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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.
God’s Got This | Tara Wiley
S~ “Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder…” Genesis 24:15 NIV
O/A ~ Today, as I was journaling about feeling inadequate for a ministry task ahead of me, I was struck that God not only provided a servant who followed Abraham’s directive, but God even orchestrated events to strengthen the servant’s faith while providing the wife Isaac needed. God worked in the servant’s heart to bring him to a place of growing faith, and He rewarded that faith with answered prayer. In fact, He showed the servant that He had already been preparing the way before the servant even completed his request to God!
If I honestly believe that God provides, then why should I fear this task that feels too big for me? I may not feel I have the needed wisdom, but God does, and I know He has already provided great sources of wisdom for me specifically related to this task through relationships He built in my life over the past two decades. He has enabled Mo and me to partner in this ministry in ways that honestly astonish me. So, I know He will continue to pave the way before us. We may stumble and grope a bit as we walk into unfamiliar territory, but as we trust God, He will provide what we need – even before we know how to ask for it!
P~ God, You know how overwhelmed I am right now. You know my need! You know that I fear failure, and in ministry, that failure seems even bigger because it affects others. But I also know You have used even the failures of others in my life to draw me closer to You! You can use me, whether I do this ‘right’ or not (and the truth is, there is no one right way!). So, help me to humbly walk with You into ministry. Thank You that I can trust You to pave the way before me, setting into place every event and conversation in ways that bring You glory, just as You paved the way before Abraham’s servant. Lord, remind me of how You’ve done this in my own past walk with You. I look forward to looking back on this season with You one day, grateful for the way You worked.
Compassion Not Condemnation | Kim Chipman
S~ When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 (NIV)
O~ The Pharisees brought Jesus a woman caught in adultery. From what I understand they were trying to trick/trap Him. Of course You are so amazing that You taught about love, forgiveness and compassion instead. you would not condemn her, and You instructed her accusers to look within themselves at their own sin before passing judgement (throwing a stone).
A~ I’m pretty good at being judgmental. What if this were my step 1 when I feel judgement well up within me? No stone slingin’ until I’m perfect?
Stephen Covey said, “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.” Which is often true. I also read an interesting article not too long ago (that I can’t find again now to link here) that talked about how often with people closest to us we judge the intention also, in fact, often primarily – and not in a good way. Often we don’t believe the best about our spouse or kids. Even if they do something nice or thoughtful we assume it’s because they have some ulterior motive or something. Guilty! I totally do that.
I do believe that I can take captive every thought to make it obedient to You (2 Cor 10:5). This would be a great area of my thought life to get cleaned up.
P~ Lord, help me see others like You see them. Help me to believe the best, give loads and loads of grace, and keep my stones instead of throwing them. Help me to be more concerned about my own self than about anyone else and trust that You can handle the rest. No one needs me as their personal Holy Spirit. Not even my family. Grow my compassion. I love You!
Shine Brightly, Lord Jesus | Robin Laney
S~ Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (ESV)
O~ Jesus was preaching in the temple. According to my Bible notes, he was in the area where the offerings were put. Candles were burned there to symbolize the pillar of fire that led the people of Israel through the desert. He called himself the light of the world which, in this context, the people listening would have understood this to represent God’s presence, His protection, and His guidance.
A~ What a comfort this verse is to me tonight. I attended a meeting with the vision team from our church today. We discussed the details of and prayed for our upcoming trip to Thailand and Cambodia. We acknowledged in our time together that though there are many unknowns for us, God has gone before us and He knows what we are heading into. That fact gives me comfort but this promise takes it to a new level. This picture of Jesus as our pillar of fire travelling with us, protecting us, and guiding us on this journey, is the ultimate in assurances, not necessarily that all will go smoothly or even that we will be safe but that He will be with us in all circumstances we encounter. He is light and He is life and we have His promise to be our light in the darkness because we follow Him.
Would you pray with us that many would come to know Jesus in these countries?
P~ Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promise and for Your light. Let Your light shine to show the way as we go and let Your light shine brightly through each of us so that each person we meet along the way might see You and come to know You and choose to follow You. One of the goals on the ground there is that 10% of the people would be following You in the next 15 years. I know Your heart is that 100% would surrender to You. Thank You for allowing us to be among the harvesters in SE Asia. May Your name become famous in Thailand and Cambodia!
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