December 24 John 19,20,21

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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

He Came at Christmas—Because of Easter | Joni Tyner

S~ Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.  John 20:1 NLT

O~ Jesus had been accused by the Jewish religious officials and was crucified under Pilate. His body was placed in a burial tomb.  The grave was secured by an extremely heavy stone.  It is Easter morning and Mary has discovered that his body is gone, she fears it has been stolen and runs to tell the disciples.

A~ We have Christmas because of Easter. God’s plan all along was the cross. He sent Jesus at Christmas to save us. I’m letting that sink in.  The Maker of the heavens and the earth had a detailed,  specific plan to save Joni, an ordinary child from the Midwest, born in the 1960’s.  God knew His son would have to die a painful, sacrificial death on the cross for Joni; His innocent blood covered all of her past, present, and future sins.  WOW.  I am forever grateful.

As I  look forward to celebrating Christmas the next couple of days,  I am struck that technology and materialism and all of the glitz that attempts to invade Christmas are powerless and meaningless when I consider the cross.  Christmas is Emmanuel—God with Us. We, just, as generations before us, are celebrating His birth, His life and the reason He came –to save us.  The baby in the manager is our King of Kings.  He is the reason for the season.

I have provided a link to my new favorite Christmas song, “Here With Us” by Joy Williams.

The lyrics show the deity of Christ— “ his hands measured the sky and saw the dawn of time”.

They point to the reason He came–   “A baby born to save the souls of man”.

These lyrics are so powerful with her beautiful voice and lovely music.  I invite to take a moment this Christmas and reflect on why we have Christmas in the first place—the baby we celebrate is our King of Kings, or way to overcome darkness in this world!

P~ Dear Lord, I lift up readers and their families everywhere today.  We all have expectations, plans and of ideas of how we want our Christmas to be.  I pray we will have the ability to let go of anything that pulls away the joy of celebrating Your birth—and the reason You came, to save us. Thank you for this eternal gift of being with You.  I pray for so many people who have been distracted by advertisements, marketing and unrealistic expectations.  Please, gently nudge each person to see You in this holy celebration—the reason there is Christmas in the first place.   Happy Birthday Jesus!

Believe! | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands.  Put your hand into the wound in my side.  Don’t be faithless any longer.  Believe!  John 20:27  (NLT)

O~  The other disciples told Thomas they saw Jesus.  Thomas pretty much said that he will believe it when he sees Him (verse 25).  Jesus met Thomas where he was, but also admonished him to not be faithless any longer.

A & P~ Dear Lord, there are things that I lay at your feet and then pickup again.  There are things I learn and then like the saying goes, I move 2 steps forward, and 1 step back.  Maybe I’m getting impatient with myself.  I don’t know.  Help me to not be faithless anymore, to believe.  I know that progress is progress, it takes time but I don’t want to be going back to something that you want me to let go and not do any longer.  In the area of prayer, help me faithless no longer.

Staying Out Of Jesus’ Business | Michelle Myers

S~ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to live until I come back, that is not your business.  You follow me.’ John 21:22 (NCV)

O~ Basically, Jesus is saying that we all have our own walk with Him.   How, where, when, and in what fashion, He chooses to walk with someone else, is not our business.

A~ A friend of mine got upset, when another friend of ours was wronged by some people at her church.  Later, the friend who got upset, said something about how “we sometimes take on other people’s offenses or grievances”.  I have a habit of doing this at times.  I used to see it through the eyes of being a concerned and supportive friend, citizen, neighbor, family member, etc.  Now, I think that it is pretty prideful.  Jesus sees what we do to others, and what others do to us.  He knows where other people are stuck in letting go of hurtful, harmful relationships.  He knows everything about them, and is much more equipped to handle their offenses and grievances, show them the way, and change their heart.  He wants me to mind my own business, and just love them in spite of their flaws, hang-ups, and tattered baggage.

P~ Thank you God for the friendships you have cultivated in my life.  Never would I have thought that I could have such a wonderful circle of friends.  Please continue to show me where I need to mind my own business.  Remind me that I don’t have any answers for anyone in regards to their walk with you.  Me, thinking that I do, is extremely prideful.  You know what is best for them.  You know what they need.  You know the amount of time it should take.  And, YOU are way more equipped than I am, in regards to helping them with or through any of it!

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Posted on December 24, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Joni and Luisa, your two entries tie in so well with each other. I think we struggle with belief and faithfulness, because it is so hard for us, humans, to wrap our heads around all of what Joni was talking about with all of this being His plan, especially, when it comes to the “normal” day to day life of an average small town girl. Yet, in His eyes, we are so much more than we can ever see ourselves. Also, when I get impatient with myself, thinking that I should be a lot farther along than I am, I have to remind myself that God is not confined by time and space. Something, I have a hard time wrapping my head around also, as I rely a lot on a clock and a calendar. Plus, the older I get, the more I feel that time is “slipping” away. I often have to look back at where I came from, to realize, even in my shuffle of taking 2 steps back, that I am so much farther along than when I first started. Merry Christmas everyone!

  2. Thank you for sharing that Joni! Beautiful!

  3. Simply beautiful. Have a blessed Christmas all of you.

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