December 21 John 9,10,11

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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Oh, to SEE You! | Kim Chipman

S~ “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9:3 (NLT)

O~ Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth. His disciples asked why he had been born blind.

A~ I often wonder why certain (hard) things happen. I know sometimes it’s consequences for sin (mine or someone else’s) but it could just be so I can SEE You. See Your power. See Your character. See Your love and compassion. It reminds me of the end of Job when, after all his suffering, he says “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”

I think you want to be seen. I need to pay more attention.

P~ Open my eyes to You, Lord! Help me to see! Thank You for this reminder. It helps me remember that I can trust You even when I don’t understand things. I love You!

I Have Something to Say! | Robin Laney

S~ The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me,’Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” John 9:8-12 (ESV)

O~ Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road and came upon a man born blind. I kind of chuckle at the disciples’ response to the man because it is so human. Their first concern is what caused the blindness. Their assumption is a little Job’s Friends-esque. Someone must have sinned. In response, Jesus’ told them the truth and healed the man. What a miracle! He gave sight to a blind man. When our son, Nick, was little, this was the Jesus story that impressed him the most. He talked about it often.

Reading this story through again last night, my attention was caught by what happened next. His neighbors and people who knew of him saw him with full sight and couldn’t believe that this was the same guy. The blind beggar can see? Surely not. The man insisted that, yes, it was him. The people asked him how it had happened and he told them what Jesus had done. They, then, wanted to find this Jesus. Oh, the power of our testimonies! When people can see clearly that Jesus has made a difference in us, they wonder about him. When we affirm that, “Yes! Jesus has healed me, set me free, given me new life!” they want to know where they can find this Jesus.

A~ We need to share our life stories. The people who have only known us as Christians, only see who we are now. They don’t know the past us. They don’t know the miracles Jesus had to perform to heal us. People who knew us before we met Jesus, can see changes and they marvel that we aren’t the people they once knew. They don’t know how we got from there to here. We need to tell of the incredible miracles of Jesus. Our shared testimonies are not to revel in our past follies but to show the incredible power of the One who saved us up out of our messes and gives us hope.

We also need to share our daily stories. I was talking with a friend this past week about the need for us to share our realities with one another. There are people we encounter every day who see only snapshots of our lives. They see us at our best – smiling faces, clean house, happy families. I know I don’t have a screen on my belly that shows my bad attitudes (although sometimes they don’t need a screen), wasted time, little temper tantrums, big temper tantrums, poor decisions, selfishness, weariness, lack of discipline, fears, disagreements with my husbands and kids, insecurities, etc. They might look at me and say, “Wow, I wish I had her life!.” And I would say, “You know, God has given me an incredible life. But, because I am in it, it isn’t even close to perfect. I mess it up all the time. I struggle and search and fail every single day. Fortunately, I have a God who loves me, understands me, counsels me, disciplines me, blesses me, forgives me, and gives me hope. And, here’s the coolest thing. You and me, we are in the same boat and we have the same God!” We need to hear about each other’s daily struggles so that we know we aren’t alone, so that we can encourage one another, and so that we can testify that when things are super hard, we have a Jesus who loves us and sits with us, arms wrapped around us, head bent in prayer for us. And when the pain and sorrow ease or the miracle comes or the change happens, we can share our testimonies of God’s great power and give hope to those we share them with.

When we share what Jesus has done in our lives, we reveal to others that we were once fully blind but now we see through his unfathomable power; that we are no more deserving than the next guy to receive His transforming love and saving grace; and that we are not perfect but we have a God who is who is constantly refining us, growing us, teaching us, loving us, and holding us.

P~ Lord, help me to open my mouth to share my daily struggles and questions and to testify to Your power in my life. Make me transparent and vulnerable to share with others when sometimes it is easier or more comfortable to just share advice or offer to pray. I am a Poster Child for Your amazing Grace, life-changing Power, and extravagant Love. Oh, that You would give me opportunity to share what You have done and the boldness and courage and love to share it with everyone I meet.

Growing Faith | Michelle Myers

S~ Jesus said, ‘If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.’ John 9:41 (NIV)

O~ There were times, when I really just didn’t know better.  Maybe it was a lesson my parents failed to teach me.  Maybe it was a lesson that You just had not opened my eyes to at the time.  When I didn’t know (was blind), and did something stupid, I wasn’t sinning.  Now, there are things that you have shown me very clearly, and if You have made them known to me, I no longer can choose my own direction.  In doing so, I am sinning.

A~ God, let’st talk about crowns.  The crowns that go on your teeth. I went into the dentist yesterday for my regular cleaning and check up.  The hygienist complemented me on how clean my teeth were and how well I took care of them.  Then the dentist comes in, looks around, takes some extra digital pictures, and there is a problem.  My way back tooth, had a hair-line fracture and was chipped.  Probably because I am a night grinder, who for some reason, while half asleep in the middle of the night, will take out my mouth guard.  So, if you could help me with this God, I would appreciate it.

I am back to needing another crown.  I am so thankful that I have insurance, because it does help a lot.  However, I could really think of a million other things that I would like to do with 300+ dollars.  I also, just really dislike the dentist.  I don’t like the sound of the drill.  I don’t like people having their hands in my mouth.  My gums are usually sore for a few days afterword.  The temporary crown usually doesn’t stay on, and I am constantly using denture cream to reattach it. If I didn’t, I could easily be in the dentist office everyday, until the permanent one came in.

Mainly though, my reaction this time, was way different than the last two times.  One of which consisted of replacing a new crown, that another dentist said had bad margins.  It hadn’t been bothering me at all.  Insurance wouldn’t pay for another one so soon.  I freaked, because the initial crown that insurance did cover, still cost me a good chunk of money, and during that time, we just didn’t have it.  It was shortly after the girls and I had moved back.  We had just finished our journey of paying two rents.  Money was extremely tight.  Once the dentist left the room, a very ethical hygienist told me that he would go back to the dentist who originally did the crown, and see if they could replace it for free.

I did, and it was replaced for free.  However, a crown that was not causing me any problems before, now was causing me several problems.  Throughout the summer I had to go in 5 different times to have the bite adjusted.  My gums were swollen.  Food is constantly getting stuck in there.  I regret even messing with it….free or not.

Yesterday, I had peace about this whole thing.  I know I need a crown.  I saw the damaged tooth. Yet, it isn’t currently bothering me, and we have other financial things to take care of.  You have also provided us with money in our health savings account, if that is the route we need to go. But, unlike the first couple of times, I just know, You have got it.  I know when the time is right, You will show me.  You will guide me in the direction that I need in regards to which payment method to use.

I still would rather do something different with that money.  Not only something fun, but also I would rather give it to someone or some organization that needs it.  Yet, that was not Your plan. Struggling with You about it at this point, or even wasting time worrying about the details of it, would be sin, now that You have shown me.

P~ Thank you God for allowing me and my family to have dental care, and the luxury of insurance to help pay for it.  I know not everyone is that fortunate, and I also know that I am no more deserving of it than anyone else.  There is a lot that You have shown me in the last few years. I know that if I don’t start to exercise the faith that you have grown in me, and start doing spiritual warfare, I will be sinning.  At any given moment the enemy is trying to drag me into an abyss of worry, fear, and confusion.  In doing so, he steals my joy, my faith, my energy, my time, etc. Please help me remember, that You got this, just as You do the multiple other areas, where he is trying to attack my mind…..the details of the upcoming move, both my girls’ normal growing pains, my oldest daughter’s anxiety and sleeping issues…..There is just so much that can pull my mind and eyes off of you.  Please help me stand firm.

Your voice | Nikki Metzger

S~ After He has gathered His own flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His voice.  John 10:4 (NLT)

O~ Jesus is sharing about how He is the Shepherd, we are His sheep.  We follow Him because we know His voice.

A~ I overhead a conversation about two people sharing a life prayer they have.  And through their days they just pray this short prayer.  It’s short and very simple. I’ve been thinking about that, and wonder if that might be beneficial in my life.  I am so fast to fall into sin in regards to self-control.  Food, not exercising, my words, my time.

Jesus walks ahead of me.  I will follow Him because I know His voice.

P~ Father, is this short prayer something You would have for me?  What is it?  In those moments of temptation to not have self-control?  Or before hand, to align my wondering heart back to You.  Thank You for ALL the ways I can choose You instead of me daily!

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 December 21, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. What a great message this morning Robin!

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