Day 29: His Limitless, Infinite Majesty

WORD Art_1 Chr 29_11 12Summer Soak Day 29:

Parades, cook outs and fireworks…this week in the United States we celebrate Independence Day, July 4th. The day our country’s founders declared independence, the day a new nation was born. As the daughter of a career Army officer (decorated Vietnam War Veteran), and one who spent parts of my childhood and adolescent years living in other countries, I am so grateful for the sacrifice and service of those who daily put their lives on the line to defend and uphold the freedoms I enjoy every day.  One of the greatest freedoms being the right to openly read, discuss, study (and even blog about) the Word of God.  As well as the freedom I enjoy in being able to meet every week, without fear, with other Christ-followers in worship.  May we never become so comfortable that we forget what great privileges we enjoy as citizens of this nation!

This week as we celebrate our freedom and watch majestic fireworks, let’s use these to prompt us to praise God for His majesty and splendor and for providing us with the greatest freedom of all —salvation in Jesus. Let’s celebrate the freedom we experience as we live in complete abandon to the God who is limitless, our Deliverer, our Savior, our Provider and Protector!…continue reading

Day 28: Reasons for Rejoicing!

WORD Art Ps 31_7

I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. —Psalm 31:7

SOAK:

Let’s close our week of focusing on God as our joy by rehearsing some of the reasons we have to rejoice.

Read Psalm 30:1-12

Look at some of the reasons we have to rejoice found in Psalm 30:…continue reading

Day 27: Overwhelmed with Joy!

WORD Art_Neh 8_10psd

As we end our week celebrating the joy of God’s presence, read the story of God’s people who were overwhelmed with joy.  It’s a great moment!  Read, be encouraged and enjoy life more in light of who God is!

SOAK:

The joy of the Lord is your strength. —Nehemiah 8:10…continue reading

Day 26: Seeking Joy

WORD Art_PS 105_3_4

SOAK:

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice; seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually. —Psalm 105:3-4

Read Psalm 105:3-4 and answer the following questions based on the text:

What are we instructed to do?

Seek is repeated three times in this passage and two different words are used:

The first and third occurrence is the word, baqash, meaning to seek, to desire, to require, to request, to seek to find or secure; to go to God especially with prayer.  

The second occurrence the word is, darash, meaning to beat a path, to tread, to frequent a place; to resort to, to seek, to look, to investigate, to practice, study and follow, to seek with application. 

What are we to seek? 

How often?

What is the result?

His presence is always with us, but do we always practice the presence of the Lord? When we seek His presence we find joy and strength. We are not to tread this path of life in our own strength.  We are to walk in the strength and power of the Lord’s presence.

What promises does God give to those who seek His presence? …continue reading

Day 25: Celebrate the Day!

WORD Art PS 118_24

You want to be joyful and celebrate…but you’re just not feeling it today.  Life is overwhelming.  Life is blah.  Life is hard.  You’re tired and weary.  You’re empty.  How do you find joy and celebrate the day?

SOAK:

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.— Psalm 118:24

Scripture instructs us to be joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)…even in the midst of difficulties.  James 1:2 exhorts us to count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds because it is producing something of worth in us.

How do we experience the joy that surpasses our circumstances and feelings?…continue reading

Day 24: A Refuge in the Storm

WORD Art_PS 5_11

I love lighthouses.  I love their shapes and colors and what they represent.  They provide a guiding light to the safe haven of the shore. They are constructed to withstand the storms and waves that beat upon them. Ships at sea can depend upon the beacon of the lighthouse to direct them home. They are a refuge.

I’m prompted to evaluate my own life and ask myself a few questions: What am I relying upon?  Where do I run for refuge? What do I look to?  Who or what am I trusting?  Is my reliance upon God alone or in other things?  Is He my refuge?  Does He direct, control and suggest the activities of my day?

What about you?  Where do you find refuge in times of trouble? What or who is guiding your journey through this day and in this life?…continue reading

Day 23: A Joyful Retreat for the Soul!

WORD Art_PS 119_162

A retreat!  I love those words.  We all need a retreat from time to time to refresh and renew us.  For some it may be a bubble bath at the end of a long day, a good book, a cup of tea, a workout at the gym or a long weekend getaway.  Of course for most of us, our favorite retreat places in the summertime are the beaches or mountains!  But every day can be a joyful retreat that refreshes, renews and restores us and leaves a lasting impression on those around us.

I rejoice at your word like one who discovers great treasure. —Psalm 119:162

SOAK:

Read:  Hebrews 4:12 and Psalm 19:7-11.

These verses paint a great word picture of how God’s Word is a spa for our soul and spirit. God’s word is like fresh water flowing over our hearts and souls, refining and smoothing out the rough edges. Healing balm to our wounded and weary hearts. It is a retreat we need to head to every day and enjoy the refreshing presence of God that leaves us changed and renewed. Take a look!…continue reading

Day 22: True Joy!

WORD Art_Ps 16_11

One of my favorite things about summertime is going barefoot and the next best thing…wearing flip flops. I love them!  Flip flops would be my year-round, footwear of choice — if it were practical, which it almost is here in Augusta. It’s the little things that make me smile and my heart glad —flips flops, going barefoot in the summer grass or on the sandy beach, and summer rain. This week for Summer SOAK, let’s focus on those things we associate with summertime that bring a smile to our face. And let’s use these images to prompt us to praise God, who IS joy!  He is our reason for rejoicing. He is our ultimate source of satisfaction and delight.  Let’s rejoice in His presence this week!

SOAK:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11

Joy – we all want it in our lives, but at times it can seem to allude us.  Too often we base our joy on our circumstances and feelings.  Too often we confuse joy and happiness.…continue reading

Day 21: His Goodness Endures!

WORD Art_PS 100_5

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. —Psalm 100:5

SOAK:

Today I want us to focus on another aspect of God’s goodness and one that is central to His character, His steadfast love — or my favorite translation from the NIV is unfailing love (some translations may also use the word mercy).  In a fallen world marked by sin, it is so encouraging to me that my God is unfailing in His love and faithfulness towards me. It gives me hope to know that even in my faithlessness and failings, God is still unfailing love towards me. And Jesus is the source of that hope!…continue reading

Day 20: He Is Great…Tell Someone!

WORD Art_PS 145_8 copy

What steps are you taking to declare His goodness to the next generation?  Psalm 145 is a wonderful song of praise declaring who God is and what He has done for us.  His goodness in our lives should prompt us to not only praise Him, but to declare His goodness to others.

The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. —Psalm 145:9

SOAK:

Read Psalm 145.  …continue reading