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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A Family United | Kelley Deases
S~ Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)
O~ Paul is urging us to strive to have the same encouragement, comfort, fellowship, tenderness and compassion we find in our relationship with Christ with other believers as well. This is where it gets challenging. God has higher ways and only the purest of motives; other sinful humans, not so much.
A~ Sunday was Father’s Day. My husband came home from working the night shift to find me reading my Bible. We discussed what God was speaking to me and also our plans to celebrate the day with my parents and sister’s family. Then our son woke up, on the wrong side of the bed as it would seem, and immediately began to protest our every-Sunday/ no-computer rule, argue about taking a shower before church and, before long, he and I were going round and round. It wasn’t until a couple hours later when my husband, gentle father that he is, chose to speak to my son (and to me?) in the car on the way to our holiday outing about how God puts us in families to give us opportunities to learn to love, forgive and live in harmony with one another. And that we will have ample opportunity to practice!
P~ Thank You for the training ground my family provides to practice living in unity and harmony. I may not ever get it perfectly, but I am committed to keep practicing. To Your glory!
Loving Others | Joni Tyner
S~ Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4 (NLT)
O~ The church in Philppi had a diverse population. There were Jewish converts, wealthy businesswomen, slaves, and working class people. (this was according to my NLT Bible notes) Paul is emphasizing in Philippians to remain humble (Jesus is our example) and value other people.
A~ I like talking to people. They could be young, old, rich, or struggling in poverty. I think this personality trait suits me well as a nurse because I get tons of daily opportunity to casually chit chat with others. Although I believe this is good, I’ve become convicted in the past couple of years to use these conversations to bring up my faith. Being “being nice and friendly” is an essential building block for any Christian as they interact with people. I’m reminded of the saying, “they aren’t going to care about your Jesus until they know you are about them.” Very true. But, the Holy Spirit is convicting me that people should see my heart and associate my kindness with my Christian faith.
P~ Dear Lord, infuse me with discernment and wisdom as I interact with people every day. Help me see people as You see them. Young, old, rich, poor, arrogant, lost, angry, etc.—every type of person needs You!!!! I pray for margin and energy in my days to love others with that “specific thing” that makes people want to seek You. I would ask that You help me grow in knowledge with scripture so that I can accurately reference the Bible as conversations flow in a spiritual direction. Jesus, I want to live my life with excellence for You! I pray this starts with death to myself and a passion to love others more like You do.
Service | Marisa Tomlinson
S~ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:4-5 (NIV)
O~ Just as Christ came to serve, so should we.
A~ I’m supposed to go visit family tonight. I don’t really want to. I’m exhausted from being up with a sick child (allergies as it turns out) and a long, long day at work. Selfishly, I just want to go home and sleep. I know that my fiancée is looking forward to the visit and I assume his parents are too. In valuing their feelings above mine, I learn to become more Christ like. He put us all above His wants and needs- always. Modeling putting others first to my children is crucial as well. As I become more self-focused, so do they. Humility is something everyone in my family can work on. The definition of humility is “freedom from pride or arrogance.” The pride bug bites us hard some days. There’s a fine line between being satisfied by a job well done and arrogance. Being pleased that you did something well is appropriate. It’s when you take that feeling into boasting or bragging that it crosses into pride and arrogance. I want them to be confident, capable adults. It’s a challenge to teach them how to be humble in a world of “look at me.”
“To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks, but a special heart that listens. ” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Christ was/ is that person. Always willing to listen and hear us; always willing to serve and never brag about it.
P~ Lord, thank you for your perfect example of service. Lead me into a place of humility- freedom from arrogance and pride. Please open my children’s eyes and hearts to Your example more than my flawed one. Quiet brilliance. Silent service. Thank you for the people and circumstances you place in my life to teach me. When I feel pride welling up, I will brag to You, my daddy. Thank you for being my safe place to let all of my feelings out and work through my flaws. Allow me to teach my family to turn to You as well. Thank you for loving us like you do. Amen.
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