January 17 Genesis 42, 43; Psalm 5; Luke 17

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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Everything is against me | Nikki Metzger

S~ Everything is going against me! Genesis 42:36b (NLT)

O~ Jacob, the patriarch, has just learned one of his sons had to stay in jail in Egypt and his youngest son needed to go to Egypt to get the other one out of jail.  Verse 3 in Genesis 42 tells us that this is Jacob’s worse fear happening when he says this.

A~ How many times have I cried out, everything is going against me?  Sometimes it was true, sometimes I was overwhelmed with life.  Jacob’s worst fears are happening and it truly feels like everything is against him.  His world is falling apart.

This intense pain that Jacob is feeling and walking through…there is a purpose…this is part of God’s bigger plan of saving Jacob’s family through the famine.  God knew that Jacob would be anguished, but allowed him to go through it because God had a plan for something bigger.  The bigger plan wasn’t all about Jacob, it included him, but it was more about God saving His people.

So when I think to myself for cry out loud to my Father, ‘Everything is going against me’, I need to pause.  PAUSE!!  I need to remember that my Father works everything out for me.  He has plans to prosper me, to give me a future and a hope.  And I also need to remember that while I’m in pain and anguish in the moment, just like Jacob, God is not stopped or ineffective, He is putting the pieces together.

Everything He does points back to Jesus and brings glory to Him and You!

P~ Lord, this is tough stuff!  Are you preparing me for a season of feeling like everything is against me?  Ugh!  Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me.  Make Your way plain for me to follow.  I love You!  I trust You!

All I Want Is You | Guest Post

S~ In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait in expectation! Ps. 5:3 (NIV) Emphasis mine

O/A/P~ In the morning his mercies are new!  The first thought of my day – the first thing on my lips is my confession and need for you.  I seek you and know you will come – this is your promise to me!  I lay my requests before you, for who else can do anything about them?  Who else but you reveals to my heartwhat I really need.  You, you are my expectation – my request!  More of  you in my life – and I wait in expectation because I know you will answer.  You give me the desires of my heart, because they areyour desires.  When you gave me a new heart – it was your heart. When my heart is aligned with yours our desires are the same.  But I must ask – I must present my requests to you – and know and believe that you will answer. Because my hope is in you – you are faithful (Heb 10:23). I love you, Lord.  I seek you today, help me to only be concerned about those things you want for me – more kindness, more compassion to others.  I love you.  Thank you.  Thank you, before any other gift is given – I say thank you. You already gave me life – how could I compare anything to that?  You gave me life in a beautiful exchange.  Jesus, I love you.

My Duty to Obey | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ In the same way, when you obey me you should say, “We are not worthy of praise.  We are servants who have simply done our duty.”  Luke 17:10  (NLT)

O~ The notes in my bible:  If we have obeyed God, we have only done our duty, and we should regard it as a privilege.  Do you sometimes feel that you deserve extra credit for serving God? Remember obedience is not something extra we do; it is our duty.  Jesus is not suggesting that our service is meaningless or useless, nor is he advocating doing away with rewards.  He is attacking unwarranted self-esteem and spiritual pride.

A~ I have only done my duty when I obey.  I know God is happy when I obey, do I take it further and think more of it and feel I deserve something for obeying?  Here Jesus reminds me that it’s only my duty and it is a privilege for me.

P~ Dear Father, thank you for your truth, balance me out here.  You know me best.

Who Am I Serving? | Michelle Myers

S~ So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ Luke 17:10 (NIV)

O~ It isn’t so much about being a servant to my mother, husband, children, etc.; but being a servant to the LORD and glorifying Him.

A~ In regards to my family, this has been a huge shift in my thinking.  Some days, when I look at it from this perspective, and realize that I am just doing what I am supposed to for YOU, it is easy to serve people.  Regardless, of how loving or unloving they are being.  Other days, it is harder, even when I look at it from this perspective.  That is usually when I am struggling with humbling myself and my own pride.  Then there are days, that I just blow it.  I allow myself to get sucked into being as unloving, prideful, and stubborn as everyone else.

Yet, I am making progress.  This progress is providing me with a lot more stability, regardless of the chaos that may be going on around me.  The perspective of serving You, is also allowing me to hear and follow You more,  in regards to what boundaries I need to put up.  My children especially, would love nothing more than for me to be their servant, and relieve them of their responsibilities. This isn’t necessarily what You have in mind.

It is the same for my marriage, in regards to some of these repeated communication issues we have been having.  I have tried every which way I can, to do my part and glorify You.  It would be easier for my husband to just not have to deal with them, and for me to have no expectation of having fruitful, healthy communication.  Yet, that didn’t work for many years in our marriage, and proved to be very damaging.  You have shown me that I am still responsible for my part.  My husband may or may not choose to deal with his junk, but that doesn’t mean that I am to just be available to be a partner with him when it is convenient for him.  I am to move on with my own life and remain stable in my emotions and activities, regardless of where he is at…. if he is communicating or not communicating, following through or not following through.  You have also guided me in setting up boundaries in regards to behaviors, that are deal breakers in our marriage. He is responsible for taking whatever steps he needs to, in order to get whatever help he needs and make sure he is dealing with, managing, or healing these specific “deal breaker” issues.

The other day, I was having a discussion with my husband, who was on more stable ground than I was.  He had been trying for a few days, while I was not being loving or easy to live with.  He said, I am trying to remain stable and love you, even when I am not getting the responses I want from you, don’t really feel like it, etc.  He then asked, “Where do you think I learned that from?” Still, dealing with my own emotional junk, I shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”  I probably rolled my eyes also.  He replied, “From you. I learned it from you.  You have done things, because they were the right thing to do, regardless of me and my attitude.”

I wish I could say that I connected it all right away, and I immediately let go of my pride and stubbornness.  It took awhile, and a lot more ranting.  Then it hit me.  I finally did something in my marriage that my husband recognized without me having to be defensive about it, verbally beat into his head, or point out why or how it mattered.  And, more importantly, it glorified YOU. That is progress for our marriage.

So, as I read this scripture and thought about how my husband also struggles with his own pride and stubbornness, when I am not being very loving or someone who is easy to live with; I texted him the scripture and explained how this perspective helps me, when I am struggling with him. And encouraged him, more than anything to look at it as doing it for the LORD, not so much for me.  God will deal with me, in regards to my unloving, prideful, and stubborn words and actions. Just like he does with you, in regards to yours.  You just need to stay focused on serving Him, and if we both do that, this marriage will be so much better.

P~ Thank you God for Your wisdom.  Thank you for never giving up on me, and leaving me the mess I am.  Please help me stay loving and humble.  Please help me and my husband remember to look toward You, because at any given moment, one or both of us can be a hot mess.  Focusing on the other person, only makes the mess worse, disrupts stability, and causes more damage.

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 January 17, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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