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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Endurance Training | Kelley Deases
S~ Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
O~ This oft-quoted verse is a powerful reminder that what we do as parents is significant in our children’s lives. It encourages me to keep at it and take every opportunity to pour into them God’s wisdom and my own life experience.
A~ Two “current events” in the lives of my boys, one concerning each of them, immediately came to mind. For my oldest, he seems to be grappling with some daddy abandonment wounds that are beginning to surface many years after the fact. I believe that as he himself is becoming a man and is sorting out what kind of a man, husband, and father he will be, he is painstakingly facing the reality of how his own father missed the mark. I have the opportunity to help comfort him in his hurt and disappointment, but also to help him realize he is a product of his life experiences — good and bad — and not to curse it but embrace it and let God turn it to the good. While not denying the hurt, he will be able to relate to other kids who have broken homes as he pursues a career in youth ministry. God can use his life, especially the broken pieces.
Also, last night, I was at a BBQ with my 6-year-old when a kid about his age got in the way of some bigger kids playing baseball and was accidentally struck with a metal bat. A gash over his eye was bleeding profusely and the kid was whisked away to the ER for probable stitches. As hard as it was for me to see that scene play out, it must have been even harder for my little boy, who had a front-row seat to the action. After the party, we had a long talk about our compassion for both boys involved in the incident, how they both must be feeling, and lifted them up in prayer to the Lord.
P~ Father, I am so grateful for the two amazing boys You have entrusted to me to help train up. I need Your help every day as I imperfectly walk out this monumental feat called parenting.
Focus | Kim Chipman
S~ Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord. Proverbs 23:17 (NLT)
O/A~ My first thought is – who are sinners? Who am I not supposed to envy? Sinners? That’s everyone. I should not feel this way toward anyone at all. Ever. This speaks to my heart focus really…am I focused on fear (reverence) of You – my Audience of One? Or am I focused on what I want but don’t have (and maybe someone else does)? Am I thankful or discontent? What am I choosing to see?
P~ Lord, help me to focus my heart – my thoughts – my intentions – toward You and You alone. Help me to truly rest in having You as my audience of One. I love You.
Productive and Useful Faith | Joni Tyner
S~ Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 1 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT)
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8 (NLT)
O~ Peter is teaching us that it STARTS with faith, we then SUPPLEMENT our faith by transforming our behavior to look more like Christ. The result is a productive, useful life that positively impacts the Kingdom.
A~ This scripture motivates me to continue to stay in God’s Word so that my knowledge grows and I continue to pursue excellence in personal characteristics that point others to Jesus. I have a strong desire to be productive and useful in my life, especially my faith walk. I can’t think of anything more disappointing than to one day find out my efforts for serving the Lord were meaningless because I was focusing on the wrong thing. I want to make a difference for the Kingdom!
P~ Dear Lord, please grow in me a burning desire to be in Your Word. Please help me with self -control, patience and endurance. I’m rotten at these characteristics. ☹ Please use me for Your Kingdom.
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