January 7 Genesis 18,19; Psalm 3; Luke 7

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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 DiscoverOneThingPrayer@gmail.com

God is funny too! | Nikki Metzger

S~ Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.” Genesis 18:15 (NLT)

O~ Some men were traveling and stopped to rest with Sarah and Abraham.  One of them said Sarah would have a baby in a year and Sarah laughed inside herself, probably because she was 89 years old.

A~ I just love this verse!  When I read it, it makes me laugh.  Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be funny, but God’s response is so matter of fact to Sarah.

P~ Thank You Lord for humor and laughter and fun and smiles.  Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with the seriousness of following You and making Your name known that I forget about laughing.  I love to laugh, You do too, You made laughter 🙂

The Lord Is Our Shield | Todd Chipman

S~ But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from His holy mountain. Psalm 3:3-4 (NLT)

O~ David wrote this Psalm when he was being pursued by his rebellious son, Absalom, and other traitors. Instead of focusing on the problem and his own worries, David chose to call out to God for protection. He focused on God and not his own troubles.

A~ We live in a fallen world, inherited from Adam and Eve’s sin. Each person is born into sin and is subjected to living in a fallen world. As a result, bad things happen to good people; even innocent children. Despite that, God is still in control of this world and His love for us never waivers. He is always there for us to guide us and to show His love for us. We should never doubt His love because of the ultimate sacrifice He made when He sent his only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for the sins of everyone who believes in Him. No matter what each of us is going through, God is right there beside us, walking with us each and every step of the way.

P~ Dearest Lord, we believe in your protection and your care in the midst of troubles, worries, and despair. When we are in the midst of trouble and hardship, you are there for us. We thank you for your love and for never leaving us. By faith, we trust in and rely on your love. Amen.

Making The Connection Between Words and Action | Michelle Myers

S~ John the Baptist came and did not eat bread or drink wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon in him.’  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him!  He eats too much and drinks too much wine, and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  But wisdom is proved to be right by what it does. Luke 7:33-35 (NCV)

O~ Jesus is speaking to the people.  The above scripture is directed mainly at the Pharisees, who refused to accept God’s plan for themselves, and would not allow John to baptize them.  Jesus is pointing out that they are able to find fault with anyone and anything, that does not fit their  (the Pharisees and experts on the law) “mold” for that day.  And, in that statement, Jesus points out their expectations and “mold” changes constantly, according to how it would benefit them in that moment.  He ends it, by pointing out that all of their finger pointing, shifting, and talk means nothing, and is not wise, because what they DO (action word) is not right.

A~ Oh my!  I really do dislike the Pharisees.  I grew up with one, and all the finger pointing, shifty expectations, and meaningless talk were crazy-making.  It has taken me years to get my mind to a place that I would consider healthy, and some days, it is still a battle to sift through what is or isn’t my responsibility, what is or isn’t truth, and what to count on and not count on.  I also married a man, who struggles with connecting the dots between words and actions.  It has caused a lot of the same confusion and crazy-making mental struggle.  However, he is much more aware of it, and much more willing to allow God to work in him to change it, than my mother has ever been or probably ever will be.  What I have learned,  in regards to our marriage, is to not believe what I don’t see or trust that his actions align with his words.

Now for me, as my mind becomes more healthy and I rely more on the Holy Spirit, to do more of the “finger pointing”, “molding”, and “truth telling”, I am able to be more stable.  This has allowed me to see some areas where I have not always connected the dots with my own words and actions.  So, I have taken some steps with health, finances, my attitude, and time, that I feel align more with God’s plan for my life.  Some days I fail miserably.  Some days I get frustrated at my lack of progress.  But, unlike the Pharisees, I have not down right refused God’s plan for my life.

P~ Thank you God for showing me more and more of how I need to connect the dots between words and action.  Thank you God for giving me a husband that, even though it is not always when and how I want it, is willing to open his heart enough for you to show him.  I pray that some day, my mom will be willing to do the same.  Help remind me, when I have failed or feel like my progress isn’t enough, that you see my effort and I am not a disappointment to you.

An Invitation to Learn | Kimi Miller

S~ Then Jesus answered his thoughts, “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. Luke 7:40 (NLT)

O~ There are some mornings after I finish reading when nothing has jumped out at me.  When that occurs, I usually go back and read the same passages in another translation.  I almost always start with the NIV and then move to the NLT as a second choice.  That’s what I did this morning and that slight change in the wording allowed me to see what I missed in the NIV.  (Now before you panic about the difference, understand that both are conveying the same message, but because of the different word selection I saw something in the NLT, that I missed previously in the NIV.)

In the verse previous to the one above (in v. 39), both translations state, “the Pharisee who had invited him saw this and said to himself…” I didn’t catch it there, but in the next verse (v. 40), the NIV states, “Jesus answered him…” The NLT states, “Then Jesus answered his thoughts…” Do you see it?  Somehow I failed to see in the NIV that Jesus answered his thoughts! (You are probably a much more observant reader than I, so you probably caught it the first time, but for what it’s worth, that is why reading the same passage(s) in different translations can be helpful.) So…

A couple of things to notice here.  First, Jesus knows our thoughts; we’ve already seen this in previous chapters of Luke (cf. 5:22; 6:8).  What is unique about this situation is (although Jesus is ALWAYS working in ways that reach others) that Jesus and Simon are having a private (or at least one-on-one) conversation.  Jesus reads Simon’s thoughts and then says to him, “I have something to tell you.”  He says this almost like an invitation to Simon.  Like, “I’m gonna tell you something, are you ready for it?” And Simon responds, “Tell me, Teacher,” (NIV) or, “Go ahead, Teacher,” (NLT).

We don’t know Simon’s thoughts at this point, but we know by his response that he is open to what Jesus would say.  He acknowledges Jesus as “Teacher” so most likely he knows that Jesus will be teaching him something.  And so, Simon accepts Jesus’ invitation to learn.

A~ This is a beautiful illustration of the Holy Spirit at work.  Always present and aware of every thought, yet still a gentleman.  He never screams, or shouts, or uses sarcasm.  He simply says to me, “Kimi, I have something I want to say to you.”  And then, it’s up to me if I want to listen – that’s the beauty of free will.  That’s where I make the decision to listen to Him, or ignore what He’s trying to teach me. You see, something you have to realize – it’s painted all throughout His Word – Jesus is The Master of teachable moments.  It’s up to us if we accept His invitation to learn.

P~ Jesus, thank you for never giving up on me – even when I get it wrong or refuse to listen the first time.  Your gentle Spirit reminds me of your presence and a better way of doing life.  For that I am so grateful.  I love you so much.  In Your beautiful saving name, Amen.

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Posted on January 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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