December 27 Revelation 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!

Take It To Heart | Kelley Deases

S~ Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.  Revelation 1:3 (NIV)

O~ The same could be said for the whole of Scripture, not only the prophetic books.  Our lives are enriched by reading it; we learn about who God is, who we are in relation to God, and His master plan for our salvation.  But to take it to heart — allow The Word to permeate our thoughts and actions — we are all the more blessed.

A~ As a result of a Sunday School class I am leading and my husband is taking, we now share a commonality. We are reading from the same passages of Scripture; are both using the SOAP method in our personal, devotional time; and have developed a passion to share it with others.  Certainly our lives and marriage have been transformed by the reading and taking to heart of God’s Word.

P~ Father, Thank You for the blessings You hold in store for us if only we would come,seek, ask, knock, and quiet our hearts before You.  When we take Your words to heart, we are blessed and so are those around us.

Change My Perspective | Tara Wiley

S~ “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer – but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw in jail for a time of testing – ten days. Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you.” Revelation 2:10 MSG

O~ The risen Jesus addresses those in the future church who are going through extreme trial, and offers strong encouragement that all of us can hold on to when hard times hit:

  • Fear nothing
  • Stay on guard
  • The test won’t last forever
  • Don’t give up
  • Keep believing
  • Eternal reward is coming

A~ What great perspective-changers these charges are! When I’m in the thick of trial, I can hardly see what’s in front of me. Daily-life details get drowned out by the chaos of emotions and circumstances that cloud my vision. If I am not careful, the emotions can overtake me and drag me down, and then I’m useless for just about anything.

What does Jesus say to me? Change your perspective, Tara. Don’t focus on the trial, the fight, the temptation, the attack. Focus.On.Me. That’s where fear dissipates. That’s where you remember that the test won’t last forever, and the reward will far outweigh the cost of hanging in there, even if the test lasts to the end of your days on Earth.

I’ve been mulling over my word for 2016 (I always pick a word, whether it’s a character trait for me to work on, or something about God I want to know more, to focus on for a year). So I’ve been praying, and though it may change between now and January 1, the word that keeps coming to mind these past few days is discipline. Now there’s a very unsexy word. Where is the adventure in unlocking this word for 365 days? And yet, that’s what this passage is saying to me today: it takes discipline to get through this life. One thing is guaranteed: Hard times will come. They are inevitable. But if I have disciplines set in place, then I am well armed and ready for battle no matter what. So I will take my thoughts captive, stand firm, and fear not. Because digging into the Word always changes my perspective and reminds me: this is NOT the end game. The end game is far more glorious!

P~ Lord, thank You for the glimpses You give us in Revelation of the end game. The eternal perspective it offers gives me hope and confidence for today’s struggles. As I hear about my friends enduring gut wrenching trials, I am encouraged to remember, this is not the end. Not for any of those heartbroken people. Not for me. Not for Your ministry. You’ve got the end game in hand. And no matter what comes across my own path, even as my crushed friends engage in their own personal battles, we can each find hope in knowing You have it all in hand. Strengthen my friends. Bring them wisdom. Draw them close, close, close to You. Give wisdom to their friends who long to speak life into their heartbreak. And, Lord, teach me to be disciplined, well armed, ready to cast aside fear, to stay on guard, to remember that any trial that hits won’t last forever, not to give up but to keep believing. Praise You, God, that we get to throw crowns at Your feet in worship for eternity! I can’t wait!

Open Door to Jesus | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  He opens doors and no one can shut them; he shuts doors, and no one can open them.  I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut.  You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. Revelation 3:7b-8 (NLT)

O~ When God opens a door, no one can shut it and when He shuts a door, no one can open it. He has opened a door through Jesus for me that no one can shut; a door that gives me access to Him.  Having little strength is not a concern to God.  He wants my heart, my obedience.

A~ I need to stop looking at what I think I can do or think I can’t do and focus on what He has already done, and move forward.

P~ Heavenly Father, these trails I take… uggh.  Help me stay connected to You.  I need You.

Refocusing | Michelle Myers

S~ I am coming soon.  Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Revelation 3:11-12 (NIV)

O~ Jesus tells Paul to give this message to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.  Prior to this, Jesus acknowledges that they have been through a lot, yet have remained faithful.

A~ When I am planning out my schedule for the day, looking at my calendar month after month, or even counting the years as they go by, I can easily be fooled into thinking that there is plenty of time left to do some of the things You have called me to do.  Yet, You often remind me that only You really know how much time each one of us has.  You also remind me of how quickly things really change by watching my children struggle and grow in the different seasons of their lives. There is something about the monotony of adulthood….paying bills, hauling kids from one place to another, household chores, etc.; that often deceives me and I often miss the constant occurring changes in my life.

I have to remember that Your “soon” and my “soon” are two different things, and I often get them mixed up.  I am not always looking at things from an eternal perspective, where “soon” can easily mean thousands of years, because You are not confined to time.  You are not looking at things from a worldly perspective, where “soon” means a relatively short amount of time.  The reality of it is, that my time here, will soon be over, and my time with You last forever. I need to constantly stay focused on what I am supposed to do here, and how You want me to do it. When I am looking at things from an eternal perspective, enduring and overcoming the obstacles in this life, then don’t seem to be a never ending, purposeless battle. This perspective will help me hold onto what I have”.

P~ Thank you God for Your little reminders that help me refocus. Please help me see which ones I am not paying attention to.  Forgive me, when I do see, but choose my way over Your way; because of pride, self-righteousness, anger, etc. I really don’t like snow, but You used a small snow storm on Christmas Eve to remind me of a few things:

-I don’t have everything figured out.  We have had such a mild winter up until now. There really wasn’t much hope given by the forecasters that we would have a white Christmas.  I had really ruled it out.

-You are in control.  I found that out when I woke up in the morning and saw the snow coming down.  Listening to the weather forecasters, I was only anticipating 1 or 2 inches. Yet, the storm suddenly and surprisingly intensified over our geographical area, and we ended up with around 6-8 inches in a short amount of time.

-This reminded me that things of this world are constantly changing.  Ultimately, You are the only thing I can count on remaining the same.

-It also reminded me not to take for granted what You have given to me, and that I am entitled to nothing.  My husband left for work, in what I thought was going to be a pretty easy commute.  I didn’t anticipate it being any more dangerous, than any other  day with somewhat minor, poor weather conditions.  Yet, he called to tell me that it was bad, and I needed to stay home.  The news and Facebook confirmed how bad it was.The snow kept falling, until it was about time for him to come home.  I was worried about his commute back.  I just reconnected with a sorority sister who lost her young husband this past year in a traffic accident.  Suddenly, a normal commute to work, changed her life forever.  She is strong, but maneuvering through the grief of being a young widow and a single parent to two small boys.  I am sure something she never anticipated having to endure.

Overcomer, Only in Christ | Robin Laney

S~  He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21 (AMP)

O~ He who overcomes. This recurring theme stood out to me as I read the letters to the churches. Jesus ends each letter with eternal promises for those who conquer this life’s battles.

A~ I can relate to the struggles of each church; distraction, fear, compromise, immorality, superficiality, weariness, lack of passion. Though I am not persecuted as many of them were and I do not live in poverty in a physical sense, I sure feel the weight of the pressures of this world and my spiritual poverty. These past few weeks have made so clear to me my weak spots. My husband has been ill and, with preparations for Christmas going on, life has been a bit out of sorts in the Laney home. As I reflect on my attitudes and actions, I am so disappointed in myself and so thankful for His forgiveness. Procrastination, distractedness, self-centeredness, lack of reliance and focus on God all plagued me in a time of very light difficulties. I got thrown off balance and, I suppose, that’s when all the mess gets spilled out for all to see. When I consider what the early Church had to overcome and even what others are fighting through at this very moment, my struggles pale in comparison. Yet, I suppose, being human, we all tend toward our sinful natures when tested by life. This morning, I am reminded that Jesus came to earth and for 33 years faced every trial and temptation and difficulty I face and yet overcame each one and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. He promises the same for us if we, too, overcome. It would seem a hopeless endeavor if He didn’t also offer us His power and His grace. The only way I can conquer each day and overcome each temptation is to keep my eyes on Him and rely on His strength. I am not alone unless I choose to be.

P~ Thank You for this reminder, today, that this life is not all there is and that I am not alone in my daily struggles unless I choose to be. Thank You for Your strength, made perfect in my weakness. Thank You for Your mercy that covers all of my sin. Thank You for Your grace that is enough for me even when I don’t see it through the mess. Lord, remind me tomorrow as You did today, to keep on striving to seek Your power to overcome the craziness of this life as I look forward to sitting beside You someday. Thank You for Your promises!

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


Posted on December 27, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Tara, I absolutely love the idea of a word for the year. I might just do that as well.

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