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 more excuses | Marisa Tomlinson
S~ “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Jeremiah 1:6 (NIV)
O~ The Lord appeared to Jeremiah to call him as a prophet. Jeremiah felt ill equipped for the task and gave God excuses for why he could not.
A~ God appeared to Jeremiah and he still tried to say no! When God gives me a message, I try to discern whether or not it was Him. If only I could hear God like Jeremiah did. I’d like to believe it would be easier to follow His direction. There are things that I’m fairly certain God has “spoken” to me about. I’m ashamed to admit how many of them I’ve followed through on. He repeatedly has spoken to me about trusting His timing. I’m getting better at listening to that. He has also impressed it upon me to take better care of the body He gave me. That’s been a lot harder. It’s so easy to be lazy and eat whatever sounds good. That liar the devil whispers that it’s not that big of a deal; God loves me anyway. I KNOW that God loves me, and that is why He wants me to be healthy enough to serve Him. Whatever God calls me to do, He will equip me to do. I never thought I could walk through some of the fires I’ve been called to walk through, but I did. He was there to guide and protect me. He will always be there, I just have to listen.
P~ Lord, thank you for calling me to Your side. Help me to listen to Your voice above all else. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. I praise You for walking me though some very difficult roads I order to make me stronger. I choose to trust that whatever You call me to do, You will give me the strength and wisdom to do. Amen
Worth Following | Kelley Deases
S~ They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. Jeremiah 2:5b (NIV)
O~ Our church is in the middle of a sermon series called “Worth Following,” examining some of the “I am” claims of Christ, e.g. “I am the bread of life.” “I am the light of the world.” “I am the good shepherd.” We are collectively exploring/revisiting these claims to determine if we will follow Him and/or better support the reasons why we are already followers.
A~ Maybe that is why this verse stood out to me today. God tells Jeremiah that when the Israelites turned to worship things that were worthless, items made from wood and stone, the people became worthless themselves. This is a profound statement: our lives only possess meaning to the degree we are pursuing something (or Someone) meaningful.
I am reading a book right now called “Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships.” The author notes it is a deep human need to live for something beyond ourselves. “If we can connect with an eternal cause, then we feel as if we are going to live forever… Some people might carve their name in a redwood tree while other might join the Sierra Club. Both acts are — among other things — symbolic ways of grasping at longevity and importance.” … Even as Christians, the author contends, “we make ourselves god-like by being ‘right’ and this becomes our alternative means of salvation, in which we don’t need the real God. We need to repent of this plan of salvation and relinquish the hero projects we’ve created to shape ourselves into mini-gods. We need to recognize we are finite, dependent creatures who are lost apart from God’s mercy and grace.”
P~ Father, May I ever follow hard after You and allow You to give my life its value and meaning, lest I should seek out a lesser idol and become lesser in the process.
Worth Following | Kim Chipman
S~ This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. Jeremiah 2:5 (NIV)
O~ Our church is going through a series right now called “Worth Following”. We are going through the “I Am” statements that Jesus makes in the gospel of John. By studying God’s character we remember why He is “Worth Following”.
A~ Today is my birthday. Much like the start of a new year I get introspective and self evaluate a good bit around my birthday. You have been speaking clearly to me about idols and putting You back on the throne of my heart.
I know there are things I’ve been pursuing that are NOT worth following. In the moment I enjoy them, but they are not Your best for me. Most of them surround what I consume…too much unhealthy food, alcohol, worthless TV, laziness… I’ve been undisciplined in these areas. It is making me tired and unproductive. I know I don’t have to perform to earn Your love, but I also know that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10. You have assignments for me.
When I don’t choose Your best and I consume junk for pleasure (whether mind or body) I am essentially following worthless idols and becoming worthless myself. I’m straying. I need to come back. I don’t like the direction I’m going and the choices I’m making. I don’t like where it’s leading. I need to return to disciplined living so I can bear much fruit in my life for You.
So, today is my line in the sand day. I’ve had these before, but I’m going to have one again. Clean up my eating, no more alcohol, no more junk TV wasting my time. Feed my mind and my body healthy, nourishing things…Your best for me. It may mean choosing delayed gratification, but You are absolutely worth following. Not my fickle desires. YOU are worth it!
P~ Thank You for being so patient with me. I know I’ve strayed away but I’m coming back! Help me to remain in You, connected to You, pursuing You. Continue to give me fresh fire for You. I love You!
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