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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Refocus to Reverent Submission | Kim Chipman
S~ And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28 (NIV)
O~ Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 15:33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
A~ Fear = reverence
Lately I’ve been feeling discombobulated. Not anchored – in my heart. Discontent. Restless. Doubting myself. Not confident. Ugh – I hate it.
The thing is I think I’ve been looking for it in the wrong place. From people. The validation, the sense of belonging, the approval. I’ve shifted my focus and it’s leaving me feeling a mess.
Wisdom, understanding, knowledge – comes from You and You alone. I can’t be seeking it anywhere else, but I have been. This week I met with a gal that was asking me some advice. I’m pretty bad at advice, I generally just tell people how to find You so You can guide them. As I talked I really sensed that the things You wanted her to hear were things I needed reminding of also. That feeling of security and peace only comes from living in a place where my thoughts are focused on honoring You, focused on truth. When I know deeply my identity in You and remember who You are then I can live out the life You have planned for me with joy, peace, security and confidence. No comparing, trying to be something I’m not, seeking approval from anyone but You. Everything I need comes from You. It all is about You. Reverent submission to You.
P~ Lord, thank You for helping me see this today. Help me to keep my thoughts focused on truth, focused on You, my Audience of One. I love You.
The Never ending battle | Trisha Baker
S~ but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 (NIV)
O~ We can work our entire trying to always say the right thing, but it will never happen in our own strength.
A~ The verse doesn’t say that the tongue cannot be tamed, it says it can’t be tamed by a human. This is at least a little bit of hope in the never ending battle to always say the right thing. I don’t know that while we are on this earth we will ever always say the right thing no matter how we feel or what the situation is. I think a big portion of this is the renewing of our minds. There is another verse in the Bible that talks about what is in your heart is what will come out of your mouth. This also gives me hope that the more time I spend with Jesus, hopefully his love and peace will come out of my mouth more often. I am sure this will be a struggle for as long as we are on this earth, but this like all other struggles, if we give it to Him, He will help us overcome it!
P~ Heavenly Father, help me to always remember that what comes out my mouth can never be taken back. Help me to always keep you in the forefront of my heart and mind, so that Your words become my first reaction when trouble comes my way. Help me to remember to give this struggle to you every day and to never think I can handle this one on my own. I need you Jesus every day. In your precious name, Amen.
My Inconsistent Words | Joni Tyner
S~ Sometimes it (our tongue) praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. James 3:9 (NLT)
O~ The third chapter of James is talking about controlling the tongue. This scripture is pointing out that Christians are absolutely guilty of the sin of saying one thing and then doing another.
A~ As Kim has journaled many, many times, this is a simple concept that is INCREDIBLY hard to do!!! I have went to church many times and enthusiastically and genuinely praised God—hours later I hear myself saying mean, harsh things. I don’t want this to be so!!! I genuinely want my the words that flow from my mouth to be encouraging and filled with grace and love to EVERYONE, not just selective people at selective times in my day.
I recently saw an article (on Facebook again!!) about how often people judge and say negative things to McDonald’s workers. The article pointed out that some fast food chains are thought of in more negative ways than other minimum wage jobs.
The author of this article worked at McDonald’s for 4 years and constantly was asked, “when are you going to get a better job?” “Why do you work there? You are capable of so much more.” As well as many other negative comments. It pointed out that people seem to automatically categorize workers in certain jobs as dumb, lazy, and unmotivated and I realized I have been guilty of this attitude many times. I felt convicted to re-think and appreciate people from many types of employment. I have provided the link for those interested in reading her point of view. It isn’t a Christian article—but it is very transparent and real life—I definitely saw myself in some of the attitudes she sensed while working at McDonald’s.
P~ Dear Lord, please convict me to examine my heart and remove attitudes of judgment, superiority, and pride. I desire to have eyes of compassion and appreciation when I meet people from all walks of life. Once again, I am convicted by Your Word to strive to live and SPEAK in a way that gives You glory.
Sermon | Drew Scates
My church is doing a really great series from this portion of James. This sermon is very much worth the time to listen to and reflect on!
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