humanitarian aid mean I am only a “nice person”? Was I acting within God’s will if the team’s focus was medical intervention instead of the eternal souls? I also questioned myself and wondered if I was doing too much “kitchen service” (actually hospital/nurse tasks) . If God tells us in Luke 10:42 that Mary has “discovered the one thing worth being concerned about” does that mean that tangible service for God isn’t in His Will?
Through sharing my experiences and thoughts with some other Christian believers, I feel I have come to a better understanding of these scriptures and I am now feeling the confirmation of God’s purpose for me. I think Jesus wants me to first give Him my heart and love Him. I’m convicted He wants me to consider Him before I go off and do “kitchen service”, not simply serve in the absence of Him. Colossians 3:17 confirms that when we acknowledge Him through our actions and speech, He is glorified. — “And, whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
So, just as Martha was ready and eager to give hospitality to Jesus and His weary disciples, I should also be ready to serve. I think the key thought with any service opportunity is that I should always examine my motives and my heart. I believe God is calling me to have a Mary heart with my priorities aligned to Him—and to tangibly service Him with a Martha work ethic.
P~ Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity that I had to travel to the Dominican Republic with the ENT Pediatric Mission team. I loved seeing the beautiful countryside you created. I loved seeing Your children worship You in a different language than I speak. I got the opportunity to speak Your universal language of love through smiling, hugging and laughing with the children and their families. I pray that seeds were planted for the Great Harvest. Lord, use my hands, my feet, my smile, the joy you’ve placed in my heart to attract others to You. I pray I am alert and available and ready for Divine appointments you have given me throughout my day. Please don’t let me miss the opportunities you’ve given me. Jesus, I love You so!!!!! I thank you for the energy, the finances, and the time to go on this trip. I pray you water and grow the seeds that were planted.
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Posted on October 20, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Acts, Bible, Bible reading, Bible Study, daily devotions, discover one thing, discoveronething, discoveronething.com, Job, life journal, Luke 10:42, SOAP note. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.