September 18 Ezekiel 45,46; Luke 1

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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Questions to God | Joni Tyner

S~ Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now and my wife is also well along in years.”  Luke 1:18 (NLT)

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen?  I am a virgin.”   Luke 1:34   NLT

O~ The angel Gabriel has just visited Zechariah and Mary and told them unbelievable news—that they each would become a parent.  Zechariah and his wife were old and he didn’t know how this could be.  Mary was unmarried and a virgin, she was also confused by God’s plan.

A~ These two verses stuck out to me this morning, because I saw the similarities and yet God responded to each person differently.  Zechariah got scolded and lost the ability to speak until the baby ( John the Baptist) was born.  Gabriel was  patient with Mary and explained that the Holy Spirit would come over her and the child would be holy.   Mary accepted the explanation and responded with a willing heart, “I am the Lord’s servant, may everything you have said about me come true.”

I’m not sure what to think about the inconsistent way Gabriel responded to the same (in my opinion) confusion about what was to occur.  I think that God sees our heart, maybe Mary’s response was sincere confusion and maybe Zechariah just didn’t believe a miracle was possible after having decades of infertility.  I don’t know the why, but I think my application is that I can’t expect God to answer my prayers the way I may see them answered in someone else’s life.   God is God and I need to trust His character when I don’t understand the why in a situation.

P~ Dear Lord,  You have made me with a curious mind so I know that my frequent questions don’t surprise you.  Please help me to have a heart that responds to circumstances like Mary did, “I am the Lord’s servant.”  Thank you for forgiving me when I question Your ways.

Nothing | Kim Chipman

S~ For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37 (NLT)

O~ The angel had just informed Mary (a virgin) that she would be having a baby. Seems pretty impossible.

A~ NOTHING is impossible with God. *NOTHING*. It is possible to have healing. It is possible to have wholeness. It is possible for people to change. It is possible for broken relationships to be mended. It is possible for broken *people* to be mended. It is possible. Whatever is in my life right now…these circumstances are hand picked for me. None of it is by accident or a mistake. You have allowed it all. You are my hope, even when my circumstances look hopeless. You are my strength when I’m completely exhausted. You are my peace when all I see is chaos. You are my healer when my heart is breaking. You are my comforter when the pain is too much to bear. You are always just when life is just flat out NOT fair. You are right beside me even when my feelings say I’m alone. You catch every tear I cry. You are my Hope, my Rock, my One true love…my Savior.

P~ Lord, help me to remember that NOTHING is impossible with You. NOTHING. Even when I don’t see any possible way….Your promise is that there is NOTHING. I love you.

God is Mindful of Me | Kelley Deases

S~  “… for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.”  Luke 1:48 (NIV)

O~  This line is excerpted from Mary’s song, after she has been visited by the Angel Gabriel, shared her joy with her relative Elizabeth, and is now praying to God, rejoicing for the favor He has shown her. We should all sing this song on a regular basis” “Thank You God for choosing me.” “Thank You God for saving me.” “Thank You God for using me.”

A~  My specific prayer which echoes Mary’s is: “Thank You God for blessing me in so many ways, You saw me in my humble state — divorced, angry, and alone — and chose to restore me tenfold for what was lost. You have lavished upon me with a godly and doting husband, two sons navigating their own walks with the Lord, a beautiful home and financial security. You have introduced me, through one of Your sweet servants and a dear friend, to the joy of experiencing Your presence as I read The Word and journal through what You are teaching me. And now You are allowing me to share that joy and discipline with other women, who gather weekly in my living room to grapple with our respective journeys of faith together. And most recently, You have made a way for me to gain employment with a mission operation, where I might simultaneously serve the community, Your Kingdom, and my family.” God has indeed been mindful of me.

P~ Father, Thank You for Your mindfulness of me. And when I begin to “sweat the small stuff” help me remember these huge gifts given to me from Your hand.

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