April 5 Ruth 1,2; Psalms 53, 61; 2 Corinthians 5

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

Printable reading plan: HERE

Want a shorter reading plan? Join our chronological walk through the Gospels at www.DiscoverOneThingOnlineStudy.com

Interested in guest posting? Email us at DiscoverOneThing@gmail.com

…it’s Because of Easter | Joni Tyner

(special scripture chosen for this morning)

S~ God saved you by His grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Ephesians 2:8  (NLT)

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  Ephesians 2:9  (NLT)

O~ This morning is Easter Sunday.  Many people,  (both believers in Jesus and those who simply like tradition and getting all dressed up)  will be attending services this morning.  Like so many things, it can become routine,  it’s “what we do” on Easter Sunday.  How do we embrace Easter as our personal testimony?  How does a believer in Jesus live out the purpose of Easter on Monday? … and the next day…and the next week, and so on?

A~ This morning as I worship in church, I will be celebrating that my future is in Heaven.  I am celebrating that one day Jesus is going to personally welcome me and explain all the difficult “whys” that occur on this side of heaven.  Revelation 21:4  tells us that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”    My inheritance in Heaven is secure because of what He did on the cross.  He died for my sin.   The reason I will be in Heaven one day is NOT because of anything I have done.  It isn’t because I have went to church my whole life or that I do “nice Christian things”, or because I have religious knowledge.  I did NOTHING to receive this inheritance.   It is all because of Him.  It is because God had a plan to save me before He even began the humongous task of creating the world.  God knew that His son, Jesus, would need to come to earth and live a perfect life and then die on Good Friday to save Joni.  It was His plan before anything else.

WOW.  Just Wow.

How could I, for even one second,  think that my Christian performance might contribute to my salvation?  My salvation was a gift from Him.   I have nothing to do with it.  So, This morning, I celebrate with absolute joy in my heart.  I go to church and I worship my King.  I experiences tears of gratitude for all He is.  I am His chosen child.  I celebrate Easter for the life I have because of Him.  I am saved because of what He did for me.

P~ I praise and thank you for this gift that I can’t even put into words.  Thank you for choosing me.  I pray for others to see this beautiful gift and embrace it and believe in all that You are.

My Anchor | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back.  I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live.  Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.  Ruth 1:16  (NLT)

O~ These words encouraged me and strengthened me today.  Ruth and Naomi were leaving Moab where Naomi lost her husband and two sons, one of them being Ruth’s husband.  Naomi was urging Ruth to go back to her mother’s house and Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi with the above words.

A~ Where do these words of strength come from?  It wasn’t because her circumstances were ideal; they were the opposite.  But she must have learned of this God of hope by being with Naomi.  Lately I have been feeling like I’m just being tossed about with life’s circumstances.  But I forget that I have an anchor, Jesus Christ.  I am God’s daughter, and I can face these uncertain circumstances with strength.  Psalms 31:25 – She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear for the future.  Take that fear!

P~ Thank you Father for your word. The hope I have in you. For you. I love you.

A Heritage of Faith | Kelley DeAses

S~ For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me a heritage of those who fear your name.  Psalm 61:5 (NIV)

O~ The psalmist is acknowledging those who have gone before him and influenced his life through their example of fearing the Lord.

A~ I am so grateful for the family I was born into, who took me to church on a regular basis and demonstrated love and service and generosity as a way of life.  I am grateful, too, for so many others along the way who have helped me grow up in my faith. (Specific names and faces are scrolling through my brain, which I will not bore you with here.)  I have truly been blessed with a beautiful heritage of faithful believers.  This gives rise to the obligation to keep it going — for my children and their children and, really, all those whose lives may intersect with mine, for however long or short a time.

P~ Father, A simple “thank you” seems too small a word to say in view of the rich heritage You have blessed me with, which has pointed to You and Your great love for me throughout my whole life.  But, still, thank you!

What am I Aiming For? | Susan Aken

S~ So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 2 Corinthians 5:9 (NIV)

O~ Paul has been teaching in this chapter that this world is not our home. We long for our true home in heaven. But whether we are in heaven or still here in these bodies, our goal should be to please our Lord.

A~ Other translations say we make it our “aim” or our “ambition”. I have to ask myself if the basic goal and ambition of my life is to please my Lord. No matter what I do or where I am, am I aiming to please Him? Because we usually hit what we aim at. I want this to be true of me. I do want my life to please Him. But that is a vague goal. What I need to ask is how I can please Him right now, in this moment. How can I please Him today as a teacher, as a wife? How can I please Him at this moment in my thoughts?

P~ Lord, I yield my heart to you. Please help me today in my thoughts, my words and my actions to be pleasing to you. Please show me any way in which my thoughts or actions do not please you. Thank you for your love that never changes.

DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES, DIFFERENT VIEW OF PEOPLE | Michelle Myers

S~ From this time on we do not think of anyone as the world does. 2 Corinthians 5:16 (NCV)

O~ Prior to this verse, Paul is talking to the Corinthians about their goals and judgment day.  He says, “Our only goal is to please God whether we live here or there, because we must all stand before Christ to be judged.  Each of us will receive what we should get—good or bad—for the things we did in the earthly body.”

A~ I am convinced that many of my life lessons were given to me, so that I would have the ability to see people in a different light.  It was easy for me to have the answers, for other people’s problems; before I had the problem myself.  It was easy for me to make quick judgments about people and their circumstances, until I was in their circumstances, and I had people judging me.  I also know, that my own pain, from my childhood to my current situation, has given me the ability to see past people’s circumstances and behavior, to the pain and hurt behind it all.

I am by no means perfect.  I still live in the world.  I am still a human being.  I still catch myself thinking judgmental or critical thoughts more often than I like.  Yet, I am aware of how sinful and wrong this is.  Something that I never would have even thought about myself ten years ago.  I am now much more aware of people’s need for empathy and support, versus “The Gospel According to Michelle.”

One thing that I have noticed more recently about myself, is that I am telling people more and more, “Go to God.” if you don’t know what to do.  I do for almost anything and everything anymore.  My own wisdom has not always lead me down a good path, and other people’s wisdom, has often just run me right off the cliff.  So, as someone who knows my entire situation, the condition of my heart, the crazy thoughts in my head,…..as someone who sees the big picture……the good, the bad, and the ugly of Michelle….who else would be better equipped to empathize with me and guide me?  Who else would be better at telling me, what pleases God, according the circumstances of my life, than God?

This is why reading the Bible alone isn’t enough.  This is why going to church, attending conferences, or listening to sermons on-line isn’t enough.  It is through the combining of those things, that God can work on and in me, as an individual; and on and in my individual life.  He is the only one who sees the ENTIRE picture of me and my life.

P~ Thank you God for your wisdom and guidance.  Thank you for giving me experiences that allow me to see people differently… beyond their circumstances, behavior, and words.  Thank you God for your truth. Which is, when other people don’t see me differently, that my only goal is to please you.  Remind me of this when I am, or just feeling like I am, being judged, criticized, or misunderstood.

Interested in guest posting? Email us at DiscoverOneThing@gmail.com

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Posted on April 5, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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