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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Encouragement | Joni Tyner
S~ So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters., because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 (NLT)
O~ Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica to encourage the believers living in that area. Timothy came back with a great report, the believers were doing well and staying strong in their faith!
A~ The notes in my Bible state that new believers (and also mature believers) will be encouraged when they see someone holding fast to their faith in the midst of difficulty. This scripture, once again, reminds me to keep doing the little things to encourage others in their faith walk. It is free and takes minimal effort to say something encouraging to someone or perhaps send them a text during the day. It could entail something practical like giving a gift card to someone’s family who has been sitting up in the hospital with a sick one or stopping by their house to mow their lawn. All people need encouragement! The longer I’m a Christ follower, the more I see this. I see the power of my words to say something to a stressed-out parent or an exhausted physician who always goes the extra mile for their patients. I know for me personally, the best compliments and the greatest encouragement are when someone sees my heart. It encourages me to know someone was just a little more relaxed or their day was brightened a bit because of something I said or did.
P~ Dear Lord, please give me insight to what makes people tick and what would most encourage them. I pray my words will always lift others up. Please silence thoughts that begin in my brain that are negative and could discourage others or be misunderstood. I pray for energy and margin to live with a constant Kingdom focus.
Paul’s Single-minded Mission (What’s Mine?) | Kelley Deases
S~ For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 3:8 (NIV)
O~ Paul, even though he is facing “distress and persecution,” is encouraged to learn of the faith and love of the Thessalonians per Timothy’s good report.
A~ Reading of Paul’s single-minded devotion to spreading the gospel of Christ above all else, not even deterred by prison and beatings and various other hardships, can sometimes be a slap in the face to me. As I look back over the last month, my mind and heart have been pretty consumed with an impending move from one house to another and all that that entails. But Paul’s deep concern for the faith walk of others turns my attention to someone, a lady named Lisa. The other day, I went in to my favorite nail salon and had a very open and easy conversation with the woman who helped me. She and I had several things in common, but she definitely appears to be floundering in the area of faith. I mentioned how it can be difficult to walk into a church without knowing anyone, so I offered that she and her family were welcome to join us at our church some time. I have been meaning to pop by and visit her again, with a card noting the exact address of the church and service time we attend….. but then life got busy again. Today’s reading gave me the nudge I need to follow through with my good intention. After all, what is a move in comparison with someone’s eternity?
P~ Father, Thank You for speaking to my heart so consistently and clearly every time I open the pages of Your Word.
NOT Independence Day | Kim Chipman
S~ Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 (NIV)
O~ Paul was encouraged while he was being persecuted by the faith of the Thessalonian people.
A~ Today is the 4th of July – Independence Day. We celebrate our independence as a country. While political/economic independence can be a great thing, You did not design us as believers to live independently. You designed us to function as a body. Connected. Reliant. (on You and each other)
While I’m not being persecuted the way Paul was, I am in a serious spiritual battle. The harder I pursue You the harder the enemy tries to get me off track.
I need my tribe of girlfriends. Everyone needs a tribe. When my faith runs thin, my strength is gone, I feel discouraged, I want to quit…I am so encouraged by the collective faith of the tribe. It’s grounding.
P~ Thank You for my tribe. I need community to live well for You. I love You!
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