April 17 1 Samuel 19; 1 Chronicles 7; Psalm 59; Matthew 4
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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Bullies Stink! | Michelle Myers
S~ For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter, consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more. Psalm 59:12-13 (NIV)
O/A~ After speaking to our oldest daughter last night about some of her issues at school, her negative thoughts and attitude, and her potential; there has been a lot weighing heavily on my heart. She is not a bad kid at all. Her grades are good, so that tells me she is, for the most part, doing what she is supposed to be doing. She is not the type of kid who is going to go out of her way to be mean or nasty to her peers for no reason. In school, she is struggling to find her niche and her tribe. She loves working with kids, and volunteers at the church day care on Sundays. She loves to read. Otherwise she is struggling with her identity, gifts, and potential. We came up with some goals this summer in regards to her preparing to babysit by taking some CPR/First Aid classes, volunteering at places with kids, and even countering the negative thinking with positive thinking. I felt like we had a good plan in place, or at least a good start.
However, this morning You have been speaking to my heart about the big picture. She has asked to be home schooled before, and I wasn’t for it. But in seeking guidance from You, You have shown me that might be the best option for her. Her main issue at school, is the crap that kids are verbally throwing at her. Most of the time, it is out of nowhere and just to be mean. It is bullying, and keeping her there is damaging her more than it is helping her at this point. My bully was my mother, and I hated being at home. It was scary, uncomfortable, and fostered an atmosphere of constant anxiety. She is dealing with that everyday I send her to school, and it is impacting her thoughts, moods, and attitudes outside of school.
I need Your help God. I need direction in what other programs or activities to get her involved in. While being home schooled, she needs to have positive social interactions with others her age. She also needs foster the gifts and potential that You have given to her. Plus, I am going to need a lot of patience.
P~ Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to stay home, which allows me to consider home schooling. I know this is from You. It is a lot like when You told me to quit my job. It seemed crazy, unwise, etc. But, You knew best. So, if this is the route we ultimately decide to take, please just guide us, help us, provide the necessary resources for healing; so she can work toward reaching the potential that You gave her, and do it with joy in her heart.
Temptation | Nikki Metzger
S~ Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. Matthew 4:1 (NLT)
O/A~ Something in my core doesn’t like that Jesus was tempted. Because if Jesus was tempted, I’m going to be tempted. And, dang it, I don’t want to be tempted. I just want everything to come easy and natural to me.
I think I will always be tempted to fill my Temple with unhealthy food choices. And to not exercise. Jesus had one response to temptation – He used Scripture – our one offensive weapon against the devil!
Yet, I don’t reach for Scripture to fight. I try and battle it out with my own will. I lose every.single.time.
P~ Oh Lord….please fill my heart and mind with Scripture to beat temptation!
“Away from me, Satan!” | Kelley Deases
S~ “Away from me, Satan!” Matthew 4:10 (NIV)
O~ During this episode where Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted, the most powerful tool he showed us how to wield was the truth of God’s Word. Whenever Satan came at Him with a distorted version of the truth, Jesus rebuked him with real truth. But here he also adds a forceful “Get away! Leave me alone!” He seems to be encouraging us that even if we feel inadequate to recite Scripture in our moment of weakness, we can still rebuke our Enemy and send him away.
A~ My husband’s nephew, Michael, is his only relative who lives nearby. On occasion, we will reach out to him or he to us and we will take him to dinner or church and catch up on one another’s life. Michael is the son of one of John’s older brothers who was young and irresponsible when he got his girlfriend pregnant. So Michael has been raised by his maternal grandparents in Omaha since birth. In that sense, he has had the advantage of being brought up in a nice house, with resources, and by a married couple he calls Mom and Dad. But he seems to be plagued by the demons of his past, and over the course of his life has followed more closely in the footsteps of his biological father than his adoptive one. Our latest contact with Michael was just the other day, in the jail where my husband works. Michael is facing a list of charges, to include third-offense DUI. What’s worse, we are aware through social media that he has a new baby with his girlfriend. Sadly, history is repeating itself. When I look at this young man, I see so clearly the divergence in paths he could have taken….and still can. Perhaps this will be his rock-bottom moment, the time he is able to stand with Jesus and shout at Satan, “Go away!”
P~ Father, I pray right now for Michael, that he might turn and start making decisions which are life-giving and forsake this path of destruction. I pray this is a testimony in the making and not a downward spiral from which he feels he cannot return to the surface.
Jesus’ Message | guest post
S~ From that time on, Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.’ Matthew 4:17 (NIV)
O~ This sums up Jesus’ message. Repent. Turn away from your sin. The Kingdom of God is near. Don’t miss out on life anymore! A new way is made! You do not have to live a life separate from God anymore.
A~ Jesus came to do the will of His Father. He preached the Good News – a way out! It is my job, as a follower of Christ, to do the same. The Kingdom of God is near, because we can live that way today – here on earth! Enjoy His presence now! That is what will attract others to Him – living a joyous life that reflects the freedom of His love.
P~ Jesus, Sweet Jesus, please help me to tell others about you. Help me to live a life that is worthy of Your name – a life that will draw others to You. Thank you for providing a way that we can be redeemed and have fellowship with You. In Your precious name, Amen.
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