January 26 Exodus 14-16; Acts 2
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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3 Chapters of Miracles!! | Nikki Metzger
S~ Exodus 14-16….read it again because it’s awesome!
O~ There’s too much here! Miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle! The Red Sea parting, God fighting for His people, leading people by smoke and fire, God healing bitter water to drinkable water, God providing meat and bread for His people.
A~ How do all these miracles apply to me, right now in my life? I really want to sit and savor each and every event, but I can feel my day calling. The store, cleaning, preparing for the week, work….
P~ God, please don’t let me miss You today in the middle of business! Miracles are happening all around me in the midst of life. Please give me Your eyes to see, ears to hear, and the ability to understand!
The Lord Himself Will Fight | Tara Wiley
S~ But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14 NLT
O/A~ The Israelites had a history with the Egyptians, a history that led them to legitimate fear when they saw their enemy coming at them again. That fear led them to panic-driven illogical thinking, the kind of thinking that says slavery to the enemy is better than risky following after God that leads to freedom.
Right now, we are in a season of all-out spiritual warfare – within our family and within our church leadership. It’s insane. The attacks are on relationships, on health, on jobs, on circumstances, external attacks on character and ministry approaches, personal doubts and anxieties, extreme difficulties with children, ridiculously high paced demands of time… you name it, it’s happening to someone within the key leaders of our church right now (for many of us, most of those are happening to each of us as individuals!). People’s lives are being changed within our community and our enemy is NOT happy.
Like the Israelites, I have a history with the enemy. One that involves me reacting in fear, and my fear leads to backing down. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe this is too hard, too risky, too much. Maybe I am too much.
BUT I also have a history with the Victor, the One Who fights for us. The One who says – I see the enemy approaching in an army of chariots. I knew he’d be coming. I planned for this day long ago, and I have a way of escape at the ready. But it requires something of you, Tara. It requires SURRENDER. Stand still and see me fight for you. Don’t panic. Don’t turn back and go to the familiar slavery-driven practices of your past. Just one step into that intimidating Red Sea, and I will part the waters ahead of you and drown the enemy behind you.
As my walk with Jesus continues, the list of Red Sea-parting events behind me grows longer – the victories lining up as strong as a battle guard of warriors, shields of faith raised to remind me of God’s faithfulness. My memory of the enemy begins to pale in comparison to my memories of the Victor, and when I choose to focus on God, my fear fades. So I will warrior up! I will stand. I will stay calm. I will press on, because I know the victory is sure.
P~ Lord, thank You for bringing this passage to me today, when I needed its strong visual reminder – YOU are the Victor! As I remember all of the times in my own past that You have proven Your amazing victorious power over the enemy, combined with the stories of the faithful who have gone before me, bolstered by the powerful narrative of Your Word, I feel a deep inner strength and peace: You are here. You see what’s going on. You are not caught off guard. And You ARE victorious. I stand in that promise today and feel the strength of Your track record like a guard of warriors that I can stand behind, protected, secure in my position with You. No matter the outcome in each of my friends’ and families’ lives, the ultimate victory lies in You. So help me fight off the irrational thinking that leads to fear. Help me, even as I encouraged my friends this morning, to stand continually saturated in Your truth through Scripture, through worship, and through prayer. You are our Defender. I can’t wait to see what stories we will have to tell of Your faithfulness on the other side of this season!
Running the Course | Michelle Myers
S~ All the believers were together and had everything in common. Acts 2:44 (NIV)
O~ The Believers were coming together to fellowship with one another. My Bible notes say, “We are not to shout the gospel from a safe and respectable distance, and remain detached. We must open our lives enough to let people see that we too laugh and hurt and cry.” (Women’s Devotional Bible; NIV Version; 1990)
A~ My husband has had a stomach virus for the last few days. He does not handle being sick very well. He tends to be overly dramatic. I give him medicine to manage the symptoms. I make sure he has fluids to stay hydrated and fIush the virus out his system. That is about all I can do. I often feel helpless, as the words, “You just have to let it run its course.” doesn’t seem to bring him much comfort.
I have to remember that we are all people. We have the commonality of the different emotions, but are different in what triggers them. I know that I get upset and overly dramatic about things my husband feels are really not that big of a deal or that he has limited control over. I have heard him say more than once, “I don’t know what you want me to do or what I can do about it.”
For me, it is usually some household chore or an unexpected bill that gets me all worked up. Just like I do with him, he does what he can to “manage the symptoms”. Maybe it is calling and putting something on a payment plan. Maybe it is by working harder at earning a bigger bonus check. Sometimes, it is just praying about the situation. Yet, in the end, he can only do what he can do, and he has to let it “run it course”.
I have also found this to be true with myself, in regards to Believers who have been walking this walk with You for a lot longer. I also recognize it in some of the groups I am in, and the women are new Believers or have not really surrendered to You. I see where they are now, and I can remember being there at one time. I recognize where others were farther along than me at one time, and I am now on my way there.
The struggles that lead us to You, are all different; but the emotions that come along with our walk with You, and “letting it take its course” are very common amongst all of us as human beings, regardless of our social status, our bank accounts, our family history, etc.
P~ Thank you God for never just letting me stay where I am. I don’t usually enjoy the process, but in the end, am often thankful for it. Please help me remember this. When the discomfort hits and I am struggling with wanting to keep my distance and stay in my comfort zone, please remind me that there is no growth there. Please continue to help me recognize the similarities in all of us as human beings, not the differences in our triggers and circumstances.
Genuine and Sincere | Kim Chipman
S~ Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)
O~ The fellowship of the believers described in Acts 2 is so sweet. v42 ” They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” They shared everything in common. There could be no rich or poor among them, they sold stuff to care for the poor.
I’ve been reading 2 books by Brene Brown – Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. She is a researcher and studies human relationships, our fundamental need for love and belonging, shame, vulnerability, trust, etc. Her books have been fascinating to me and are helping me understand how to “do” relationships better. (I think…I hope!)
A~ I can’t help but be inspired and encouraged to see that this is exactly how the early church grew. Clearly people felt this was a place of love and belonging. This is what we are wired to be seeking (according to Brene). This made the church appealing and the Lord added daily to those who were being saved.
Do I cultivate a culture of love and belonging in my sphere of influence? In my home? In my church? In the relationships I have and people I encounter? I want to be!
P~ Lord, show me how to do this well! I don’t feel like I do. Lead me and guide me so many may be saved. Help me, I need You! I love You
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Posted on January 26, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Acts, Bible, Bible Study, Book of Acts, daily devotions, esodus, exodus, Exodus 14:10, Exodus 14:14, Exodus 14:4, God, HolySpirit, Jesus, life journal, Lord, Luke 10:42, SOAP, SOAP note. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.