Tag Archives: Discover One Thing

I’ll take instant maturity, please.

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Grinning with pleasure, I watched my newly planted butterfly garden. The bold yellow of the Yarrow and the vibrant orange of the Blanket flowers were a great beginning, but I longed for all the green to turn to blossoms. I rushed out each morning, excited to see new blossoms but nothing seemed to change.

Gardening brings a great lesson in patience. Hoping for growth, we plant seeds or small plants where they will get sun, adding soil, food and water. It takes weeks, months or in some cases a year or more to get full benefit of our labor. We must trust the food, water and sun to bring the seeds to full growth.

Spiritual growth is the same. When I read an inspiring verse or book or hear an insightful sermon, I want the maturity offered right now. I read about loving others with all my heart and wonder the next day why I’m rude and uncaring. I learn about the power of thoughts and keeping them focused on truth and want victory that minute. Like my butterfly garden, spiritual maturity comes with time and the right conditions for growth.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15 (NIV)

   Perseverance produces a crop. If I want growth, I prepare my heart with prayer as I would prepare the soil. Letting the Holy Spirit break up the hard clods of sin. I plant the seeds of truth in the soil of my heart by reading and meditating on Scripture. I drink from His living water, yielding to the Holy Spirit. I spend time in His presence and His light shines on me like the sun warming my heart and bringing the seeds to life. As I listen and obey, those seeds grow and produce fruit. But like my garden this takes time and patience, daily care and trust that the fruit will come. If I apply food, water and light, my garden will grow. When I pray, read Scripture, stay in God’s presence and obey His leading, over time spiritual maturity will come.

I few years ago, after struggling to be consistent with daily Bible reading, I was introduced to the SOAP method of Bible Study. With excitement, I made it a priority every morning. After a few weeks, I wanted to see change. God helped me to see that change comes as we make these choices day by day.

It’s what we do everyday that changes us over time.

I realized I would have to be patient and faithful and trust the power of His word to work in me.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” James 5:7 (NIV)

Do you wish for instant maturity? I know I do.

     If we will persevere and keep studying, praying and applying His word as we seek to know Him better, maturity will come. Just as one day I will walk out and see a garden of beautiful flowers, there are days when I get a glimpse of His word producing fruit in my life.

Keep going! Persevere. The fruit will come!

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Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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Trusting His Sovereign Power

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S – “For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting another.”Psalm 75:6-7

O – This verse teaches the sovereignty of God. He is the one who lifts up one leader and puts down another. He is sovereign over all things.

A – I know God is sovereign, I can’t say I understand it. With the current hysteria over elections here in the U.S., it is comforting to remember that ultimately He decides. Does that mean nothing bad will happen or that we will not suffer in any way? No. God will do what fulfills His ultimate purpose for this universe. He looks at all of history not just this moment. He looks at eternity. We want comfort for the moment. He wants what is good for eternal purposes. We can’t always see His purpose, we have to trust Him because we know who He is. He is holy, just, pure and good. He is trustworthy, He is love and He loves us with an everlasting love. (I don’t think this means our vote doesn’t count. God works through us to accomplish His purposes.)

P – Father, I may not understand what is going on and I may not like it but I trust you. I trust you and I pray that your will be done on this earth. May your will be done in the upcoming election in the United States. I love you Lord.

What are your thoughts on these verses? Please comment below.

For more information on SOAP Bible Study, click here.

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Take One Step

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 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8 (ESV)

 

I have to make some choices here. I have to choose to submit to God. I choose to draw near to Him. When I do, He promises to draw near to me.

If we take one step towards God, He meets us.

I have to choose to resist the devil, just resist. Submit to God, oppose the devil. It doesn’t say I have to defeat the devil in my strength. Just resist. Don’t just give in or follow blindly along. Don’t just accept his lies.

RESIST.

Draw near to God. Cleanse and purify my heart. Be single-minded in seeking God.

Father, thank you that you love me so much. Thank you that in your strength it is possible to resist the devil. Thank you that you always meet the one who steps toward you. I want to submit to you, dear Father. I want you to have all my heart. Please help me resist the evil one today.

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Singing in the Storm

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S – “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me…My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!” Psalm 57:2,7 (ESV)

O – David wrote these words while hiding in a cave as King Saul with 3,000 men looked for him to kill him. A powerful king hated him and wanted him to die. In this Psalm he trusts himself to God. He knew His Father would fulfill His purpose for him. In spite of the danger, the fear, and seemingly overwhelming odds, his heart was steadfast and immovable in trusting God. He was singing and making melody to God even as he ran for his life.

A – Can I have such faith that trusts God no matter what is happening? Is my heart steadfast, immovable in trusting God?

Shouts and name-calling zing from our government leaders like bullets. Earthquakes shake our world. Hunger threatens. Gloom fills the news. Friends report cancer. Young people turn from faith. Life moves at lightening speed. I can surrender to fear and live in anxiety or I can make the choices David made:

My soul takes refuge in the shadow of your wings. (v.1)

I cry out to God Most High. (v.2)

My heart is steadfast. (v.7)

I will sing and make melody! (v.7)

I will awake the dawn! (With music-v.8))

I will give thanks to you, O Lord. (v.9)

I will sing praises to you. (v.9)

All choices David made. Choices I can make.

We can choose during times of destruction and turmoil to take refuge in God until the storm passes. We can trust Him or we can surrender to fear.

P – Father, I will praise your holy name. I will give thanks to you. You and you alone keep me safe and guide my path. I will sing praises to you. You are my hiding place. My Rock. My Fortress. Praise your holy name!

Click on SOAP for more information on this Bible Study method.

 

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Find the Treasure!

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S – “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry around for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5 (NIV)

O – Solomon teaches us that wisdom is from God and we find it in His word but we must ask for it, cry out for it, search for it and seek to understand. We must apply our hearts to understand His truth.

A – I like to ask God for wisdom, then walk away expecting Him to just zap me and make me wise. I get up from prayer and…Boom! I am wise. His words here tell me I need to store up His commands, turn my ear to wisdom, apply my heart, look for it as I would look for silver, search for it as for hidden treasure. That sounds like work! I don’t get instantaneous wisdom. I need to search the scriptures every day looking for His wisdom, memorize His commands to hide them in my heart, listen to teaching on His word, and APPLY my HEART to understand and live it not just to hear.  I need to give my all to find His wisdom. If I were searching for hidden treasure, I would spend a lot of time meditating on where to look, I would be obsessed with finding the treasure. I would look until I succeeded.

Yes, I ask God for wisdom and wisdom comes from Him:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 (NIV)

But, I need to do my part by giving my all to seek Him and His wisdom, to study His word, meditate on His truth, memorize scripture and APPLY it to my heart and life.

P – Father, thank you that you gave us the gift of your Word and that in it we can find wisdom. Thank you that your Spirit allows us to understand truth and apply it. Please help me to search for wisdom as for hidden treasure. Please help me live it out each day.Thank you for your unfailing love!

Accept, Store, Listen, Apply, Call out, Cry for, Look, and Search – Finding wisdom requires action.

Click on SOAP to learn more about this method of Bible reading.

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Speak Life

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S –  “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.” 1 Peter 2:1 (ESV)

O – At the end of ch. 1 Peter has exhorted us to love each other deeply from the heart and to remember that we are all like grass. Because of this we are to put away or rid ourselves of ALL malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. ALL – that means even for politicians we do not support, even for “those” people out there who are doing evil. All means all. Christians have been very much caught up in slander (myself included) especially with the current use of  social media. It is so easy to express every thought and to get caught up in “mob” frenzy. The more we hear everyone else attacking someone, the easier it is to join in. God’s Word says this is not the way it should be with God’s people. We are to be focused on praising Him, trusting Him, lifting up His name instead of tearing down the names of others.

A – I myself need to repent of this. I get caught up in the mob frenzy. I follow the crowd in slandering our leaders and speaking evil.

P – Father, please help me put away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Especially envy and slander. I confess I have fallen into these. Help my speech to honor you. I know it begins in my thoughts. Jesus help my thoughts to be focused on you and your truth. Help my thoughts to be filled with faith and trust. Help me to pray instead of slandering. I love you Lord.

Speak Life

 

If you want to know more about SOAP – (Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer) Bible Study. Click here: SOAP

 

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Because He Is – I Live

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S – “…He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things…For in Him we live and move and exist…” Acts 17:25, 28 (NASB)

O – We would not exist apart from God. We do not take another breath apart from Him allowing it. He thought of us, created us and keeps us alive.

A – Do I get this? I would not even exist apart from God! How can I be so arrogant as to think I can decide to live my own life apart from Him? He gives ALL people life and breath. He alone gives us food, air and water. He alone holds the universe together. We human beings are such arrogant, foolish creatures. We think we have power or control  when we have none. My very existence comes from my heavenly Father.

Every breath I take is His grace.

Who am I to question Him?

P – I worship you Father! My Lord, my Creator, my  God. You are everything and you hold everything together. Thank you for allowing me to live. Thank you for allowing me to know You. Thank you for this moment of breath, of peace, of hope. I love you Father. I trust You. My heart is yours and my life is in Your hands.

SOAP notes for today (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)

 

Thanks to geralt at Pixabay for the amazing photo!

 

 

 

 

 

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