December 4 Ephesians 1,2,3,4

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

Want to walk through the Bible one book at a time? Head over to Discover One Thing Online Study!

Peace Is a Person | Kim Chipman

S~ For he himself is our peace, Ephesians 2:14a (NIV)

O~ It is easy to lose my peace, and quite honestly, I’m a peace addict. It’s what keeps me returning to You again and again. It’s what I long for more than most anything else. Your peace. The kind that passes understanding.

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A~ These are things I can do to get and maintain this peace. I know I need to quiet my heart and just be with You. Sit with You. Listen to You. YOU are my peace…I need to continually return to You to maintain it.

P~ Lord, in this season of BUSY and LOUD help me to choose margin and quiet so I can enjoy Your sweet presence and peace. I love You!

Take it to God | Deanna George

S~ In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12 (NIV)

O~ Wow! This scripture hit me over the head with a brick. It says that I can go to God with freedom and confidence. How can I go to such a sovereign, omniscient entity with freedom and confidence? This was made possible through Jesus Christ! I wasn’t just granted permission to talk to God. This scripture tells me to do it with freedom and confidence. Don’t be scared to talk to God. I can be confident that he will hear and listen to me. He can handle my feelings!

A~ How may bosses have an open door policy that allows you to really share your thoughts and feelings freely? I know I have not always been at peace about things that I need to share. I would wonder if there were going to be consequences because I spoke up. With God, all he wants is the truth. He wants to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am just so excited to find this scripture. I have known I could go to him with anything, but that doesn’t mean that I did it freely. I have had apprehension about issues and frustrations. This doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences to my behavior, but it does give me confidence that he will walk through it with me. I can stop avoiding taking my junk to God. I don’t need to clean it up before I go to him. This could lead to so much more freedom in my life!

P~ Lord Jesus, thank you for telling me that I can come to you freely and that I can have confidence that you will meet me where I am at. I know I will need help remembering this when I’m frustrated or hurt, but I want you to be my go to person. I want to stop complaining to others, ranting to myself, or avoiding getting into your Word because my circumstances are hard. You said to bring it to you, so I’m going to!

What’s Really Going On Here? | Michelle Myers

S~ You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

O/A~ This seems to be a consistent lesson.  I have learned to renew the attitude of my mind with many different relationships.

Some don’t seem to be THAT important, like renewing my mind in line at the grocery store, which spiritually leads me to being a better customer.  When I feel that renewal slipping away, I know that it is an issue with me. If I can’t be a good representative of You, which is THAT important, then I shouldn’t be in the store at that particular time.

Others, seem MAJOR.  When I began dealing with my students from a perspective of sympathy, love, and understanding versus a task master teacher, I became a way better teacher and representative of You.

Renewing the attitude of my mind, in regards to my husband’s struggles with his addiction; and the embarrassment that I felt in regards to it, and all that it cost us; helped me become a much more understanding and compassionate wife.  This was a better representative of You, than the angry and bitter person, that felt so cheated out of a life partner and father for our girls.

Now, I am having to go through this whole attitude of my mind renewal thing, in regards to my girls.  Both girls have had their issues with less than stellar behavior over the last couple of months.  However, I am realizing that the cause of it, goes way deeper than just being self entitled, mouthy, ungrateful teenagers.

Oh, that is definitely some of it.  Yet, my oldest struggles with severe anxiety.  When she is overwhelmed, many times her arguing or lashing out, seems to be just plain snottiness.  However, I am starting to understand that she is feeling very anxious and overwhelmed.  Many times it isn’t even rational.  At those times, she is just a big ball of a hot mess inside, and I have to approach her with love and understanding to work her through the mess and get her to a place of rationality.

8th grade has been a lot harder than 7th grade for my youngest. She is struggling with self worth, and she has expressed many times that she does not feel “good enough”.  I have to keep this in mind, when I am correcting her behavior or critiquing her work.

P~ God, thank you for Your discernment and wisdom.  I need it, because without it, I am so limited in understanding and being able to deal with other people.  Help me continue to change the attitude of my mind, so that I can represent You well in ALL of my relationships.

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