February 12 Leviticus 18, 19; Psalm 13; Acts 19

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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Two Types of “Me Centered” | Michelle Myers

S~ Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths.  I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:3 (NIV)

O~ In the various groups that I have been in, I have found that the two most difficult relationships most people have are with their parents and their spouses.  Numerous people have said that they struggle with boundaries when it comes to these relationships.  This struggle has set them up to get repeatedly hurt, abused, or taken advantage of.  It is hard also, especially with our parents, for some people to understand that people in their parenting roles can be so flawed, just as anyone else that we may encounter, that they are unhealthy or unsafe to be around.

A~ I don’t have any answers for what anyone else is supposed to do in their relationships.  The answers are not as black and white as people or the world presents them.  People and relationships can be very complicated as our backgrounds, baggage, perceptions, character, etc.are all different.

For me, you have shown me that there is a difference between accepting these differences from people, and how these differences might interfere with them being who I want them to be or having the relationship I wanted with them, and continually and repeatedly being abused and taken advantage of.  The first case is very “me centered” in a selfish way.  Someone is not giving ME what I want.  The second case is very “me centered” in a self caring way, in that there are some parents, spouses, siblings, and even children in this world that we need to care for ourselves by protecting ourselves from them.  Not just physically, but also emotionally. I have found that emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse.  The enemy will use both to kill, steal, and destroy someone’s identity in You, their life, and the good plan that You had for their life.

I have encountered many people who have picked out these relationships from the Bible and used them as the foundation to stay in toxic relationships.  You have shown me, that this is not what You want for anyone.  Relationships take two people.  Each person needs to focus on and work on themselves and their own junk.  Each person needs to be, to the best of their human ability, following You.  That is when relationships, regardless of who they are with, start to thrive.

You have shown me, that if I have obeyed You and confronted and dealt with myself, the other person, and the situation as You have told me to; then I am no longer responsible for how that relationship turns out.  It is not disrespectful to put up clear boundaries that cut the relationship off.  How I do it, if I am angry, mean, etc. can be disrespectful; but the act of putting up boundaries,itself; is not disrespectful.

You have also shown me that people can change, and many do over time.  Hearts become softened, past wounds are healed, bad behavior is dealt with, and so it is also good to leave a door open for the restoration of these relationships.

P~ Thank you God for Your discernment.  Thank you for the changes that are taking place in my marriage and family.  My husband is consistently in The Word.  He is doing what he is doing, as a father and a husband, out of a desire to please You.  This has made a huge difference in our marriage, and ultimately pleases me; because You will direct him in these areas.

This scripture ends with, “I am the LORD your God”. That is why it is important for me to listen to You in regards to many things, not just relationships.  I am to put no other person above You in my life.  No other person should put me above You in their life.  It doesn’t matter if the “above” is in the form of fearing someone else, idolizing someone else, being obedient to someone else, tolerating abuse from someone else (which is not You, You discipline and consequent; not abuse), etc.

Please continue to help me discern between the two different “me centered” selves, the selfish one and the self caring one.  Please help me encourage others, in my family and outside of my family to also be self caring, even when it doesn’t give me what I want.

Still Hope | Jill Terry

S~ And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. Acts 19:19 (NAS)

O~ 50,0000 pieces of silver in the current economy has an estimated range from $1 to $5 million dollars. Those books were very valuable monetarily, but in Jesus’ economy they were useless. Those who were burning their books had become followers of Jesus and knew they needed to change their entire life and rid themselves of their sinful ways.

A~ These new followers of Jesus had finally seen the truth of the gospel. They publicly acknowledged the error of their ways and were pursuing Christ with all their heart. This gives me so much hope. If those who practiced witchcraft back in Bible times could become followers of Christ, two of my sons can also become believers. There is still hope. Their hearts are still able to be opened to the redeeming power of Jesus and as long as there is a breath left in me, I will not give up hoping or praying.

P~ Thank you Jesus for showing me once again that my boys’ hearts are still able to be turned towards you. I know You can redeem them and I believe it will happen one day. Thank You for loving them even more than I do. Amen

Praying Psalm 13: A desperate prayer for desperate times | Tara Wiley

S/O/A/P~ Today, I’m taking the entire Psalm in our reading and turning it into a prayer, one of my favorite ways to use the Psalms in seasons of deep need, which is where I find one of my closest friends today.

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?

How long will you look the other way?

Oh Lord, when the dark closes in like it has today for my friend, we seem to feel the full force of Your shadow. You are here, but You don’t seem near. Our footing grows unsure, our heart unsteady, our spirit weak. My friend is flailing in a dark so thick, so deep, that it is almost impossible to breathe. She needs to know, God, that this is not The End. This is not Forever.

 

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,

with sorrow in my heart every day?

How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

We groan under the oppression of the enemy of our souls. We are sick and angry at His attack on our families, our CHILDREN. Oh, God, this is wrong! This is terrible! The anguish is overwhelming. The fury and the fear mingle into a solid knot in the pits of our stomachs. We are paralyzed by sorrow. How long, God? This will not be an overnight fix. Grant supernatural endurance!

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!

Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

Oh God, the spirit of suicide is sickeningly front and center in this battle. We stand against it in the name of Jesus. Answer us, O Lord! Restore the sparkle to this teenager’s eyes, or she will certainly die. We cannot fix this, God. Her mama and daddy cannot fix this. It is a terrifyingly helpless place to be. Restore hope. Restore life. Restore, God. You are the great Repairer of the Breach. Repair the ripped apart places in this young woman’s soul. Bring life.

Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”

Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

From all external appearances, this is a day where the enemy is winning. Thank God, we know that the true reality, the one we cannot see right now, holds You standing in victory, the enemy in defeat. We stand against the lies of the enemy which would keep us from focusing on You. Silence the accuser, God, with the power of Your truth which sets us free. We are staggering under this weight, but we are not crushed. Not in the eternal scheme of things. Oh God, I can only imagine that even this statement does not seem true to my friends tonight. They feel utterly crushed. But God. Oh, God. Your truth rings truer than our feelings. Your truth is greater than the enemy’s taunt. Destroy the enemy’s attack. Scatter the accuser’s cohorts with the power of Your name, the covering of Your blood, the protection of Your Spirit. No more gloating, no more rejoicing, Satan. You don’t get to win. Not this time.

But I trust in your unfailing love.

I will rejoice because you have rescued me.

God, we choose to trust You tonight. In the darkest night of my friend’s soul, in the deepest valley, Your love is unfailing. You are already at work with a perfect Rescue. We choose to stand as if the rescue were already complete, because in Your eyes, it IS. God, the joy is not emotion tonight. There is no happy. But there is the ability to rejoice. To choose to bring the sacrifice of praise with knocking knees and trembling fists and swollen eyes and weary souls. God, give us a word of praise to whisper, each of us as we stand in the breach for our precious sister in Christ and her dear family. Help us hold onto hope for them.

I will sing to the Lord

because he is good to me.

Nope, it doesn’t feel good, what’s happening here. But YOU are good. And that’s where we find hope. When hope is slipping, when we lose our grip, You never lose Your grip on us. Hold so tightly, so firmly to this family, that the song that rises from this season rings so loud it shakes the mountains. You will place a new song in my friend’s heart, and I long already for the day we will hear it and sing along. And tonight, I sing for her, and ask for Your tender mercy to sing over her and her precious daughter. You are our song. We choose to declare what we do not feel: You.Are.Good. Even now. Even in the dark. You are good. Help each one to trust Your goodness tonight.

YOU are My Strength | Kim Chipman

S~ The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.

O~ Paul is traveling in Ephesus. He spoke in the synagogue about the Kingdom of God, but some refused to believe and became obstinate. Paul moved to a lecture hall, preaching for years, so all who lived there heard the message of the Lord and it spread quickly and grew in power. This threatened the livelihood of silversmiths who made idols, so they started a riot in the city.

A~ When I picture this I see our culture now, in many cases. There is confusion, everyone’s shouting, but some don’t even know why. Certainly no one is listening or trying to understand one another. Seeking truth seems out the window – the goal is to be right, to be loudest, to have the last word…it almost seems “cool” to be offended.

So, what do You want ME to do in the midst? Even if I feel threatened? Be the loudest? Be RIGHT? I don’t think so. Certainly not be easily offended. You want me to respond like Jesus (in my heart AND in my actions).

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, 

in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Isaiah 30:15

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

lion

In a world of loud voices I must choose to rest in quietness and trust that You will fight for me. I just need to remain connected to You so Your Spirit can guide me and flow through me. Seek Your truth. Know what I stand for.

P~ I want Your name to be great and glorified! Help me to represent You well, to grow in trust. I love You!

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 February 12, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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