March 30 Judges 8; Psalm 42; 1 Corinthians 15

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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Lessons From My Father | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, “Kill them!”  But Jether did not draw his sword, for he was only a boy and was afraid.  Judges 8:20 (NLT)

O~ Here Gideon had captured Zeba and Zalmunna, kings of Midian and he tells his son to kill them after learning that they had killed his fellow Israelites (verses 18-19) And then Gideon tells his son to kill these kings.  This verse stood out to me because the role of a father in a person’s life.  The things they try to teach their children.

A~ This made me think of how I accepted my father’s teaching.  I didn’t.  I was rebellious and he wasn’t around much.  That rebellious attitude (I know what’s best for me and will decide that) carried on in me, and I have always decided what’s best for me.  You know this about me and you still love me and call me to rest in you.  Yes, rest.  Because the “I will decide what’s best for me” attitude does not bring me rest because I really don’t know. You do, though.   My earthly father is longer here, but my heavenly father will always be, and there are things still to learn.

P~ Dear Father, thank you for loving me with all my flaws and thank you for your tender guidance and patience.  Please forgive my attitude.  I need your help, I don’t know what’s best for me and I want to learn.   Please help me be teachable. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

A trap for my family | Nikki Metzger

S~ Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown.  But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family. Judges 8:27 (NLT)

O~ Gideon just kicked butt over the Midianites.  The Israelites wanted to make Gideon their ruler, he said no, God was their ruler.  That’s great, but Gideon also asked for gold earrings that he melted into an ephod (something usually worn by a priest).  The ephod became a trap for Gideon and his family.

A~ Why did Gideon refuse to be the people’s ruler, but make himself an ephod, that represented him being like a religious ruler?  That ephod ended up as an idol for a lot of people.  Why, why, why did this happen?  What can I learn from Gideon making an ephod that became a trap for him and his family?

Incredible, large amounts of success, especially with God, can be a stumbling stone?  Especially in the time period after?  That’s when one’s confidence and trust in God is high, and maybe one is forgetting to check their heart?  Maybe success with God brings an arrogance that we had a part or piece in making it happen?

P~ Father, I’m just not sure what this means…..You chose Gideon, and after the big win, Gideon chose an object that turned into an idol….not only was Gideon affected, his whole family fell into a trap.  God, I don’t want that for me and my kids!  Father, please give me a heart that won’t allow this to happen, that my eyes never stop focusing on You!  Thank You!!

Meeting with You | Kim Chipman

S~ My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:2 (NIV)

O~ This is how my heart feels lately. I have been a bit inconsistent with my quiet time for a variety of reasons. Kids on spring break, not sleeping well…just out of my routine a bit. Some days I’ll read and pray for a couple hours and other days I miss entirely. I know this isn’t the best plan for my heart to be healthy. I need You daily. You are the daily bread – manna – for my soul.

A~ These verses describe how my heart feels right now. Thirsty for You. I miss You. I need You. I can meet with You any time, anywhere…today I will focus my thoughts on YOU more than on ME and my feelings!

P~ Help my discipline – fill my heart! I love the peaceful feeling of being intimately connected to You. Help me remember what my part is in that…meeting with You, communing with You, focusing my thoughts…help! I love You!

Not Without Effect | Kelley Deases

S~ But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)

O~ “[H]is grace to me was not without effect.” Paul first acknowledges that everything he has, everything he does, and everything he is all comes from God. It is only by His grace — His unmerited favor for us — we have our life and breath, our being, our talents, our opportunities, our relationships, our possessions. But we should not stop at being passive receivers of grace, spoiled children who only think of their own wants and needs. Paul puts what God has graced him with “into effect” by giving glory back to God and offering up his very life in the service of God’s purposes.

A~ That is the cry of my heart as well. To the extent God has shown me grace, in countless big and small ways over the course of my life, I want to “activate” that grace through my words and actions.

I think back to the time during my freshman year of college when I fell asleep at the wheel on the interstate while driving home for a long weekend visit. By God’ grace, I survived that accident, without so much as  a scratch, despite crossing one median and two lanes of oncoming traffic and careening into a ditch which totaled my car. By God’s grace, I didn’t injure or kill anyone else, which surely would have resulted in a future marred by guilt and shame and emotional wounds. By God’s grace, I have enjoyed twenty-eight years (so far) on the other side of that accident, years in which God has allowed me to travel, marry, have children, form friendships, and get to know Him more and more.

This is but one example of God’s graciousness to me. I could write for days and still not recount them all.

P~ Father, Help me to recall all the ways You have shown me grace over my lifetime, so I may be spurred on to lead a life “of effect” to show my sincerest gratitude and to live in obedience to Your call.

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Posted on March 30, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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