“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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I Need Relationship | Kim Chipman
S~ There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else. The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. Judges 18:28 (NIV)
O~ v7 So the five men left and came to Laish, where they saw that the people were living in safety, like the Sidonians, at peace and secure. And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous. Also, they lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no relationship with anyone else.
v9 They answered, “Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t hesitate to go there and take it over.
The Danites had been forced out of their land by the Amorites so they were wandering around looking for a place to settle. They weren’t seeking God or His Will or direction, they were out on their own doing whatever looked good. They attacked Laish because it was a good, peaceful place and because it was isolated and they had no relationships.
A~ As I read this today I feel like this could be satans little minions plotting against ME if I don’t do what I need to do to be truly healthy. I could look prosperous, peaceful, and secure, but if I have “no relationship with anyone else” – like not close to You or to other believers that can spur me on and keep me strong – then I’m wide open for enemy attack. There’s no one to rescue me – to get me back on track.
I need You and I need my people to keep pushing me toward You.
P~ Thank You for this reminder! As much as my human brain thinks independence and self sufficiency is good, You didn’t design me that way. I’m completely dependent on You. Apart from you I can do nothing. I love You!
Love and Justice | Kelley Deases
S~ Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Psalm 89:14 (NIV)
O~ God is a God of righteousness and justice, but at the same time also a God of love and faithfulness.
A~ My husband and I have been very permissive with our now 9-year-old son having computer/tablet screen time. After all, we have reasoned, he does very well in his grades and behavior at school and he’s an only child (for all practical purposes….his big brother goes to college out of state). But it seems to be having some undesirable results in our home as of late. He is rarely inclined or motivated to do anything else apart from this and has begun to act as if he is entitled to his computer time above any other responsibilities, to include, apparently, homework and obedience to his parents. We have experienced a couple very challenging days as we have stood our ground in the face of some out-and-out tirades!
At bedtime last night, after an exhausting argument, I tucked him in and said a prayer. My son balked when I began asking God’s guidance for us as parents and for God to work in our son’s heart with respect to his attitudes and behavior. He clearly did not want to rehash it; but what else could I say? Any other prayer would have been insincere. Then his dad walked into the room to tell him, “I love you.” Even when our son tried to revisit some earlier harsh words and raw emotion, his dad remained calm and reassured him of his parents’ unconditional love for him.
P~ Father God, Even as my husband and I try our best to reflect Your righteousness, justice, love and faithfulness in our parenting, help us to see those areas where we, too, are rebellious children who want what we want when we want it. Help us to call our son higher, but still show him compassion, as we have received so abundantly from You.
Maintaining Daily Habits | Tara Wiley
S~ Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of Your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:15 NIV
O~ Ethan is writing this Psalm in the middle of a season of doubt and despair (verses 38-51), yet he begins with praise and moves on to recount God’s specific promises before giving voice to his inner frustration. Then, as if to remind himself one more time, he ends the Psalm with the choice to praise God forever and ever (verse 52).
This is an example of one who learns to acclaim God, to walk in the light of His presence. It’s a choice to focus on God first and foremost. And that choice is made daily as part of a walk… a journey… an ongoing course. I can guarantee this would not have been Ethan’s response in crisis if it had not already been his chosen response in daily life: a worship-directed perspective from beginning to end.
A~ I am struggling right now with the impending move of my dear friend, Lana. She is my person. Many of my daily habits right now are centered on time with her, specifically in terms of exercise. My daily walks happen with Lana. I am worried how I will maintain this daily habit without looking forward to spending that exercise time with her.
Habits are so important! And for me, I maintain habit when I wrap it up in relationship. That’s why being part of a group of people who read the Bible daily and SOAP it out is so helpful for me. God knows we need habit. God knows we need to walk this thing out on a daily basis, so when the crisis moments come, we have the patterns set in place to worship Him no matter what. And in that worship, in His presence, we find light. I want to keep up the positive habits in my life that keep me focused on God. And for me, that means maintaining relationship.
P~ Lord, thanks for the reminders of Your faithfulness throughout this entire Psalm. Thank You for Your word! Thank You for the light of Your presence. Thank You for teaching me to walk with You, and for the reminder today of how important habit is in my walk with You. Thank You that even in seasons where my friends may not be just down the road, we can still hold one another accountable to walking – both with You, and literally in daily exercise. 😉 Thank You that You are going before Lana to prepare the way for her to develop new local friends who will help her maintain positive habits. Thank You that You’re already going ahead of me here to prepare the way in the new normal that will come for me after she moves. Thank You for caring for this detail in my life – so small in the grand scheme of this world, but You care about the hairs on my head and the friends in my life! I will worship You forever and ever.
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