July 14, 2017 2 Kings 8,9; 2 Chronicles 21; 1 Timothy 2
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 Interfering | Kim Chipman
S~ He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed.Then the man of God began to weep. 2 Kings 8:11 (NIV)
O~ Elisha was relaying a message from God to Hazael. He was so grieved by the message that he wept as he delivered it.
What I notice in Elisha that is very different from how I would respond is that he just delivered God’s message. He didn’t interfere, try to change the outcome, leave anything out or manipulate God’s message in any way. He was grieved by it, wanted it to be different, but just passed it along.
A~ I want to be more like Elisha in this. It’s pride to think I know better anyway! But I know I interfere. Reading how Elisha handled it I was thinking…”How are you not trying to talk him out of that!? How are you not trying to change what Hazael will do??” I know I would. There are opportunities, especially with my kids, to just put your truth out there and I sugar coat it a little. Or just use the parts I want to get the message across I’m trying to convey. I’m pretty sure I do this even just in my own head!Ugh! I don’t want to do this! I really want to simply hear You and do what You say. No interfering. Just deliver the message. Keep myself and my feelings/needs/wants/desires OUT.
P~ Lord, help me to boldly embrace and speak Your truth. Help my thoughts to be pure and honor You. I believe, but help my unbelief! Grow my trust. I love You!
Facebook Slander | Joni Tyner
S~ I urge you, first of all to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT)
O~ Paul is urging Timothy, as well as us, to pray for ALL people. He specifically instructs us to intercede on their behalf and…what? Give thanks for them.
A~ I enjoy Facebook, I really do. I have had some of my best bedtime giggles scrolling through my newsfeed as well as seeing encouraging stories of courage and faith. Lots of good stuff . and some other stuff too. I don’t think I can hardly log on without seeing something that is slanderous to another person. It might be about our president or perhaps a celebrity that is having a current life crisis after engaging into a new level of stupid. I think every person who has a Facebook account has seen this, in fact it is why my husband refuses to have anything to do with it.
As I read through 1 Timothy this morning, I saw many different scriptures that I could journal about, yet I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to go back to this particular one. Am I praying for the President on an regular basis? Or how about the celebrities that make the weekly tabloids? Honestly, the answer is rarely-to-ever, mostly NO. This scripture is getting me to rethink who I should be praying and interceding for.
Back to Facebook, I saw this week that Justin Bieber has become a new Christian and I clicked the links to several articles and scanned through them. My goodness were the Christians nasty about his declaration of faith in Jesus!! I couldn’t help wonder, have they prayed for his growth? Have they encouraged him? They are judging based on his past, (and possibly some current) behavior and doubting the sincerity of what he says. Now honestly, I have no idea—what-so-ever what Justin’s heart is and what God is going to do with his life, but for goodness sakes, he is just 21. How is he different from many other college age kids that might use profanity and party a bit too much? Just like me, his salvation is NOT based on what he does, and he can’t lose his salvation by doing a stupid thing. I should be praying for Justin and others when I see questionable stories in the news. God has an amazing plan for his life, (just like all of us) and it probably is going to take time to develop. His faith journey, like all of ours, will likely be filled with ups, downs and backsliding as the Holy Spirit convicts him to embrace more of the characteristics of Christ. Justin is a work in progress, he doesn’t have less grace and mercy because he is famous. Jesus died for him too and he gets the same grace as I do when he messes up.
P~ Dear Lord, first off, please forgive me for being that person who picks up a tabloid in the grocery store line. I have honestly done that 100’s of times as I was bored and waiting my turn. I have been “entertained” by seeing slanderous articles of celebrities and I’m sure I’ve occasionally talked about them in conversations with people. I have never once prayed for anyone on the tabloids that the Holy Spirit would stir their hearts or that marriages would be restored—I guess I thought they got what was coming to them because they are rich and famous. Please forgive me for being so arrogant and insensitive to the fact that these are real people who have souls and that you desperately love and died for. I also want to specifically pray for Justin this morning. Dear Lord use every single interaction he has to unsettle his heart when it doesn’t align with Your will. I pray he has crazy peace when he reads Your Word, that he has clarity and vision and embraces the purpose that You have given him. I also pray he has the courage to surround himself with mature believers who can speak truth into his life and encourage him in the midst of his celebrity lifestyle. I pray you use Justin’s life to bring a bold revival in the college youth of today. How exciting!!!!
The Hard Work of Having Children | Kelley Deases
S~ But women will be saved through childbearing — if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. 1 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
O~ Paul is writing here about a woman’s role in the church and in the family. An annotation in the margin of my study Bible suggests this verse may refer either to: (1) the birth of Christ, which brought salvation to all, or (2) the women of the church would be less susceptible to false teachers if they were tending to their own families.
A~ But for me, this verse reminds me what an awesome blessing it is to be a mother, and while my children are not responsible for my salvation, they certainly have aided in my sanctification. My boys have taught me countless spiritual truths, from God’s unconditional love for His children, which I have only glimpsed by my own love for mine, to how God must feel when His kids sin or stray.
Sometimes the lessons are more overt. Last weekend, my oldest son got a call that would change the course of his last summer before college. (And mine!) He was offered a staff position (which he had not even applied for) as a counselor at a Christian camp, which involves him living out at the campground for just over two months. Within hours, he called his baseball coach to quit the team, gave notice at his place of employment, and let his friends know he was unavailable for movies and coffee for the rest of the summer. At some point in this process, it dawned on me that he was moving out … the next day! A tiny tear may have rolled down my cheek with the realization. This is when my son said, “Mom, when Jesus called his disciples, they had to leave their jobs and families behind. I know God made this way for me, and I have to do this.” I can’t hardly argue with that, can I?
P~ Thank You for giving me two terrific boys and for all they teach me every day.
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