August 26 Jeremiah 50,51; 3 John

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.

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Deceived and Distracted | Jill Terry

S~ My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill And have forgotten their resting place. Jeremiah 50:6 (NAS)

O~ The people have listened to their leaders instead of listening to God. They have been deceived and distracted by false teaching.

A~ I feel like this is where so many Christians are now, deceived and distracted. I feel like God is saying, “ Be careful who you listen to! Be careful what you believe! Verify everything against my Word to discern if it is the truth!”
I know, thankfully that my only true resting place is with Jesus. I am so grateful that I am no longer a lost sheep. But, I do know the slope is slippery and it is by far too easy to become distracted by listening to false teachers. I have been deceived so many times.

P~ Lord, Thank you for being my comfort and my resting place. Help me to stay grounded in You alone! Amen

The Lord will not abandon Israel | Nikki Metzger

S~ For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has not abandoned Israel and Judah.  He is still their God, even though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.”  ~God in Jeremiah 51:5 (NLT)

O~ I am no bible scholar, history buff, or even follow world events via media.  But God didn’t abandon Israel ever, even in their hot mess of sin.  Why would He be any different today in His heart towards Israel?

A~ If I was a world leader, I think I would be on the ‘Save Israel’ team.  The sin against God that was happening in Israel and Judah was forgiven.

God used foreign countries to assist Him into aligning His people’s hearts back towards His.  But while God was doing this, He always loved Israel and Judah.  They are still loved today!

P~ Father, I know zero about world politics, religion, etc, but I understand a little of Your Love.  May Your hand strengthen Your nation.  Give Israel peace, rest, prosperity, a renewed love and passion to You!  Show Your nation the truth about Jesus and finish their faith!

God, please change the hearts of our nations leaders.  Give them a desire to protect and defend Israel, just like it was their own land.  Grow the hearts of Americans to love Your nation’s people!  Protect Israel, protect the US.  Thank You Lord!  In Jesus’ Name I pray!

I Have Never Created a Universe | Robin Laney

S~ It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. Jeremiah 51:15 (ESV)

O~ God is all-powerful, full of wisdom, and all-knowing.

A~ We know a man who used to say, “I have never created a Universe before.” It was an indication, to me, of his humility and knowing his place in the universe and before God. There are so many things we don’t understand and many more that we simply can’t. We humans ask, “Why?” and “How?” and “When?” Sometimes, God gives us little glimpses of what the answers might be, sometimes we just make up what we suppose He is up to, and sometimes we are left dumbfounded not even beginning to comprehend His ways. Peace in times of uncertainty comes in knowing and trusting that God knows exactly what He is up to, why He is doing it, and what the outcome will be.

I have never created a universe before, but He has and I trust Him.

P~ Lord, Your power is limitless, Your Wisdom is beyond compare, and Your understanding is vast. I see Your greatness all around me. I have read about and heard the testimonies of so many and have experienced Your power, seen Your wisdom, and marveled at Your understanding and when things get crazy and they don’t make sense to my human mind, I find peace in Who You are.

Extending Hospitality | Joni Tyner

S~ Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brother and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.  They have made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love.  3 John 1:5-6  The Message

O~ John is finishing up his letters with the third book of John.  It’s a short one—barely a page long!

A~ I think hospitality is important, I’ve written about it before—and it surprises me how many Christians seem to pass over this part of their faith.  I don’t know, maybe the HGTV channel causes intimidation to people or maybe people are overcommitted. Maybe people misunderstand what hospitality is.  It’s NOT about having a big dinner with all the china set out, complete with coordinating centerpieces.  It’s about making people feel valued, special, important.  It DOESN’T need to be in your home, although that is an excellent way to give hospitality.  As Christ followers, it can be at our work place, (I’ve got a co-worker who loves Jesus and she faithfully brings brownies, bars, etc every week to our break room.  She wants her co-workers to have an “ahhh” in the middle of their hectic day.)   It can be done at church–maybe it’s greeting people and giving them a sincere compliment, maybe it’s high-fiving a preschooler as they walk by.  (notice neither of those two actions require cleaning your house or even turning on the oven!)  It can be an extra water bottle for a friend when you go on a walk.  Most recently, I’ve been texting a co-worker whose been off work for a couple of weeks because her child had a serious surgery.  I want her to know that I miss her and that she matters.  I care about her and her son.

I really believe living a life of hospitality is a great witness, it builds relationships that pulls others towards the One we serve.  Can I try something a bit differentWould some readers be willing to comment about how they give hospitality ?  How do you make your faith visible to others?   I would love to be open up the blog for some dialog about how our readers are living out 3 John 1:5-6.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for Your Word.  It is timeless.  Please keep my eyes and ears open and receptive to where you want me.   I pray for energy and enthusiasm to love others in a tangible way.  Please remove my insecurities about silly things that don’t matter.  It is about You, not me.

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Posted on August 26, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hospitality is really making another person feel valued. It can be a friend or a stranger. We often think of it as relating to food and having people over, but really, it is extending ourselves to others, it’s following through with good intentions and giving “tangible love”. I think about giving out water bottles at a parade on a hot day, It’s being friendly to friends and strangers, giving them food, gifts, verbal encouragement.

  2. Michelle Myers

    Well Jill, when we came over for the football game last year, I thought you were a great hostess.

  3. A good tip for us to practice hospitality is to start small. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Invite someone over for coffee, sit at the table, sit outside on the porch, and don’t worry about the status of your house, instead focus on conversation, friendship. Eventually you can invite a couple friends over for lunch or a late afternoon salsa and chips visit. I like to sieze the little chunks of time and enjoy being outside, it’s all the more sweeter with good conversation.

    • Vanessa, you are great at hospitality. Besides your home, I’ve seen you practicing it at Jazz on the Green, among other things!! 🙂

  4. Joni – I am terrible at being a hostess. I am not good at opening up my home. My main issue and I am embarrassed to admit it, most of the people I know have a nicer house and nicer things than I do and I get insecure about people coming here.
    I love baking though. I love to bake for my kids, their friends and anybody else who might like something. I have just never thought of that as being a “hostess”.

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