January 24 Exodus 9-11; Luke 24
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.
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Confronting What God Wants Me To | Michelle Myers
S~ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, that they may worship me,’ Exodus 9:13 (NIV)
O~ The word “confront” is what stands out for me in this passage. Confronting people, situations, etc. isn’t comfortable for most healthy people, but most healthy people will see that there is a time and place for it. Then, there are some unhealthy people who are way too eager to forcefully confront everything and anything.
A~ Moses had already followed God a few times and been obedient in confronting Pharaoh about the same issue. God told him, that he would purposefully make Pharaoh’s heart hard and the confronting Moses did, would get him nowhere.
Oh, how I have been there! I have learned a great deal about confronting things from teaching in alternative education. Eventually, I learned even if the school rule was “no gum” confronting every gum chewer only wasted more time and created more problems. If I didn’t see it or hear it, I didn’t fight that battle. Not only was life less frustrating, but class time became way more productive.
I have had the same frustration in my marriage. There are times when I hear You tell me, “Let it go.” Then, there are things that I really want to let go, because I am tired of fighting them, talking about them, discussing them, etc. to get nowhere, and as much as I try to let them go; I constantly feel You prompting me to “confront” them. I argue with You, “I have confronted them many times,and tried to confront them in MANY different ways; and the result ends up being the same.
Yet, this last time, after I listened to You about confronting some of these repeated communication patterns with my husband, and going through that whole junk of trying counseling together…again; and then hearing You say, I am not telling YOU to go; I am seeing a shift in our marriage. He has been going on his own and working on himself. He has been way more engaged, loving, and dependable since my departure.
I have been really trying hard to stay focused on me and my relationship with You. I am not approaching things from the stand point of “doing battle”, or being skeptical of his commitment level.
There is way more peace for me, our marriage, and our girls. He is following through on using his strengths to help with the function and flow of our daily lives….like with math homework, doing our taxes, technology, even the household chores that don’t seem like torture for him. He is engaging in conversation regularly, even when we aren’t agreeing on everything. I am able to focus on myself,and my strengths; without feeling like I have to drudge through the best I can, things that aren’t my strengths, because I don’t feel that I have a reliable partner.
Honestly, it is just another awesome example of how persistently following You every step of the way, and being obedient is worth it, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense and be a waste of time, energy, etc. And, like with Moses, You have made it difficult, so that I would know that it was You, who You are, and recognize Your power. You get all the credit for these changes that are occurring in both of us.
P~ Thank you God for Your wisdom and guidance. Prior to me really taking my relationship seriously or even just struggling with believing what You were telling me and showing me; I would often end up frustrated and confused. I am trying. My husband is trying. Even my kids are trying more to listen and follow through on their part. Honestly, I am not used to NOT having the struggle. It is great, but somewhat odd for me. Hearing “Ok, mom” and then having my kids actually move and do what they were told, is wonderful. None of us are doing it perfectly, but consistently enough, that I am able to see and feel the progress. Please continue to use Your awesomeness to heal us.
Free Will/ God’s Sovereignty | Luisa Penaherrera
S~ But the Lord made Pharaoh even more stubborn, and he refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted. Exodus 9:12 (NLT)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and again make your demands. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my power by performing miraculous signs among them. Exodus 10:1 (NLT)
But the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn once again, and he did not let the people go. Exodus 10:20 (NLT)
Although Moses and Aaron did these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, the Lord hardened his heart so he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country. Exodus 11:10 (NLT)
O & A~ I had a hard time with these verses this morning. I don’t understand how this is loving or good. So, my dialogues with God begins… You remind me that you are loving, you are good, yet you are holy and sovereign as well. Jesus going to the cross for my sins shows me that despite my sins you wanted me near you, but because you are holy, sin kept me from you and because I’m human, I couldn’t make it right. You made it right, you provided atonement for my sin through Jesus’ death and now I can be close to you and not only that, but Holy Spirit is there to help me in life, no more am I doomed (in a way like Pharaoh-left to my own devices) to make choices that lead to destruction. So Pharaoh didn’t have your help? (I’m being very accusing right now, please forgive me.) I think I’m just scared that you would do this to me…decide I’m not worth it and leave me to my own devices. I need to go back to the rest of the story….JESUS! He’s with me now because you loved me so!
And I also realize I’m not even looking at my part in it, or Pharaoh’s. I have free will and so did he. I can be stubborn and refuse your help, or I can look to you and find life and make good choices with your help.
P~ Father, this stirred fear in me…trust issues. Thank you for Jesus! Thank you for loving me, for wanting me! This was your plan just like it says in Ephesians 1:5: His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this game him great pleasure. ❤
Held Hostage | Nikki Metzger
S~ Pharaoh’s officials now came to Pharaoh and appealed to him. “How long will you let this man hold us hostage? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God! Don’t you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?” Exodus 10:7 (NLT)
O~ A plague comes and destroys Egypt. Pharaoh asks for forgiveness and for the plague to stop. Moses prays and asks God to stop it. Then Pharaoh gets stubborn and refuses to let the people go. This time, Pharaoh’s officials are begging Pharaoh to let the people go too.
A~ The words of Pharaoh’s officials…’hold us hostage’ reminded me of my friend’s words. She is being held hostage in a custody battle with her ex-husband for her kids. Her ex-husband’s attitude is so similar to Pharaoh’s. God, I just have questions about this situation because I don’t understand.
Why would You allow this hard-hearted man continue to hurt my friend and their children? God are You working a miracle down the line and we just can’t see it? Did You harden this man’s heart for a purpose – to show Your power and spread Your name, like You did with the Egyptians? Lord, how can I help my friend in this impossible, horrible situation? God, what about the kids? I trust that You are fighting for them and protecting them! Lord, I just don’t understand. But I trust You!
P~ Father – thank You for making family and working ALL things out for Your good for those who love You! Protect these kiddos and their mom through this process. Give them Your wisdom and next steps. Please soften my friend’s ex-husband’s heart and prepare him to encounter You. I pray this in Jesus’ Name!
We Have Free Will | Joni Tyner
S~ I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. Exodus 11:1 (NLT)
O~ This morning I read through all of the terrible plagues that God sent to the Pharaoh and people of Egypt. God sent some miserable circumstances to Pharaoh in an attempt to get his attention. My study Bible notes indicate that God was giving Pharaoh opportunity to change his mind before that last plague of losing all the first born sons. Pharaoh had free will, just like us, to either repent and turn towards God or to remain stubborn with a hardened heart.
A~ I have free will. I can intentionally choose to worship and serve God. —or I can ignore God like Pharaoh did.
P~ Dear Lord, please help keep my focus on you. I want to have a tender heart that strives for humility and obedience . I also pray for believers other believers who may have drifted slowly away from You. Pursue their hearts back to You!! Get their attention!
To Understand | Guest Post
S~ Then he opened up their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:25 (NIV)
O~ This was after Jesus had been with them for 40 days. Without Jesus we cannot understand completely what God wants us to know. Through the blood we are cleansed, that His Spirit would rest upon us. The Holy Spirit then enlightens us – dwells within us so we can hear and understand what God would want us to know. The world is constantly screaming at us – half truths so that we are deceived. That is why we must study the Scriptures, so the Holy Spirit can reveal to us what is Truth.
A~ That is why spending moments with Him all day long are so important. He is the breath of life. He is the fresh air we need when the world’s stench has filled our nostrils. It’s His breath that clears our minds and gives us life. He is what and Who leads us to the life everlasting.
P~ Oh Holy Messiah, how great You are! Thank you for your life-giving breath! Help me to stay close to You. I love you more than anything. Amen
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Posted on January 24, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Bible, Bible Study, Christianity, daily devotions, exodus, Exodus 9:16, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, life journal, Lord, Luke, Luke 10:42, Luke 24:11, Luke 24:36, Religion and Spirituality, SOAP, SOAP note. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.