April 13 1 Samuel 14; 1 Chronicles 4; 2 Corinthians 13

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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Over and over…..God always redeems! | Nikki Metzger

S~ Even the Hebrews who had previously gone over to the Philistine army revolted and joined in with Saul, Jonathan, and the rest of the Israelites.  Likewise, the men of Israel who were hiding in the hill country of Ephraim joined in the chase when they saw the Philistines running away. 1 Samuel 14:21,22 (NLT)

O~ Before this battle with the Philistines began, the Israelites had 3,000 warriors.  The warriors began to flee as the army waited for Samuel.  They joined the Philistine army or hid in the country, dwindling down the number of warriors to 600!!  But in the middle of the battle, God used those escaping warriors for His glory to win the battle!

A~ As I’m processing some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past compared to the mistakes Saul made in his life, I’m out of sorts.  Saul was blessed with a kingdom, the Spirit of God falling on him, and relationship with the Lord.  I see impatience, pride, arrogance, jealousy ultimately leading Saul to lose the kingdom.

I just don’t want that legacy to be my life.  Those arrogant, prideful, impatient mistakes I made in my past…I don’t want those to rule my future or my children’s future.

Then I read this account of the battle and once again, I’m reassured of God’s redemption and making all things beautiful.  Those fleeing soldiers who ran in fear, who dwindled the army to 600…I’m sure as Saul was watching the soldiers flee, he started to panic and that caused him to disobey the Lord. But look at what the Lord did with the fleeing army!  He used it for good!  For His glory!  Like ALL things.  God takes the broken, ugly, messes, the sin, the fears, all the junk I have.  And then He turns it to good and beautiful.  THIS is who my Father is.

P~ Thank You!  Thank You for the sovereignty over my past!  For taking those broken decisions, my sin, my mess and making it beautiful.  I love You!

Identity Crisis | Kelley Deases

S~ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NIV)

O~ Jabez’ mother actually gave her son the name, “Pain,” describing her feeling during childbirth. This identity could have easily taken root and set this boy and eventual man on a path toward destruction. But something — we are not told what person or circumstance — intervened and turned him toward God. And God honored his fervent prayer by giving him a new identity. God freed him from “Pain.”

A~ I have assumed a number of identities in my life — some self-imposed and others given me by others. As a firstborn, my childhood and teenage memories are mostly of trying to perform well in various arenas so as to please my parents, my peers and myself. I made the cheerleading team, the dance squad, certain roles in school plays, the girls’ choral ensemble and the honor roll. Yet somehow I never felt I excelled in any of these. I was never the lead soloist or the lead role in the play; I was not the prom queen, the head cheerleader, nor delivered the valedictorian speech at graduation. Somehow, I was always not quite good enough to rise to the top.

Years later, in  law school, where I had received a full-ride merit scholarship though was not top of my class, part of the reason I chose to go out with this guy I would later marry is that he had previously dated the prettiest, most popular girl in our class. I felt so lucky to have been asked out and then asked to get married, that I could hardly refuse. Then after a few years when he found a younger, prettier model, my new identity became “Worthless” and “Cast Aside.”

Since then, God has done a work in my heart and mind, restoring my identity to “Precious Daughter of the Most High.” And when I begin to forget that, I need only open His Word or consider what Jesus did to demonstrate his great love for me.

P~ Father, Help me keep my identity rooted in You, secure in the knowledge that You do not judge by outward appearance or book smarts or athletic ability. You are crazy about me just the way You made me. I don’t have to prove anything or do anything to earn it.

Check Your Heart, Who Lives There? | Vicki Burns (guest post)

S~ Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

O~ This Scripture has the heading of, Final Warnings in my study Bible. This is a warning and a serious one. It all hinges on getting this right. We need a sober, prayer bathed session. Tests are a good way to determine the nature, strength or purity of a substance, material or body of knowledge. This test is plainly presented. Is Jesus Christ in you? Either we bare witness that He is in us or we do not.  “Murky” needs to be fleshed out to reveal one or the other via prayer, fasting, time in the Word. There are other tests mentioned in the Bible as well, such as in I John 2:3, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”

“To serve under another and obey him is one of the best ways of knowing his character. The knowledge is no mere intellectual apprehension, such as the Gnostic postulated, but a moral and spiritual affection and activity. It is possible to know and to hate. (Jn. 4:20)” “To know Christ is to love him and to love him is to obey and imitate him.” Pulpit Commentary

So, do we love and “keep” loving?

A~ Am I perfect? Heavens, NO!!! But I know Jesus Christ is in me and helping me mature in loving Him and others. My conscience does not condemn me because I have my eye on the Savior and seek to be like Him in all my ways. Everything, as far as I am able to discern it, is on the table for God to test…and I’m sure He will. Meanwhile I’m going to put myself through the paces to grow, practice and mature. No matter what though, it is God alone who is able to keep me from falling and to present me faultless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:24)

P~ Lord, I am so grateful for Your Word! How could I know my heart is secure without testing all things by Scripture? Your love amazes me! Only You make the worthless to become most valued. Help me treasure Your precious ones as You do! Your love for me keeps me and I desire to show Your love to others. To the degree I surrender to this work in my heart is the degree to which I follow you. Thank you for completing that good work You’ve begun in me through Christ.

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at prayer@DiscoverOneThing.com

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Posted on April 13, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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