What a great revelation my friend had and what an incredible gift God has given us: To be able to come into His presence and commune with Him no matter where we are!
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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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Beach Epiphany | Kim Chipman
S~ “Concerning this Temple you are building, if you keep all my decrees and regulations and obey all my commands, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father, David. I will live among the Israelites and will never abandon my people Israel.” 1 Kings 6:12-13 (NIV)
O~ The purpose of the temple was for God’s presence to be with the Israelites all the time. God…
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S – “So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.” Galatians 4:31
O – Paul is explaining to those who were telling believers they had to keep the Jewish law that Christ has set us free from the law. Just as Ishmael had to be sent away so that Isaac the son of promise could receive his inheritance so we must realize that we are now free from the law and have received our inheritance in Jesus. All who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus are His children and are free from the burden of the law which is impossible for us to keep. Jesus kept it for us!
A – Are we living as children of the free woman? Am I? That doesn’t mean living wantonly. It means living free from guilt, fear, and doubt. I’m a daughter of the King and nothing can change that. Nothing can take it away. I’m free to be who He created me to be. Free to live in joy and praise. No matter how many times I stumble and fall, He will always pick me up. I’m not working to earn the right to stay with Him, I am His for eternity. That’s my permanent condition and the condition of any believer in Christ Jesus. We need to send the slave mentality away, get rid of it and live with the freedom of beloved children.
P – Praise you Jesus! Praise your holy name! Thank you for redeeming me and making me your child. Thank you that I’m yours forever. Thank you I’m no longer a slave but a beloved daughter.
SOAP Bible Study method
S – “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law…whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10
O – Paul repeats this several times to emphasize that love is the fulfillment of the law. How often have we as Christians been “law-keepers” with an attitude of judgment, resentment, or arrogance toward “sinners”. But that isn’t fulfilling the law at all. If we don’t love, we fail.
A – If I don’t love, I fail. What law could I keep that would matter if I don’t love others? I grew up thinking if I kept this list of ‘rules’ then I would be right with God. But most of those rules were all about me: don’t drink, smoke, dance, do drugs. Also, keep sex for marriage but that involves other people. Some of those rules might be wise choices for healthy living but that is not the debt I owe. The debt I owe is to love others as Christ has loved me. The focus should be loving others and doing what is best for them not focusing on myself and keeping rules that make me proud. It’s not about making myself better so I can be proud. It’s about losing myself to serve others in the name of Christ. “Love does no harm to a neighbor”. It’s about living to do what is best for others.
P – Father, forgive me. Please forgive me for so often getting it wrong in my life. Especially in the early years but I still lose the right focus. Please help me to love others as myself and to be determined never to do harm. Even the harm of neglect, of not giving what I could give, of not acknowledging others when the opportunity comes. You know my heart Jesus, even better than I do. Please forgive me for selfishness, pride, judgment, and being unloving. Help me. Holy Spirit please love through me. In my own strength, I’m nothing. Please let your love flow through me. Help me to walk yielded to you.
SOAP Bible Reading
S – “You have kept count of my tossing; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8
O – David wrote this when he had been captured by the Philistines and had to pretend to be insane to save his life. (1 Samuel 21:10-15) He was constantly on the run during this period. His life was always in danger. Saul was a madman and determined to kill David. David was called a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) This verse shows his deep feeling and how close he was to his Father. He knew God was aware of all his wanderings and even knew about each tear he shed.
A – God knows every step I take, every thought I think, every tear in my heart. He knows every weakness, every sin, even when I am clueless, He knows all about me. And He loves me with an everlasting love! It’s easy for me to appear to others as better than I am. It’s easy for me to make excuses for myself. But God sees me exactly as I am and loves me. He loved me enough for Jesus to die for me and give me everlasting life. He knew when He created me how often I would fail, how weak I would be and He still died for me. He still loves me. He still knows every tear I shed.
P – Father, thank you for loving me with a perfect love. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me even though I did not deserve it. Thank you that you love me so much you are aware of every tear I cry. Help me to walk in awareness of your love. Help me to walk in step with your Spirit. Help me to live like I’m loved because I am loved completely.
SOAP Bible Study Method
S – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2
O – Paul is giving instructions to believers to live a godly life and please God. Here he tells us to keep our minds set on what is above.
A – “Set your minds” – What you think about – this implies that we have a choice. We can choose what we think about, what we set our minds on. As hard as it might seem and it isn’t easy, we do have a choice. We should think about “things that are above.” What is above? Jesus, our Father, heaven, eternity, all who have gone before us, all those who will join us there, God’s will, eternal rewards, all the promises of God, His Word which will last forever. Not on things of the earth: what is temporal, material things, sin, pain, sorrow, temporary pleasures, money, earthly gain and power, problems and worries, physical limitations, pride, selfish gain. Is it possible to never think about those things? Of course not. But to “set” my mind says to me that which I think about the most. The channel I set my radio to. My default setting. What I always go back to. I need to make things that are above my default setting for my mind. Yes, I will think about earthly things and I need to at times but my goal is to always bring my mind back to what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
P – Please help me, Lord. Help me to set my mind on you, on your truth, on eternity. Help me to train my mind to always come back to truth. Thank you that because of your Holy Spirit, that is possible. I love you Jesus.
SOAP Bible Study Method
S – “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7
O Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the “Helper” in John 14, 15, and 16. The Helper, the Spirit of Truth. The disciples can’t imagine that it would be better for Jesus to leave them. But Jesus teaches them if He returns to heaven, the Helper will come who will never leave them. Helper: advocate, legal assistant, counsel for defense, intercessor. The one who stands by my side to help me and intercede for me. The one who lives in me.
A – I love this name for the Holy Spirit. Helper. I desperately need help. My flesh is weak, my mind is often like a wave tossed by the sea, I have no strength of my own. I need the Helper. Knowing He is there is water to my soul. It is a life raft in the sea. I depend on His intercession for me because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
P – Jesus, thank you that you didn’t leave us defenseless. Thank you that you knew how weak we are and that we would need all the help we can get. I believe in you Jesus. I love you. I know you died for me and I’m yours forever. Thank your for sending the Helper. Please Holy Spirit, fill me, help me. Help me live to glorify my Lord. Help me get my eyes off of myself. Please glorify Him in spite of me.
S – “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:25
O/A – The perfect law, the law of liberty. This jumped out at me. It’s not us keeping the law, it comes from the freedom we have in Christ.
“When the fulfilling of the Law it is called the “law of liberty” it means that as Christians we pursue love in liberty from law-keeping as the ground of our justification or the power of our sanctification. Instead we pursue it by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). We look to the Spirit of Christ for transformation so that love flows by power from within, not pressure from without. The law of liberty is the leading of the Spirit, and “where the Spirit is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).” John Piper
It’s all about being led by the Holy Spirit and as the verse says, by “perseverance”. We keep on keeping on. If I keep doing what I know is right by the power of His Holy Spirit and don’t forget, I will be blessed.
P – Thank you Jesus that my obedience comes from the freedom I have in you and not from a need to earn righteousness. Please help me to persevere in doing and not be a hearer who forgets.
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