January 13 Genesis 31-33; Luke 13

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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’s Voice Trumps Fear | Kelley DeAses

S~  “I am afraid…. But you have said …”  extracted from Genesis 32:11-12 (NIV)

O~  Jacob was justifiably fearful.  Twenty years earlier, he had cheated his twin brother out of his birthright and their father’s blessing and now was afraid to face him for what Esau might do in retaliation.  So he prayed.  In his prayer, he told the Lord his honest feelings of fear and trepidation, but he also reminded God of His promise to make a great nation from his family line.

A~  This is the posture I want to strike in approaching God.  I want to bring him my fears and concerns, being fully transparent with my feelings and even doubts, but then to cite His Word and its promises of blessing, protection, provision, and ultimately His presence in the midst of whatever I am facing. I love these two phrases in conjunction with each other: “I am afraid, but You have said.”  It is the perfect template for prayer.

P~  If I let myself entertain such thoughts, I can fear so many things.  This world is fallen and dangerous, causing me to worry for the safety and health of my children, my husband, my family and friends, and myself.  “But You have said” You will never leave me or forsake me.  “But You have said” don’t be afraid but have courage and stand firm. “But You have said” to come and find my rest.

My Purpose | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Finally he said to the gardener,  ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig!  Cut it down it’s taking up space we can use for something else. ‘  Luke 13:7 (NLT)

O~ The fig tree wasn’t doing what it was meant to do.

A~ What is my purpose?  To believe in the one you sent.  To be about my father’s work and trust you.

P~ Heavenly Father, help me be about the work you have for me.  I get easily distracted.  Please forgive me and help me focus on you and your plans for me.  I love you.

Getting Through The Narrow Door | Michelle Myers

S~ When the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you can stand outside and knock on the door and say, “Sir, open the door for us.’  But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you  or where you come from.’  Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in the streets of our town.’  But he will say to you, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.  Go away from me, all you who do evil!’ Luke 13:25-27 (NCV)

O~ Jesus is answering the question, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” (Luke 13:23)  He uses the parable of a narrow door; telling how, many people will try and enter into God’s kingdom when their life on earth has ended.  Yet, because they did not have a TRUE, AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIP with Him here; He will not know them there. They will then plead their case in two ways.  First, they will  point out that they “socialized” Him.  Second, they will point out that they listened to His teachings on the street.  Both of which, are small components of the larger part of a TRUE, AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIP.

A~ I value relationships.  I mean TRUE, AUTHENTIC relationships.  These types of relationships are not just hanging out and socializing every now and then.  They are also a two- way street.  I have not had many relationships like that until recently.  Most of my relationships in my adult life have been very surface level (socializing only) or one sided.  Even the example given in the scripture,  where Jesus says people will say they know Me, because I was there when you taught in the streets of our town, is not a relationship.  As a teacher, I know that my spoon-feeding knowledge to someone, tells me nothing about them, their heart, and their knowledge or understanding.  Plus, I am doing all the work (one-sided).

God, wants a TRUE, AUTHENTIC relationship with me.  Unlike my earthly parents, He doesn’t want it to be one-sided, where I passively listen to HIM.  He wants me to be actively engaged and participate in a dialogue.  He doesn’t expect me to give endlessly, where He either never reciprocates, or if He does, there are strings attached. He doesn’t point out the things He has done for me, to manipulate or shame me into obedience.  He reminds me as a way of showing his faithfulness.  Plus, He never changes; unlike my earthly parents, whose values, advice, and expectations changed frequently.  Therefore, with Him, I don’t have to try and guess what His mood, tone, or values are for that day.  I also don’t have to fear the punishment for my failures manifesting into the withholding love.

Just like with my own children, with whom I want a TRUE, AUTHENTIC relationship with, He wants it to be a regular, consistent, two-way street.  I don’t have days where I don’t communicate with my children or encourage them to not communicate with me.  I want them to be conscience of the values that they have been taught, as they go through their daily lives.  I also want them to be conscience of my faithfulness to them, and the love I have for them…no matter how badly they think they screwed up that day.  He wants me to be open and honest with Him about all my junk.  I don’t have to put on a happy face and pretend like everything is all good, when it is not.  That is just fake and exhausting!  And, unlike my earthly parents, He sees the truth regardless.

P~ Thank you God for the TRUE, AUTHENTIC relationship you want to have with me.  It is a stable and balanced relationship that consists of socialization and reciprocity.  Please continue to show me what good relationships look like, sound like, and feel like.  Please continue to help me learn and cultivate this type of relationship with my own children.

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Posted on January 13, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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