August 14 Jeremiah 16,17; Psalms 96; John 16

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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Dead Shrub vs. Fruitful Tree | Robin Laney

S~ Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8 (ESV)

O~ What a great picture God paints for us of the stark difference between the person who puts his trust in man and the things of this world and the person who trusts in Him. He uses the comparison of a shrub in the desert and a tree planted near a stream. I came up with some words to describe each one:

Shrub in the Desert – dry, parched, thirsty, brittle, vulnerable, survival mode, no reserves, spent, always searching, forever taking but never giving, the realities of life add stress.

Tree by the Stream – well-watered and fed, content, fulfilled, strong, pliable, resources close at hand and dependable, giving in abundance, large reserves.

A~ I have been the shrub in the desert. It’s a horrible place to live. Always looking to the next person/job/date/friendship to satisfy whatever the need/want of the moment is. Disappointments around every corner. Struggling to get through each day and sometimes just one crisis at a time. Relying on my own strength and courage to face the next hurdle. Being so overwhelmed with the bad stuff of life that seeing anything good is rare to impossible. So easily hurt and discouraged. Living in survival mode making everything all about me.

I much more enjoy being the tree by the stream (although, I sometimes forget that I no longer live in the desert.) Life isn’t any easier. There are still harsh realities and tough storms but the abundant resources available through God make them much easier to endure. We bend but don’t break. Life is not meant to be merely survived. We were created to thrive and to give and to glorify God. Being tapped directly into our life source, we don’t have to go searching for sustenance and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to receive not only what we need but also what others need and want. We can share out of the abundance of our resources.

P~ Father, thank you for uprooting this sad little half-dead shrub in the desert and replanting me near Your stream of living water. When I forget to whom I belong and lose focus on the new life You have given me, remind me that You are all I need. There is nothing to be gained from chasing the things of this world, be they people or possessions. Only You offer abundant life and it is only by Your provision that I am healthy, strong, and courageous enough to produce fruit for others.

Streams of Living Water | Kelley DeAses

S~ But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)

O~ The Lord is speaking these words to Jeremiah to speak to the Israelites.  These verses stand in contrast to the previous verses, which describe the person who trusts in man (or in his own strength) being like a bush in the desert wasteland.  But this, the latter word picture, conjures up the image of a healthy, lush, green tree which has roots reaching out to a flowing stream of water, so that whatever heat and adverse conditions ravage it, its core is nourished and hydrated.

A~ I want my life to resemble that tree — solid, healthy, growing.  As long as I am drinking from the stream, i.e. filling myself with the truth of God’s Word, I will flourish.  But to the extent I try to go it alone and operate out of my own reserves, I will not bear fruit and will ultimately wither and fade.

P~ Jesus, In You, I find everything I need to live life to the full and be a blessing to others.  Help me resist the temptation to go it alone.  You have taught me (and past experience has confirmed) that in my own strength, I will fall sorely short.

Healing Worship | Tara Wiley

S~ Save me and I will be saved, For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NASB)

O~ Biblical definitions of the Hebrew terms:

Heal: rapha: verb. to mend by stitching, to make whole, to cure, to repair thoroughly.

“Heal me” – imperative. “I will be healed” – imperfect tense suggests a process according the Hebrew lexical dictionary.

Save: yasha: verb. to be delivered, liberated, victorious. Again, the imperative request is followed by an imperfect tense response – a process will take place resulting in liberation and victory.

Praise: tehillah: noun. praise, adoration, an act of public praise – a song

A~ My (military) husband asked me again to update patches on his uniform. I have to remove his old wings, carefully fold and place his new wings exactly a half inch above and centered over his name tag, and stitch the new wings in place. The process requires careful attention to detail with a decidedly hands-on approach.

The verb translated heal in Jeremiah 17:14 is the same in the healing name God gives to Himself, Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals (Exodus 15:26). Its definition includes an understanding of a process that involves personal contact, such as a seamstress would employ. To think of God reaching in and healing me, mending me by stitching, with the skill of a master tailor, is so remarkable. When I am broken and in need of healing, all He needs to do is say one word, and yet even in His earthly ministry, Jesus rarely healed with words alone. He almost always included a very personal act of human contact. God’s word alone can heal, but often He chooses a very personalized process instead, one that brings healing as well as salvation (in an eternal sense, as well as in the sense of sanctification, the process of becoming more like Him).

These first two phrases (heal me and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved) give nod to process. Not so with the last phrase. It is PRESENT tense. He IS our praise. Not He will become our praise. The praise starts NOW, before the process is complete. Before the healing comes. I might even dare to say this choice of right-now praise is part of the healing. He gets the glory no matter what happens in the physical realm, and that worship changes and heals parts of me that physical healing doesn’t even begin to touch. I love, too, that the word for praise here is very concrete, a noun, indicating an act of praise, not just a posture or attitude. There is a physical choice to speak or sing or act out praise to God. I’ve personally experienced just how healing this is!

P~ Lord, just recently You used the act of worship to begin the emotional healing process in me even as I waited for some test results. When You began placing specific songs into my path the day my doctor called (Healer by Kari Jobe; One Thing Remains performed by Soul Survivor; Not for a Moment by Meredith Andrews), I knew I was being prepared for the news I did not want to hear. The act of choosing worship became even more potent after the call, in the next part of waiting. Tomorrow, I see the surgeon and find out what the next step towards healing will be. The choice of worship has become more profound to me than ever before. I will worship on my way there; I will worship on my way home. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of music, for giving us songs to sing out the cries of our hearts. I will worship You as I wait for Your healing and trust Your process of making me more like You. I’m looking forward to that liberating victory You promise! (Video HERE if not below)

Jesus Hears Me Too| Jill Terry

S~ For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Psalm 96:5 (ERV)

O~ People make idols and gods out of objects and other people. But, only the one true God made the heavens, the earth and every single thing in it.

A~ I was raised to pray to saints because God listened to the petitions of a saint more than He listened to the prayers of the average person. I was taught that certain people had more “sway with God than I did.

Once, I learned the truth about the life and mission of Jesus, my life changed. I realized that Jesus listens to ALL the prayers, not just those from important people. The God that made the heavens and the Earth cared enough about me to send Jesus to die for my sins, so that I am able to pray directly to him. I don’t need a mediator because His sacrifice allowed me to have direct access..

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

P~ Thank You Jesus for making the ultimate sacrifice for me. Amen

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Posted on August 14, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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