January 31 Exodus 28-29; Acts 7

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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There is a plan in it all | Nikki Metzger

S~ Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action. Acts 7:22 (NLT)

O~ Stephen is giving an account of God’s work in His people’s lives.  Stephen says Moses was powerful in speech, which to me contradicts Exodus 4:10, where Moses tells God that he is not good with words.  Digging deeper  on these verses has led me to one conclusion.  The Egyptians educated Moses!  Some scholars believe that Moses could read and write many different languages.

A~ So I see more preparation work in the time that Moses spent in Pharaoh’s household.  Moses was very well educated by Pharaoh, and many years later, Moses would end up writing the first five books of the bible.  That can’t be a coincidence!  I wonder if Hebrew slaves were taught to read and write, I’m not sure, but I highly doubt it.

I feel like I’ve just entered a place where I’m supposed to be career wise.  For once, I’m not looking to the next thing.  It’s hard to just sit and be and do the work without having the next thing in the back of my mind. But I think it’s good for me to do that.  There are lessons, truths, character growers in this season for me.  God is teaching me something now so He can use it later!  Like how He put Moses in Pharaoh’s house to learn to read and write and one day would write the first part of the bible.

P~ God, thank You for the internet this morning!  I loved the glimpse into Moses’ life while he was in Pharaoh’s home.  You are so so good!

Making Progress, but not Yet a Stephen | Michelle Myers

S~ But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55 (NIV)

O~ Stephen saw this right before they started stoning him.  While they were stoning him and right before his physical body died, Stephen said, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Acts 7:60 (NIV)

A~ Right before his death, Stephen was able to physically see what was waiting for him.  Prior to this, I am sure, being committed to spreading The Gospel the way he was, he had a pretty good idea of what was in store for him, once his time here on earth was over.  He was able, to see the big picture. This helped him be ALL IN.  Even praying for YOUR forgiveness of the people who were stoning them.

Seeing the earthly big picture, has not been much of a problem for me.  I understand choices and positive and negative consequences.  Seeing and understanding the spiritual big picture has been a lot longer of a journey and process.  I want to be ALL IN.  There are times that I think I am, and then there are times that I don’t see things as clearly as I would like or thought I did. Usually, this is when I am focused on the brokenness of this world, and not on the good You are working through other Believers.

I think, just as I sometimes struggle with the idea of grace being too easy and a free gift to me, (definitely not for Jesus); I also struggle with the simplicity of bad things happening because we live in a broken world and we are all broken people, who make sinful lifestyle choices.  Having the perspective that it someday will not be that way, or I won’t have to manage relationships with broken people, can be hard for me to wrap my head around.

I hope to get to the point that Stephen was at, where while being persecuted, literally to physical death, I can be spiritually strong enough to physically see heaven and pray for my persecutors.  I am getting better.  What is in store for me after this;  is becoming clearer, forgiveness is becoming easier, and sincerely and authentically praying for the people I have forgiven is becoming more regular.  However, I am not a Stephen yet.

P~ I am so thankful for Jesus, and the sacrifice He made for me on the cross.  I am nor more deserving of it than anyone else.  I am just as broken as anyone else.  Please help me remember this.  Please help me remember to focus on You and the good work You are doing through other Believers.  Please continue to build my faith and increase my vision of what is waiting for me when my time here is done.

Listening? | Kim Chipman

S~ At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, Acts 7:57 (NIV)

O~ Stephen was full of God’s grace and power and preformed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition was stirred up, people lied about him, and he was brought before the Sanhedrin – the council of high priests. He defended himself, but he also told the Sanhedrin “your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised.”  In other words, their hearts were not following the Lord even though they kept rules and rituals and traditions. This made them FURIOUS, but Stephen just looked to heaven and said he could see Jesus at God’s right hand. The priest’s response was to cover their ears, yell at the top of their voices (I picture a toddler having a tantrum), grab Stephen and stone him to death.

A~ So, here’s the thing I’m wondering about myself. Do I allow others to speak truth to me about the condition of my heart? I mean like godly friends…Stephen had his eyes to heaven looking at God the whole time, he wasn’t telling them this for his own personal gain. Do I humbly listen or do I put my hands over my ears and yell and attack the person speaking truth? The way they responded to Stephen was in anger, pride, and fear. Do I respond that way? They could have chosen to be introspective about what Stephen was saying. He recounted the history of the Israelites and paralleled their heart condition – resisting the Holy Spirit. Do I resist?

P~ Lord, when You send people into my life who are Spirit-filled and speaking truth please help me to respond in humility! Help me to recognize when these feeling well up in me so I can take them to You instead of responding with anger, pride, and fear. I love You!

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Posted on January 31, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nikki, What you wrote today really got me thinking. I am aware that our painful circumstances are never wasted if we allow God to grow us and then use them to help others, but I had not considered how He uses our education and jobs and knowledge and contacts, etc. We should ever be mindful to soak in everything given us…..He will probably be calling on us to use it again down the road!

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