November 11 Psalms 122; 1 Corinthians 9,10,11

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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All Things To All People | Kelley Deases

S~ I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  1 Corinthians 9:22b (NIV)

O~  Paul offers his life as an example of what it means to be sold out for the message of the gospel.  He gave himself completely to be used by God however, wherever, and with whomever God directed.

A~  I told my husband this should be his life verse.  He has such a heart to evangelize, and his life’s path has led him down some crazy trails to where he can relate to many different people in different situations.  John has known poverty, being moved around from place to place, the divorce of his parents, alcoholic father, physical abuse, and instability as a child.  As he entered into a more structured setting at Boystown in his high school years, he excelled in academics, sports, and student government.  He came to know a real walk with Christ as a young adult and, around that same time, began a career with the Department of Corrections.  John can talk just as easily with a poor Hispanic kid as a high school athlete as an inmate from the jail as a business professional.  God has brought John through a twisted and turning road leading him to be the husband and father and mature man of faith he is today, and giving him a testimony that intersects with a wide range of hurting people with whom he has opportunity to speak.

P~ Father, I often grieve over some of the horrific things John had to endure in his younger years.  But he has always taken the perspective that his experiences have all led him to his faith in Christ and the life he has now, which he would not trade for anything. Remarkably, he has forgiven and give grace.  And he lives a life where none of that pain and hurt are lost, but instead are used as a powerful witness for Your glory!

Not Profitable | Jill Terry

S~ All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NAS)

O~ Jesus fulfilled the law making life easier for me; however, just because it is allowed does not mean it is beneficial.

A~ I am allowed to eat or drink anything I desire. If I have a diet of only junk or a lot of unhealthy foods and no exercise, my body will pay the price. I will not be treating my body as a temple to the Lord, but as a temple to my own desires. If I exercise and eat and drink healthy, nutritious items, my body will profit. I will be honoring God in the process and feeling much better as well.

P~ Thank You Jesus for Your Word and showing Yourself to me every time I open my Bible. Amen

Others and Me | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.  It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.  1 Corinthians 10:28b,29 (NLT)

O~ Paul was talking about food offered to idols.  He’s reminding them that it isn’t just about them and their freedom, but to be considerate of where others are and their consciences as well.

A~ I need to be considerate of others and sensitive to where they are in their walk.

P~ Dear Father, thank you for the freedom I have in you.  Help me be sensitive to others and where they are.  Please give me wisdom..

Examine ourselves | Nikki Metzger

S~ But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way.  1 Corinthians 11:31 (NLT)

O~ Paul is talking about examining yourself before taking communion.

A~ Examining myself or reflecting on my actions, thoughts, relationships is good.  Well, it’s good when I examine myself through Scripture and not just my fluffed up opinion about myself.

My life seems pretty cyclic.  I usually have the same old frustration, same arguments, same old attitude about stuff.  If I examine myself through Scripture, God can give me insight on my cycles of behavior and together, with God, I can start making changes.

One thing lately that has me all fired up is the disrespectful tone my daughter uses when speaking to me.  Oh baby….it makes me want to put on my boxing gloves and go at it!  Well, since I’m super mature, I’ve tried that approach to her behavior and one of us usually ends up in tears or my husband has to step in. So as I examine MY heart to see where God is speaking to me, He is allowing me to remember things from my work day.  I work with moms and babies.  When toddlers start temper tantrums, I gently remind those moms that the toddler has a lot of emotions and they don’t have the logic yet to control those emotions, so they have a fit.  I encourage those moms to stay calm and help their toddler with all of those emotions.

DING DING DING!!  When my daughter has disrespectful words for me, I CAN stay calm, help her with those emotions and sort through those emotions with her.  It’s never perfect, always messy, but one day we will get it right and our conversation will be filled with grace and peace.

P~ Father, thank You!  For wisdom to be able to reflect and examine ourselves in the light of Jesus!  What a gift!  And thank You for my precious, spirited girl.  What a challenging season we are in!  God, I seriously ask that the work done in this season is not done in vain and will one day pass through the fire.  And God, I ask for our conversations one day to be grace and peace filled!  Please!  In Jesus’ Name I pray!

People Pleasing? |Kim Chipman

S~ I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:33 (NLT)

O~ Paul is teaching about idol worship. As believers we have a lot of freedom, we aren’t under the law anymore through Christ, BUT we must think of others.

A~ At first this sounds like straight up people pleasing, which I’m sure isn’t from You (Gal 1:10 if pleasing people were my goal, I wouldn’t be Christ’s servant) However…”Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.” 1 Cor 9:19 “I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some” 1 Cor 9:22 “Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:23-25

THIS is godly people pleasing and it all has to do with the goal. The goal of worldly people pleasing is to get people to like ME. The goal of godly people pleasing is to get people to follow YOU.

And I can’t lead anyone to You if I offend them. Paul is talking here about truly valuing others’ feelings above our own and rather than criticizing or judging how others think or feel just meet them there. Respect them. I may feel differently, or may not understand, but if my goal is to lead them to You I need to work to understand/accept not judge/criticize.

I’m realizing that the way people behave is often really weird in relation to their heart. Anger is often pain. Narcissism is often shame and insecurity. Judgment is pride and lack of confidence. Often people who are really difficult to be around because they are just abrasive feel so unworthy of love and acceptance. If I truly “don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others” then I will need to be willing to be inconvenienced and uncomfortable at times “SO THAT MANY MAY BE SAVED”.

This is serious business. It’s not just about my comfort. It is about saving souls.

P~ Lord, help me to remember this! It’s SO clear to me right now, but when real life difficult people are all up in my business it’s harder to remember. Whatever I do may it be for YOUR glory! I love You!

Cups Don’t Matter | Robin Laney

S~ For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:33b-11:1 (NIV)

O~ Paul sought to glorify God in everything he did and said so that as many people as possible would be saved through Jesus Christ. His focus was not on himself or his rights or his comfort but on others. He didn’t want to do or say anything that would cause people to stumble in their faith or turn away from God. His example was Christ who made himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant, humbling himself in obedience even to the point of death for the sake of all mankind. When his accusers hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to God. His kingdom was not of this world. Paul is urging the Corinthians and us to follow Christ’s example so that many might be saved.

A~ There are so many people who are being tossed about by the waves of this life; pulled under by unbearable circumstances; fighting for every breath; drowning in addiction, illness, depression, hunger, insecurity. There are so many who wake up each day lonely, frustrated, worried, desperate for someone to hold them and searching for a glimmer of hope in this crazy hard life. People walk around us every day who believe that this life is all there is and spend their lives chasing after stuff that has no eternal value, gathering things that will rust and rot and will never bring true joy or peace.

There are so many who claim to follow Christ who spend their days fighting battles they weren’t created to engage in, focusing on temporal issues, yelling and raising signs and lobbying to change laws that won’t matter in the end. They are bitter about coffee cups that don’t have snowflakes on them and county courthouse lawns that don’t have Nativity scenes and store clerks that say, “Happy Holidays.” They spend millions on purposes that have no eternal value while there are mothers with unplanned pregnancies who need love and support, foster children who long for loving families, families all over the world that have no food or clean water or medical care, people who are homeless and ill and lonely, refugees fighting for their very lives every single day. Our focus gets skewed and we get so easily distracted. Isn’t that just where the enemy would have us? Fighting battles that aren’t ours to fight. We have a purpose. We are born to bless God and share the Gospel. We are here to love and we have a perfect example in Christ to follow. Time is short. We have no time to waste because many die without knowing Jesus every single day and many others are languishing in this life when they could be living abundantly in Christ, the Hope of Heaven. We must get straight in our heads and hearts which things belong to Caesar and which belong to God. We must recognize that this is not our home. We are citizens of Heaven and our job is to show others the way to Jesus. It’s not about us or our rights or our comfort. It’s all about Jesus.

P~ Lord, set our hearts and minds on You! Give us eyes to see those around us who need Your love and let it flow through us. Let us not be bitter or demanding or rude, turning people away from You but, instead, let us show them how much they are loved. Lord, let us follow Your example of humility and selflessness so that many will see You and follow You, being rescued from the miseries of this world by Your extravagant love, amazing grace, abundant mercies, endless hope, indescribable joy and peace that surpasses our understanding. Focus us, Lord.

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Posted on November 11, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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