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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Destroy Distractions | Kim Chipman
S~ However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 20:16-18 (NIV)
O~ “do not leave alive anything that breathes” It’s crazy to me that You command the Israelites to destroy it all…women, children, everything. All of it. Clearly, You are passionate about removing any chance at idol worship. Your greatest commandments are to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others. #1 is love You. No idols stealing my affections.
A~ So, in my life, what are those things? The things that keep me distracted…the things that dull my passion, drive and focus to run my race unhindered? I think I can categorize everything into either my comfort or my pleasure. Things I enjoy that I know aren’t my best spiritually (junk TV, alcohol, being lazy instead of disciplined), physically (not exercising when I should, eating unhealthy – but yummy – food), mentally (not paying attention to my thought life, not taking each thought captive), or emotionally (allowing my feelings to make choices for me).
P~ Lord, help me to worship You above my comfort and pleasure. focus my heart, soul, mind and strength on You. Help me to destroy anything that could become an idol so I do not sin against You. I love You!
It’s Not About Religiosity | Kelley Deases
S~ … — you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? Romans 2:21 (NIV)
O~ Paul is making the point that “being religious” or being a regular at church does not equate to living a life devoted to God and in obedience to Him.
A~ Years ago, I attended a church where one of the pastors — married, with three young children — was found to have been having an affair with the church’s worship leader, also married with small children. As you can imagine, it rocked those two families as well as the entire congregation when it came out. One wonders how you can teach the Word, preach the Word, sing the Word, but be so far from living the Word. But, sadly, I know firsthand how that can happen. How many times has God spoken to me through my time in His Word about peace, and I go right back to my worrying and fretting? How many time have I read about patience and longsuffering, only to explode toward my son for the smallest of infractions? How many times have I encouraged another to trust in Lord or wait upon His perfect timing, yet I myself fail to heed those words in my own circumstance?
P~ Father, Help me and help my brothers and sisters in Christ to ever be on our guard and to fully realize that just being in church or observing various rituals will neither save us nor draw us nearer to Your heart. Examine my heart and reveal any wicked way in me.
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