Category Archives: Obedience

Letting Go

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Speak to me Lord in the stillness of this moment.

Use the quiet to open my heart.

Help me let go of self-protection.

Help me trust whatever you say and obey without hesitation.

Help me stop managing perceptions while making decisions based on what I think I can control or handle.

Help me take a leap of faith into the sea of obedience to your word.

 

Please help me begin though my steps may be small.

Help me put away distractions and listen without hesitation or resistance.

 

I know you love me with an everlasting love.

I know I’m yours forever and always.

I know all my sins are covered by the sacrifice of your blood.

I know I still live in a weak, fleshly tent that seeks for self and fails daily.

 

Please be made strong in my weakness.

Please help me let go and die to self so that I can truly live.

Help me trust that whatever you call me to do, wherever you lead, whatever you allow is for your best in and through me.

I want to repent of thinking I know what is best for me. Help me Jesus.

 

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Never Condemned but Still Accountable

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SOAP Bible Study

Scripture – “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the word, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17

Observation – Jesus did not come to condemn the world. The world was already condemned. He came to save us. He was and is our only hope. God loves us that much. Believers have no need to feel condemnation. Jesus rescued us from that. There is no more condemnation.

Application- Jesus has rescued me and I will never again face condemnation. I’m free. I’m His forever. But I don’t want to presume on that grace by taking sin lightly. Sin is still destructive and evil still corrupts. I want my life to honor Him.

Prayer – Jesus, please keep me from presumptuous sin. Help me to always be sensitive to the conviction and leading of your Holy Spirit. I don’t want to let the things of this world choke your word in my life. I know I’m yours forever but I also don’t want to enter heaven as if by fire with all my works burning up. Please help me build what is lasting. Help me keep my eyes on You.

ADDED NOTE:  Even when I blow it. Even when I do let things choke His word. His love for me never changes! That is astounding! That is the Good News! His love never fails, never changes, never leaves us. Praise His Holy Name!

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Choked

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S – “The seeds that fell among the thorns are those who hear, but as they go their way, they are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life, and their fruit does not mature.” Luke 8:14

O – The seeds – the Word of God. Some hear and believe and follow. But they are surrounded by thorns:

worries: bills, health, safety, world events, to do lists, opinions….

riches: money, possessions, taking care of possessions, buying, maintaining, shopping…

pleasures: food, drink, sleep, warmth, comfort, entertainment, devices, social media…

All of these grow up like thorn bushes and choke the word of God in our hearts.

Then the fruit – which is there, does not mature. We become stunted, stuck, immature

The mature are those with a noble and good heart who hear, cling, and persevere. They produce a crop. v. 15

A – I’ve been letting myself be choked. Choked with possessions, money, shopping, things. Pleasure, entertainment, comforts. Maintaining this body in an effort to find health and safety here on earth. These have grown up around me. I feel stunted. I feel stuck. I have been behaving immaturely. My fruit is not maturing.

I don’t want to stay here. I don’t want to let the concerns, cares, and pleasures of this world rob me of what has eternal value.

P – Jesus, help me refocus. Help me re-calibrate. Help me refresh my brain and my soul. Help me not only hear your word, but cling to it and persevere in obeying, living, and applying it. I’m so helpless on my own. I can do nothing without you Jesus. I can’t be good, loving, or kind without you. Without you, I choose the selfish way. The self-destructive way. I need you every minute, every hour, every day. Please take all that I am Jesus. Work your will in and through me by the power of your Holy Spirit. I love you Lord. I want my life to show that.

Time to push the refresh button.

SOAP Bible Study

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Do Not Give Up

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S – “The entire law is fulfilled in a single decree: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:14

“Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.” Gal 6:9-10

O – Love fulfills the law. Why is it so difficult to live by that? Love is good. Why do we grow weary in well-doing? Why do we give up? Because the flesh fights us every step of the way. We have to resist the flesh and the devil in order to live a life of love. We have to walk in submission to the Father through the Holy Spirit or our flesh compels us to live for self. But any time we are walking in love, serving others in His name, we are fulfilling the entire law.

A/P – Jesus, my flesh is weak as you know. I stumble so easily and live for self. Help me through the power of your Spirit to love others as you have loved me. Help me to love my neighbor as myself. Please help me not to grow weary in doing good. To everyone. Please help me persevere and not give up. I love you Father. Thank you that You will bring the harvest.

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The Law of Liberty

 

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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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Will I Choose Silence?

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Do you ever feel inadequate? Maybe you don’t use your gifts because you think they aren’t good enough.

I often feel inadequate as a voice speaking out. I look back on previous devotions and see I need my own advice! It’s frustrating. Part of me thinks I need to be more “spiritual” or “victorious” to share a message with others. But, I suspect readers relate more to my struggles than to my victories. No one has it all together and shouldn’t give the impression they do. However, this struggle doesn’t go away.

Recently, I was doing my daily  SOAP  reading and this verse stood out:

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Queen Esther had the opportunity to speak up for her people and possibly save them from destruction, but she was afraid. There was a good chance she would die if she approached the king without being summoned. Her uncle Mordecai gave her the advice in verse 14, telling her if she kept silent, God would bring deliverance from another place.

The truth of that verse hit me. “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise…from another place.” I realized I can stay silent, but if I do, God will use someone else to share His message. I’m the one who misses out if I don’t share. God will find a messenger. He will accomplish His purposes on earth. For Him to ask me is a privilege: not a right. If I deny that privilege, I lose it. I want Him to use others but I don’t want to miss out on that opportunity! If I keep silent and don’t share through writing, I’ll miss the blessing of experiencing God working through me. I’ll miss the encouragement that comes from others. I don’t want to treat lightly the grace He is giving me by offering opportunities to share His truth. I can’t take that for granted. Opportunities come from Him. I’m not entitled to the privilege of sharing through writing.

Yes, I need to seek Him, live for Him, and know the truth of His Word: otherwise, what I have to share will grow thin. Living for myself doesn’t produce fruit. But, the fact that I stumble and fall and struggle with my flesh doesn’t disqualify me from the race. I’m humbled and awed that He would still give me opportunities and still use me to encourage others. I don’t deserve that privilege. It’s all grace.

What are your gifts?

How is God using you?

If you struggle at times with feeling unworthy to use those gifts, remember if you stay silent, if you put your gifts aside, God will send someone else, use someone else and you will be left without the blessing that comes from serving Him. He wants to use all His children. He wants all believers to operate in the body as one.

We are all important and together we fulfill His purpose on earth.

I don’t want to miss out on experiencing Him working through me.

Father, thank you for the grace you give me every moment, every day. It’s amazing grace that I can even come to you in prayer. Thank you for the opportunities you give me to serve, to share, to write, and to give. Help me to take each one. Open my eyes to see when and where to speak and what to say. Open my ears to hear your call. Please work through me and let your will be done not mine. May all glory always go to you.

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What Am I Devoted To?

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S – “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:35

But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16

O – Ruth is an example of devotion. She was devoted to Naomi and was determined to be faithful to her to death. Paul was writing to the Corinthians about matters concerning relationships and living in this world but I think his point is we are to live with undivided devotion to the Lord. Whatever else we do or whatever relationships we have, it should not take us from our undivided devotion to the Lord. He is first. We should say like Ruth, “wherever you lead, I will follow.”

A – Do I have undivided devotion to the Lord? I can’t say I do. I’m distracted by so many things. People, possessions, life. How do I get to where nothing can take me from my devotion to my Lord. How do I deal with the world as if I had no dealings with it? (v.31) The NLT says to “not become attached” to the things of the world. The original word means to not use it much or excessively. To not use fully or overuse. I guess it means to not be obsessed with this world. To not look to the things of the world as what we need to be happy and fulfilled. God wants us to see Him, to know Him as the primary source of all our needs. He is all we need to survive and be happy.

P – Father, please show me how to live in this world and deal with the world yet stay detached from the world. Will you show me or give me an example? Please be my strength. I am so grateful for your love and grace. But I want to be like Ruth and say that I will follow you no matter what to the death. You are the source of all I need Jesus! I love you!

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