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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Reality Check | Kelley Deases
S~ In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding … Ephesians 1:7-8 (NIV)
O~ Paul, through these verses, clarifies for the believer the enormity of the gift(s) we have been given by having been called to be a part of and adopted into God’s family, not through any effort or good sense on our part but because of His mercy and love and good pleasure to invite us in.
A~ A couple thoughts surface as I absorb this reality. One is that I have nothing to complain about. On my worst day, I have been plucked from hell, washed clean of my depravity, grafted into the family of God Almighty and set on a path which leads to heaven. All this from simply receiving the love and grace He so freely offers. My second thought is why this reality does not permeate every cell and pore and fiber of my being. If I fully claimed and appreciated how God has lavished upon me, why would I ever lose my joy and settle for discouragement or defeat?
P~ Father, I am so blessed to have read these words today, to remind me how You love me so and have called me to be Yours. Let this reality transcend the day-to-day stuff of life in a fallen world, so I can live in the joy of the knowing.
How God Can Use A Broken Past | Joni Tyner
S~ God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.
And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth.
(Eph:1:11)… for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan. Ephesians 1:9-11 (NLT)
O~ Paul is reminding the Ephesian church that they were chosen by God and God has a plan for their life. The purpose of the plan to for God to receive glory and praise.
A~ I had a 3 hour coffee date with a friend yesterday. She is a mature believer in Christ and I really didn’t know much about her family background and life before she was a believer. On the glance, she is a sweet lover of Jesus and others and lives in a nice house with a nice “Mary Poppins” family. (wink, her words!) As our conversation progressed, she started sharing that for many years she struggled with forgiving her parents. She shared there were decades of emotional abuse and misplaced blame on her for her parents marital struggles. They frequently would get mad at her and even ceased all communication to her for 3 years. There as obviously lots of pain in this relationship. She told me that over the past 4 years she has been able to forgive in a more complete way and now has a good relationship with her parents. She explained that it wasn’t because they ever said “sorry” or had remorse for the misplaced blame, but it was because she realized their salvation and her letting go was more important than her being right. It continues to be more important to her to build on what they do have instead of grief and resent all what isn’t. I’m not even really touching on the words of how she forgave them, but it was really impactful to me.
So, this verse made me think of her life. God chose her in advance, He allowed painful circumstances in her life as a child and teenager that didn’t make sense. He pursued her and grew her spiritually over the next 30 years into the woman she is today. She has taken a story of ashes and brokenness and used it to be extremely compassionate for others. She sees hope and beauty in society’s throwaways. She was telling me about a new ministry she is becoming involved in with women in jail/prisons. She sees how God can use someone’s weakness for His glory. She brings hope with solid scripture knowledge to others to give God glory and praise.
P~ Dear Lord, thank you for this Divine Appointment that I had yesterday. I thought I was all up on scripture and forgiveness and doing things right, and You so gently pointed out to me that I need to embrace a new level of forgiveness for some of my family members. I need to do more than just say the words, I need to move forward with a new mindset of what You want these relationships to be. The past is the past and Your blood washes all their sin as well as mine. We are part of Your Great Plan, thank you for revealing this truth to me. I know as Christmas approaches, I am going to take on a new perspective of family and embrace the future and stop regretting all that I don’t have or what is not perfect. I need to love people for where they are today and see them through Your eyes.
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