September 12 Daniel 3,4; Psalms 81; Revelation 17

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These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish. Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at

You Have Not Forgotten Me | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us.  He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.  But even if he doesn’t Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”  Daniel 3:16-18 (NLT)

O~  A decree was ordered that when the people heard the music they were to bow down before this 90 foot statue the king made of himself.  Those who didn’t would be thrown into the furnace.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were brought before the king and questioned because they did not bow down.

A~  Here I am at our new place we call home.  The newness of it is wearing off.  The getting settled is pretty much done and now I’m really feeling the reality of it.  Here alone tempted with thoughts of did I really listen to God on this.  Tempted to blame. Negative emotions creeping in. Tempted to think I’m alone and feeling useless.  Yuck!!!

The faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego encourages me and these verses remind me to get my eyes off my temporary circumstance and turn my eyes, my thoughts, my heart, my all to you and trust that you see me and are very aware of my life and you have not forgotten me.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t know what would happen to them but they were confident that they were in your hands and that was enough!

P~  Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder that you have not forgotten me.  I needed this today.  Please remind me this truth throughout the day.  I love you.
Psalm 81:10 For it was I, the Lord your God who rescued you from the land of Egypt.  Open your mouth wide and I will fill it with good things.

“Even if He does not…” | Kelley DeAses

S~ If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)

O~ This is one of the most dramatic scenes in the Old Testament, to rival the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, and the crumbling of the walls of Jericho.  These courageous believers in the one, true God took their stand, upon threat of most certain death, not to succumb and bow to any other god or man-made image.  This statement, and the utter resolve behind it, gives me shivers.  Could I ever be so bold?

A~ Yesterday I had the joy and privilege of sitting down with one of the pastors at my new church to discuss the details of starting a facilitating a new small group which will meet in my home.  In the course of our free flowing discussion, I shared with him a good bit of my testimony, to include how God delivered me out of the painful place I was in after my divorce and restored and blessed my life with a second husband and a second child.

As I look back on how God orchestrated all these events for my good, I am unspeakably grateful.  But with each rescue and every blessing, I want to be able to proclaim — along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — even if He didn’t, I would still cling to God alone.

P~ Father, I am so grateful for the beautiful life You have given me.  But may my devotion not be contingent on my circumstance, but firmly resting upon Your unchanging nature.

Current Events | Susan Aken

S~ …They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Daniel 3:28b (NIV)

O~ Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were ready to go into the fire rather than worship the king’s golden image. They did not know for sure God would rescue them. They knew He was able but they did not know it would be His will. They chose to die rather than deny Him.

A~ This is happening right now in our world! Many Christians are being killed, beheaded, tortured and left homeless. They are choosing to suffer rather than deny Jesus. What do we do? Do we feel guilty because we worry about mundane things? Because we live in safety and prosperity? Feeling guilty does not help. Our call is to faithfully pray! Our hearts, my heart, needs to be supporting our brothers and sisters in constant prayer and help make the world aware of what is happening. What if it was happening here in America? It could. What would we want Christians around the world to do?

P~ Father, forgive me. I have too often gone about my business and neglected to pray for my suffering brothers and sisters. Please help them. Please rescue them. Hold back the tide of evil. Please give them courage, perseverance and strength. Please stop the genocide, dear Lord.

Love and Empathy | Michelle Myers

S~ Then Belteshazzar (Daniel) answered, ‘My master, I wish the dream were about your enemies, and I wish its meaning were for those who are against you!’ Daniel 4:19 (NCV)

‘This is the meaning of the dream, O King.  The Most High God has commanded these things to happen to my master the king.’ Daniel 4:29 (NCV)

O~ The king had a dream in which he saw ruin, destruction, and hard times come to someone.  He presumed it was his enemies.  However, Daniel told him that these things were actually going to happen to him.

A~ In my younger years, when I actually thought that it was me, my hard work, my education, etc, keeping me afloat; I was very judgmental of people in their hard circumstances.  I was one of those people who had all the answers for everyone else’s life.  If I thought a woman was being mistreated in her marriage, I would often say, “She should just leave.”  If people were having financial problems, “They need to do this or that.”

Over the years, I became less naïve, and more empathetic.  This change occurred before any of my own marital and financial struggles came about.  Experiencing them myself,  took them to a totally different level and made me more heart knowledgeable and less head knowledgeable, which deepened my level of empathy.

I have realized some things. First, this was a prideful, learned attitude I had gotten from watching and listening to my family growing up.  I didn’t like it.  Second, it was not anything that I did, that kept me afloat.  It was God.  Third,  I don’t have any answers.  I have experience and knowledge, and I can tell people about that, but ultimately they have to decide what God is telling them is best for them, in their circumstances.  Third, many times there are no easy answers nor do we live in a black and white world.  Fourth, I don’t like to see anyone go through hard times, pain, etc.; even if it is someone I feel has done me wrong.  Fifth, if I am not currently in a struggle, it is by the grace of God.  I am no more immune to hard times than anyone else.

P~ Thank you God for your wisdom and grace.  Please continue to show me how to be more empathetic of others in their struggles.  Show me how to approach them with love and empathy.  And when I feel judged or criticized by someone, who has not walked in my shoes, help me not take offense, respond in love, and rely on YOU to show me what I need to do.

Natural Consequences | Joni Tyner

S~ But, no, my people wouldn’t listen.  Israel did not want me around.  So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, live according to their own ideas.  Psalm 81:11-12 (NLT)

O~ This scripture looks like God is almost frustrated with Israel. He has tried to spare them misery and hardship but they keep following the own desires!

A~  I’ve read many parenting books over the years and one of the most common themes is natural consequences.  For example, if your kid oversleeps and misses the bus, they miss school as an unexcused absence.  If they speed and get a ticket, they pay the fine.  We are trying to live out this principal!!! (with rather minimal results I might add!)   Just this morning,  my daughter plowed over 4 mailboxes and this resulted in damaging the front of her car.   After work, my husband took her and a shovel over to the site of the mishap and told her to start digging a hole for a new mailbox post.  He also had her withdraw money to pay for the supplies.  She will then have to either drive the car with a cracked windshield and dented front hood or use her own money to pay for the repairs.  The accident happened because she didn’t listen to us and was driving while being distracted.  I think God is telling us if we don’t listen to Him and we follow our own stupid ideas, we will have to live with the consequences.  This usually means pain and hardship.

P~ Dear Lord, I don’t want to be a stubborn person, I really don’t.  I pray for wisdom and open eyes and ears to hear You.  I also pray for consistency in parenting.  We want to be found faithful in the assignment-please help us to have wisdom and discernment and good follow through when situations require discipline.

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Posted on September 12, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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