April 21 1 Samuel 24; Psalm 57,58; 1 Chronicles 8; Matthew 8
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.
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Personal Responsibility | Kim Chipman
S~ May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 1 Samuel 24:12 (NIV)
O~ David is talking to King Saul. Saul has been chasing David around trying to kill him. David was in a position to kill Saul, but he didn’t. David left that in the hands of the Lord, but he refused to be the one to do wrong.
A~ Personal Responsibility. This is what I’m feeling in my heart that You are reminding me of. When I am in conflict with someone I can trust You to be the judge. You see everything and know every heart. Even if it is within my power or ability to take someone down, to be right, to be justified in anger or revenge, to MAKE it right (in my eyes) I can choose to walk away and TRUST You to handle the wrongs the other has done.
(You will also handle my wrongdoings…but that’s another story…)
Sometimes I am truly not taking the high road of integrity and TRUST. I have choices in my relationships. I can be like David and act with integrity and trust, or I can handle things myself – essentially not trusting You.
P~ Lord, You are trustworthy! You are almighty God, creator of all things! You see each heart. Including mine. I can trust You with my entire life! Help me to walk in integrity and trust, knowing You will handle others wrongs – and mine! Help me to let go! I love You!
He IS Our Peace (Eph 2:14) | Vicki Burns (guest post)
S~ Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. :24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. :25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord save us! We’re going to drown!” :26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. :27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27 (NIV)
O~ It is delightful in its simplicity. Jesus “got into the boat and his disciples followed him.” Here’s a picture of the humble, eager surrender of these chosen, grown men who follow this renegade Rabi wherever He leads. No one else has the Words of Life. He IS their Peace.
Isn’t it always the sudden, “furious storm,” that knocks us right off our feet? I know many of us are struggling even now midst some angry storms of life and it’s easy to forget Who led us here. Yes. Right where it seems we’re going to drown…Jesus is sleeping. Such catastrophe can cause despair and we cry out for a Word from His mouth. True faith knows where to turn and He alone can deliver.
Great storms of doubt and fear of soul, under the power of the spirit of bondage, sometimes end in a wonderful calm, created and spoken by the Spirit of adoption. They were astonished. They never saw a storm so turned at once into perfect calm. He that can do this, can do any thing which encourages confidence and comfort in him, in the most stormy day, within or without. (Isa 26:4) Matthew Henry
A~ I have been sort of grieving lately. Not overtly but it is just an undercurrent of grief that has taken me a good while to identify. Where, I ask, is our peace? Deep. Peace? The Peace I speak of is the One we’re named after. We are Christ-ians, Christ-like ones. We are called His name! He is our Peace. (Eph 2:14) Jesus has cleared a path for us to fellowship together and to praise Him. Why then do I doubt He will deliver me? Why don’t I trust, He is good? Discouragement has taken hold. Well, I’ve heard it before and I need to hear it again; “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Is. 29:11) NIV We mustn’t stop there though; in verse 13 it goes on, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” When I begin to believe I can slip into half-hearted devotion to the Lord and be heard, He remains asleep in my boat. It seems to be when I’m desperate enough to show up with my whole heart and cry out to Him, He shows up! He is never half-hearted! And when Jesus shows up, He brings Peace with Him. That’s Who He is.
I Thessalonians 4:18 directs me to encourage one another particularly with the reminder that Jesus is coming back for us! He died and rose again and He will have our loved ones who have died with Him at His return. (This is like a mega-Christmas beyond what our minds can possibly wrap around.) He will (vs. 16) “descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (vs.17) Then we who are alive, who are left, will meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. (:18) Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (ESV)
We are all people and people are good forgetters! Yup, spell-check says it’s a real word! I need to be encouraged. I need to be reminded and to get proficient at reminding those around me who really believe these waves are going to be the end of them. I must remind them and remember that this earth is NOT our home, (Heb. 13:14) and we are just passing through! And our end? Well, let’s just say, that’s where the real fun begins!!!
P~ I need to bask in Your Word, Father. Tell me again what it’s going to be like when we’re all rejoicing in Your presence forever. Show me today, glimpses of Your glory and the power of Your Might so I may praise You all the days of my life…right here in this wild-rocking, wave-swamped boat. I am Yours and there is no safer place to be than where You lead! May Your great name be praised forever!
* Note on joy: To be sure, we have much to lament in this dark hour. Yet, I find if I listen, God is prodding me to celebrate. Yes, He is calling me to cast aside all restraint in singing His praises! There’s power in it and there is joy in it…and joy?! Well, that is my strength! Ephesians 5:18b says, “…be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV) “What?!! That sounds like crazy talk!” Well, no. It’s pretty much a directive…not even a suggestion! It can seem as though joy no longer is allowed in Church! I don’t get it but it’s no wonder so many believers are discouraged. If we dared tried to practice Eph. 5:18b-20 we’d surely be ostracized…for being fake. It seems to be assumed that if you’re truly happy, except some unusual happy circumstance befall you, that you are either shallow or you’re just faking it. Maybe this is a problem? Just thinking. Do you have joy? I plan to give space for joy, to learn to bask in it and let it change me from the inside out. True gratitude turns into joy. Make me truly grateful, Lord!
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