Today’s SOAP is short and sweet. The Reading for today from the One Year Chronological Bible is Genesis 18:1-21:7. The reading includes a theophany which is a preincarnate appearance of the LORD. This takes place in Genesis 18:1-33.
SOAP for January 6,2015
Genesis 21:1 The LORD kept His word and did for Sarah exactly what He had promised.
The verb in Genesis 18:10 “I will return” means “to intervene in some’s life to change their destiny.”
God moves in our lives as He promises. I want to seek out the promises of God and take God at His word to watch how He works in my life and the lives of others.
Help me to take Your word. I believe You are good and that You do what is good and right. Intervene in my life and the lives of my husband and children and grandchildren and their spouses, my parents, my sisters and brothers and their families and send a message through us of Your goodness so that the world will see and know that You are and You are good.
SOAP January 5, 2015 Genesis 15-17
And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. (NLT)
The best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture.
1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7“Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Psalm 32:1-2)
9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.12And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” (Genesis 17:5) He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5) 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
It’s all by faith. God does the work. What is our part? Trusting Him and cooperating with Him but still we do not earn His goodness in our life. We simply take Him at His word.
(Corrie Ten Boom)
Thank you for Your gift of faith. Help the seeds of faith You have planted grow in me daily. Help me to take you at Your word and cling tenaciously to You. Wrap me in Your righteousness by faith and help me to grow in You. Help me to live each moment looking to You.
While I lead a study – Getting Grounded as a Believer, I recognize that I have to be fed spiritually daily. I cannot share from an empty heart. So each morning I take my heart to the Lord and His Word so that I can begin my day focused on Him. I am participating in Priscilla Shirer’s Gideon study with other ladies from my church—Gideon—Your Weakness, God’s Strength. At 64, I don’t want to quit growing in any area of my life. I want to be intentional on exposing my heart and mind to godly women so that I will be encouraged and motivated to become more and more like Jesus.
First thing first speaks to me about priorities—knowing what is most important to me in this or any season of life. Do you know your priorities? Have you written them down?
First thing first speaks to me about my day—moving quickly to my Quiet Time so that my heart and mind are focused on my Lord first thing and then throughout the day. Have you made Quiet Time a priority in your day?
First thing first speaks to me about evaluating what I have to do and moving the most important to the head of my list. Especially when the most important tasks are things I do not like to do, do not want to do, it is important to just go ahead and get them done instead of wasting time avoiding them.
When God is first place in my life, my focus is on Him. My prime focus is not people or problems or people I think are my problems. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood but with powers, principalities, rulers of dark places, and spiritual forces of evil. My battle is not with my husband or the President. My battle is not with my child or my co-worker. My battle is not with any person or earthly organization or the people in the shadows behind them. My battle is with spiritual forces opposed to the Lord. And my battle is His battle. (1 Corinthians 15:57; Deuteronomy20:4; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Proverbs 21:31)
We tend to focus on the problem and on people. God wants us to focus on Him. When we focus on the Lord and His ability—the challenges of our life shrink. When we focus on problems it seems they fill our vision until we see nothing else. When we focus on other people and what they do or don’t do—we become discouraged. When we give both problems and people to God, He is able to transform situations and work in people in ways we do not expect. He has transformed me. Why am I faithless in thinking nothing will ever change? “Me”—my attitude, words, and actions, may be what is standing in His way. So I take myself to Him and I ask Him to change my heart, to change me, to change my perspective, my vision. I submit, I yield, to the Lord. And something so incredible begins to happen—transformation. Me, my heart, my life all change as He puts His firm but gentle finger into those places that need His changing touch. God tailors His work in us to the right thing, the right place, at the right time. Present yourself, Woman of God, to Him and pray “Lord, change me.” He does the best heart surgery!
On the Practical Side
Courtney Joseph’s book Women Living Well came out on Tuesday. I have been enjoying it a little at a time and she has reminded me of things I have done in the past and put a new twist on them.
Courtney speaks of prayer walking. I have prayer walked in my neighborhood before. Courtney prayer walks in her home as she does her daily tasks. I love this idea and adopted it this morning.
- As she makes her bed she prays for strength for the day and thanks God for her resting place
- As she makes her husband’s side of the bed, she thanks God for her husband, and prays for his needs for the day. The same is true as she works with her children—she is praying for them and thanking God for them.
- As she moves through her home, taking care of the routine tasks of the day she turns them into opportunities for prayer and praise. She expresses thanks to God for the clothes she is putting into the washer and dryer. She thanks God for His work in those who wear the clothes
- As she works in the kitchen she thanks God for His provision.
How can you walk in prayer throughout the day? Can you see what we have to be grateful for? Can you continually bring the needs you encounter to the Lord in prayer? Is your conversation with the Lord ongoing throughout the day?
Courtney also talks about using prayer journaling to keep her thoughts focused during her Quiet Time. She writes her prayers. I love to prayer journal and love to go back to old prayer journals to see my heart at different points in my life.
Well, time to go share coffee on the porch with my sweetie. I think I may need a jacket this morning.
God is working in me and you, making us fresh and new each day. Take your eyes off your challenges and focus them on the One who will knows and gives the answers.
Love and hugs,
Every Thursday is Floor Day—damp mop, Swiffer or otherwise clean your hard floors.
Our area of focus this week is our entry, front porch, and dining room. Today spend time making your dining room a little less cluttered, a little more functional.
If you do not have the room we are working in or it is in good general order—decluttered, orderly, and clean–then choose an area that is in need of love and begin to bring it to being orderly, functional and beautiful.
You are the family manager. You are your home’s manager. You are the heart that keeps the blood of family life circulating. Ask God to give you a vision of family life as it should be in His economy.
As a crafter of your family’s life and your home think through each room. Add touches of love throughout your home
• Night lights for rooms people navigate at night so they will not have to turn on all the lights when they wake during the night. I keep a light on in my entry 24/7 as well as one in the kitchen, our upstairs hallway, our bathroom, and the room our grandsons use when they sleep over.
• Soft and warm throws for when those you love need a little more warmth—a throw on each couch and an extra blanket in each bedroom.
• Touches of beauty to nourish the soul—pictures, floral arrangements, scented candles.
• Pens that write and pencils with points along with note pads to jot messages, phone numbers, or the thoughts of the moment.
• Good books and magazines to read. Family friendly videos.
• Lamps placed where light is needed
• Healthy snacks in the pantry—nuts, popcorn, fruit
• Plenty of toilet paper
Your home is a work of love.
Pray and work. See in your heart before you see in your life. Be a woman of faith and live that faith authentically before your family. Early each morning read the Bible and pray for your family and the day ahead.
• Today I pray that I gain favor with my husband, children, grandchildren and each person I encounter. I want to gain favor not for myself but so I can direct attention to my Savior and Lord by what I am as His and how I live Him. I want to be a credit to my God and my family.
• Today I pray that each of the people who occupy the deepest part of my heart after God will see Him active in their lives—that their faith may grow and they may come into deeper relationship with Him.
• Today I thank the Lord for all I have and ask for what I need and a little more as He sees fit so that I might both share and enjoy.
• Today I pray for the participants and mentors for In His Garden (the gardening Bible Study I am involved in).
• Today I pray for my church, that people would come from all around to hear the Word of God and that they would respond by coming to faith or growing in faith that they would be transformed and become an ambassador of the Lord wherever they are in life—at home, school, work, and play.
• Today I pray for our President and all our government officials at every level—national, state, regional, and local. I ask that they might come to know God in truth and that their actions and attitudes would reflect that relationship.
• Today I pray for my friends but even more for those who hold no affection for me. I pray God’s best into the lives of everyone around me.
• Today I thank God that He is more than able to accomplish all that I ask and that the One who knows the end from the beginning will hear my heart and answer my prayers as if I prayed with the full knowledge of each situation that He has.
• Today I pray that God’s will will be done on earth as in heaven, fully and completely. So be it (amen).
Bonco went well. Of course I know where every imperfection is—every smudge, ding, and dent. I prepare as best I can and then do my best to put my focus on the people instead of what they think of me and my home. True friends will be forgiving and realize we can’t have everything exactly right all the time. Only God is perfect and I am not, nor will I ever be, God.
Within 30 minutes of the departure of those fabulous women everything was back in order, food put away, and dishwasher running. Did I feel like cleaning up afterward? NO! I did it anyway and came down to a peaceful and clean home for coffee, Quiet Time, and sharing with you this morning. I am ready for another day.
Have a lovely Son shiny day!