September 14, 2017 Proverbs 25-27; 2 Peter 2:1-12

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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Thanks for Saying That, Mom | Tara Wiley

S~ Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11 (NASB)

O~ In the New Testament, James calls the tongue a fire and compares it to a wild, untamable animal. There’s such power in our words! This is especially obvious in times of crisis, and even more so when parenting is punctuated by challenging – well, let’s call them opportunities.

I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of the wrong word at the wrong time. I’ve also received the apple of gold in the setting of silver, and there’s nothing like it. Turning my words into silver and gold requires a miracle. A miracle requires God working through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I cannot always choose the right word to bring good to a difficult situation. What I can do is hold my tongue and pray as I wait for God’s direction. I’ve learned over years of practice to do this with hurting people. I’m still very much learning to do this with my children. Someday when they are grown, I want them to look back on those times of discipline and be able to say honestly, “That was hard, but necessary. Thanks for saying and doing what you did.”

A~ When my emotions – anger, fear, pride – take over, my words are taken over as well. Scripture says my words are a reflection of my heart. Isn’t that the truth!

So the FIRST thing I must work on if I ever hope to find the right, beautiful words is my heart.

P~ Lord, here we come back to the fruit of the Spirit, and the condition of my heart. Forgive my pride and controlling, fearful, hurtful nature that drives me to respond with hurtful words. I need Your transformative power, Lord, the kind that raises the dead. Resurrect my heart to a new way of responding – with a word spoken rightly.

Choose Well | Kim Chipman

S~ A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)

O/A~ Self control is a fruit of Your Spirit. When I choose to live without it I’m choosing to function outside of Your power. I always feel bad when I live without boundaries. It seems fun in the moment to exercise freedom. You do give me free will to choose. I can choose ‘broken down walls’ open to enemy attack or I can choose to be led by the Spirit. There’s no peace when I’m under attack. I recently read this quote by Rick Warren: “While temptation is Satan’s primary weapon to destroy you, God wants to use it to develop you. Every time you choose to do good instead of sin, you are growing in the character of Christ. Every temptation is an opportunity to do good.” Sometimes temptation gets annoying and frustrating. It takes a lot of effort to choose well consistently, but it’s worth the effort. I need to remember that.

P~ Help me to make wise choices! I love You.

When My Enemy Shakes My Hand | Joni Tyner

S~ Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend, all the while conniving against you. When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute, he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off. No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice, eventually his evil will be exposed in public.  Proverbs 26: 24-26  (The Message)

O~ Who is my enemy?  Satan. He is the deceiver, the father of all lies. He is working against God to trick me, to discourage me, to keep me from living out my life purpose.

A~ A few years back, I read a little book called, “The Red Sea Rules—The same God who led you in will lead you out”- by Robert Morgan.  It was so good. It gave life “rules” for going through difficult times.  One of the rules was, “Acknowledge your enemy by keep your eyes on the Lord”.   I thought about this rule when I saw this proverb.  Our enemy is Satan, it’s not the pawns (people, situations) he uses to upset us, to make us doubt God’s goodness.   By acknowledging Satan’s existence and seeing it for what it is, it really does make it easier to almost laugh it off, dig in my heals and stay focused on God.  This proverb reminds me that I need to stay alert with things I am comfortable in, he tries to deceive me with things that on the surface may seem good but are really not of God.

P~  Lord, give me clear eyes to see You. Expose the schemes of the deceiver to me.  I know I most clearly recognize him when I am walking closely to You, when I am in Your Word, when I am praying, when I am alert.  (Ephesians 6:13-18)

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