“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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Bigger Than Just Me | Kelley Deases
S~ Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence. Ezra 9:15b
O~ Ezra is praying and making his confession, not for his personal sin but on behalf of his entire people, the nation of Israel. And it’s not just a few platitudes during his morning devotional or nightly prayer time; he is so passionate in his plea, Ezra is weeping and throwing himself on the ground, which gathers a crowd and leads others to pray and repent along with him.
A~ When I read the Word and listen for His voice, I like to do so in the sun room off the back of my house. It has huge windows looking out over cornfields and hardly any signs of civilization as far as the eye can see. I love the feeling of being the only one around as I commune with my God. But this passage reminds me there is a big world out there, a fallen world in which people desperately need to come to know Him and commune with Him also. I need to be in prayer, fervently and desperately, not just for the details affecting my life, but for the city, nation and world of which I am a part.
P~ Father, You have created me to live in this span of time, in this neighborhood, in this city and in this country. I pray right now, Father, that my neighbors would be drawn by Your goodness be a part of Your family. I pray for the United States and those in leadership, that we collectively would move toward You and not grieve Your Spirit with our tendency toward wickedness.
Still and Quiet | guest post
S~ But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2 (NIV)
O~ A still and quiet soul is compared to a weaned child with its mom. A weaned child no longer demands milk when they are hungry, but has grown up and trusts mom to provide a meal, but will eat it on their own.
1 Corinthians 3:1,2 says: Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
A~ By reading these two passages of Scripture, I can deduce that a still and quiet soul is a sign of spiritual maturity. Infants can only drink milk – weaned children can eat anything. When there is unrest and chaos and/or discord inside of me; it’s possible that this can be a sign of spiritual immaturity in my life.
I really want to write about a few people in my life who are like infants, even though they are adults. But I *know* what James 1:23 and 24 says about that kind of attitude. I am not to just listen to the Word, but apply it to MY life.
So where is there stillness and quietness in my soul? Where is there not stillness and quietness?
Wow! As I list out where still and quietness reign vs. where it doesn’t, I may have a few areas of spiritual growth to walk through. Ha! That’s an understatement.
P~ Father, still and quiet my soul, like a weaned child with its mother. Prepare me for that peace. Moses and Samuel went into Your service after they were weaned from their mothers. Help me to take Your Word, apply it, so the stillness and quietness is my soul.
Encouragement Comes From Love | Deanna George
S~ Your love has given great joy and encouragement, because you brother, have encouraged the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 1:7 (NIV)
O~ Am I providing encouragement and joy to those around me because I am sharing God’s love faithfully and regularly? Do I need to know if I am making a difference?
A~ This book talks about forgiveness. Today, I keep going back to to this verse about love. I think about how much I love to love on the babies in our church nursery. I know the joy I feel when they smile at me or snuggle right into me so they can fall asleep. They cannot communicate with words yet, so I have to pay attention to their cues to meet their needs or know they are okay and happy. Do I pay as close attention to those around me to know how to love them best? Do I look for their cues or do I love them the way I like to be loved? Do I have a hard time loving me because they hurt me? Love is a source of joy and encouragement. I love deeply, and I can make an impact by being more attentive to those around me. Sometimes I get caught up in my own world, and need a reminder of what God has called me to do her on earth ~ to love his people. If I apply my level of attentiveness to babies and their needs to the children, teens, and adults around me, I can share God’s love in a way they need and understand. It takes active listening. It takes stepping out of my comfort zone and stepping into God’s way of loving them. I may never know if it makes any difference to those around me, but I will know that obedience to God will bring him joy ~ just like the joy I feel when my kids obey me without obeying, whining, or questioning the reason or need for doing what I ask.
P~ Lord Jesus, thank you for the reminder of the importance of loving those around me. I do not need to know when I make a difference. I want to create the habit of paying close attention to those around me so I can love them the way they need to be loved. I need help with this God. My mind can get full of my to do list, issues I’m going through, and concentrating on my own hurts and pain. I want to bring people joy and encouragement through your love. Please remind me when I am not being attentive when I should be. I want people to feel loved! I love you God!
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