March 22 Joshua 12-14; 1 Corinthians 7

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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Speak Faith | Vicki Burns (guest post)

S~ I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions,but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the Lord wholeheartedly. Joshua 14:7-8 (NIV)

O~ Caleb, who had eyes of faith, believed God when He said He would drive the enemy out before them. What he saw then, was already conquered territory! He could probably just “see” land flowing with milk and honey. And after 40 years in the dessert, how amazing that he could almost taste the victory?! His feet actually stood in the Promised Land! He was ready to take it! His brothers, however, could only report “the facts,” what they saw with their blind eyes. They took the position of doubt. They would’ve questioned, “What if God is not with us to drive out the enemy as He has said? How will we fare against these giant people?”

Today, we need words of faith to strengthen and encourage the hearts of the people. We need words that remind us that no matter what is coming on this earth, God has promised to drive out our enemies before us AND our dessert wondering is almost over. As Caleb was ready to battle the enemy knowing he had the Lord of Hosts on his side…or rather, he was on God, the Victor’s side and conquest was imminent.

A~ Okay. It’s true. I admit it. I’ve been a bit of a “news hound” and political critic. Not only so, but I have also worked to keep “the facts” front and center on social media. I fancied myself to be a “town crier” warning everyone of the doom that surrounds us everyday. I took this on because I became aware of the censorship that exists in our news media sources. “Just the facts.”

Well, it has finally occurred to me that dry facts paint a bleak picture of the world without God. But I’m a believer! I know God is doing all manner of amazing acts right before my face that I do not “see.” I know for a “fact,” that glorious victories are being enjoyed by God’s people everyday, everywhere and they are the news that needs to be reported! Sure, the age is growing darker spiritually. God’s Word warns us of this. But we should know and should be reminded who has the real victory here. We do!… through Christ! AND we can walk in that victory now if we will but choose to speak faith to our challenges rather than allow the “cares of this world” to “melt our hearts” of faith. We choose…every minute of every day.

Caleb knew. He heard the murmuring of defeat. But he had the inside advantage. He. Trusted. God. — Do you? — Will I?

P~ Holy God. You dwell in highest heaven yet look on us with tenderest mercy. Help me turn a blind eye to “the facts” without faith and lend You my ear to hear and speak Your Words of faith to my own soul and to the souls around me. Grant me this victory, I pray. In the powerful victorious name of Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen!

Because he Followed the Lord | Kim Chipman

S~ So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. Joshua 14:14 (NIV)

O~ My study Bible notes say that Caleb is recalling and now realizing the promise from the Lord 45 years earlier.

A~ 2 things…

  1. 45 years!? I could learn to be a little more patient. That’s a long time to wait for a promise to be fulfilled.
  2. Caleb was given this land as inheritance because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly. The initial promise came in Numbers 14 when the men who were sent to explore the Promised Land brought back a report that the people were too strong and they couldn’t conquer them. Joshua and Caleb saw a land flowing with milk and honey and confidence that with the Lord they could certainly conquer it.

Caleb and Joshua had faith in God’s ability. They didn’t get discouraged or negative like the others. Their faith was rewarded (but WAY later!)

P~ Lord, help me to be like Caleb! Help me to trust You no matter the circumstances or the time it takes. You are able. Grow my faith deep! I love You!

Let Them Go | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ But if the husband or wife who isn’t a Christian insists on leaving, let them go.  In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.  1 Corinthians 7:15 (NLT)

O & A~ I think this verse is helpful in other relationships also, not just marriage.  Our faith is visible (hopefully) enough for people who get to know us, to see. If, because of our faith, they choose to go then it’s ok. I cant’ change that and I definitely shouldn’t try and hide my faith for the friendship.

P~ Father, I tend to want to please people, but help me not to do it at the cost of my faith.

Married or Not, No One Is Spared | Michelle Myers

S~ But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. 1 Corinthians 7:28 (NIV)

O/A~ Here, Paul reminds me of a protective parent.  I can relate to that.  When I see or experience mistakes, hardships, etc; I don’t want my kids to go through that.  So, I try and protect them.  Yet, You have shown me that nothing is going to keep us from facing many troubles in this life.  As human beings living in a broken world, none of us will be spared.  Even Paul, who remained unmarried, faced some brutal troubles because of his commitment to You.

Paul goes on to talk about how, when one marries their concerns are divided.  Their main focus can’t be just serving and pleasing You.  They also have to be concerned with serving and pleasing their spouse.

Paul was truly a bachelor at heart, and he was a bachelor for the right reasons.  You made him that way.  That is the circumstances You gave him, in regards to how he is going to serve You.  It is not surprising to me then, how he really does miss the “big picture” in regards to this “marriage thing” and serving You.

We live in a broken world, with broken people.  We, ourselves, are broken.  There is no escaping it. There just isn’t…..married or single.  Yet, it is through whatever broken circumstances that You give to us, that You grow and change us; so that we may serve, please, and glorify You.  You gave me a husband and two children.  My time spent serving and pleasing them, isn’t separate from my serving and pleasing You.  By doing what You have told me to do for them, regardless of how I feel about it or truly want to do, I am serving and pleasing You.

P~ There was a time, when I was “feeling Paul” in regards to the marriage thing.  I had been hurt so much and lost so much, that I thought, “This junk has not been worth it.”  I didn’t see You in it at all. It was just a huge ball of pain, loss, and confusion.  I am sure that many people have felt this way, in regards to circumstances in their lives, not just in regards to the challenges of marriage.  I am so thankful that You have given me eyes to see the big picture.  I am also thankful that You have given my husband these eyes also.  It has really helped our marriage and family become one that is glorifying to You.  Please continue to help us grow, serve, and please You in the circumstances that you give us as individuals, as a married couple, and as a family.  Please continue to work on our children and their eyes, so that as they progress through this life, the big picture becomes more clear and focused for them.

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Posted on March 22, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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