“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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Suffering | guest post
S~ Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1,2 (NIV)
O~ Being done with sin and living my life for the will of God sounds great! But having an attitude that suffering is OK doesn’t sit well with me. Christ suffered when He bore my sins and died on the cross. My whole purpose on earth is to grow more like Him – so suffering should not make me tremble – it’s part of my growth in Jesus.
A~ I want to love people well. Really, I want to love them into the Kingdom. Or at least plant some seeds of hope of encouragement. But as I’ve prayed to love people like God does, He is showing me some things in my heart that don’t line up with who He is.
Like, there is a difference between wanting to love well and actually loving well. Loving well for me starting with a new refinement of my soul. I’ve noticed for me to love well, I need to feel my very best. To feel my best, I need to eat healthy, read God’s Word daily (in the morning), get eight hours of sleep. To do these healthy things, it requires that I go to bed early, meal plan, spend time cooking and get up early. Honestly, I’d rather stay up late, eat out every lunch and dinner, and sleep in every morning.
While my healthy habits aren’t necessarily suffering, they are definitely not my heart’s desire. And when I do follow my desires: sleep in, stay up late, eat out all the time; it always leads me to a place of sin. Worry over finances because all of the money went to eating out. Anger and shouting at my family over minor things, but the root of my anger stems from me not feeling well because I ate unhealthy food and I didn’t get enough sleep. And the worst sin – idolizing comfort over the will of God, which includes this distance between me and my Father.
I just want to love others well. But I have to take on a bit of ‘suffering’ to love like Jesus.
P~ Father, please arm me with the same attitude as Jesus as He suffered in body! Those days that I live for my human desires leave me feeling empty as I lay my head down at night! Teach me the difference between Godly rest and the worship of comfort! Thank you for the million opportunities in a day to choose my desire or Your will.
Prayer Discipline | Kimi Miller
S~ The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 1 Peter 4:7 (NLT)
O~ It is important to pray regularly.
A~ I’ve been thinking about my prayer life a lot. Probably because I finally have time to do so. In the past my prayers have felt more like a laundry list of things I needed to be sure to ask God for – not that that is a bad thing, but it didn’t feel personal, and kind of made my relationship with Him feel more like going to a vending machine than a relationship.
In my prayer time now, I’m trying to speak less and listen more. It’s been difficult, as my mind seems to wander more than I want it to, but it has stirred a greater awareness in me. Maybe a greater appreciation, or rather LOVE. Prayer isn’t about taking, but it is about receiving. And the thing about receiving is that you have to acknowledge it – accept it. If I’m seeking the Father’s wisdom on an issue, I want to be prepared to hear it – accept it – receive it. And every time I do, it is ALWAYS wrapped in His love – even if I can’t hear the answer, I can feel it every time I pray.
P~ Lord, thank you for hearing my prayers. Even when I forget to listen for the answer. I love you.
Faithfully Steward Grace | Kim Chipman
S~ Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
O~ 2 things stand out to me:
- We need to use our gifts to serve OTHERS
- God’s grace has various forms.
A~ Am I using my gifts to serve others? Or just serve myself? In a recent sermon I listened to by Andy Stanley he said, “The value of a life is always determined by how much of it was given away.” It’s easy to drift back to self indulgent comfort. I need to guard against that.
I’ve never really thought of God’s grace having various forms. I think it’s because people have various needs. You are so intimately personal. You meet us right where we are with Your grace. I’m going to have to chew on this concept a bit I think. What a beautiful picture of who You are! Grace in various forms… You freely give this gift of grace and the purpose of this life here is to steward it faithfully. You give us all different gifts, different things that break our hearts, different assignments…various forms for Your grace to flow through as I…
Give my life away…
P~ Thank You for who You are! I’m humbled and grateful. I love You!
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