May 29, 2017 1 Samuel 27; 1 Chronicles 9; Psalm 141; 2 Corinthians 11
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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Take Control | Kim Chipman
S~ Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Psalm 141:3 (NLT)
O~ David is crying out to God for help.
A~ This is also the cry of MY heart! I do not have good control over my tongue. I know it, I want to change it, but I know I can’t do it alone. I need You to help me! Take control of what I say! I want my life to honor You but sometimes I just get caught up in myself and my thoughts and my, my, my…me, me, me. Ugh.
P~ Help me to step back and see things like You see them. Help me to take every thought captive to obedience to You. Help my heart and thoughts be fixed on You that my life would bring You glory! Take control! I love You!
The Danger of a Smooth Talker | Joni Tyner
S~ But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NLT)
O~ Paul is warning the Corinthian believers to be cautious about people who give messages by making things sound good. There are many people today who use all sorts of ways to sound official. They may write books about Biblical principles or give speeches. Many so called ministers are on You Tube and on the surface sound legit but twist God’s Word. A good example is the new movie out, Noah. On the surface it looks Biblical, yet it drastically leaves there Biblical account of Noah. I didn’t even catch the evolution references until I read a review. In the movie it makes reference to the beginning of creation, but it says, “In the beginning was the earth and it was formless and it was covered with water. The Bible says in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth.” The movie mixed some Bible truth with made up propaganda. It was deceiving, to say the least. :O
A~ We need to always compare what people are saying with the Bible. It should NOT be embellished—it is accurate and what God wants us to know. We have a responsibility to hold up our leaders to teach what is written, not their opinions—however good they may be. I would hope that people in ministry would always start with a Bible truth, not their topic and then find a verse to “go along” with what they are saying.
P~ Dear Lord, give us discernment when we hear teachers. Open our eyes and mind so that we are aware of false and distorted teachings. Give us wisdom. Thank you for your Word so that we can always know what You want us to know.
Surviving Attack | Tara Wiley
S~ If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Corinthians 11:30 (NLT)
O~ Many times, Paul brings up the concept that our weaknesses become a showcase for God’s strength. He takes the next 10 verses of 1 Corinthians 12 to expand on the theme in relationship to a mysterious thorn in his flesh. But in chapter 11 he just finished listing all of the abuses he experienced as a believer. In these circumstances, he experienced weakness not because of something within him, but through people and situations out of his control.
A~ After years of battling chronic illness, I’ve learned the secret of boasting in my own physical weaknesses. I can recount many times when God showed His tender strength to me in ways that I could not have experienced without the physical torment my body put me through. But when I am attacked by others – when the assault comes from people around me – I do not immediately pause to think of worshiping God, boasting in the woundedness I feel. Indeed, I get angry, or I just feel crushed and incapacitated.
Attacks because of our faith, verbal and otherwise, are becoming more commonplace in US society. It’s certainly becoming commonplace online! We used to be able to hold our beliefs and standards with little more threat than being misunderstood. Not so, now. Taking a stand for Christ invites ridicule. As a church, we are feeling the heat, and I’ve been burdened to see so many believers respond in anger and pride, not thinking twice about the verbal lashings they dole out, not only to the world in general, but even among believers.
I think there’s a secret here in what Paul is saying and doing. He takes these beatings as opportunities to focus on Christ. As we turn our pain into worship, God gives us the perspective we need to know what to say and do next (if anything at all!). We become less as He becomes more (John 3:30). We turn to the Author and Perfecter of our faith and find no need to engage in foolish behavior or talk (Hebrews 12:2). We find His wisdom to carry us through the pain – wisdom that is pure, peaceable, full of mercy and good fruit, unwavering and without hypocrisy (James 3:17). We find that we can boast in Him.
P~ Lord, the society we live in today concerns me. I find myself wondering more than ever when to speak and when to be silent. I want to be a good witness for You, but I don’t want to malign Your name with my own fallible words. I know that I cannot stand for You and simultaneously be safe from attack. Give me courage, Lord, knowing the vulnerability that comes from that stance – the opening up of myself for attack – is a place where I can boast in Your strength. When the attack comes, help me remember to focus on You instead of angrily defending myself or becoming emotionally incapacitated. For when I am weak, then I am strong! (I Cor 12:10)
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