February 27 Numbers 21-23; Mark 6-7

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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Patience | Tara Wiley

S~ Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. Numbers 21:4 NASB

O~ The Israelites were tired. They’d been trudging through this wilderness for a long time now, experiencing deprivation and war, and they were spent. God was providing, but as they grumbled and complained, they lost sight of what God was doing for them. His manna and quail and water weren’t enough. Their emotional and physical weariness led them to focus on their lack, and this shift of focus led them to distrust God. The end result, shown in the next few verses, was devastating: it meant death.

A~ Discerning this progression in the Israelites isn’t difficult for me – because I’ve experienced it in my own life. And just as impatience with God’s timing and provision led to their grumbling, which led to distrust, which led to death by serpents, I open myself up to an attack from the Serpent himself when I let my shift focus away from God and onto my circumstances.

The cure for their impatience, grumbling, and distrust, was to look to God – literally. Moses created a bronze serpent that was lifted up before them to bring their healing when they looked to it. In the same way, Jesus was lifted up on our behalf to take the curse of our sin, and we find life when we look to Him (John 3:14). What a powerful, vivid reminder this story is: giving into impatience and grumbling causes me to invite Satan’s attack into my life. The cure is to fill my perspective with Jesus.

P~ Lord, You have SO richly blessed me! It is when I grow weary and impatient with this life that I get into trouble. I can see this pattern in my past, and I want to safeguard against going there again. Help me remain so steadfastly saturated with Your truth that I leave no room for bitter complaint. And when I feel that sinful line of thinking creeping in, remind me of this story, and of the redemptive power of looking to the cross. You are my help. You are my provider. You are my mainstay. You rescue me from the attack of the enemy; and all I have to do is gaze steadfastly on You to find life. After the Israelites got their act together and refocused on Your provision, they experienced a tremendous outpouring of Your blessing, both through abundant water and through physical victories on the battlefield. I’ve also experienced this – after a very hard test comes times of true refreshing. Thank You that in the middle of the test, in the heat of the trial, I can remember that You will bring seasons of refreshment as I surrender to You. Thank You for Your unending patience with me, Your child.

Silly Girl | Kelley Deases

S~ Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” Mark 6:4 (NIV)

O~ Christ Himself, upon returning to His own family and his old neighborhood, was ineffective in reaching people with His message of salvation. How much harder is it for us to be heard and well received by family and friends who have known us since “back when”?

A~ I am thinking of my brother who, along with his wife and teenage daughter, are not walking with the Lord. Nearly every Christmas and every summer when they return home from Texas, or the times when we travel down south, I imagine the conversations we could have about what God has been doing in my life and showing me through His Word.  But time after time, my words fall flat, or are not uttered at all, as we slip back into our childhood roles or get keyed in on the happenings of the moment. I have this sense, whether real or imagined, that my brother sees a silly, self-absorbed, superficial adolescent who would have nothing of great value to speak into his life or circumstance. But I do! I possess the greatest news of all and the answer to all his longings and emptiness.

P~ Father, All I can do is pray and give him to You. He has a foundation of faith from his youth and You know what it will take to cause him to return. If I’m to play a part, give me the words, Your words, to speak. Otherwise, orchestrate the right circumstances and the right people at the right time to get their attention. May they come to learn there is more to this life and their eternity is at stake.

The Discomfort of Traveling Light | Michelle Myers

S~ These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belt.  Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.” Mark 6:8-9 (NIV)

O~ Jesus told the disciples to pack light, very light for their journey.  This had to be very uncomfortable for them.  I know that it would be for me.  I also know that this required them to trust God for a lot of their needs.

A~ I envy those women who can carry small purses, little money cross body satchels, or no purse at all.  I am attached to the “things” in my purse, and so is my family.  It is uncomfortable when my purse supply of lotion, chap stick, kleenex, gum, allergy medicine, etc. runs out. And, You have seen my anxiety level, when I forget to grab my cell phone or the battery is low.

Many of these”things” are luxuries and comforts that my family and I take for granted.  Some are luxuries that provide an extra sense of security.  I have been stranded on the interstate in the middle of nowhere without a cell phone.  It was not an experience that my very overweight cat and I enjoyed, as I walked down the interstate and carried him in his carrier in the scorching July heat.

That was a lesson in wisdom from You almost 17 years ago.  Obviously, You took care of both of us and we survived.  Yet, I am well aware that not everyone who is stopping to help, has good motives and intentions, like superintendent of a school that was near by and his wife did, when they stopped to help me and my fur baby.  Therefore, it would not be wise to put myself in that situation again.  Yet, there are people in this world that don’t have any other choice.  There are people who travel, flee, risk their lives etc. on foot, with nothing more than the clothes they have on their backs, because they have to.

I need to remember this, and give praise to You next time I am a little stuffy because my allergy medicine is not in my purse, or my lips and hands are dry, because my chap stick and lotion have run out and I forgot to replenish them.  I need to be more aware of the blessings You have given to me and my family, that seem so small but allow us to live a more comfortable life.  I want us all to be humble enough to recognize in those moments of discomfort, what You have given to us and how we are no more deserving of it than anyone else.

P~ Thank you God for what You have given to me and my family.  Help me remember the disciples and their lack of luxuries, when the discomfort of not having my little container of hand sanitizer in my purse robs me of my peace.  My peace is not determined by having it, even if it is the eucalyptus spearmint “stress free” kind.  My peace comes from 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 27, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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