November 19 Matthew 1,2,3,4

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!

Jesus’s Family Tree | Joni Tyner

S~ This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham. Matthew 1:1 (NLT)

O~ The first 17 verses of Matthew list out, name by name, the descendants of Jesus.  I invite you to open your Bible and check this out!

A~ I initially skimmed right over this as boring—then I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to go back and look more closely at the list.  I read the notes in my study Bible.  WOW!!!  Here are a feel take highlights from this list of ancestors.

  1. Matthew was recording Jesus’s genealogy to prove that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, thus fulfilling the Old Testament that He was the Messiah.
  2. In this list of 46 people, God used all sort of people.  Some were strong pillars of faith, ( Abraham, Isaac, Ruth), others brought a questionable past to the lineup.  (Rahab was a prostitute)  Some of Jesus’s ancestors were just  ordinary people.

God had a plan to include all types of people to bring His Son to the world.  Today, he uses all types of people to accomplish His will.

  1. Matthew lists 4 women, (Tamar, Ruth, Rahab, Bathsheba) in this list.  Again, these women were not perfect and had sin in their lives, yet God wanted them to be a part of His perfect plan.

P~ Dear Lord, as I think about some of these people You chose to be a part of bringing Jesus into the world, I think of some of their crazy stories and unlikely circumstances.  Yet, You used them for the greater good of the world.  WOW.  Please help me to stay focused on the bigger plan when my circumstances are confusing.  I’m so grateful you seek imperfect people to be  a part of your plan.

Beyond My Hurt | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly so as not to disgrace her publicly. Matthew 1:19 (NLT)

O~ Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant and he knew the child was not his, yet even in that he was still concerned for Mary.

A~ What I am reminded of here is to look beyond my hurt and 1. Trust you with the outcome 2. Trust that you will help me through this 3. Know that you see 4. Trust that you will make it right and use it for good

P~ Dear Father, I fret so much over things out of my control. Help me to trust, because you are trustworthy.

Even With All the Yuk, He is Sovereign! | Michelle Myers

S~ So he gave an order to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem and in the surrounding area who were two years old or younger. Matthew 2:16 (NCV)

O~ This was King Herod’s solution to feeling threatened by Jesus’ birth and His potential standing and power in the future.

A~ There was a time, when I couldn’t have even imagined this.  When I first read this, I was as shocked and stunned as I was, when I first heard about ISIS beheading people.  I mean really, who does that?  What level of sick do you have to be at?  Unfortunately, I have to say that I have read so many horror stories of Isis and the evil things that they do in the name of “God”, that I often have to wipe away tears.  One that has stuck out in my mind is the sexual enslavement of young girls and women.  I read the story of a woman who escaped, but even in captivity, said she had it better than the twelve year old girl with her.  The girl had an infection, smelled bad from it, and instead of getting her help or treatment, the man continued to rape her. The ISIS members would tell the women, this is what “God” wants.  This is what makes him happy.  SICK! SICK! SICK!  I have a twelve year old daughter, and the thought of this innocent twelve year old girl alone, scared, and abused; made me sick to my stomach. When I am exposed to too much of this, I want to crawl into a hole and hide.

The YUK of this world, helps me keep things in perspective.  It reminds me that I am blessed.  I am no more deserving of it than anyone else. It reminds me that I am to use the blessings for Your good.

Seeing someone struggle with the YUK or going through the YUK, it may be year after year, and then witnessing a turn around or a come back story….a miracle……gives me peace, reminds me of who You are, and gives me hope.  It helps me fight off the lies of the enemy and be aware of his deceitfulness.

Last week I saw a story about one of my former students.  Not one where she was the areas most wanted (that was a different student from the week before).  Not one where she was wanted for murder, robbery, or assault.  She was on the news, because she was a seventeen year old high school student, working on college classes and utilizing the resources of The Hope Center. That is You!  That is is Your power!  That is what makes hope possible among ALL the YUK.  I have never, never, never seen a student of mine on the news for something good.  Thank You!

As I was reading news stories on my phone, trying to figure out what happened in Paris, I came across a headline about, “The Man with the Golden Voice”.  I totally forgot about Ted Williams, the homeless, alcoholic and drug addicted man; who a few years back was “rediscovered” and given a second chance.  It hasn’t been easy for him.  In the beginning, people took advantage of him.  But today, he is doing well.  He is enjoying his life, which consists of using his Christian faith to do motivational speaking.  When compared to the world’s economy, this part of his life, wouldn’t seem as important as his commercial gigs (he is the speaker for Kraft Mac and Cheese).  It probably doesn’t pay as well, or even pay at all.  But in Your economy, this is one of the most important and valuable things he is doing in his life.  Probably only second, to having a personal relationship with You.  Seventeen years of homelessness, drunkenness, and drug addiction; and now he is living a life of purpose and serving You.  This story reminds me that You are sovereign.

P~ God, I am so thankful for You.  Without You, the world would be hopeless.  Without You, I would be hopeless.  When things seem bleak, when the enemy is attacking my mind with lies, when he is using the plethora of YUK in the world to deceive me, please continue to bring stories of victory and hope into my life.

Live Differently | Kim Chipman

S~ Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ Matthew 3:8-9a (NLT)

O~ This is John the Baptist speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees – the prominent religious leaders. John criticized them for their hypocrisy. They followed the religious laws, but their hearts were not pure or truly genuine.

A~ Still today, this hypocrisy is repelling. I know that for me, to see believers that are sarcastic, cynical, judgmental, and critical it does NOT make me want to know the Jesus they are following. We are ALL imperfect and sinful, BUT when I genuinely fall for Jesus my heart is changed, my attitudes change, my life changes. There is fruit in my life…the fruit of the Spirit…Not perfection, but fruit. It’s kind of the ultimate “which came first the chicken or the egg” analogy. Behavior change or heart change? There’s a difference. You want my heart (the behavior will follow genuine transformation!).

“Prove by the way you live that you have repented and turned to God”…my life should look different when I repent…turn away from sin and toward You. This is a continual process and choice…not just doing the right behaviors, but actions that flow from a changed heart.

“Don’t just say to each other, ‘we’re safe'”…if just being saved were the goal we could all go to heaven as soon as we believe in You, but You have an assignment for me…to go and make disciples, to grow in my relationship with You, to live differently so others may come to know You…to see You working…

P~ Thank You for not leaving me the way that I am, but for transforming and growing me. I see You working and I love You so much. Please help me to continually glorify You.

Dearly Loved | Nikki Metzger

S~ And a voice from heaven said, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” Matthew 3:17 (NLT)

O~ Jesus had come up out of the water baptism.  A dove descended on Him, and God said this.

A~ God’s words about Jesus are beautiful.  Jesus is God’s dearly loved Son.  Jesus brings God great joy!  In this verse, it seems that Jesus brings God such great joy because He is God’s Son.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Like that’s enough.  Just to be God’s kid.

I know I’m not Jesus, but I’m a co-heir with Him.  And I think that God would say this about me, “This is my dearly loved daughter, she brings Me great joy.”  Why?  Because Jesus has covered me with His blood and that is how God sees me. Knowing that I can do nothing, my place as God’s dearly loved daughter who brings Him great joy will never change.  What a comfort!  As I step into day 2 of getting healthy, which really means losing weight, I’m wobbling because I’ve failed so many times.  But that’s not how God sees me.  I’m dearly loved, and I bring Him great joy.

P~ Father, who am I that You would call me dearly loved and who brings You joy?  I don’t get it, but I’m so thankful!  Please help me to live that way!  That I have victory and freedom in ALL things because of Jesus.  I love You!

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Posted on November 19, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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