October 25 Job 16; Acts 21,22,23

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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Mediator before the end of the road | Nikki Metzger

S~ I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.  For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return.  Job 16:21, 22 (NLT)

O~ Job is defending himself to his friends, but recognizes he needs a mediator between him and God.  Job may also feel urgency since he is preparing for his death.

A~ Job recognized a need for a mediator, maybe more urgently because he knew he would be dying soon.  My friend is on hospice with days left.  Does she recognize the need for a mediator between her and God?

P~ Father, please Lord…..let my friend see the need for a mediator right now!  Remove all those lies she is believing about being a good person, remove anger about cancer and replace it with a HOLY NEED for our Mediator, Jesus.  Father, please comfort her and bring her peace.  Hold her and let her know how long, how wide, how deep, how high Your love is for her.  Lord, fight for her eternity.  In Jesus’ Name I pray!  Amen!

** I don’t know what will happen.  But this decision to choose to Jesus or reject Jesus is the biggest decision that I will make or any human.  This situation makes me more aware that choosing Christ is the ONLY thing that matters!

Do I live my life that way?  That the people I have interactions with….do they know Jesus?  Have they heard how He loved us in our mess, brought us out of that?  He gives us eternal life, but also a life filled with power while we are here on Earth?  Have I shared that?

Lord, open my eyes, open my mouth with Your words and gentleness, or shut it….whatever You need me to do for Your Kingdom!

Be Encouraged, Kim! | Kim Chipman

S~ That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” Acts 23:11 (NLT)

O~ Paul was traveling around preaching and teaching. He was in Jerusalem and was arrested and beaten there. Actually, he knew that would happen, it was predicted ahead of time and he went willingly. As he offered his defense he gave his story of meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus – then they whipped him some more…

A~ Sometimes this life is hard. Circumstances don’t make sense to my limited brain. I’m beginning to accept that it often doesn’t make sense…just like it probably didn’t for Paul as he was jailed and beaten, but Your words to him are “be encouraged” you have been a witness to Me.

I need to hear this today. Lately my kids fight all. the. time. They are so unkind to each other it makes me crazy. I feel like they are ungrateful and entitled towards us as parents…not all the time, but way to often for my liking. I know they are teenagers and figuring this whole thing out but many days I’m SO frustrated and discouraged. I feel like I’m getting it all wrong because what I see in the moment is NOT what I desire for the end result of this mothering thing.

But if I can choose – in the midst of bickering and eye rolling – to be a witness to You here in my home, then I am doing what Your assignment to me is. Your primary assignment for me is to love You and love my people – to bear witness to You in this place. In the moment I may not (ok, I DO NOT) understand it all, but just as Paul was jailed and being whipped he was still carrying out Your assignment to him and trusting You for the rest.

P~ Thank You for this reminder today…be encouraged, Kim! It may not look like fruit yet, but carry on! Keep being a witness to You here…plant the seeds, the fruit will be just what You design it to be. I love You!

Every Yes Counts | Tara Wiley

S~ But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul. Acts 23:16 (NLT)

O/A~

Plop.

Instinctively, the Israelite woman reached up to touch her head, now strangely damp. The sudden move made her drop the precariously tall bundle of dyed cloth she was carrying to market. With a small curse, she looked up. Not a cloud in the sky. Where did that water come from? Not just a drip, it was enough to soak through her head covering. She looked around, but it seemed she was the only one on the deserted side street who was running this early to market. Quickly gathering up her now-dusty cloth, she hurried down the street. She didn’t hear the giggles erupt from the rooftop as she rushed away.

The two 13 year old boys punched one another in the arms as they tried to contain their guffaws. That was the best reaction yet to their game. The water jug, source of the mysterious clear-sky rain, nearly tipped over beside them.

“Wait – hush! Here comes someone else!”

“Joseph, we have to get going. Remember, we’re men now-“ his friend groaned and rolled his eyes. “People will wonder what we’ve been up to!” Joseph put a quieting hand on his friend’s shoulder and pointed. This street usually only held hurrying women on their way to market at this hour. Yet, here came a pair of priests familiar to the boys. They were in a hushed, deep conversation, and paused directly below the boys’ perch to argue.

“This is a foolish mission!” The boys lay down and stretched just to the edge of the rooftop where they could better hear. “We should allow the council to provide justice!”

“No, Simon. You know the history. They will not provide justice, and by law, this man deserves to die. We are the protectors of our faith, and Paul’s perversions are causing many to go astray. We must become justice ourselves.”

“But an ambush? While Paul is on his way to the council? How will we succeed?”

“In numbers. You know more than 40 have taken an oath not to eat nor drink until they have executed this heretic (Acts 23:12-14). God is with us…” At this point, the men continued their walk away from the boys’ hearing.

Joseph was shaking and pale. He jumped up and tried to find words.

“I need to go – I just remembered something my mom needs…” His friend narrowed his eyes at him.

“I know he’s your uncle, but-“ The friend’s argument was useless. Joseph was already scrambling down the ladder on the side of the building and running toward the fortress that contained the prison. As he ran, the Scriptures he’d so thoroughly studied in Hebrew school flew through his mind.

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews – for Paul – from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

Is this mission that critical? Even as Joseph ran, he thought about his wise uncle. Paul’s words had radically transformed thousands, including his mother, and Joseph had quietly watched, a boy-man still easily ignored. As he listened to Paul unwrap the very Scripture he was so earnestly studying, his heart burned within him. He knew Jesus was the Messiah. He just hadn’t known what it meant for him. He remembered a quote of Jesus’ that Paul’s friend John Mark shared once.

If you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost. (Luke 14:27-28).

He knew Paul was ready to die for Jesus’ sake. It was this radical commitment that had made Joseph hesitate in his own whole-hearted surrender. Joseph had quietly been considering the cost, and now the moment was before him. Was he willing to risk his own life to save Paul, not just out of love for his uncle, but out of love for Jesus?

His legs began to burn with exertion, but he continued to run. Fear and conviction rushed through his veins as he neared the fortress. Would Paul believe him? Would any authority listen to him? The Jewish tradition now held him in the status of manhood, even though he barely had hair under his arms, let alone a beard on his face. Would a Roman guard give him more than a glance? Adonai, let the guard be young, like me. And what would he even say that might convince anyone of the truth of his words?

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,

“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!” Jeremiah 1:6-9

You must go. The words pierced Joseph’s heart. It was as though the Spirit of God was speaking directly to him. He had never felt this nearness before. Peter’s Pentecost sermon, passed down among followers of The Way, resonated within his memory. He recalled the prophecy Peter quoted, the truth ringing with it, and suddenly he felt the words described him:

What you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days,’ God says,

    ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

    Your young men will see visions,

    and your old men will dream dreams.

In those days I will pour out my Spirit

    even on my servants—men and women alike—

    and they will prophesy…

Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” (Acts 2:16-18, 38-39)

As Joseph ran, his heart cried out, I am turning to you, Jesus the Messiah. If I survive this mission, I will be baptized. I have considered the cost, and I am following You. I will change the way I live, the choices I make, the risks I take, because You risked it all for me. I surrender.

The burning in his legs did not diminish (In this world, you will have many troubles…), but somehow he didn’t care anymore (But take heart: I have overcome the world! John 16:33). No matter what the next hour held for him, he knew: his life would never be the same again.

P~ Lord, as I consider the cost of obedience to You, it is humbling that the little yeses You call me to can be such a struggle for me. This young man, barely mentioned in Scripture, risked everything to say Yes, and because of his risk, we have words spoken by Paul recorded in the Bible as God-breathed, life-giving truth. Paul’s nephew, unnamed, seemingly insignificant, was part of the weaving of Scripture itself. I am small. I am one. I am, in the world’s eyes, pretty doggone insignificant. My name may not be mentioned in a single book ever. But today, Lord, I will have hundreds of little opportunities to say Yes. Hundreds of ways to show my commitment to You, with each thought, each decision, each word, each action. These Yeses may not put my life at risk – but they may require I give up my own way, my comfort. Lord, I confess that sometimes I consider the cost and choose me over You. Today, may I be found faithful. Help me say Yes. Help me prove my love for You with every Yes today.

 

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Posted on October 25, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Wow, ladies, it’s gonna be a great day to say my little Yes!!

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