November 22 Matthew 11,12,13

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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God’s Work Brings Rest | Kelley Deases

S~ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

O~ I used to read this passage as Jesus’ personal invitation to me to go to a spa and resort, to wile away the hours, checking out of this stressful life, and maybe taking a nice, long nap.  What strikes me today is the word “yoke,” which clearly implies work.  Also, the rest He offers is not necessarily for the body; it is for the soul.

A~ I am thinking this morning of my friend, Susan.  She hasn’t been to our Bible study in awhile so I reached out to her the other day with a personal invitation to come back.  Her response was priceless:  “My selfish, introverted self wants to stay home (on her one day off work that her child is in school).  My depleted soul will be there.”  She realized it takes effort to extend yourself and come together with others;  to share and to engage.  It may be giving up personal  time or our own agenda. But just like when we take the time to read the Word or to step out and serve, You reward our obedience as our burdened souls begin to find true rest and fulfillment.

Susan has put this verse into practice on a larger scale as well.  Finding her 9 to 5 job to be just a way to pay the bills, she extends herself in the summers helping teens in foster care at TRAC camp and recently committed to train to be a CASA (court-appointed special advocate) volunteer in the juvenile court system.  Again, the easier thing would be to protect her free time and her “me time.”  But in light of eternity, where we only have a brief hour to reflect God’s love to a hurting world, which is the better choice?

P~ Father, Thank You for giving me a new idea of what it means to rest in You.  It may require effort and even a few tears, but its rewards promise to far outweigh any selfish, self-indulgence.

MERCY! | Kim Chipman

S~ But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ Matthew 12:7 (NLT)

O~ This is the same thing I read yesterday! “I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices”. Yesterday it was in relation to myself – knowing my need for You, humbling myself. The context of Your teaching here is in relation to condemning others.

A~ So…get my heart right, then show mercy to others. Don’t nit-pick every little thing people do. The Pharisees were judging/criticizing/condemning the disciples because they were hungry and were pulling heads of grain off to eat them, and they shouldn’t harvest on the Sabbath.

Nothing could be more relevant today. The world is kind of a mess and it seems to me that there is a lot of nit picking going on and not near enough mercy being shown. Everyone has something to say and so many are super easy to offend and are going to let the world know about it.  Every since the beginning of Christianity we have differences, as Christians even! But we are called…”May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 15:5-6 (NLT).

So, as followers of Christ, it should look different for us. It should look different for ME. I must humble my heart before You. I must remember my need for You. I must choose not to judge/criticize/condemn. I must choose to live in harmony. I must choose to follow You in a way that speaks of YOU and YOUR glory and YOUR sovereignty not worry and fear. I want my life to speak of YOU. I love, love, love this song…(video HERE) and I need to make wise choices with what I do and say and the attitudes I choose in order for it to be true for me!

P~ Lord, I want my life to glorify YOU. Help me to keep my heart – my thoughts, each thought –  obedient to You. Help me to show mercy, not (just) offer sacrifices. I know You want my heart. Help me to remember. I love You!

Soil of my heart | Nikki Metzger

S~ Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Matthew 13:8 (NLT)

O~ This is part of the parable about the soils.  I love hearing or reading about this parable – I learn something every time.

A~ As I walk in my life and really bring every part of it under God’s authority – I find different parts of my life like the different soils.  It seems so weird.  I’m God’s daughter, nothing will EVER change that, but some things in my life I keep to myself and don’t let God have all control.

In regards to my relationship with my husband, some days my heart can look like the soil that has seed, but also a lot of weeds.  My relationship with friends sometimes flourishes because my heart is like the fertile soil.  The spirit and serving heart I use to take care of my home probably looks like the soil where stuffs sprouts quickly and then dies.

And I know the soils of my heart change too.  I know God is working in me and around me to one day having fertile soils in all areas of my life, but that process seems like it would take thousands of years.

Right now I’m in a season of weight loss and getting healthy.  Yeah, it’s not my favorite.  I’ve typically operated weight loss with a heart that no seed was able to sprout.  Meaning, I was attempting weight loss in my own power and never let Jesus help me in that.  I’ve probably lost 200-300 pounds over my lifetime doing things in my power, but unfortunately I’ve always gained back more than what I lost over time.

So what’s my heart like in regards to weight loss?  Of the four types of soil, I want my heart to be like the fertile soil – something that produces a crop.  But it’s so far from there right now.

P~ Father, I love You!  I ask that You make my heart like fertile soil in the area of health in my life.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray!

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


Posted on November 22, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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