March 10 Deuteronomy 13-15; Galatians 1

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

It Isn’t That Complicated, When I Focus On God! | Michelle Myers

S~ Serve only the LORD your God.  Respect him, keep his commands, and obey him.  Serve him and be loyal to him. Deuteronomy 13:4 (NCV)

O~ God warns against false prophets and dreamers, who tell of the future, in an effort to people to serve and worship other gods.  He says this will be a test of one’s loyalty to Him, and only Him.

A~ I went in this morning to have my health assessment done, so my husband could get a discount on his insurance.  I knew I had put on a few pounds since last year, and I knew my cholesterol was little high.  I had my annual physical in December, and my Dr. informed me that it was a little elevated.  However, this morning, it was way up there.  I am not completely sure why, as I have been paying better attention to what I eat  since my December Dr.’s appointment.  Immediately the health care person, asked if high cholesterol ran in my family.  Truthfully, I don’t know.  I think it might as I have an aunt who is on medication for it, and my grandfather had to have his legs amputated because of hardening of the arteries.  Yet, my parents don’t go to the Dr., and nobody, besides my one aunt, who thinks exercise is a great hobby and does it every chance she gets, doesn’t take care of themselves.  They don’t exercise and they don’t eat right.  Some of them smoke.  Some of them drink in excess.  So, if it is in the  genes or just due to an unhealthy lifestyle, who knows?  I could feel myself panic a little, as she shows me the numbers and started to talk about heart disease, strokes, etc.

The same thing happened to me when I had an infection, and my blood pressure was high.  The nurse at the Urgent Care asked if I was on medication for my high blood pressure.  I had NEVER had high blood pressure before, so why would I need medication.  And, considering the nutty family I come from, teaching in an alternative school, and having my entire life turned upside down in the last 5 years, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was through the roof constantly.  So, by the time I left the Urgent Care, that I went in for, because of an infection; I was convinced that all the stress of my life had finally caught up with me, and I was going to have a heart attack.  I didn’t have a heart attack, nor has my blood pressure been high since then.  I’m sure the infection is what was making it high.

Now, God has been working on me, in regards to some of the bad habits I have slipped back into over the last year.  Especially, when it comes to exercise.  I was having a hard time getting it in, according to when I wanted to do it.   He showed me what would work better for me.  And yesterday, in spite of all the obstacles before I left, I got to the gym.  It was a better time.  I wasn’t as rushed.  I enjoyed it more.  It got me out of my evening laziness.  I slept better.  Once again, He knew what was best for me.

So, you would think today I would immediately go to Him for guidance with my cholesterol.  Nope, I went to the internet to try and figure out what ALL could cause it and what I need to do about it.  Articles contradicted each other. What the health care provider told me to cut back on was saturated fat.  Ok…. but then recommended Coconut oil, which is the worst oil for saturated fat.  Frustrated, I asked God, what the heck am I supposed to do, eat, etc.?  And, His response was, “I have already shown you.  What worked before?”  Yikes!  Both my weight and cholesterol dropped considerably when I combined healthy eating, portion control, and consistent moderate exercise.  And the difference in what I was doing then, vs. now, is that I had made it a priority.  The hiccups throughout the day didn’t deter me.  I didn’t make excuses.  I just did it whether I wanted to or not.  And, my diet was very doable.  It was a lifestyle change, where I still allowed myself to enjoy some treats, but I monitored the portion and frequency much better.

I realized at that moment, that God had, once again, equipped me and shown me; and how putting Him first, how being obedient to Him, and being loyal to only Him; is what truly works in my life.

P~ Thank you God for your patience and grace.  Please continue to show me your will, and when I am not getting it, just keep knocking me upside the head.  Eventually, it sinks in.  Please continue to work on me when it comes to my health.  I know, I will eventually get back to the point where I go more willingly, but now, I still feel as if I have “drag” myself to the gym.

When the Harvest is a Bummer Crop | Joni Tyner

S~ You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Deuteronomy 14:22 (NLT)

O~ It’s March in the Discover One Thing reading plan and for those of you who are following along, you will know we are getting deeper into the Old Testament. Deuteronomy is currently where we are at. Moses is still giving instructions to the Israelites.  It can be a bit challenging to read and get interested in, –just being honest and transparent.

A~ I have never read the entire Old Testament so this year, so I thought I should start and make reading the Old Testament my priority.  Honestly,  I would rather be in the New Testament –cuz- I love Jesus and seeing Him in action. I  like seeing Jesus love on people and He always encourages me, He makes me want to be like Him, love others, forgive others.  I love reading about how people encounter Jesus and are forever changed and  I like growing in areas of love and forgiveness and devotion to Him.  The New Testament is really my comfort zone in the Bible.

So—–although I’d rather be camped out Galations this morning,  I picked up Deuteronomy and my eyes quickly started to get a bit glazed over.  Moses talks about worshipping idols and which animals to eat,  yea, yea, not exactly my thing or applicable to my life and I  wasn’t super engaged, then, bam!! — Deuteronomy 14:22 pops up into my face, it might as well have been one of those annooying pop up ads on the internet when you’re trying to research the best deal on shoes or something. Boom!! The Holy Spirit speaks,

“Joni!!! Joni!! Do you see this ?  “one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year”.

Gulp, …confession, I have been work a lot more the past couple of months due to some unplanned staffing needs at my work. I’m paid hourly so this new work schedule translates into a bigger paycheck to me.  Wow!!! Extra money we didn’t plan on!!!  We decided to use it pay off the last bit of debt we have hanging around.  (We want to increase our financial margin so we can be more generous and give more to God) …. Except,… well, …. I’ve been shopping a bit more, (you know, retail therapy to compensate for all that extra stress) and I never really got around the action of transferring and setting aside the extra money to tithe.  We are knocking off debt, but I was neglecting the action of increasing my monthly giving.

This is the part God wanted me to see this morning. “one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year”.  My dad was a farmer so I understand this. The harvest is always different—just like my paychecks. If the harvest is good, we tithe on the good harvest, NOT the expected harvest.  So, I felt convicted to  stop reading and log into my bank account and make a transaction that reflected what I earned this month, not the “normal” amount .  God is good. He has provided for our family all of these years. He has provided for an extra blessing with this unexpected income.  I need to acknowledge that and thank Him, (I have been!!) and then, I need to do what  I say –

I need to trust Him and do what I talk about.

P~ Dear Lord, please forgive me for being selfish and having a closed fist.  I’m sorry I felt selfish and said thank you but didn’t want to share.  I want to be generous and give financially to You. Please continue to pursue me in this area of my life and change me.  I do love You and I’m sorry I was worshipping the idols of money over You. L  Thank You for the book of Deuteronomy and convicting me to read it, I’m so glad I made reading Your Word a priority this morning.  Please don’t give up on me, I’m a work in progress and this area needs some serious remodeling.

Come as You Are | Robin Laney

S~ I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7 (NIV)

O~ The Gentiles in the churches in Galatia were saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Some Jewish Christians (Judaizers) were bent on having them convert to Judaism and then to Christianity by imposing Jewish Law upon them. Paul was angry with those who would distort the gospel and so burden the people when this gift was meant to free them.

A~ The Jewish Christians were trying to gain the favor of men and protect themselves from those who persecuted them for their faith in Christ. We see this in Christianity still today. It’s an amazing celebration when we choose to follow Christ and are freed from our sin. A tremendous burden is lifted when we realize that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, that Christ paid our debt on the cross and restored our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Yet, almost immediately, a new burden begins to weigh us down when we, albeit well-meaning, start compiling a Good Christian to-do/don’t-do list. The list might include things like reading our Bible every day, praying for a certain amount of time and maybe at a certain time of day, not wearing certain kinds of clothing, avoiding certain movies and books, listening only to Christian music and changing the friends we hang out with. The list gets bigger and the burden gets heavier as we grow in our faith. And then, we forget altogether that our salvation was a free gift to begin with and nothing we could ever earn and we heap mounds guilt on ourselves when we ‘mess up.’ Before we know it, we have exchanged slavery to sin for slavery to the Law.

We work so hard to please God when He’s not even looking at us. He’s looking at the Lamb, Jesus, who was sacrificed for us and for our salvation once and for all. It’s done. No amount of hard work, on our part, will add to His righteousness and no mess we make will take away from it. We have an enemy who seeks to destroy the work Christ has done by lying to us and accusing us of not being good enough. We fight back with the truth of God’s word and His promises. He says we reign in life through the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness. We are more than conquerors through Him. It’s not about us being better or trying harder. It is about fully receiving the gift he offers.

I listened to a message by Pastor Terry Virgo this past week and I loved one of the ways he expressed the truth of the gospel. He said, “Jesus is not the way to the way. He IS the way.” To the one who has received the gift of salvation through Christ, the Law yells out, “Get your act together,” but the gospel whispers, “Come as you are.”

It is only when we know the freedom of the gospel that we can fully experience the fullness of the life He offers us.

P~ Lord, help us to understand, fully, the tremendous gift you have given us. Free us from the burden of trying to earn our salvation and Your approval. Help us defend against the attacks of the enemy who would attempt to steal our joy by falsely accusing us when we fail in our efforts to prove ourselves worthy of Your grace. Lord, would you open our eyes to the burdens we might heap on others and ourselves? Keep us from imposing our man-made rules on those who know Christ and those who have yet to meet Him. Let us see people, as well as ourselves, through His eyes, lavishing grace and extravagantly loving each other just as we, ourselves, are so freely loved.

Seeking Approval | Susan Aken

S~ Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

O~ Paul is writing to the Galatians and reminding them why they can trust his message. Among other things, he lived only to please God.

A~ I struggle with wanting people to like me, notice me, acknowledge me…my flesh likes approval. I have noticed that things like Facebook really tap into this. It is easy on FB to fall into the trap of looking for approval, attention and so on. I think it is more tempting here where I don’t actually see “faces”. When I am talking to someone face-to-face I am more likely to think about him or her. Whatever form it takes, I cannot live to please people and serve God at the same time. I so want to be a servant of Christ. I am thankful He is so patient with me.

P~ Jesus, please help me to let go of seeking the approval of people. I want my life to please you. It is not even possible to please people. Help me let go of that lie. Please be glorified in my life Lord.

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Posted on March 10, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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