April 28 2 Samuel 3; 1 Chronicles 12; Matthew 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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Listen and Understand | Michelle Myers

S~ Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand.’ Matthew 15:10 (NIV)

O/A~ LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND…..3 simple words, but so important in how successful I am in life…….as YOUR servant, as YOUR representative, as a wife, as a mother, with my finances, with my time, etc.  There isn’t an area of my life that doesn’t need YOUR wisdom.  That is why I need to stay connected to You.  In fact, You called the crowd to You.  If I don’t go to You, how will I know You?  If I don’t know You, how will I be able to listen and understand?  How will I know Your ways, Your character, etc.?  If I don’t, I am much for vulnerable to my own stupid ways, the stupid ways of the world, or the stupid ways of other people.  This usually does not end well.

P~ I am so appreciative of YOUR wisdom.  Without it, I would be much more of a mess!  When I go to You, my life is way more peaceful.  There is discernment in regards to what You are convicting me about, and what the world/people say I should feel guilty about.  Please continue to help me listen and understand.

Out of My Mouth | Kelley Deases

S~ But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. Matthew 15:18 (NIV)

O~  The Pharisees and teachers of the law, desperate to find fault in Jesus so as to discredit Him and maintain their “moral high ground, ” confront Jesus’ disciples about failing to do a ceremonial hand washing before eating. This washing was for the purpose of removing anything “unclean” that may have been touched. On some level, these religious guys are claiming to be pure and holy and righteous and “clean” based on their observance of these various rituals. Jesus up-ends this thinking by saying it is the heart (mind, thoughts, motives) which matters more than the outward “religious act.”

A~ If what come out of my mouth reflects the condition of my heart, a brief self-examination tells me my heart’s not right. Particularly when it comes to the two people living in my house. — my husband and my eight-year-old son. My husband and I like to laugh and joke, but I seem to not know where that line is between good-natured and jovial banter and sarcastic, biting insults. He is an exceedingly good sport about it, but that does not make it a respectful way to speak to my husband. I know what a gift from God he is to me, but I confess I don’t always relay that to him with my words. Same is true, if not worse, with my youngest son. My oldest was such a compliant and easy child to raise and is so much like me I could easily track his thinking and moods. My second child is a bit of an “alien” to me in the sense I never know what he’ll say or do next. For a control freak mom like myself, this is a source of great consternation. At times, I really commit to parenting to his unique personality and keeping it positive, but more often than not I default to nagging and yelling in my frustration.

P~ Father, Only You can change my heart, and, by extension, my words toward my boys. Help me to better show my husband respect and better convey love to my son, whether or not I “get him” all the time (or any of the time!).

The “Authenticity” Trap | Vicki Burns

S~ But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. :19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. :20a. These are what make a man unclean… Matthew 15:18-20a (NIV)

O~ Words from our own mouth (heart) make us unclean. We are defiled and defile others by our words.

A~ Authenticity ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, we should aim to be genuine in everything we do, however, feeling like that means we need speak out the depths of our heart (I’m thinking rant here) then that’s a trap. Let me use an analogy. If we think of the community around us as water, then we can purify it with God’s words from a pure heart(which may be rejected in our culture) OR we can blurt out from the dregs (scum) of our own wicked heart, words that pollute both our companions and us.

Rather, the Psalmist teaches us to pour out our heart to God in sincere prayer and supplication. This proves a trust that God hears and God moves. That is the place to purge our heart, NOT to or around each other.

Only God can bear the depths of the dregs of an evil heart.

I had forgotten this principle and allowed my mouth to burst out my inner turmoil. And my authenticity was appreciated; yet my spirit was not at peace. This was not a genuine burden to be shouldered by my brethren, rather a revelation of unresolved inner turmoil. Unresolved because when I prayed and graciously received direction I hesitated. I delayed. I edited and finally I forgot it…well, sort of.

If I had obeyed I would have risked damaging relationships important to me. But at least I would’ve been vindicated in my obedience. Since I did not obey, I have damaged those relationships AND incurred guilt where there was none (in this particular situation).

It was quite without warning that I had my little spewing spree. Since it may border on slander, I must confront my sin, repent and make the necessary reconciliatory efforts to set things right—to clean up the mess I’ve made. It is humiliating. It is painful. It is public. It is necessary. And with all that, it can never be undone. But it can be forgiven in Christ.

P~ Forgive me, Father. I have neglected the pouring out of my heart to You to the very dregs…scum. You are the only One who can possibly fill the chasm of my wounded, broken heart. You wound and You make me whole. There is no wholeness without You. Thank You for your unfailing love through Christ, my magnificent Savior!

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Posted on April 28, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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