April 27 2 Samuel 2; 1 Chronicles 11; Psalm 142; Matthew 14

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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Walking Out Conflicts with Believers | Vicki Burns

S~ Abner son of Ner, together with the men of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. Joab son of Zeruiah and David’s men went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool and one group on the other side. Then Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us.” “All right, let them do it,” Joab said. So they stood up and were counted off— twelve men for Benjamin and Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve for David. Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his dagger into his opponent’s side, and they fell down together… 2 Samuel 2: 12-16 (NIV)

O~ Study Bible note:

Abner suggested a form of representative combat somewhat similar to the earlier contest between David and Goliath (trial by single combat) [a fight to the death to be accepted as the will of God.] In the present case as in the earlier one, large scale bloodshed was not thereby avoided (vv. 17, 31). [Those verses show David’s men won definitively.]

What’s happening here?! This is an internal conflict of God’s chosen people gone a muck. It strikes me as both deeply grievous and epically tragic.

A~ Sadly, I feel this grief on a personal level. It is a profound sense of rejection and betrayal to feel conflicted within your own heart concerning the community of God with whom you are associated and called to serve along side. Animosity within the Body of Christ can be devastating and destructive if God’s grace does not prevail. My personal grief was born of private offense and criticism that turned over time into touches of love and prayer…though wounded, still. Rather than confront, in effort to preserve the honor of the offender, I chose to wait in my pain before the Lord to see what He would do. Would He change me more, as explained above, or is a cleansing confrontation necessary? I fear God and only desire to build up the Church, not tear Her down.

P~ See Lord? Bring to light Your heart, Your desire for us. Two reluctant forces sit by the “pool” of Your alter and await Your Word. Grant us grace to see— to hear— to receive from Your Holy Spirit, the Words of life. Fight for us Lord, so we don’t fall into folly as the mess described in these tragic verses. Intervene for us and for Your name’s sake!

Refuge | Nikki Metzger

S~ Then I pray to You, O Lord.  I say, “You are my place of refuge.  You are all I really want in life.  Psalm 142:5 (NLT)

O~ David wrote this psalm when he was in the cave, running from Saul.

A/P~ I know those moments that David described here in this psalm.  You are my refuge!  You are the only One who can hide me in Your wings.  Thank You for Your refuge Lord!  I love You!!

Solitude is Needed | Michelle Myers

S~ When Jesus heard what happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.  Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. Matthew 14:13 (NIV)

O~ Jesus just heard about John the Baptists beheading.

A~ I know I wrote about this before, how Jesus needed some alone time and the crowds still followed him on foot. This reminds me of my family.  I struggle sometimes to get the solitude that I need.

So, I have to say, that I am grieving some of that for myself in regards to homeschooling my oldest daughter.  For many years when the girls were younger, I never had the house to myself, unless I called in sick to work.  Every break, I had them.  When I got off of work, I had them.  Every weekend, I had them.  And the few occasions that they were gone, for whatever reason, my husband would be home.  I felt as if I never had the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate.

That has been one of the biggest blessing about not working.  When they are at school, I can dictate my own schedule, have my time, etc.  I need this.  Jesus needed this.  And, I am going to have to be a lot more purposeful in making sure I get it scheduled into my day, and much more adamant in regards to enforcing my boundaries when it comes to my time, space, energy, etc.

Don’t bother me unless it is an emergency or you are bleeding, will have to be defined much more clearly. Emergency isn’t a friend calling at the last minute for you to do something, and you need an answer right away. Bleeding isn’t a paper cut with just a hint of blood, in which a band-aid could easily be slapped on it and you can then proceed through the rest of your day.

I am going to need a lot of help and some natural consequences if boundaries are not respected.  Otherwise, you will see me out in the middle of one of the area lakes, in a canoe trying to have some peace and alone time.  And everyone will know it is me,  because some member of my family will be like to people following Jesus, and be following me around the lake, yelling, “Mom! Mom!  I need……Can I…….?”

P~ Thank you God for my family.  I do love them.  I really, really do.  Yet, you have also shown me that I need time away and time for myself.  Please help guide me, in what I need to do to get this time, as we start this new change and challenge of homeschooling in our lives.

Just a Little Closer | Kelley Deases

S~ When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14 (NIV)

O~ Jesus had just learned of the senseless death of John the Baptist — his relative, dear friend, and devoted prophet who pointed people to Jesus as the Christ. In his grief, Jesus withdrew for some time alone. But in no time at all, a large crowd gets wind of his location and flocks to Him.

A~ Reading this passage, I have always been struck by how Jesus, even in His own time of personal pain, has compassion on those who have come and emerges from his own grief to heal and serve and feed the people. I find the contrast to my own propensity to sulk and seclude myself in self-pity when I suffer a loss to be sobering and convicting. Yet this time I am also struck by another element going on in this scene. I have just finished listening to Killing Jesus, by Bill O’Reilly, on audiobook. At one point he discussed a point which really should be obvious, but I found to be at the same time quite profound: When these massive crowds gathered, most people could not even see Jesus, much less hear him. Most would not get the privilege of a personal chat nor a healing touch. There were such large throngs crushing in and there were no auditoriums, sound systems, or Jumbo-trons. So why did they come? Why would people drop their daily activities and responsibilities to trek long distances by foot just to be closer to this Jesus? What was the attraction? I think it is the same thing His people are drawn to today. We want to get closer and experience the presence of God. This is why we read the Bible, why we pray, why we proclaim, why we serve. Not everyday will we get a powerful word and experience His healing touch, but for that hope and joy we will keep moving toward Him, getting a little closer all the time.

P~ Father, I am so grateful for the richness of Your Word and even outside resources that add to my understanding of who You are and Your ability to draw us to Yourself and transform our lives in the process.

Sinking in the Ocean | Joni Tyner

S~ “Yes, come,”  Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!”  he shouted.  Matthew 14: 29-30 (NLT)

O~ The disciples are out on the sea and fell asleep while Jesus stayed behind on the shore to pray.   A big storm comes up and the disciples are terrified that they are going to die.  In v. 25 it says Jesus came to them at about 3am in the morning.  After the disciples get over the shock of seeing Jesus walking on water, Peter asks if he can come to Jesus and walk on the water too.  He does!!!!…as long as he keeps his eyes on Jesus.  He immediately begins to sink when he takes his eyes off of the Lord and onto his circumstances. (the strong wind and the overpowering waves)

A~ I’m pretty sure this is the scripture that the song “Oceans” comes from.  Such powerful lyrics.   I can identify with so many of the lyrics in that song.   I can so easily freak out when I start analyzing my circumstances.  It ALWAYS ends up badly when I take my eyes off of Him.  ALWAYS…   Here are some of the lyrics to Oceans by Hillsong.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger

P~ Dear Lord, I get so scared sometimes about all of the unknown storms in life.  I pray for your peace.  Please help stay laser focused on you and not my circumstances.

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 27, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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