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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Obedience is Best | Kim Chipman
S~ But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 2 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)
O~ Saul had disobeyed the Lord’s instructions to completely destroy the Amalekites. Saul took plunder – said he was going to use the livestock as sacrifices to the Lord – and captured their King Agag, but did not kill him. They spared “everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.” But God had instructed them to completely destroy everything.
A~ I do the same thing Saul did – kind of make my own rules as long as it sounds good to me. Perhaps I know You want me to have a difficult conversation with my husband – I decide to cook his favorite meal instead. I’m still selflessly serving him, right? Or I know You want me to create margin in my schedule, but there are so many good – really GOOD – things that need to be done! Surely doing a few more things real quick will please You, right? Or sometimes I know You are calling my heart to engage more with the kids, but then all of a sudden our weekend gets all filled with plans and fun things to do – good, fun things (but not high-engagement activities). They’re happy so that’s good, right?
Do You want my “good” stuff – things that appear just fine in my eyes – or my obedience to Your voice? As long as I’m pouring myself out selflessly to others do the details really matter?
YES the details matter. They matter to You. Your voice speaks to me quite specifically much of the time. Go here, not there. Do this, say no to that. You are pleased by obedience and submission, not my justifications and excuses for going my own way. I spend lots of time and energy doing GOOD and all the while I could be missing BEST.
P~ Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for reminding me through Saul that I cannot just choose the “appealing” path, but the obedient path towards Your BEST for me. I love You.
Spiritual Olfactory | Kelley Deases
S~ “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV)
O~ I think about the feelings and memories that can be conjured up through our sense of smell. I can still remember the warm and inviting aroma of my grandmother’s pot roast and potatoes cooking in the oven when our family would gather at her house in Leavenworth, Kansas. Freshly cut grass and charcoal grills signal the onset of the more relaxed days of summertime. The first pansies of spring, clean laundry, baby powder, and, my personal favorite, freshly brewed coffee — these can lift my spirits in a moment, regardless of what else is going on around me.
In the same way, a bad odor can have the opposite effect. The sterile smell of a hospital room where a loved one lies ill, food that was forgotten in the back of fridge and turned sour, and even a person who has been out in the elements for too long without a proper shower or a toothbrush.
A~ It is a powerful picture to imagine I carry the sweet smell of Jesus to The Father. God could easily detect in me the rotten smell of unforgiveness, the sour whiff of repeated sin patterns, or the stench of my selfishness and pride. But I have been washed clean and now only emit the odor of Christ. And to those desperately seeking Him, they will be drawn in by the scent. To others who choose to remain in rebellion, the smell is putrid and intolerable.
P~ Father, As I breathe in and am bathed by the fragrant aroma of Christ, I want to be pleasing first to you, O God, and then to those around me who need to know You for themselves.
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