S: “As the ark of the covenant of the lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.” (1 Chronicles 15:29)
O: This scripture stuck out to me as it feels very relevant today with how God and Christianity is viewed, but it’s also apparent that it was relevant some 2,000+ years ago. Not everyone is as excited as you are about your love for God! I don’t think this is a revelation to anyone but it does serve as a reminder to me on how I should respond to the “Michal’s” of the world who want to extinguish our love for God and worshipping him.
A: Jesus called us to love one another and that is simple enough to understand that we are to love believers and non-believers alike. But what strikes me about Michal in this story is that, I don’t think she’s a non-believer. I just think she’s doing like some Christians do and judging or criticizing the way other Christians worship and show their love for God. It doesn’t mention whether David noticed her or not, I’m hoping he didn’t. I say we don’t let anyone’s critical eye getting in the way of how we show our love for Jesus or let others impact our worship life.
P: Father God, thank You for everything that You have given us, especially such wisdom such as the Bible. Thank You for leading and loving us every single day, even though we are not worthy. I pray that You continue to work in the lives of all of us and help bring us closer to You and Your son, Jesus and especially help us bring others to You. I know You long for a relationship with all of us and I pray for the day when all of us will strive for a relationship with You. It is in Your name that we give this praise, Amen.
In this picture we see Josiah destroying pagan altars. What’s so significant about this? Do you know the story of Josiah and the land of Judah and the rulers before and after Josiah? I didn’t either until this morning when I read Day 185 of my 1 year bible reading plan!
In the land of Judah, there had been many kings since David (a man God loved) that were evil, wicked and pretty much went from bad to worse reign after reign. That is until an 8 year old was appointed ruler (Josiah) and, upon hearing about God’s word and learning God’s word, was he forever changed and became pleasing in the eyes of God. Josiah destroyed the pagan altars and flushed the land of all evil and the people prospered, were finally at peace until…the next ruler stepped in and started the cycle again of ignoring God and His desire for a relationship with us.
Josiah had to go back about 13 generations to find a decent role model! What kind of legacy are you going to leave for others, perhaps your children, grandchildren and anyone else? Maybe you weren’t “raised in the church” or your family never talked about God or the bible? That’s ok, even those that come from seemingly religious upbringings are often no better than someone who never knew God. If this is you or you want to be like Josiah and experience what you’ve been missing out on, break the cycle, get to know Jesus, start a relationship, then read on to learn how to get started!
Find a church, one that teaches the bible (here are a few suggestions) or you can even listen online to podcasts on the way to work or just simply open your bible (here’s a great free one) and start reading. I strongly suggest a reading plan (I tried reading the bible cover to cover once when I was very lost and it just didn’t do much for me except confuse the heck outta me!), but break the chain, break the silence and come to Jesus. He’s been patiently waiting with open arms and no matter your upbringing, your previous beliefs or sins you’ve committed, He will forgive you and you will experience life like you never have before!
S: “Now, lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, lord, are God.” (2Kings 19:19 NIV)
O: This is Hezekiah’s prayer to God after discovering the king of Assyria’s plans for Jerusalem (and believe me, I’m simplifying all of this because of the nature of my own understanding as a “young” Christian). This king of Assyria is being rather confident that God is not going to save Jerusalem and is taunting Hezekiah in a “bring it on” fashion with claims of a better life, a “grass is greener” inference to his speech.
A: 2 Kings 19 was part of my daily reading plan and it pressed upon me 2 things: First, how many times in our day/age/culture are we promised that one thing is SO MUCH better than the other…in fact, it’s been PROVEN that what you have now is terrible and you NEED this new thing (read 2 Kings 18:23-37). We are constantly bombarded by, most likely, demonic influence to avert our eyes and attention away from Godly influence. And, second, I love Isaiah’s affirmation that the king of Assyria is dead wrong, this only helps to give Hezekiah confidence after he laid out the plan in front of God and prayed a personal prayer.
P: Father God, thank You for Your blessings, provisions and wisdom that You have given me today. I pray that You surround me with wise counsel and that I can pray in such a specific and direct way with You as a child does with their parents. Lord, I thank You and praise You for all that You have given us and I pray that You continue to give favor to Your faithful servants and help us give hope to the faithless. Help the body reach the people that need to be reached and bring them closer to You, a personal relationship with Jesus. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
This video doesn’t have much to do with my SOAP study today except for preparing for the unexpected and realizing that even those in authority can sometime do wrong (even if it’s a tad accidental).
S: “Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the lord from your mouth is the truth.” (1Kings 17:24 NIV)
O: I know this story well after doing a study on Elijah (Stephen Furtick’s book, “Sun Stand Still“) so I know what’s happening here, but the reason this passage struck me is, as I was reading up to this point, I can’t help but notice a bad to worse lineage of kings. We stop at Ahab and then Elijah, a great man of God enters the picture who performs miracles with this woman. When he raised the woman’s son from the dead, it was God she saw in this and her faith was strengthened. This inspired me because I want to see God at work in everything.
A: I want to see God’s work, His hand and hear His word in everything around me. This will help me when dealing with the unexpected (see video above).
P: Father God, thank You for all of Your blessings and provisions You’ve poured over me. I just lost my uncle last night, but I praise you because I know this was your will and I know that he believed in you and accepted Jesus as his savior, so it’s a great day in heaven today, please welcome him into Your kingdom. Thank You for the counsel in my life that is inspired by You, please continue to watch over me, my family and this world. Amen.
S: “And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” (Acts 8:31 NASB)
O: I’m reading the story from Acts 8 25-40 known as “An Ethiopian Receives Christ”. The story describes Philip (a disciple of Jesus) hearing from an angel of the Lord to depart from the group of disciples he was traveling with and follow a desert road. Following God’s word as we all should, Philip did just that and came up on a chariot where an Ethiopian eunuch was reading the bible and having a hard time understanding the scripture. Ever been there? I know I sure have and usually am daily, but the point to this story that stuck with me is, as disciples that you and I are, there are many people struggling with the bible, scripture, etc. and we (you and I) should be the ones to start those conversations with people and help them understand as much as we can.
One of the things Philip did in this situation was just sharing the gospel of Jesus. We can certainly do that when maybe we’re struggling with a passage or scripture ourselves, so just keep that in mind.
Another thing that sticks with me in this passage is the description of the man Philip was called to go meet and talk with. Firstly, I see 1×1 discipleship. Next is Philip going out of his way, meeting the man where he is. Then I see an open approach to helping the man (“what questions do you have”) and lastly, I see Philip lovingly help the man come to Christ. What a great example for us all, to seek the lost, find the lost (where they are) and help the lost (openly and lovingly).
A: What I will strive to do more of is prompt those conversations and help people understand what they’re reading. Even if it’s just sharing what we both think it’s about, it’s awesome to talk about and hear what each person “gets” out of a certain passage. We are called to share and spread the good news, let’s not just sit idly by and miss these opportunities.
P: Father God, thank You for everything that You have given us and everything that You do for us. Your grace alone is all we need and when You empower us with wisdom, mercy and guidance, then You are truly blessing us with more than we deserve. Thank You for all of Your provisions and please help show me opportunities where I can share Your word, share the good news and help lead others to Your kingdom. Amen.