March 24 Joshua 18-20; 1 Corinthians 9

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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So Close to the Promised Land | Joni Tyner

S~ Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the LORD , the God of your ancestors , has given to you?”   Joshua 18:3  (NLT)

O~ Joshua has been dividing up the promised land to the tribes of Israel. This was their earthly inheritance.  Some of the tribes, however, procrastinated and didn’t fight for their land. They also failed to completely drive the Canaanites. This was a big problem because their pagan culture infiltrated God’s people.

A~ The Israelites had been a homeless people for 40 years.  They were now physically in the promised land. Why on earth would they not embrace God’s blessing?  This seems crazy to me…yet do I do this in my own life?

Maybe I’m like these Israelites.  I wonder if I’m so close to the promise land, yet I hesitate with the final step of embracing God’s best for me?  I wonder if there is sin in my life that God wants to eliminate and I think that it’s okay and we (me and sin) can peacefully co-exist?     I wonder why when I read about the tribes in Joshua it seems so obvious that they will be blessed if they just follow through with what God has for them–yet I can’t see it in my own life?

P~ Dear Lord, please remove any blinders I have and allow me to see all that You have planned for me.  I want to be a soldier that fights for You, not a passive wanderer who never makes commitments and has follow through.  Please reveal to me any sin that needs to be cut out of my life.  I want to finish the race You have set before me with excellence.  I love You.

For the Win! | Robin Laney

S~ Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. 1 Corinthians 9:26 (AMP)

O~ Paul uses the example of the Isthmian Games to inspire followers of Christ to stay the course and run hard the race God has set before them. When running a race, the goal is to cross the finish line first. There is one goal and in order to win the prize, one has to have focus, determination, and discipline. The course for us, as Christians is well-defined and the prize worthy. We are well equipped, if we so choose, to run the distance and finish well. Along the way, there are temptations and distractions galore but we must stay focused on the goal. Our eye must ever be on the crown.

A~ I have been thinking a lot lately about living victoriously in Christ. What does it look like? Is it possible? How do we overcome the obstacles thrown in our way every day? Can we live in this world but not be weighed down by the hard things? How do we stay focused on the prize and not be distracted, avoid temptations that would derail us, overcome injuries along the course so that we can finish strong, not get caught up fighting the wrong battles, continue to run hard when we are exhausted by the realities of life?

Life is tough. We are human. How do we live in the world but not be consumed by it? How do we complete the mission set before us when there are forces working hard against us to get us off course? I don’t have the answers except that it seems to me that we don’t tap into God’s power nearly enough, we lose sight of the goal, peter out too quickly, and just flat give up when the course is too difficult. I wonder what we could do, individually and collectively, if we got really focused on the crown.

P~ Lord, the race is long and hard, even grueling at times. The hurdles can be high and the uneven ground treacherous. There are distractions all along the course and it’s so tempting to slow down and sit down. There are people encouraging us along the way but also jeering voices that ring out telling us it’s too hard, it’s not worth the effort, we aren’t strong enough. We get weighed down by what we carry in our packs – old junk and new stuff gathered as we run. Lord, help us to stay focused on You. Let us hear Your voice above all of the others. Strengthen us and give us courage to run strong and finish well. Help us to stay the course!

Run Your Race | Kelley Deases

S~ Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. I Corinthians 9:26 (NIV)

O~ Paul likens his preaching the gospel to running a race or competing in an athletic competition. When you are invested in the outcome, with your goal in mind, you train with purpose. Otherwise, what motivation have you to push yourself physically to the point of pain and exhaustion? Paul brings that same focus and dedication to his “race” in the service of Christ.

A~ Almost two years ago now, a couple friends and I took on a “Run For God 5K Challenge.” We determined to follow this program, which would take us from couch potato to running a 5K in a couple months’ time. Our goal was to participate in a fundraiser race for a local Christian homeless shelter once we were at that level. And we did it! The combination of starting small and gradually increasing the time and miles, having the accountability of my friends and then my husband (who was so thrilled to see me off that couch he couldn’t help but join me!) and the concrete goal of having a race on the calendar resulted in the most consistent running regimen I have ever been on before or since. (I really need to do that again!)

In the same way, I have a Bible reading plan to follow, a friend to hold me accountable via text message every day, and the goal of hearing God’s voice and putting what He tells me into practice for my good and the good of those around me. Where the stakes are so much greater, I must be that much more disciplined and dedicated to my race.

P~ Father, Every day is race day. Not a 5K or a marathon, but a chance to met with the Almighty and receive my course map.

Get Into Gear | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.  Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT)

O~ Maybe it’s the words “like an athlete” but this verse pumps me up. Inspires me to get going with the work God has for me.

A~ I need to focus myself and my energy into the work you have for me.

P~ Thank you for Jesus. Help me to focus.

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Posted on March 24, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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