December 11 Philemon; Hebrews 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

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Unopened Mail | Joni Tyner

S~ And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.  Philemon 1:6 (NLT)

O~ Paul is again praying for others to develop their faith and understand all that Christ has done. He is praying that the believers have action attached to their faith.

A~ A couple of years ago I sponsored a child with Compassion International while I was at a Christian concert.  I’ve arranged to have the monthly donation withdrawn from my checking account.  I occasionally get updates and letters from this little boy in Africa but, quite honestly, I don’t think about him on a daily basis.  About a week ago,  I received in the mail an envelope from Compassion and from the outside it looked like another request for donations.  It sat on my counter for a few days and, I’m embarrassed to say, I almost pitched it in the recycling bin without even opening it.  As I was about to toss it, I quickly opened it and out fell 5 pictures of the most adorable children.  Each card had their name, their birthdate and told about their family.  I took these cards and put them in my Bible and this morning I prayed for each child like I knew them personally. I really prayed for these kids and their families!!  Later, I thought about how easy it is to get desensitized to other people’s needs when they are just “an envelope on my counter”.   To somehow group people into just the category of 3rd world poverty.    But God.

But. God. Doesn’t.  He sees and KNOWS each tear they cry.  He knows their struggles, He hears their prayers.  And, maybe that envelope was part of Him answering a sweet mama’s prayer from thousands of miles away.  Maybe this scripture is once again nudging me to put my faith into action and live outside my little bubble of life.

P~ Dear Lord, once again, I’m humbled by how often I’m selfish and uncaring to other people. Please forgive me for the countless times I passed by people and organizations and needs that are so dear to Your heart.  I pray my heart has a new sensitivity to the needs of others and that I respond by doing something!  I pray this morning for Compassion International.  Thank you for the work they do to provide tangible care and teach these kids and families about You!

p.s.  Here’s a pic of the adorable kids.


Love Brings Joy and Encouragement | Michelle Myers

S~ Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:7 (NIV)

O/A~ Love is what has given him great joy and encouragement.  I need to remember this with the people that I come across.  It isn’t unsolicited advice or criticism; which is what unsolicited advice really is.  It is criticism. When I am dealing with people, especially the ones that I live with, my motives might be to help, but they view my unsolicited advice as criticism.  This doesn’t bring them great joy or encouragement.  Nor, does it me, when the tables are turned.

P~ Thank you God for your discernment.  Please help me love well, so I can be someone who brings great joy and encouragement.  Please help me be humble and stay humble, with my mouth.

The Drift | Kim Chipman

S~ We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)

O~ Chapter 1 reminds of the greatness of Christ. Then comes the reminder (because of God’s greatness) to pay carefull attention to what He says so we do not drift away. The drift happens. There are forces pulling us away from God all the time. Without diligent, intentional, careful attention the drift toward what is familiar, comfortable, and easy is inevitable.

A~ I feel like I journal on this verse every time I read it. The drift for me is so real, so quick, so predictable. I happens in a hot minute. I can be totally walking in the Spirit one moment and in the blink of an eye revert to flesh. It’s ridiculous. I have to continually focus my mind and thoughts that drift quickly. So. Quickly.

My study Bible also notes: “Listening to Christ means not merely hearing, but also obeying (see James 1:22-25). We must listen carefully and be ready to carry out His instructions.” This brings me to the verse that has been on replay in my head…John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

This is truly the intention in SOAPing a verse each day. To focus on how to apply Your Word to my life so I can continually grow and be transformed to look more and more like You.

P~ Lord, help me to pay careful attention to what I have heard. Help me to focus my thoughts on it, to make choices based on it (not my feeeeeeelings, gah!). Help me to hear and listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit, to allow Him to guide me into all truth. Help me to pay most careful attention so I do not drift away. I can’t do it without You. I love You!

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