September 13 Ezekiel 33,34,35; Revelation 18

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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The High Cost of Spiritual Rebellion | Tara Wiley

S~ Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. Ezekiel 33:4-5

O~ God was summoning Ezekiel to call the nation of Israel to repentance. But the Israelites would have to listen and respond if they didn’t want to experience the destruction their sins were bringing on them.

A~ Rebellion shuts our ears. We can hear the truth – know the truth – but if we are determined to go our own way, the truth might as well be spoken in a foreign language. I think this is one of the reasons God says rebellion is as costly and devastating as witchcraft and idolatry (I Samuel 15:23) – it creates a weakness that makes us Satan’s plaything, and it is, in the end, worship of self, because our own desires rule us. The truly painful result: we become so insensitive to the Spirit as we stop listening, and soon we cannot even hear and discern His work in our hearts. At that point, sin wins and the devastating cost of living our way instead of God’s way brings increased destruction in our lives.

P~ Lord, I don’t want to have a rebellious spirit that keeps me from listening and taking action on Your truth. The cost is too high! Thank You for forgiving me for the times I put my own desires above worshiping and obeying You. I know that Your way leads to life and peace. That’s what I truly want! Help me deny myself daily and refuse a selfish and rebellious attitude towards You. Protect my children and husband, too, Lord, and give them wisdom to recognize spiritual rebellion and nip it in the bud before it wreaks havoc in their lives.

The Watchman | Kim Chipman

S~ Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. Ezekiel 33:7 (NIV)

O~ The role of the watchman, as detailed in the previous verses, is to warn the people when attack is coming. If the watchman does his job, he is not responsible for how the people respond. If they don’t heed the warning that’s their problem. If the warning is not issued, however, and people die then the watchman is responsible because he didn’t warn.

A~ What strides me today is that this is a lot like parenting teenagers (which is the season I’m in). There is a part of me that gets frustrated and exhausted with repeatedly warning – and being ignored.

As I read this today I hear You speaking to my soul. You have made me a watchman for my people, so I must issue the warnings. That is my responsibility. If harm comes to them because they have not been warned then I will be accountable.

This parenting/marriage/family thing is not for the faint of heart. Often I just get tired emotionally, or completely overwhelmed, but I have a responsibility to my family.

P~ Thank You for this reminder today. I needed it to stay the course. My parenting is not in vain, it is a responsibility from You. Help me to do it well. Help me to hear Your voice and speak Your words (and remind me when to be quiet). I love You!

Worldly Numbers | Michelle Myers

S~ And if I say to the wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right—if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die.  None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him.  He has done what is just and right; he will surely live. Ezekiel 33:14-16 (NIV)

O/A~ My husband has high blood pressure.  Up until about 4 months ago, it was under control.  He is now on this cycle of trying different medications for a period of time to see what works and what doesn’t.  He takes his BP regularly at home.  The other day we were talking about his numbers, and then got onto the subject of his pulse rate.  My blood pressure isn’t normally high, but my pulse can easily be up there.  I thought, “Great!  Another number to tell me how I am doing.” Then I started to think about all the other numbers that I have let “define, dictate, or judge” me or the condition of my life….the numbers on a scale, the numbers on my ACT test, the numbers in my bank account, the years I taught, the square footage in my home, the numbers on a clock……………..the list goes on and on.

Then I heard YOU say, “There is so much more to you, Michelle, than a number.  I don’t see you in numbers.”  I thought about it, and realized that NONE of that matters to You.  I thought about some of the people that I know, that really don’t know You and the people that I know, that grew up knowing You.  You aren’t marking off some calendar, with the number of days that I have or have not followed You.  You don’t even base salvation on the number of days that someone has followed “the decrees that give life”. So, I don’t need to be concerned with all the worldly numbers used to dictate, judge, and define my life.  The numbers that can easily have me believing the lie, that I never measure up.  Instead, I need to be concerned with following You, to the best of my ability and doing it in a manner that is life giving to me, other believers, and non-believers.

If I do what You tell me to, and I get my workout in, You are more concerned with my obedience in going, than the number on the scale.  If I study hard for a test, but bomb it, You are more concerned with the prep that I put into it, than the final score.  If I sacrificially give, as You have told me to; the end amount is not what is important to You.

P~ Thank you God for reminding me of how You see me.  I can easily get frustrated with the numbers in life, that I am struggling with, because I think they will give me something better.  When I have tried, but the numbers just aren’t there, I can easily get frustrated and give up.  That is not what You want.  You want my heart to be totally dedicated to You and not some end number.

Just not sure… | Nikki Metzger

S~ She boasted in her heart, ‘I am queen on my throne.  I am no helpless widow, and I have no reason to mourn.’ Revelation 18:7b (NLT)

O~ This section of Scripture is referring to the fall of Babylon, a city in the future.  It just made me think of other things.

A~ I am really wrestling with a book I just read.  It is written an a memoir, the person’s story and struggle.  She is an amazing writer, and I love the book.  If I read it as a memoir, fine.  If I read it and see her truths being taught to the women of the church as biblical truth, I’m really concerned.

And here’s the deal.  I’ll probably stay silent.  Because it’s written as a memoir, I don’t know the author, and I truly fear the response of, ‘Oh, there is another righteous, crazy Christian.’  But is my silent response what God would have me do?  Scripture tells us that false prophets will be all over the place, I shouldn’t be surprised about this.  And I’m not calling this author a false prophet either based on one book.  But this author does have a platform that reaches a lot of women, and a lot of those women are in the church.

But what is confirmed in my heart, yet again is this:  God’s Word is the Truth!  Apart from His Word, nothing else is God breathed.  Jesus is the only way that saving and true healing can happen.  I really need to be aware of this and take books, conversations, and online talks about Jesus seriously and test everything against Scripture.

P~ Father, thank You for challenging me and teaching me to know it’s dumb to just blindly follow people who proclaim to know You!  Thank You for the Holy Spirit who teaches us in Truth!  Thank You for growing my confidence in the precious Word of God!  Help me to hold Your Word so tenderly and to encourage others to read it and settle in Your Word, so they can know Truth too!!

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Posted on September 13, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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