August 7 Zephaniah 1,2,3; John 9

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.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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He’s In It All | Kelley DeAses

S~  … those… who think, “The Lord will do nothing, either good or bad.”  Zephanaiah 1:12b (NIV)

O~  I think this sentiment is very prevalent in our day as well.  From the political leaders who make decisions based on greed and self-interest, to celebrities who jump in and out of marriage depending on which way the wind is blowing, to the average guy on the street just trying to find his little piece of happiness, whatever that looks like to him — most people fail to factor in even the existence of God, much less One who is concerned with the choices we make and is holding us accountable for what we do with our lives.  Scripture gives us a warning we should not take lightly: the God of the Universe is not irrelevant or inattentive but holds the power to save and to judge us all.

A~  For the better part of the first thirty years of my life, while I may have played the part of “good church girl” and did not openly rebel against God,  my parents, or the law, I failed to see God as actively involved in my life.  Nor did I see any need to consult Him in my decision making.  I had the mentality described in this verse: “God is not going to do anything in my life, either good or bad.”  But when I found myself in a desperate spot and cried out to Him in hopes He really would be there for me, He began to reveal Himself to me and demonstrate HIs lovingkindness to me.  My life ever since has looked very different since I came to realize His nearness to me and His relevance in every aspect of everything.

P~ Jesus, Thank You for giving me an ever increasing awareness of Your activity in this world and in the minutia.  You are at work in all things and at all times.

Delight with a Joyful Song | Joni Tyner

S~ For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  Zephaniah 3:17  (NLT)

O~    Zephaniah is an Old Testament prophet that spoke the harsh truth to the people of Judah.  The first 2 chapters go into the LORD’s judgment of those who turn from the Lord.  Finally, in chapter 3, he speaks of redemption for those who turn from their rebellious ways. I just love this gem at the very end of Zephaniah, it speaks of how the Lord delights in us.

A~ I just got home from a 7am Zumba class.  I love that class!… I forget all my “to do’s” and my current circumstances that frequently cause worry and fear.  As I read this scripture this morning, I thought, “that’s how I feel at Zumba.”  The atmosphere is filled with joy and laughter and spontaneous singing as we attempt lots of “single-single-doubles”,  swoops,  and  mamba moves.  I wonder, is this how the Lord delights in me?  Maybe He rejoices over me with a spontaneous love song?  That He does that to calm all my fears?  I don’t know, maybe it’s a stretch, but I wonder if the Lord wants us to be joyful too?  To laugh and  dance and sing and celebrate this beautiful life He has given us?

P~ Thank you for this beautiful picture of how You delight in Your children.  It’s such a beautiful thought that I am Your precious child and You love me that much.

Energetically at Work for God – However that looks!

S~ “…We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.” John 9:3-5 (MSG)

O~ There’s so much beautiful symbolism in this story of Jesus healing the blind man. The fact that He gives this beautiful I Am statement – the LIGHT of the world – in the midst of healing a man who has known nothing but darkness is so profound. Even more profound to me is the symbolism of His impending death: the burying of the man’s eyes under the earth… the statement that the night is going to fall, the workday over, the implication that He would not always be in the world in His human form as He was then. Breathtaking.

But it was the statement “We need to be energetically working…while the sun shines” that struck me today. There’s controversy over how to interpret the pronouns in the statement (I work? We work?) but regardless of that, a principle is presented that can be applied to my own life:

A~ My time is limited. If I am blessed with old age and Jesus doesn’t return first, I may make it another forty or fifty years. In light of eternity, that’s so very little time. I must energetically work for the One who made me, called me, and now sends me to use my gifts for His glory.

It’s hard for me sometimes to read a passage like this. I fear I’m not being faithful because I’m not always doing in the American sense of the word. Just earlier today, I journaled about how my calling necessitates a lot of time that might seem unproductive to many: quiet sitting, reflecting, meditating, creating. That IS my energetic work for Jesus! Oh thank goodness for a husband who saves me from myself when I attempt to overfill my days with activity! He knows my need for space and quiet.

BUT my temptation then lies in filling those spaces with mindless distraction instead of investing in the work God has called me to fulfill.

P~ Lord, thank You for this timely reminder and Scripture to add to my SOAP box! I need to be energetically at work, following Jesus’ example. I need to look at what YOU can do through me as I surrender my time and resources to You. Keep speaking, Lord. Show me what You want me to do today.

Works of God | Jill Terry

S~ Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3 (NAS)

O~ The apostles have asked Jesus the reason for this man’s blindness. Jesus answers them and then heals the blind man. The man’s blindness and subsequent healing were used as a witness to Jesus being who He said he was. Jesus performed many miracles to show Himself to the world. Some people chose to see and believe, while a great many people chose not to believe in the deity of Christ.

A~ My first thought, “ Is Jesus using my chronic illness for me to be a witness to others of the glory of God? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I do know that in the last 14 years of dealing with this illness, my faith has deepened. For far too many years, I cried, begged and pleaded with God to heal me but it did not happen. Instead, I eventually moved on to a place of acceptance. If God chooses to use my illness and my years of struggle and eventual acceptance, I am all for it.

P~ Jesus, help me be a good witness to Your power, mercy and grace. Amen

Share Jesus | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ “I don’t know whether he is a sinner, “ the man replied, “But I know this: I was blind and now I can see!”   John 9:25  (NLT)

O~ The notes in my bible read:  “By now the man who had been blind had heard the same questions over and over.  He did not know how or why he was healed, but he knew that his life had been miraculously changed, and he was not afraid to tell the truth.  You don’t need to know all the answers in order to share Christ with others.  It is important to tell them how he has changed your life.  Then trust that God will use your words to help others believe in him too.”

A~  When the time comes for me to share about Jesus, I don’t have to worry about trying to say just the right thing but just share how he has changed my life.  What he has done for me!  Then leave the rest to God.

P~ Dear Father, I can really complicate things.  Help me remember to tell those you put in my life, how Jesus has changed my life.  And when those opportunities come please give me courage.

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Posted on August 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Michelle Myers

    Whomever wrote, “Energetically at Work for for God–However that Looks!, thank you. I struggle with thinking, “If I am sitting, I am not working” or “If I am not getting paid for it, I am not working”. All lies. These lies have often kept me busy to the point of exhaustion, and kept me from seeing the beauty that money can’t buy. I also find myself struggling with the lie that serving my family isn’t enough, and that it really isn’t serving God. So, I find myself on the prowl, looking for other things to do, instead of allowing Him to show me what to do. Then I am frustrated and worn out, and my attitude is such, that my family doesn’t want me around to serve them. I am beginning to understand God’s economy much better, and that He gave me this family to glorify and serve Him. I don’t need to jump on the next serving band wagon, unless He directs me to do so. Then, He will give me the power to do it, and still be someone my family wants around.

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