July 24 Isaiah 40,41,42; 1 Peter 3

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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New Strength | Tara Wiley

S~ He will feed his flock like a shepherd.

He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart.

He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young…

Have you not heard?

Have you never understood?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.

No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength;

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:11, 28-31 (NLT)

O/A~ Oh, how I love Isaiah 40! I’ve never set these two sets of verses from the chapter right next to one another like this before, and it’s just what I needed for right now.

The same God who tenderly leads and carries me…

The same God who gently guides me when mothering is taking me to the limit…

Is the same God who is NEVER weak. NEVER powerless. And forever gives power and new strength.

With this same God, I can soar… run… walk… through this season of life with new strength for each day.

P~ Lord, today I am feeling so weak and tired. I needed to remember that You give new strength, specifically for the season of life I am in right now. Parenting…working…being both an Air Force wife (with recently added responsibilities) and an up-and-coming minister’s wife…mentoring…just doing life right now is leaving me frazzled. But God, You have given me such an amazing spouse who is helping me assess my schedule to really understand the margin that exists and how to best utilize that. You have given me friends who pray and encourage and share their stories. You have promised to equip me for every good work You prepared for me (Ephesians 2) and have already given me everything I need for life and godliness. So when I am tempted to give in to this feeling of weakness that leads to paralyzing fear, I will stop and remember all You have given me, trust You once again, and receive new strength. You are here, and You have this! I will trust You to help me step into a more disciplined routine that gives me freedom. With You, I can scale the wall this season seems to present (Psalm 18). I can be victorious! Remind me of Your truths when I need them to make the next step, the next right choice. I love You, Lord. I am so grateful for Your gentle leadership. I am so glad to be held close to Your heart.

I am Wanted, I am Chosen | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ I have called you back from the ends of the earth so you can serve me.  For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.  Don’t be afraid for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.   Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

O~  These verses really spoke healing to my heart.  God reminds me that:

–       He has chosen me

–       I was so lost and he saw me and brought me back

–       He will ALWAYS be with me, I do not have to be afraid

–       He will strengthen me

–       He will help me

–       He will uphold me

Uphold—to support or defend, as against opposition and criticism.

A~  There are things from my past that remind me of how I felt unwanted, unloved. But God reminds me to forgive, to leave that at his feet, to remember that people in my life did the best they could with what they knew.  And this is truth and it is the same for me; I know I’ve made mistakes, but at the time I was doing the best I could with what I knew.  The pain from my past has definitely made me lean more into God and has made me more aware of his presence and his love, so in a way I can be thankful for those situations.  I just don’t want to have a chip on my shoulder.  Sometimes it feels like it’s always there waiting to remind me that I am unwanted, unloved.  But God’s word is what is true not the lies I have believed for so long!

P~  Father, thank you for your loving words of truth, please continue to bring healing in this area.  Help me to stand on your truth about me.  Please renew my mind with your truth.

Wearing God’s Gifts | Joni Tyner

S~ You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.  1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)

O~ Peter is addressing the wives in 1 Peter 3 to de-emphasize outward beauty and instead cultivate the beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit.

A~ This is one of those Bible verses that I think can be mis-interpreted and easily embellished to suit whoever is reading it.  Does this mean God is anti-eyeliner or considers the purchase of a trendy outfit sinful?  I personally don’t think that is the main point of this scripture.  I see the priority being to first clothe ourselves with a changed heart that is gentle and peaceful.  God has equipped each Jesus girl with a personality that was designed by Him.  Some of His Jesus girls are shy and introverted and serve Him by being supportive in the background. Others are fun loving and energetic and perhaps laugh loudly and make others feel loved and accepted.  I believe that God created each of us with a unique, one-of-a kind purpose that is unlike any other person.  Our responsibility is to find that and embrace it with the help of the Holy Spirit.  I believe He will guide our actions to give God glory.  Maybe I’m off base here, but perhaps the gentle, quiet spirit is more reflective of having a heart that mirror’s Christ than the decibel of our voice?

P~ Dear Lord, I need You every single day to keep my focus on being calm in the midst of crazy.  I want to represent You with the gifts You’ve gifted me by being joy to others.  Empower me to be loving and gentle and generous to others. Please forgive me when I’ve made myself a priority by over-focusing on outward stuff—I desire to love others more than myself or my stuff. Please infuse me with wisdom to live this life in a way that gives You honor.

BISH | Michelle Myers

S~ “He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

O~ I think what it means to be “alive in the Spirit” eludes us in this world.  We put more emphasis on our bodies, outward appearances, possessions, etc. than we do on our spirits.  The only thing that will remain is my spirit.  I am getting better at recognizing and understanding this concept, but I sometimes still struggle to wrap my head around “spiritual life” versus “physical life”.
A~ Yesterday, I saw a post on Facebook from a guy that I went to high school with.  It was announcing the sudden death of a long time resident who had Down syndrome.  His name is David Bishop, but everyone in town knew him as “Bish.”  He made his way around town on his bike.  He volunteered throughout the community.  You would often see him on the sidelines during both high school and college football games.  He helped at the fire station.  He talked with anyone and everyone.  People loved him.
Today, I saw a post for the funeral arrangements.  His funeral is going to be held in our high school auditorium.  They just opened the new high school this last January, and I am sure it is a spectacular auditorium.  I am sure it is being held there because of the number of people who will be attending.  I can’t remember ever having anyone’s funeral held in the high school auditorium.  EVER!
People were touched by this human being, who never really had an advanced mind, but boy did he have one heck of a spirit. I re-posted the funeral information, and later got a response from one of my sorority sisters.  She didn’t even grow up in my town.  She was actually from Colorado, and moved back there after graduation. She responded to the post by saying, “I am so sad.  He used to hang out in our apartment for hours.”
Today, I thought about him at different events and riding his bike around town, and then I saw this scripture, and it hit me.  Bish was an excellent example of what it means to be alive in the Spirit.  He didn’t worry about finances.  He wasn’t trying to climb the corporate ladder.  He didn’t even care if he had the newest, trendiest bike to ride around town on.  He just rode from place to place, doing what good needed to be done, and engaging with people.  He didn’t judge or criticize them.  He wasn’t on a mission to “fix” them.  He just engaged with them.
P~ Thank you God for blessing my small town and the people in it with Bish.  I pray that You wrap Your arms around his family and comfort them in their grief.  I know that he is going to be a wonderful asset to You in heaven.

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Posted on July 24, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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