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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Practice What I Preach | Kim Chipman
S~ So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. Matthew 23:3 (NIV)
O~ Jesus is warning the crowds and His disciples about the religious leaders and Pharisees. Everything they did was for people to see, not from a humble heart of service. You are to be our one Father, our Teacher, our Instructor. They did not DO what they taught. (they knew but did not do)
A~ This hits me right in my heart today. I feel You showing me in many ways how much more important my actions are than just my words. To You, greatness comes from serving “The greatest among you will be your servant.” v11 and humility “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” v12. Knowing without doing isn’t it.
John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Humble servant. That is the greatest thing I could possibly be. In my home, in my neighborhood, in my community…in the village and tribe I can impact…You call me to be a humble servant. Practice what I preach. Live it out.
P~ Lord, help me to live this out well. For Your glory. I love You!
Clean Me From the Inside Out| Deanna George
S~ Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Matthew 23:26 (NIV)
O~ Jesus is letting the Pharisees know that cleaning up your life begins with the heart. I can be clean, dressed beautifully, hair looking all pretty and in place, but if my heart is filled with desire for things of the world, getting my own way, or desire to always be right, then I am still unclean. Jesus wants me to be clean from the inside, then my outside will radiate the beauty God has given me. No one wants to drink from a cup that is crusty and stained from the last cup of coffee that was in it. We want our drink to be put into a cup that is clean on the inside as well as the outside. It is the same with people. I want more than a beautiful person for a friend. I want a friend that knows how to be a good friend: good listener, encourager, truthful, and joyful. In other words, a beautiful person inside and out.
A~ Making sure my life looks all put together can leave so much to desire in my mind, soul, and heart. God wants us to feel complete, secure, and at peace no matter how we look on the outside. Cleaning up my appearance is so much easier then cleaning up my mind and heart. A new haircut is a lot less painful then confronting a sin, asking for forgiveness, and then working daily on choosing not to partake in that sin again. My heart and mind needs a continual scrubbing in some areas, but it’s worth it to bring myself closer to God and his will for my life. God doesn’t expect perfection, but he does want a willingness to strive to be more like him. Some days are harder to “clean,” but the reward of seeing the cleaned area brings joy, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment.
P~ Lord Jesus, thank you for giving us the visual of a clean cup to represent our lives. I do not want to be a person that looks all put together, but once you get to know me you find me shallow, all in it for myself, or just plain rude and uncaring. I want to represent you with love, grace, and joy that only you can provide. Show me my stains and dried coffee that I need to scrub in my life so that I may be clean from the inside out.
Be Prepared, But Trust | Trisha Baker
S~ You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Matthew 24:6 (NIV)
O~ There will be things that we hear on the news and from online media about different things that are going on in this world, and they will seem very scary to us and our families. But we have to know that these things have to happen. But we also need to know that we do not need to be afraid of these things, because everything that is happening is all a part of God’s plan. When a woman is about to give birth, her labor pains often feel like more than she can handle. But before this process begins, she is told that it will hurt and she is told how to get through them because they have to happen in order for her baby to be born. She is also told, though, that the pains will come to an end, and the baby she gives birth to will be worth all the pain she has to go through to get it. The same is true with the world today. Jesus is telling us that there will be scary things that will happen, but we have to trust that it all has a purpose and that it needs to happen for Jesus to come and reign in a new heaven and a new earth.
A~ We have to be spending time in the Word every day and listening to His voice in order to be prepared for what this world is going to bring us. We have to trust Him no matter what our eyes and ears see and hear. Jesus told us these things when He was on the earth so that we could be prepared for what would happen. It can be very hard sometimes to trust because the things that are going in the world can be super scary, like talks about nuclear war and attacks from Russia and other countries. But we have to know that if Jesus said these things would happen, then he also has already prepared for our safety through them. We just have to trust and be thankful for the peace that “passes all understanding”.
P~ Father God, I thank you so much for your peace and for your protection. Help us Jesus every day, that as we go about our day and hear about the leaders of this world and the decisions they want to make, that we not get caught up in it and filled with fear, but rather we raise our eyes to the heavens to the King of Glory. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit who is a daily reminder that you are coming back again, and someday we will live with you in peace and joy for eternity.
In Your precious name, Amen