December 24 John 19,20,21

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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The Reason For the Manager | Joni Tyner

S~ Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. John 20:1 (NLT)

O~ Jesus, the sweet baby that was born in a stable and laid in a manager, has just been crucified and buried in a tomb. The grave was secured by an extremely heavy stone.  Mary has come to visit the grave and has discovered that his body is gone. He is risen!!

A~  This is the reason we are celebrating Christmas this evening and tomorrow.  God’s plan all along was leading to this scripture… He sent Jesus at Christmas to save each of us. He saves us by being a substitute sacrifice for what we deserve.  Jesus is so much more than a cute story of a baby and shepherds and wise men bringing gifts– He is Emanuel- God with us. He IS the entire, and only!!!… Reason for the season—He is why we celebrate.

Oh come let us adore Him

P~ Dear Lord, I lift up readers and their families everywhere today.   I pray we each see past the distractions and even the family traditions and grasp and celebrate what Christmas is. It is Jesus, the free gift of eternal life—available to all who accept and embrace Him.   I pray for each person that celebrates this evening at church on Christmas Eve—may they worship the King of Kings who is the great I Am. I pray they have a fresh understanding and adoration for this Baby who came at Christmas.

Go home | Nikki Metzger

S~ Then they went home. John 20:10 (NLT)

O~ Three days later, the tomb is empty!  Peter and John saw it empty and believed!  I wonder if they connected Jesus’ resurrection and what that meant for them.  After they saw the empty tomb, what did they do?  They went home.

A~ Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of our Lord, but today we focus on what Jesus’ life meant. Resurrection may be defined as bringing the dead to life.  That is what happens to us when we believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Our souls, once dead, come alive!  It’s so awesome!

To walk from death to life.

To accept Jesus and know that you will be in His presence forever….Wow!

But then God’s Word tells us after the resurrection, the disciples went home.

Doesn’t seem too exciting to go back to the regular life when your soul is alive and you have just become part of God’s family. It seems like there should be party…..

So go home, but as a new person.  Read God’s Word and let it transform you.  Pray always, gather with other believers, and do life together.  Find a church that teaches from the Bible.  Love your people around you like Christ loves you!

P~ Father, I love You!  Even though we are completely changed and new, You send us back home to shape us and teach us.  Thank You for this life, this plan, Your Son!  May Your Word take root in my people’s hearts!  In His Name I pray!

Found What I Should be Looking For | Michelle Myers

S~ “‘Woman,” he said, “why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?'” John 20:15 (NIV)

O~ Jesus is responding to Mary Magdalene, after she enters the tomb in which Jesus was buried, but does not see his body.

A~ I found myself crying yesterday morning.  My husband had the news on, and while I was getting dressed, I was mindlessly reading the words scrolling at the bottom of the screen.  I had not watched the news for a couple of weeks, so I had no idea that a body had been found behind an apartment building the day before.  I wasn’t prepared when I saw, that the body had been identified of a former student of mine.  He was a student that I really liked.  He was a student that I felt had a lot of potential.  He was now 24, and that meant that I had him in class probably about ten years ago.  Yet, he made such a positive impression on me, that I knew exactly who he was when his name appeared and could picture exactly what he looked liked.  I remember where he sat in my classroom.  I remember his sense of humor and goofiness.  The rest of the day, he was on my mind.  What happened to him?  What had he been up to these last 10 years?

I spent last night scrolling through his Facebook page.  I was saddened to see that he had not escaped life on the streets.  In fact, he had been arrested, and a few months ago he survived being shot.  He had a picture of himself, showing how large the bullet hole was in his side.  As I scrolled, I realized how I had forgotten what the mentality and lifestyle was for so many of my students.  The vulgar language, the violence, the disrespect towards women, and the lack of relational commitment, but no lack of sexual partners.  For many years, it was part of my everyday life, and I had become so desensitized to it.

Yet, along with all the bad, were references and expressions of thanks to You.  He would often post that he was giving thanks to You, because You woke him up to see another day.  He talked about praying for other people that were hurting.  He thanked You for letting him survive being shot a few months ago.

The confusion and frustration that I went to bed with disappeared this morning, as I realized the most important thing in regards to his life, was taken care of before he died.  He knew You.  He had a relationship with You.  In one way or another, we are all a mess while in this broken world. It is not my place to judge or criticize his mess.  You know, I have my own messes to focus on.

I heard You say to me this morning, “What are you looking for?”  I wanted to see a kid who graduated from high school, went to college, or even just a good, clean job.  Yet, growth for me, comes in the fact that I didn’t see that, but what I should be looking for in everyone.  That is, a personal relationship with You, in spite of the mess they are.  I found that and knowing he is in a better place, with You, brings me joy and peace.

P~ Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to have Dominique in my classroom.  I am sure that it is not by accident that I just so happened to catch the news yesterday.  I pray for healing and peace for his family.  I pray that this helps them see You more clearly and draws them closer to You.  Much of the battle in this world, is finding You in the middle of the messes. Please continue to help me see You, because I have come to a place of accepting that there will always be a mess, but as long as I stay focused on You, I will be able to get through it.

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Posted on December 24, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow, Michelle, your post deeply touched me. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Beautiful! How true! We look for the wrong things in people. We see messes as though we are not sitting in the middle of our own. My mess doesn’t look like your mess but that does not make it ANY cleaner. Keeping my mess in mind helps me look at others with compassion. It inspires me to want to relieve another’s burden because I know exactly what it feels like to carry my own. To offer mercy because I wear my need for mercy everywhere I go. The challenge is to remember these things while under attack from some of these messy people. It is true, “Hurt people, hurt people.” I pray mercy and compassion become a conditioned response to hurting souls around me now and always. I will fail at this. But I’m a mess. And the goal shall remain as I choose to “press toward the mark of the hight call of God in my life.”

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