September 14 Ezekiel 36,37; Psalms 110; Revelation 19

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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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Not For My Sake | Michelle Myers

S~ Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.  Ezekiel 36:22 (NIV)

O/A~ I know in my heart that I am no better than anyone else.  I know that.  I sin just like everyone else. My sin may look different, but the result is the same.  It is not a good representation of You.  It profanes Your name.  I also know that being prideful enough to think that my sin is better than someone else’s, is as equally sinful as whatever sin someone else is exhibiting.

There is a lot that I don’t understand about the circumstances that You allow to happen, in regards to my family, finances, etc.  I have had many people try and explain why something is happening to me.  For instance, I have had a few people tell me that I am suffering one financial struggle after another, because I don’t trust in You to take care of me or the situation.  At first, I thought maybe, but then I had to stand in the truth of that.  I trust You.  I know You are the only one who can change people, my finances, my situation,…….everything and anything.  When we got bed bugs, I turned to You.  When I called to pay a $25 medical bill, and they hit me with a $277 one that had just come in, I turned to You.  When my daughter came home from youth group, with an infected, in-grown toe nail and had to see a podiatrist, I turned to You. Last week, when it was obvious that her cough wasn’t getting any better and I had to take her into an Urgent Care, and she was diagnosed with bronchitis, I turned to You.  When my husband’s third blood pressure medicine wasn’t working and he had to go back into to see the doctor, again, I turned to You.  When I went to pick up all of our prescriptions, for blood pressure, allergies, and bronchitis, and that bill alone was over $100, I turned to You.

It used to be that I would try and fix it myself.  I couldn’t.  It used to be that I would try and  fix myself, myself.  I couldn’t.  It used to be that I would try and fix my husband, my mom, and other people myself.  I couldn’t.  It used to be that I would look at my husband to fix it, and himself. He couldn’t. So, I am pretty sure that at this point, I KNOW who is in charge, and who is in control, and who I need to be going to.  It isn’t me, or any other human on the earth.

However, I do question when these things happen, “Why?”  I can easily think, I have had my fair share of junk for awhile.  I just need a break or a breather from it.Then you remind me of my blessings, and two of which are not being overly comfortable in this world and overly secure in who I am.  When I was comfortable and secure, I wasn’t growing and I didn’t see You as clearly as I do today.  My focus, my hope, my time, my money, etc. was all directed towards the wrong things.  So, I don’t understand WHY, but I trust that YOU have it and YOU are working it out for good.

When my emotions start to get out of whack because of my situation and my spirit is not aligned with You, You send me reminders.  There have been a couple of times that I have been out and about and in a little funk.  I think I see my old co-worker, with her long. blond hair.  Then You remind me, that it can’t be her.  You suddenly and unexpectedly took her to be with You in February.  She was my age.  She had kids my age.  She had a lot of unfair junk happen to her, but she was still a positive ball of sunshine.  I am humbled in that moment, and remember that I am no more deserving of the gift of being here, watching my kids grow up, growing older with my husband; than she was.

I am able to change perspective, and even though I look forward to going to heaven one day, I want the blessing of being around to see my children grow up, to meet my grandchildren and play a role in their lives, and to grow old with my husband.  These things aren’t just “given” and should not just be taken for granted.  I am no more deserving of these gifts from You than anyone else, but I do know that there is a responsibility in them, for the sake of Your holy name.  That is bigger than any worldly junk that I am going through!

P~ Thank you God for the grace, mercy, and gifts You have given to me and my family.  Please continue to help me to accept the things that I do not understand, not so much for my sake, but for Your holy name.  Please help me be a better representative of You, so people will know that You are the Sovereign God, not because my situation is comfortable and secure, but because I am comfortable and secure in You.

Sickly Bones | Robin Laney

S~ This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones; I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. Ezekiel 37:5 (NIV)

O~ Ezekiel is faced with a valley of dry bones. God tells him to prophesy to the bones that they might have life. The bones come together before his eyes and are covered with tendons and flesh and skin. The Lord then commands Ezekiel to prophesy breath to them and they stand up and form a vast army. The bones are a picture of the Jews in captivity, scattered and dead. God is showing Ezekiel that He will breathe life back into His people and bring them back together and settle them in their own land. Ultimately, He will draw them back to Himself. Dry bones=spiritually dead. Seemingly hopeless, without life. Yet, with God, there is always hope for new life.

A~ I haven’t been spiritually dead lately but a bit challenged. Maybe have a good case of a spiritual ‘flu?’ Enough to bring me down a bit but not knock me out completely. Like a virus that spreads quickly, I am overtaken by an attack of doubt, guilt, regret. The negative thoughts and feelings take over and keep the Truth suppressed. It’s amazing how quickly I can go from hopeful to hopeless. From full confidence in Christ to debilitating disgust in who I am. How quickly I can forget who He created me to be and how much He loves me and how His grace covers me. My view of life can become quite myopic, as I lose sight of the big picture. I go from a 10,000 foot view to flailing around in the muck of this life.

As I faced today after being down for the past week or so, I felt as though I wouldn’t be able to pull out, again today. I didn’t want to be down for another day but the more I prayed about it and tried to re-focus, the deeper I seemed to sink. Like having a physical illness, there is a prescription for healing spiritually, as well. I have given the advice a million times to others but seem to forget the recipe when it comes to me. As the day moved along so did I and I experienced healing as God offered me opportunities to allow His life-giving breath to flow into me. Fresh air and the beauty of His creation. Music that was salve to my soul as He spoke to me directly through the words on the radio. An opportunity to share testimony to some of the many incredible miracles I have witnessed lately (my substitute hairdresser got a heart full!) His word that fills my mind with Truth which forces out the lies and delusions, reminds me of His great promises giving me Hope for the future, and offers me a healthier perspective as I see His sovereignty and power exercised over and over again.

A little out of sorts, spiritually speaking, but not dead. Down but not out. On the mend because He is so faithful not to let me go too far off the path of Truth. A prescription for the spiritual flu. (VIDEO)

P~ So faithful, You are. Thank You, Lord, for Your Grace.

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