July 20 2 Chronicles 29,30,31; James 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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Only One | Kim Chipman

S~ There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:12 (NIV)

O~ Isaiah 33:22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.

Matthew 7:1-2 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

A~ WOW, it is easy to judge others. So. Easy. Draw some conclusions about their failures or mistakes or sins. Or maybe judge their motives behind their good things. Judging motives is slippery slope… It all ends in a critical spirit that is not even my right to have! Not ok. NOT.

There is only one Judge. ONE. (and it’s not me)

Who am I to judge anyone!?

P~ Lord, help me to release others to You and just love them well. I can let You handle the rest. Help me remember who I am. I love You!

Life in the Unplanned | Kelley Deases

S~ Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. … Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 (excerpted)

O~ Herein lies the tension. In Proverbs and other parts of Scripture, we are taught prudent planning is wise. But we become presumptuous when we plot out our days and years and whole life as though God has nothing to say in the matter. If we do not remain open to His leading, prompting, opening and closing doors and His detour signs, we may find ourselves completely derailed and in the ditch.

A~ Eighteen years ago, my husband met a guy about his age who was in the training class for his job in corrections. Both young men were believers so they struck up an instant kinship. After a few short months, the other guy decided corrections was not the career for him, took a different job, and he and my husband parted ways and lost touch. Until yesterday…

In the course of my husband’s duties at the jail, he is sometimes called upon to transport an inmate to the hospital and/or post up outside an inmate’s hospital room. Yesterday, John re-encountered his old friend — incarcerated and hospitalized — looking fifteen years older than his true age and missing some fingers and toes. John listened as his former training buddy told the story of a series of bad and reckless life choices which had cost him his marriage, his freedom and his health. And while he still tried to boast over some past financial success and exploits with women, John turned the conversation back around to the topic of faith. It seems as his old friend was making his plans, he had failed to seek out and discern God’s will for him in it all and went very much astray.

I know how perilous that self-centered thinking can be from seasons in my own life. I have come to learn, as I pray my husband’s friend will come to learn, that God’s ways are higher and better than our own and we should not rely solely on our own understanding. (Prov. 3:5)

P~ Father, I pray for this man, who has wandered far from Your path, that his encounter with John might cause him to reflect on the choices he has made and whether his life is pleasing to the One he once sought to honor.

Your Will for My Girls | Michelle Myers

S~ Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. James 4:15 (NIV)

O~ First off, here I have to recognize the importance of the first part, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live…”  I have to recognize that it is You, who keeps me alive.  You can shut me down at anytime.

As far as doing this or that, I have learned to not really count too much on what I plan on doing or even what I think You are telling me to do.  If Your plans are different, You will let me know through a change in the whether, a financial obstacle, a change in scheduling, someone getting sick, etc.

A~ I have grown, when it comes to accepting Your plans for my life.  It took a lot of frustration, pain, arguing with You, etc. to get here.  I am now finding that my stumbling block comes in regards to my kids.

We are in that phase where they are no longer totally dependent on us, as parents; but really not old enough, wise enough, etc. to be on their own and survive the harsh world.  Which, honestly, on their harshest day, is nothing compared to some children’s best days.

I find myself wanting to prepare them by having them suffer the consequences of their choices, stubbornness, and pride when it comes to listening to us. Which shouldn’t be a big deal, because they do know everything at the ages of 13 and 15.  Yet, I also end up rescuing them and protecting them. This makes me very wishy washy when dealing with them.  There has been a lot of confusion in my own mind when dealing with them, and a lot of emotion.

So, I have had to go to You for wisdom and guidance.  How do I serve my kids out of love and protect them, without enabling them by interfering with natural consequences and ensure they are not in harms way?

First, You showed me that I can’t ensure their safety in this world.  There are always going to be some situations that are beyond my control and their control.  Second, You also showed me how my mind can spiral towards the dark side, when it comes to them.

My youngest daughter, who swore she was packed everything, forgot her water bottle, toothbrush, and pillow for her missions trip.  The pillow, she realized right away, and I went back and got it for her (ENABLED HER).  The water bottle and toothbrush, we didn’t notice until she was on the road.  Immediately, my thoughts went to a dehydrated, cavity filled suffering kid.

In my anxiety, I went to You.  You showed me that there were adults with her, who were not going to let her get dehydrated.  You also reminded me that she is only gone for five days and that she has left her tooth brush places before.  She compromises with using her finger and swishing toothpaste around in her mouth.  It wasn’t the catastrophe I made out to be in my head.

It was the same with my minor melt down over unexpected finances and my oldest daughter getting ready to go on her trip.  Which, unless they stop at Red Lobster every trip, she had plenty of money.  I had images of her not rationing her money, spending it all on the way there, and going hungry on the way home.  I sat down with her and went through a little budget, to show her how to divide up the spending.  Of course, she knew what she was doing and acted as if I was wasting her precious time.  So, I had to let it go and accept that I did my part.  The plus is, she isn’t going to starve to death.  If she is not wise with her money, she will be uncomfortable, but she isn’t going to starve.

P~ Thank you God for Your wisdom.  Thank you for allowing my kids to grow up in a world where a left water bottle, pillow, and tooth brush are OUR the biggest, worldly concerns.  Thank you for letting us live in a world where they can stop and get a water bottle and tooth brush from any one of the many gas stations on the way to their destination.  Please help me keep things in perspective when it comes to my kids, so I can be more stable when dealing with them.  Help me remember that it was when I was the most uncomfortable and suffering from consequences, that I learned and grew the most, spiritually.  To deny them that, is to interfere with Your work and plans for them.

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


Posted on July 20, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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