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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The path we walk | Nikki Metzger
S~ So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. Ruth 2:3 (NLT)
O~ I wonder how many barley fields there were. As Ruth got to the road out of town, how did she know to turn left or right? I wonder if anyone encouraged her to go to Boaz’s fields because he was a relative or did they ignore her because she was from Moab? However it worked out, Ruth found herself in Boaz’s fields. The author makes it sound like chance, but I have no doubt that the Lord was making Ruth’s path straight to Boaz’s field.
A~ Ruth’s story is literally her walking on paths. She walked from Moab to Bethlehem. From the house to Boaz’s fields. From the house to the threshing floor. Did Ruth know she was being obedient and following the Lord’s path?
P~ Father, what an example of Ruth! Thank You! A foreigner that You took into Your fold and set her paths straight! Just like me 🙂 Please set me and keep me on Your path! I LOVE YOU! In Jesus’ Name I pray! Amen!
Cry Out! | Deanna George
S~ From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2 (NIV)
O~ Cry out to God when you feel you have nothing left, like you are in a pit with no way to climb out. Ask God to raise you up emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
A~ Today my heart is aching for a young mom, her husband, and her kids. They are in the process of saying goodbye after a long battle that has kept her body in the pit of illness. Their faith has brought them through the whole journey, and they are calling on God to continue to pull them up and out, even as it seems that healing is not the answer. All I can do is pray for them, but that seems so inadequate as I get to sit here and watch my boys laugh, play, argue, and bug each other. There are days when I am not sure if I can take it, but today I can’t help but think that is exactly want she wants. She wants one more fight to hear. One more situation where rough housing gets a little out of control. One more time that laughter is contagious over a silly little thing that boys just think is hilarious. One more day. One more month. One more year. What I love is that we serve the same God. I can call out to God for her and her family. I know the peace he can provide and that is what I am begging God to send them. I am praying that God’s presence be overwhelming to them.
P~ Lord Jesus, I’m crying out on behalf of this sweet family. You know what each of them need. Please make yourself known to them in ways that they know you are there. Fill their hearts and minds with your peace so that they may endure the days ahead. Please lead them to the rock that is higher than where they are right now. They need your presence! Please carry them!
Love Strengthens | Kim Chipman
S~ But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. 1 Corinthians 8:1b (NLT)
O~ Knowing things – being educated and knowledgeable – that looks good and makes us feel good. It can be a gift, too, I think…but it isn’t what is important to God. Love is. Love grows “the church” – believers like me grow with love. And the church grows in numbers with love.
A~ The Pharisees knew a lot of stuff, people now days know a lot of stuff, too. But that doesn’t mean I love well. Jesus wrapped up all the commandments into “love God, love others”. Anyone can do that. Rich, poor, educated or not. No one has to meet any minimum standards or pass a test to love well. Love is what strengthens the church. What strengthens US.
P~ Thank you for the reminder of where to focus my energy…to love well. Help me to love well, it’s hard! I love You.
Does Our Freedoms Cause Others to Sin? | Joni Tyner
S~ But you must be careful that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 1 Corinthians 8:9 (NLT)
O~ We have freedom in Christ. We aren’t subject to the old laws, rules, “have-tos” that we see in the Old Testament. There were so many laws required to be considered holy. There is freedom! Over the last month I’ve gained a new appreciation of that through the Old Testament readings. We do have freedom.
Second observation: People, (non-believers) are watching us. They see our lives and think, “hey, they are doing it, I guess that makes it ok.” The problem is, sometimes what is appropriate for one person, causes another person to fall into patterns of sinful behavior.
A~ One of the freedoms that comes to mind when I read this passage is the drinking of alcohol. The Bible warns us to not be drunk, but also gives accounts of Jesus and his disciples drinking wine. Some Christians completely abstain from drinking, others drink wine, some drink beer and other drinks. I personally don’t judge either way. I do see, for some people, moderation is difficult and a slippery slope. For some people, moderation becomes more frequently and that can lead to an expensive habit, it can cause pain for others (drunk driving accidents), it can also lead to other sin. Alcohol can lower inhibitions and contribute to pornography, gambling problems and other sexual sin. I think this is what this passage is talking about.
P~ Lord, I want to be a good witness for you. Give me discernment in life situations. I want to make decisions that honor you in every aspect of my life.
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