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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Now I Know | Kelley Deases
S~ Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.” 1 Kings 17:24 (NIV)
O~ Oh, I remember this story! The one about the widow who does as the Lord, through Elijah, asks and gives him food from her meager supply of flour and oil. Day after day, the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry. Pretty miraculous, most would say. But when the widow’s son grew gravely ill, to the point of death, she rages against the prophet and his God. Only when he miraculously restores the boy to life and health does the woman acknowledge Elijah’s power has indeed come from God.
Sometimes it takes just the right move of God at just the right time to pierce a heart. While it may seem strange the woman did not already realize God’s power and provision through the daily replenishing of her ingredients, somehow she missed it. God had to reveal Himself another way to get through to her heart.
A~ When I share my testimony, I like to say God reached out to me at different levels at different stages of my life. As a young child, He gave me a believing mother who asked me if I would like to ask Jesus into my heart, which I did to the extent I understood what this meant. As a teen, during a powerful time at camp, I made a deeper commitment and came home to be baptized and join my church. As a young mom whose husband had checked out of the marriage in favor of a cute coworker, God revealed Himself to me in a whole new way from my pit of depression and despair. There have been other times as well — new experiences and revelations which God has used to grow me up and draw me into greater intimacy with Him.
P~ Father, I am grateful You reach out Your hand to each of us in unique and personal ways, employing whatever means necessary to try to draw us to our own salvation and to greater and greater depths of knowing You.
Character of God | guest post
S~ God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. 2 Thessalonians 1:6, 7a (NIV)
O~ What is my heavenly Father really like? The more I learn and trust in the characteristics of my Father, the more confident I become as His daughter. God is good, God is Love, God is just.
A~ I see so much unjustness going on in our world. So much. It makes me sick, and sad, and wondering what the heck is happening. And then I sit with friends who are in very difficult seasons. Some seasons have lasted years and I can’t see relief for them. Friends and family are sick with physical disease and it just doesn’t seem right.
What is happening God? When I look at who You are and put it up to circumstances and actions going on near me and far away – things don’t add up. I’m unsettled and unsure where You are at. What are you doing? Where are You?
Right now as I look around, watch the news, and scroll through social media – I can decide if my experiences are the truth or if God’s Word is a bigger truth. This verse says that God is just. God will pay back the troubles AND give relief to the troubled. The Word goes on to say that this will happen when Jesus is revealed from heaven – which may be awhile from now or tomorrow.
Even though God will wipe every tear away and right every wrong in His timing – am I trusting this? As I’m learning about God, have I accepted that justness is part of who He is?
P~ Father, I say You are good ALL the time. Grow my heart and mind and soul and confidence that You are just! When I see and experience trouble after trouble – let me say that, ‘You are just!’ and believe it! In Jesus’ Name I pray!
Plans | Marisa Hartman
S~ With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God make make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NIV)
O~ Paul is writing the church at Thessalonica to encourage and teach them. In all of his letters, he encourages the church to continue on in their faith and to grow. This appears to be the first time me mentions praying that they will be worthy of God’s calling.
A~ In the Amplified Bible version of this verse it explains faith as, “that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.” Having faith in his plan means fully letting go of my own. That’s hard, especially as someone who likes to plan. If I am to be worthy of my calling, as Paul suggests, I need to rely more on Him and less on me. I don’t believe planning is inherently bad. Plans that have been made without Him tend to lead me to things that ultimately don’t honor Him. When I rely on Him, He leads me to desire the things He has planned for me. When my plans match His and I’m truly listening to HIM, I have the joy and peace I so desire. It’s not easy- don’t get me wrong. I am very stubborn and definitely like things done my way. I still try to make big plans without consulting God. Sometimes He gently nudges me to check-in, but not always Invariably, the plans *I’ve* made about my calling and purpose have been… um… learning experiences. Life is better with God and I pray to be worthy of HIS calling and plan for me.
P~ Lord, thank you for the life you offer me as I follow You. I am so blessed to be your daughter. Forgive me when I get headstrong and stubborn. Please pull me close as I try to pull away. I love You and need Your guidance. Amen
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