September 4 Ezekiel 22,23,24; Revelation 9

Check out our reading plans for easy ways to get started! Grab a friend or 2 and dig in!

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

Want to walk through the Bible one book at a time? Head over to Discover One Thing Online Study!

Cleanse and Remove Sin…Yes Please! | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ And now, because I tried to cleanse you and you refuse…Ezekiel 24:13b (NLT)

O~ Some of the notes in my bible read:  God wanted to cleanse the lives of those who lived in Jerusalem, and he wants to cleanse our lives today.  Sometimes he tries to purify us through difficulties and troublesome circumstances.  When you face tough times, allow the sin to be burned from your life.  Look at your problems as opportunities for your faith to grow.

I want God to cleanse me. I need it!

A~ I am experiencing this cleansing in the area of the fear of people.  God has been helping me to be honest (respectfully and lovingly) about what I am available for to a person in my life and what I am not, and to see also what is my responsibility and what is theirs,  without the fear of that person’s reaction. I began to do and say the things I felt God was showing me.  Being able to communicate honestly with this person has lifted a big burden from my heart and this person (so far) has responded courteously.

P~ Dear Father, thank you for helping me in this area.  You helped me to see where I end and this person begins. You help me to understand boundaries better and to speak the truth in love.  This removed the fear of this person.

My Heart | Kim Chipman

S~ My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart. Proverbs 4:20-21 (NLT)

O~ Sometimes, the scheduled reading just doesn’t give me a verse that stands out. I read the reading today twice, and…nope. So, I head to the Proverbs and pick the chapter of the day!

A~ Twice this week I have journaled on a verse that told me to let Your Word ‘penetrate deep into your (my) heart’. So what does that mean for me? I have to listen and pay attention, don’t lose sight and let them penetrate deep into my heart. I think it has to do with what I meditate on, what I think on habitually. Do I think about truth? Earlier this year, on a family vacation, I read ‘Switch on Your Brain‘ by Dr Caroline Leaf. In it she addresses the Biblical truth surrounding the renewing of our minds and taking each thought captive. There is scientific evidence that a healthy thought life can biochemically change our brain and body. Since reading this very  compelling book which interweaves Biblical truth and science, I’ve been much more intentional about thinking about what I’m thinking about. She makes the argument that “The vast majority of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses.” The amazing message of hope is that by choosing a healthy thought life (and it is a choice, we are not victims!) we are choosing physical and emotional health. Everything we do and say starts as a thought. Just like the Bible says! “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deut 30:19

What strikes me is how incredibly, vitally important it is to take each thought captive…each one (2 Cor 10:5). In doing this I realize that I have bad habits when it comes to what I think about and much of it isn’t truth. So, it seems to me that letting Your Word sink deeply into  my heart has everything to do with how much I think about it and make decisions based on it.

You tell me the measure with which I judge I will also be judged…I find myself judging people’s motives sometimes…How can I know why they are doing something? I don’t even know why I do things half the time. Although I’m learning it all starts as a thought. But I need to not judge actions…but not somehow judge motivations, either! God’s got it. That’s a lie that I even could. “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” Matthew 7:1-2

You tell me to love above all…love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8)…love is patient and kind and does not keep a record of wrongs and does not demand it’s own way and is not boastful or proud or rude (1 Cor 13)…Do I love like that? Or do I think about past offenses? Or do I manipulate situations to get my own way? Feel like I want to be right? Love doesn’t. If I am loving like Jesus I won’t let my thoughts go there.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I think I can’t do it all! Well, I can’t! But I CAN do exactly what Your assignment for me is. In You I am enough. I don’t need to BE more to earn Your love. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Often I feel frustrated and angry. You tell me this isn’t sin, but what I do with it can be! “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Eph 4:26

I need to replace my thought patterns when my feelings are a mess with truth. I am usually believing a lie somewhere when I’m an emotional basket case, and the way to turn it around is to search for the lie and replace it with truth. Then make decisions and say words based on YOUR TRUTH…not lies. I think this makes Your Word sink deeply into my heart. When I choose to think on it.

P~ Lord, help me through this process of finding the lies. There are many, and the evil one is happy to provide a steady stream. He is a liar and the father of lies. Thank You for Your truth! I love You!

Prepared for This Moment | Tara Wiley

S~ …the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year… Revelation 9:15 (NLT)

O~ The angels had been specifically prepared for this specific job in this specific season. What a picture of God’s perfect sovereignty. It reminds me of Mordecai’s statement to Esther – you are here for such a time as this — and Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

A~ There are good works God has prepared in advance for each believer to accomplish. So I want to be attentive to the Spirit. I don’t want to miss seeing God’s hand at work in this hour and day and month and year. I want to enter into what God has prepared for me to do. Before time began, He chose to give me life and breath in 1974. There’s a reason I am living right now on this page in history. May I be faithful to fulfill all He has called me to do!

P~ Lord, thank You for another glimpse of Your sovereign hand. Thank You for moving among Your people with purpose. Your timing is always perfect. Your ways are always perfect. You have prepared ME to complete part of Your story with good works that honor You. May I be moldable and quick to respond to Your promptings. Show me what work You want me to accomplish today. I trust you to prepare me, Lord, for any future work.

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