January 15 Genesis 38, 38; Psalm 7; Luke 15

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Favoritism | Michelle Myers

S~ Since Joseph was born when his father Israel was old, Israel loved him more than his other sons.  He made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves.  When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, they hated their brother and could not speak to him politely. Genesis 37:3-4 (NCV)

O~ Israel outwardly favored Joseph.  Joseph’s brothers resented him for it.

A~ The entire dynamics of the relationship between Israel, Joseph, and the brothers is so dysfunctional, yet not that uncommon.  I know from my own experience that my mother’s treatment of my sister has always been different, regardless of what my mom says, I know that it has not always been because of my sister’s ability and mental health issues.  From a young age, I could recognize the difference in the affection, attention, and kindness that my mom would show to her.  The older I got, the more I recognized the pathological dysfunction behind all of it.  Pointing it out, did no good.  Like every other “issue” I have had with my mother, her behavior, and her treatment of me; it was minimized and dismissed.

I used to try and figure it out.  Maybe, it was because I wasn’t planned and my sister was.  It very well could be.  My mom is not mentally healthy in a way that she takes responsibility for her own decisions and choices.  So it is possible.  Whatever the reason, after many years of a wounded heart because of it, I was finally able to heal from it.  I am not angry with my mom or my sister.  Yet, I understand now that they both have a very dysfunctional, entangled relationship, where more enabling occurs, as opposed to a healthy mother-daughter relationship.

One of the saddest things for me in regards to all of this, is that I nor anyone else will ever know what my sister really could have done with her life, in spite of her mental health issues, because she was never required to do all that she could do.  She spends her days smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, and watching soaps alone, in her small trailer that my parents bought for her.

I was by no means a perfect daughter.  Yet, I tried for many years to have a relationship with my mom and gain her approval.  No matter what I did, it was never enough.  Though this was painful at the time, I have seen how God has used my difficult relationship with my mother to strengthen me, and has enabled me to live a much more fulfilling, productive life that brings HIM glory.

I have to admit, that there were a few years, where I felt closer to my youngest daughter.  As the younger one, she got away with a lot more than her sister.  God showed me that this was going on, because I wasn’t even aware of it.  He let me know this was wrong, by reminding me of how I felt growing up.  I have since made changes in how I interact with both of my daughters, being very mindful of showing favoritism to either one of them.  But, instead, requiring both of them to be all that God created them to be.  It has made a huge difference as my oldest daughter is opening up more, looking for more opportunities to show me more affection, and generally just seems happier.  My youngest daughter, who is only two years younger than her sister, has started to “step it up” more, and not relying on me, my husband, or her sister to do things for her that she is very capable of doing herself.  I have also noticed that their relationship has never been filled with the animosity that my sister and I had in ours.  I would like to keep it that way, as I also know how sad it makes me, that I really don’t have a sister.

P~ Thank you God for your wisdom and your strength.  Thank you for my girls.  Please continue to show me how to change some of these pathological, dysfunctional patterns that have plagued my family for generations.

Evil Will Backfire | Joni Tyner

S~ the trouble they make for others backfires on them. The violence they plan falls on their own heads.  Psalm 7:16 (NLT)

O~ The psalmist is reminding us that evil people will eventually get what is coming to them.  God will not let them go on forever without consequences.  I think this psalm was matched up with today’s reading about Joseph’s brothers who threw him into the well and then later sold him into slavery.  For many years, it seemed their evil and violence went without consequences.  Of course, those of us who are familiar with the story know that they eventually have to kneel down and ask Joseph for help.

A~ I don’t like to watch the news, it always seems to be filled with violence and many innocent people suffering at the hands of evil.  This verse reassures me that that God sees all of this and He will deal with them on His timetable.  God’s ways are not our ways and I need to trust in Him.

P~ Dear Lord, this morning I pray for so many people throughout the world who suffer at the hands of evil people.  Evil permeates every country and continent.  Please intimately comfort these victims and hold them during the night.  I pray they are rescued quickly and restored as Joseph was.  Help these people to not live with bitterness and unforgiveness. I pray that You will administer justice to those who cause the evil and violence.  I believe you are a just God who will ultimately make everything right.

Let Go | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have.

We had to celebrate this happy day.  For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now is found!  Luke 15:30, 32 (NLT)

O~ The notes in my bible say:  The father forgave because he was filled with love.  The son refused to forgive because he was bitter about the injustice of it all.  His resentment rendered him just as lost to the father’s love as the younger brother had been.

A~ I’ve had a funky, unrestful attitude toward a person.  I feel drained and I relate here with the older brother, focusing on and pointing out the injustice of this person’s actions and choices.  And I feel resentment toward this person.  I need to forgive and show love.  I don’t have to be the one to fill all this person’s needs or feel like its either this person or me.  I can trust that you will love this person through others and me, and that you love me just as much as you love this person.

P~  Heavenly Father, help my attitude.  Thank you for showing me what was the cause of this funky attitude.  Please forgive me for resenting this person.  You love this person just as you love me.  Please give me discernment and guidance in what is my part to help with and what is not and to have peace with what you show me.  Thank you Father, dear Jesus and Holy Spirit for your love for me, for us.

Already There | Susan Aken

S~ ’My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’ Luke 15:31 (NIV)

O~ In the parable of the Prodigal Son, I think the older brother represents those who are already Christians; they are righteous through the blood of Jesus. The prodigal son represents those who are lost and God is seeking them to bring them to salvation. The older brother in the story is jealous of the younger brother when the father (representing God) gives him a party and celebrates his return (salvation). Then the father in speaking to the older son tells him, “You are always with me and everything I have is yours.”

A~ This verse struck me this morning because this is me. I am always with my Father and everything He has is mine! What a beautiful truth! It is easy to focus on what I think I don’t have or to look at the blessing someone else has and feel jealous. All the while, my Father is telling me, “I am always with you, and all I have is yours. Why would you ever feel left out or cheated?”

P~ Thank you Father for the great love you have for me. Thank you that you have already rescued me and I belong to you. Thank you that you have given me everything I need for life and godliness. I am rich in you. Please open my eyes to see those you are seeking to save. Open my heart to reach out and share.

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Posted on January 15, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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