July 13, 2017 2 Kings 6,7; 2 Chronicles 20; 1 Timothy 1:12-20

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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Wait for the Lord | Tara Wiley 

S~ And the king said, “All this misery is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?” 2 Kings 6:33 NLT

O~ The king was in a trial of such extremes that I cannot begin to imagine the weight of it. He was responsible for his people, and they were starving to death. He had just witnessed the unbearable agony of a woman who had eaten her own child just the day before. No wonder he was beside himself! In his despair, he turned his anger against Elisha, determined to kill him. The king could not solve the problems in front of him, and he was tired of waiting for God’s intervention… so he decided to take action himself (and what a terrifying action!). If only he could have turned the page of history to see what was just around the corner – God’s miraculous intervention, coming the very next day.

A~ How often do I freak out over circumstances in my life that seem insurmountable, and in that state, let my emotions take over, drawing me into sin? I love that this story is in the Bible, a vivid picture of the value of waiting on God, trusting His timing, knowing His intervention will come in ways I cannot begin to fathom. I’ve seen it in my own life in the past. I will see it again! I just have to trust.

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

P~ Lord, thank You for the amazing Old Testament stories of Your intervention. I love remembering how You provide for Your people! I am also grateful for the sobering examples of men and women who foolishly allowed their emotions to get the best of the them during the heat of trial. When I’m tempted to take matters into my own hands, remind me of this story – a vivid word picture of Your perfect rescue in Your perfect, miraculous way. I will wait for You. I trust You, Lord!

What I Was I No Longer Am | Kelley Deases

S~ Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 1 Timothy 1:13 (NIV)

O~ The Apostle Paul acknowledges the grievous mistakes of his past, calling himself “the worst of sinners,” pointing to God’s mercy as what saved him and God’s power as what transformed him.

A~ If I were personally making this confession, it would sound more like: ” Even though I was once a judgmental, legalistic hypocrite, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and immaturity.”

P~ Father, While I certainly have not arrived at the pinnacle of spiritual maturity by any means, I can see great progress from the young woman who was so convinced she had it all figured out and looked down upon those who struggled. I had to pass through my own mighty struggle to emerge with a greater sense of dependency upon You and a greater sense of empathy and compassion for others.

Grace is for me! | Deanna George

S~ The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. ‭1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ (NIV)

O~ Grace is for everyone. Paul was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. God still loved him and saw who he could be when grace, love, and faith is poured out and it takes hold in his heart.

A~ Amen to God’s willingness to pour out his love and grace. Do I claim that grace or do I dwell in my sin? Do I have a hard time asking forgiveness because the guilt is so heavy? God is so much bigger than my sin, my emotions, and my doubt that I can be forgiven. I tend to dwell on my wrongdoings because I get caught up in the emotions of my weakness. How do I get out of the downward spiral? STOP, ASK FOR FORGIVENESS, ACCEPT GOD’s FORGIVENESSES, AND BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT RECEIVING GOD’s GRACE. I need to believe/have faith that he can handle my lapse in judgment, my loose mouth, or terse tongue. I have to take ownership of my behavior. That in itself can be so hard for me, but the love and grace that gets poured out on me is so refreshing that it gives me the strength to deal with any consequences that may come from my choices. It’s a feeling that I am not alone. It’s not always easy to accept grace but that is why God shared his son: so that he may save me!

P~ Lord Jesus, thank you for your grace and love. Please help me to remember to stop and have a heart to heart with you when I am in the midst of making bad choices in my life. Open my eyes and ears to know when you are encouraging me to stop the behavior and ask for forgiveness. Bring me to my knees if that is what it takes. Please walk beside me when the ceiling hits the fan from my own doing. Thank you for the Holy Spirit because I definitely need a helper in this life I have. I love the grace you pour out on me. I am an imperfect person who needs you.

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