December 8, 2017 Amos 4-6; Psalm 86,87; Luke 6:1-36

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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All In | Deanna George

S~ Teach me your ways, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear you. Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

O~ 1. Teach me.

2. Give me an undivided heart.

A~ Both of these requests put God front and center in my life. It gives God the go ahead to work in me however he wants, and it makes me a willing participant. Oh how I want this, but it’s also a little scary at the same time. Growth usually comes with stretching my capabilities, beliefs, and fortitude to persevere. Do I really want to ask God to do this in my life, no matter the cost? Yes I do! I already know that he won’t give me more than I can handle. So why wouldn’t I want to see where he can take me? There is a bubbling excitement to see what  God wants to teach me. A willing heart is the first step. I have that,so let’s see what God has in store for me.

P~ Lord Jesus, please teach me your way. I want to know you in a deeper way that allows my heart and mind to seek you FIRST ~ not man, not books, but through reading your Word and prayer. I am yours completely: heart, mind, body, and soul.

Rich in God | Kelley Deases

S~ But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Luke 6:24 (NIV)

O~ Our first inclination is to balk and try to deny that “rich” really describes us. But there is no denying that most of us who live in this country, have a job, have a roof over our head and food on the table every night are among the wealthiest people in the world. So it is to us Jesus gives this strong caution. Are we clinging to our bank accounts or our material possessions for our protection and security, or to the true Savior, Jesus Christ? Are we acknowledging every good and perfect gift comes from the Father and embracing what it means that we are “blessed to be a blessing”?

A~ Some of Jesus’ teachings are very hard to read and this one is no exception. But before I conclude I must sell everything I own and give away the proceeds, I need to remember He gave me whatever I have in this life: my generous parents, my scholarship to law school, my employment opportunities, my husband and his skills and work ethic, the opportunities we have been able to seize over the years. I know full well these have been blessings from His hand and that, but for His grace, my life could look very different. May I never forget to point to Him as the Great Giver, be humble in anything we are allowed to hold, and let our gifts flow through our hands to His Church and His people and not with a clenched fist.

P~ Lord, Have Your way with our home, our income, our possessions, and our hearts. You have lavished upon us indeed and it is our responsibility to steward all those things well.

Love Well | Kim Chipman

S~ If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. Luke 6:32-33 (NIV)

O~ Jesus is teaching about loving our enemies. As I read this section I wonder what would define an enemy exactly? Because often it is people that are closest to me that are the most difficult to love this way – with no expectation of reciprocity. I’d say unmet expectations are the source of a whole lot of relational turmoil.

v 35-36 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

While I don’t think of the people closest to me as wicked (or as enemies) they are often ungrateful. You have shown me amazing mercy. This is a command to do the same with the promise of great reward.

A~ I need to hear this today. My flesh can justify being unkind to someone who I don’t think deserves kindness, but this is not Your way. This is not living and loving like You. I’m not sure how to purge my heart of expectations, but I know You can show me.

P~ Lord, help me to love well. Help me to give and love without expecting reciprocity. Help me to show (and feel!) love and mercy like You do. I need You. I can’t do this on my own. I love You!

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