May 4, 2018 Judges 16,17; 1 Corinthians 4

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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Receiving | Kelley Deases

S~ For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

O~ Ah, the human condition! Over the course of a single day, I can assess, in my own mind and heart, that I am blessed beyond measure to lead the life I lead — my marriage, my kids, my home, my job, my friends, my church, my neighborhood — and later, throw myself a pity party, asking God why this is my lot! Has anyone ever, except Jesus and maybe the Apostle Paul and Mother Theresa, lived a life which strikes the perfect balance of humility, gratitude and contentedness? If so, I envy that person! 😉

A~ As I reflect on this verse today and what I am to do with it, God is reminding me I am to be open-handed in what I receive from Him. While it is easy to rejoice and be glad when His blessings flow, cannot I also accept the challenges, out of which I know I will grapple and grow? Will I only receive the good, as though I somehow deserve it, and shun that which is uncomfortable or unpleasant but may, in fact, bring about the greater good in the end?

P~ Father, You are the Giver of all good things. But I often confuse “good” with easy or comfortable. Help me to receive what You give with open hands and an open heart, trusting that You know what I need most.

My King | Kim Chipman

S~ In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Judges 17:6 (NLT)

O~ Micah’s Mom just had silver (that Micah had stolen then returned to her) melted down into an idol. Micah made a shrine with the idol and made one of his sons his personal priest. All completely against God’s commands.

A~ Honestly, as I read this I’m reminded of our present culture. The things we (I) value get off target pretty easily and quickly without anyone saying a thing…but joining in because ‘everyone’s doing it’. Micah could have pointed out to his Mom that God would not be happy with them worshiping an idol, but he joined right in and even went a step further to appoint a priest on his own for his personal use. What? I need to remember that there is a just King in my life always. No matter what people around me are doing I need to return to You for guidance. “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” ~Proverbs 14:12, 16:25 (NLT).

P~ Lord, help me to return to Your Word often for guidance…each decision…one step at a time…continually connected to You so I don’t pick the path that just seems right…but the path that you lead me on…even if it’s the more challenging path to walk. You are my King. I love you~

Powerful Living | Tara Wiley

S~ For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NLT)

O~ In today’s reading in Joshua, the Israelites were delivered by God’s power – across a swollen, flooded river; and through a triumphant, wall-tumbling victory over Jericho. Neither event was done by human effort, but each event required the people to walk in faith, obedient to God’s unique call – step into the flooded water; march silently around the city.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul reminds us – this God-following cannot be just a lot of talk. We have to walk it out, faithful to follow His direction, trusting His power to give us what we need each day.

A~ When the overwhelming circumstances of this life leave me feeling stuck, I can walk forward into the swollen, flooded river, trusting God’s power to pave the way for me that I cannot see on my own. When I see an insurmountable wall before me – no way in, no way around, no way to overcome this enemy – I can remember the power of God within me is the same power of God that crumbled the walls of Jericho.

P~ Lord, thank You for the reminder that You have given me power through Your Holy Spirit, power to overcome! Help me to walk in faith, not stopped and stuck, but moving forward in confident trust that You will pave the way. Today, I will live in power.

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