“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NLT) The heart of this ministry is to inspire a love for God’s Word and encourage the discipline of daily Bible reading and SOAP journaling. 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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Not by works | Marisa Hartman
S~ If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Romans 4:2-3 (NIV)
O~ If Abraham could be good enough through deeds, He wouldn’t need faith. As we know, only Jesus lived a perfect life. Abraham was a sinner like the rest of us, but because he believed God, he was justified.
A~ We are justified by faith. Galatians 2:16 says, “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”
I am so grateful that it is not my actions that determine my salvation. I would have absolutely NO hope. I cannot count the times I’ve begged God’s forgiveness for the stupid choices I’ve made. The amazing thing is, that when I confess and cry out to Him, He forgives me before I forgive myself. I mentally beat myself up often for not being able to overcome the same sins that plague me. Even though I know I’m forgiven my heart finds it difficult to believe when I make the same mistakes over and over. Paul illustrates it well in Romans 7:19 and 22-23 “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” “I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” (NLT)
We need faith in Christ to reconcile us with God. Thank God that He would send Jesus to bring His children back to Him. We couldn’t possibly do it on our own. I’m a mess and guess what? So are you. We don’t have to be perfect to belong to Christ. He’s not looking for our good girl ways. He’s looking for hearts that seek Him and try their best.
P~ Lord, thank you for loving us AS WE ARE. Help me strive to be more like you daily. Thank you for the new covenant. Being allowed connection with You is one pretty great gift. Help me to never take it for granted. Thank You for you gentle grace when I fail you over and over with the same things. I love You and am proud to be Yours. Amen
A Woman Who Trusts God | Kelley Deases
S~ However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 4:5 (NIV)
O~ Have you ever been awed by someone’s ability to weather tremendous hardship yet hold tight to God’s promises? I have. Many times. I believe it is the mark of true faith, what God credits to us as righteousness, when people let us down, life doesn’t go as planned, and circumstances can seem bleak and hopeless, yet we decide to trust God with the outcome and cease from exhausting and futile gyrations and manipulations to try to make it different.
A~ One such person who has inspired me with her consistent faith through seasons of profound trial is my cousin’s wife. She married my cousin over twenty-five years ago, when the three of us attended college together. Over the years, I came to learn her father had left her family to pursue another relationship when she was young, causing deep wounds and scars in his wake. Notwithstanding some rebellious and destructive behaviors as a teen, my cousin’s wife ultimately found her way to the church and to the Lord. She met and married my cousin, who had been raised in the church by Christian parents and himself was walking closely with the Lord. Theirs was a marriage and family built on a foundation of Christ. Two decades later, however, the ploys of the Enemy and the lures of the world began to creep in and entice my cousin away from his bride and his children in favor of isolation, selfishness, drinking and an affair. His wife found herself smack in the middle of another broken family. Her deepest wounds this time are the ones felt by her teenage and young adult children. So painful for her mother’s heart. Almost three years have passed since my cousin moved out, yet the ugly matters of the dissolution and division of assets still goes on. In the midst of all this, though, I have witnessed such strength and resilience in her, as she continues to make the hard choice to trust God with her life and in her kids’ lives. As with Abraham, her faith is surely credited to her as righteousness.
P~ Thank You for putting this lovely woman of God in my life all those years ago. We have journeyed through many ups and downs and she has been an invaluable friend, confidante, and sister through it all.
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