October 24 Job 15; Acts 19,20

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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One Message | Kim Chipman

S~ I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus. Acts 20:21 (NLT)

O~ Paul is traveling around preaching and teaching. Here he is meeting with the elders of the church at Ephesus.

A~ Paul had one message no matter who he met – repent and turn to God, have faith in Jesus.

I’m coming to see that absolutely everything has a spiritual , Jesus root. Everything. Every thought I think, every word I say, every choice I make…it all can be submitted to You or not. I feel like this is the ONE message for all of us in this life – repent from sin, turn to God, have faith in our Lord Jesus. It is the answer to all that ails. Messy marriage? Wayward kid? Struggling with weight? Addiction? Relationship problems? Work issues? Anxious?

Repent, turn to God, have faith. Now, sometimes I need to DO something also – see a doctor, take medicine, go to counseling – use all the tools You have given me. But all of it – I believe ALL of it – is designed to bring me closer to You. You won’t allow anything into my life outside of that design, purpose, and plan.

Free will means I do have a choice, However. I have to choose You. I have to choose to submit. Other choices are blame, pride, selfishness…Whatever I plant in my heart, though, I will harvest. Your promises are true.

P~ Thank You for helping me to see the simple truth. Everything is a choice. Help me to choose well. I love You!

Not Easy, Not Trouble Free | Michelle Myers

S~ I know only that in every city the Holy Spirit tells me that troubles and even jail wait for me.  Acts 20:23 (NCV)

O~ Paul is saying goodbye to the elders from Ephesus.  He knows, and tells them that he will not see them again.  There is sadness.

I kind of get the impression that is like the final talk  parents would have with their child, before sending them off into the world.  “Ok, now remember what we taught you.  Remember how we lived our lives.  Follow my example.”  And of course, I would have a lot of fear that we didn’t teach them well enough.  That they will forget.  That their young, inexperienced, underdeveloped minds; will not keep them from getting themselves into trouble.

A~ This theme of “I never promised you an easy, trouble free life.” thing has been repeatedly showing up in my life lately.  My husband and I had a conversation about it yesterday, where I was surprised to find out, that when we started on this journey of seriously following You, he took what he heard from pastors, as “Once you commit, hold on, it is going to be a rough ride.”  I took it as, “If you do what the Bible says, listen to the Holy Spirit, and are obedient, all will go well.”  Last night, the sermon our pastor gave was exactly on this topic.  He said, that if you were one of the people who heard, following Jesus was going to make for an easy life, you probably ended up very confused at some point.  That was definitely me!

It was not long after we committed, You went to work, and things went from bad, to worse, to what seemed completely unbearable.  Each time, I would think, “Ok, this is a test.  Once I pass this, I will get some gum drops and lollipops.”  WRONG!  I got more testing, more loss, more frustration, and more confusion.

When I first read this scripture, I wasn’t sure if I could do what Paul did, knowing that there was more and more YUK waiting for him.  I tend to see these people in the Bible as having it all together, fearless, stable, purposefully determined people.  Then You reminded me of how I stood with my resignation letter in my hand, terrified to drop it in the school mail.  I had no idea what was going to happen.  My marriage was not stable.  My husband wasn’t reliable.  I enjoyed my job.  It made no sense.

It was the same when I left my husband.  It was the same when I clearly heard you tell me to go to Crete.  Crete?  Do you know who was in Crete?  My mother, the one who was hard to be around.  The one who could be so abusive.  The only thing that made sense in that situation, was that I needed a smaller town to raise my girls in, and they also had an awesome, extremely affordable after school program.  Otherwise, it felt like You were leading me from one abusive situation to another.  It didn’t make sense.

Then, You started to tell me that it was time to start looking at reconciliation with my husband.  He has done enough to show that he is changing his heart and life.  ………..Really?…………You had me come all the way here.  Told me to give up a job, I didn’t want to give up.  Told me it was time to get away from my husband and go back to my mom.  Now, You are leading me back to my husband.  You told me to confront my mom about her behavior? My mom is a scary woman!  You told me, to tell her why I am cutting off ties, and how I am leaving the door open for a relationship, if she gets help.  I really thought at times, “Are you trying to make me crazy God?  Do you even care about me, because these situations are so scary, uncomfortable, painful and make no sense.  And I have two, TWO girls that I am responsible for.  They did nothing to deserve this, and I need some stability, so I can provide them with stability!”

You have shown me, that these “super people” from the Bible, were really just people .  They were no different than me. They had the same confusion, doubts, frustrations, fears, sadness, etc. that I did.

P~ I don’t know why, but I am sure there is a reason as to why I kept thinking, “This is it.  After I pass this test, it will get better.”  Had I seen the big picture of the trials, the loss, the hurt, the frustration, and the confusion all at once, I think it would have been too overwhelming, and You knew that.  So, thank you for keeping me ignorant enough about how the journey would really be, so that I didn’t chicken out.  Step by step, You showed me my choices I had in the YUK, and many times YOUR way, made no worldly sense or seemed even wise.  But, I chose it, and YOU remained faithful and brought me through it…stronger, wiser, and closer to You.  Please continue to help me surrender to You, and when You think I am going to chicken out, if I know the truth; keep me ignorant, until the right time comes.  You know so much more about what is best for me, and I tend to forget that at times, especially when in my limited, worldly mind; it doesn’t make sense.

Speak Life | Kelley Deases

S~ Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  Acts 20:32 (NIV)

O~ In his farewell address to the Ephesian church elders, Paul exhorts them with these words.  What a ministry of encouragement Paul had — to his close friends and traveling companions, to churches, to cities, and to entire people groups, e.g. the Gentiles.  When he observed people following in the truth of Jesus Christ, he cheered them on in their sincere efforts.

A~ One of the primary functions of an effective parent is that of encourager.  While I find I default to trying to squelch the bad behaviors and attitudes I don’t want to see in them, we are both better served when I encourage and foster those behaviors and attitudes that are positive and God-honoring.  I don’t want to be a taskmaster, but rather show them approval by my smiles, laughter, undivided attention, and one-on-one time.  And at the end of the day, having done the best I could (which some days is pretty good and other days not so much) I must commit them to God, as Paul spoke of regarding his dear friends in Ephesus.

P~ Father, Help me to be a mom who encourages my boys in their unique gifting, according to the individual way You have wired them, and toward a deeper relationship with You.

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at prayer@DiscoverOneThing.com

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Posted on October 24, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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