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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Out of the Law and Into Grace | Kelley Deases
S~ You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Galatians 5:4 (NIV)
O~ When our faith rests on our ability to adhere to religious guidelines or otherwise be a good rule-follower, we are not drawing near to Christ as the Source of what we need but are pushing Him away though our desire to do it ourselves. We do not say, “God is a god of carrot and stick;” we say “God is love.” And to the degree I build my life upon “doing good” or “being good,” I completely miss the grace He has for me. Neither can I extend that grace to others.
A~ I am a recovering “good girl”-aholic. I would say my identity in high school, through college and law school, and even beyond, was very much wrapped up in being the girl who didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t cuss, didn’t sleep with my boyfriends, and went dutifully to church every Sunday, even when I was out of my parents’ house. And where did that get me? Not closer to the heart of God, for I was too busy worrying about my “pure” reputation (or justifying my slip-ups) to truly grapple with seeking His will for my life. Nor did it draw others to my brand of faith. No one is attracted to a list of do’s and don’t’s, or feeling like they can’t measure up to my facade of having it all together. And, as the verse reads, I was, in actuality, “fallen away from grace” — as unable to give it to other people as I was unable to receive it for myself.
P~ Father, Thank You for revealing Yourself to me little by little as I have learned to seek You – the real You — through Your Word. Thank You for delivering me out of my “church girl” identity to the freedom I can enjoy from just being Your child. Continue to draw me out of legalism and toward walking in love and grace.
Provoking others | Nikki Metzger
S~ Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. Galatians 5:26 (NLT)
O~ This book of the bible is really calling out the believers in Galatia. Paul, the author, is harsh, but rightly so. The believers were falling back into slavery by incorrect teachings. Oh my! How many times have I gone back to my chains instead of turning to my Savior?
A~ Last night all of us were provoking one another. One child would say something to provoke me, I would say something back to provoke them. On and on this went, ’till all of us ended up in separate areas of the house; grumpy, frustrated, angry.
Galatians 5:19, 20 says when I follow the desires of my sinful nature, these are the results: hostility, quarreling, outbursts of anger, dissension, division. That was the state of our home. Sifting through the mess of last night, what happened?
I walked into last night with the desire to see my kids thankful for a double blessing that we had for them. Instead of thankfulness, I heard complaining and arrogance and ungratefulness. Instantly, I was provoked and my sinful nature took over me, which ultimately led to fighting. From that, my kids were provoked and the evening just got out of hand!
Galatians 5:25 says to follow the Spirit’s leading in EVERY part of my life. Living this way produces peace, patience, kindness, self-control. Galatians 5:16-18 talks about the two forces in me that constantly fight each other: my sinful nature and the Spirit. Last night my sinful nature won.
P~ Father, thank You for this Word! For letting me to understand what was really happening last night. I can choose to live by the Spirit’s power irregardless of what my children choose. Help me to choose to live in the Spirit’s power when something or someone provokes me. And thank You for the very end of the night when everyone was laughing and relationship was restored. You are a good, good Father!
What Am I Sowing? | Kim Chipman
S~ Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7 (NIV)
O~ Galatians 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
A~ This is truly the heart of the matter of my struggle with self discipline. The great deceiver, who has been deceiving since the beginning of time, whispers…”Did God really say…?” “Does it really matter?” “It isn’t really a big deal.” “You can do it later.”
Kim. Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked.
A man You will reap s what he you sow s.
You give me the freedom to choose. Freedom is found in serving one another humbly in love NOT in indulging the flesh. In my heart, in my body, in my relationships…this rings true. I’ve been choosing my flesh. I’ve been choosing convenient and comfortable. I’m reaping what I sow. I’m the only one who can change my choices. Allowing myself to be deceived that does not apply to me is not going to work. you cannot be mocked. I WILL reap what I sow.
P~ I hear You, Lord. Help me to remember! You are holy and sovereign, You cannot be mocked. Help me to live undeceived. Focused on truth. Help me to get serious about my choices and use the free will You give me to serve humbly in love. Help me to sow well today (and every day!). I love You!