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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No Shame | Kim Chipman
S~ “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. 1 Samuel 12:20 (NLT)
O~ The Israelites demanded Samuel give them a king. The Lord was their King, but they wanted to be just like other countries and have a human man king as a leader. Samuel is now old and recounting all the Lord has done for them and reminding them of consequences to rebellion and reminding them to return to the Lord with all their hearts.
A~ I’m realizing more and more how much You desire relationship with me. With us. But any genuine, healthy relationship cannot be forced. There has to be freely made choices to pursue it. You could force me to love You but what kind of affection is that? You are the same now as you were then. You desire my undivided affection. You put guidelines and guardrails in my life for my protection – to draw me closer to You. You know I will sin, but your desire is that when I do I acknowledge it, repent, and return to worship You ~ not to turn away. Shame makes me want to turn away. You don’t shame me, You correct me, forgive me, love me, desire relationship with ME. Whoa. Shame comes from the father of lies himself in an effort to pull me away from You. You will always lovingly accept me no matter how bad I blow it. I do not need to be afraid.
P~ Thank You for loving me. I’m a hot mess. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. I don’t deserve it. Thank You for reminding my heart today that shame is not from You. I love You.
Not Without Effect | Kelley Deases
S~ But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
O~ Paul talks about being an apostle “abnormally born,” as in born after Jesus’ life on earth, resurrection, and ascension, so he was not an eyewitness to those events. Furthermore, he claims to be unworthy to be called an apostle due to the fact he had persecuted the early church. But he concludes this point by crediting God’s grace for getting him to where he was — a missionary sold out to the gospel message — and that grace “was not without effect.”
A~ This could be any of our stories; it certainly describes mine. Not withstanding having been raised in the Christian church and a Christian home, exposed to the powerful truth of the gospel, I would describe my early years as being pretty lukewarm about my faith and making decisions without any heed for God’s will in the matter. It was not until my plans left me alone in a crumpled mess of fear and isolation that I came to realize I am a poor savior and lord of my own life! So I decided to let God assume that role. By His grace, He afforded me a second (and third and fourth….) chance and it has not been “without effect” in my life and in how I relate with those around me. I am changed, and the results are evident.
P~ Father, Your grace to me is boundless. Where would I be without it? May my life be an offering of gratitude back to you.
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