January 21 Exodus 1, 2; Psalm 88; Luke 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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Fear God | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king and allowed the boys to live, too.  Exodus 1:17 (NLT)

O~ The midwives, Shiphrah and Pual were ordered by Pharaoh to kill all the boys as soon as they were born and to only allow the baby girls to live.  These women feared God so their actions came clear to them.

A~ What I learn from this is what is important is to fear God, put him first and do what he shows me to do. He will lead me to what is right, even if I face difficulty because of it, just as the midwives did when Pharaoh confronted them (Exodus 1:18,19)

P~ Dear Father, fearing you leads me on the path I want to be on.  Help me to fear you and not people.

A Tiny Ark | Tara Wiley

S~ But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Exodus 2:3 (NIV)

O~ The story of Moses begins with echoes of another God-rescue. Back in Genesis 6, God saw the world’s need for rescue from evil (Gen. 6:1), and he found a representative who would lead mankind into a new beginning. That man was Noah, and his first assignment was to build an ark, coated with pitch, in which he and his family would be saved from the torrents of water. (“So make yourself an ark… and coat it with pitch inside and out.” Gen. 6:14)

In Exodus 2, a little baby is saved in a tiny ark coated in pitch, a baby who would grow into a man during a season of violence and wickedness not unlike Noah’s day. And God saw the oppression (Exodus 2:23-25), and brought about the circumstances necessary for that baby to become a man to lead His people into a new beginning, a rescue through walls of water (Exodus 13).

Today, as believers we look to Jesus, our ultimate Rescuer, of whom Noah and Moses were types. Their rescue came through water. We represent our rescue through the water of baptism – but Jesus takes it a step further, as John reminds us: “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

A/P~ Oh Lord, I marvel at Your Word! Not only is it life and breath to me; it is a beautiful piece of literature as well, written over thousands of years by dozens of people who obediently recorded what Your Spirit spoke. And throughout the Book, from beginning to end, You weave Your redemption story, leading to the ultimate rescue through Jesus. Thank You, Jesus, for the privilege of living in this time period in Your history, this grace season, where I get to receive Your rescue from now through eternity. Thank You for the symbolism of water. Thank You for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Continue to reveal Your ways and Your Word to me, and mold my response. I want to be faithful to know Your Word and to allow You to change my life continually through it.

Not So Different | Michelle Myers

S~ From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death.  Psalm 88:15 (NIV)

O/A~ The other night, You gave me the opportunity to fellowship with some wonderful women, and the amazing privilege of hearing one woman’s testimony of drug addiction, physical and sexual abuse, abduction, prostitution, etc.  For the first time in a long time, I felt that I was where You wanted me to be.

Through my teaching experience, You taught me to look at our similarities as people, versus our differences.  Regardless of our education, social status, bank accounts, etc.; as humans, we all fall short and we all have had painful experiences.  Despite the experience, the intensity of the emotions we feel as a result of it, is no different from person to person.

Yet, what is different is how much more amazed I am and glorified You are, when I hear of how You have lifted some people out pits, that are so deep, that I even struggle to comprehend the depths of them.  I am amazed by the strength of these women, who would be cast out by society as worthless, useless, and no better than the trash I throw into the dumpster.  Yet, You see their beauty, strength, and potential.

I see that I may have grown up with educated parents, more money, may be more educated myself, etc.; there is still a common sisterhood among us, and that there are still many similarities to our stories.  I heard and  can relate to….

–being sexually, physically, and emotionally abused; and as a result of that, having to fight my entire life.

–being cast aside by people who were supposed to love and protect me.

–struggling with addiction.

–being confused by what God’s plan is in regards to a sexual, monogamous relationship.

–feeling unworthy and without value.

–feeling shame.

–forgiving myself, and accepting God’s forgiveness for some of my own life choices.

–unplanned pregnancy, where I chose the route of abortion.

–not having good spiritual guidance or role modeling in my childhood.

–being tired and worn out from the constant fight and struggle.

For me and these other women, it has been a lifetime of fighting the enemy.  For some of us, it took years for us to really realize and understand who we were fighting, and how we were to engage in the battle.  It has taken You some time to get me to this place of authenticity, forgiveness, acceptance, and healing.  I don’t have any answers for these women, except the answer of YOU.  And they don’t need to hear my answers, advice, etc.  They need to continue to pursue a personal relationship with You,and You will meet them where they are, and give them the tools and strength they need to fight the enemy and have the victory, Jesus died for all of us to have….regardless of our messes or mistakes.

P~ Thank you God for this opportunity.  I am honored and privileged that these women are so open and willing to share some of the deepest and darkest parts of themselves and their lives with me.  That brings You glory.  Please continue to use this sisterhood as a catalyst for spiritual growth and healing, that will allow us to eventually help other hurting women, and bring glory to You.

Intentional Living | Joni Tyner

S~ Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware.  Luke 21:34 (NLT)

O~ Jesus is speaking to his disciples. (and us)  He is telling us that we need to be watchful for His return. He warns us of distractions (worries) that can dull us from experiencing the fullness of life He desires for us.

A~ I have then tendency to get distracted when I read the Bible by common life stuff—unloading the dishwasher, starting a load of laundry,  or perhaps looking at a new text on my phone. These are not bad things, but they have often derailed by quiet time with God. 😦 This scripture is reminding me to keep my priorities in check. I have heard it said once that if we are not are intentionally seeking God and to growing closer to Him, we are drifting away.  If I’m not intentional with my pursuit of Godly things, I quickly fall into the pattern of laziness and apathy. This is not the type of believer I want to be!!

P~ Dear Lord, please help me to have balance in my day. I want to have intentional purpose in my faith as well as get things done in my day. Thank you for the grace you give me when I drift. Please help me stay focused on important life stuff and let go of things that really don’t matter.

When God Shows Up, People Turn Out | Kelley Deases

S~ …and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.  Luke 21:38 (NIV)

O~ Jesus always draws a crowd, to be sure.  People come out in droves to hear Him speak, touch His cloak, and just be in His presence.  Even in the early morning. Even at mealtimes. Even if it meant walking for miles and enduring crowds of people.  How fortunate am I to be able to meet with Him privately, wrapped up in a cozy blanket with His Word open on my lap and still hear Him speak and feel His presence?

A~ I got to debrief with my college boy last night about his mission trip to India.  He told me that, in the area where they were staying, in and around New Delhi, Caucasian people are esteemed like celebrities. While he admitted it felt a little strange to be revered simply for the color of his skin, it did provide their group with open doors to speak of the love of Jesus Christ.  Of all the one-of-a-kind experiences he got to have — playing cricket with schoolkids, playing hand games with runaway boys, washing the feet and praying over those in the lowest caste of people — his surprising favorite moment came when he was able to speak in front of a large group of people and give a bit of his testimony of faith.  He said when he was done sharing, he actually felt a warm sensation envelope him, as though God’s Spirit had been on him — or perhaps in him — as he spoke and was then departing form him when he finished.

Whether Jesus is able to show up in the flesh, as recorded in the Gospels, or the Holy Spirit speaks through ordinary people like my son, when God has something to say, people are drawn to His message.

P~ Father, Thank You for working in and through the life of my son as You directed him to India, touched his heart there, and brought him safely home, changed for having taken the trip.

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 21, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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