September 24 Ezra 1; Psalms 84,85; Luke 7

Check out our reading plans for easy ways to get started! Grab a friend or 2 and dig in!

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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Heart of Compassion | Tara Wiley

S~ “When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:13‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

O~ Luke peels back the curtain to Jesus’ emotions in this moment. We know His actions throughout all of the gospels. Only rarely do we hear specifically his emotions described… and other than his rage at the self righteous, the emotion revealed is almost always tender – compassion, empathy, love.

A~ I am to be like Christ. Even in the hustle and pressure of full time ministry, Jesus responds with tender compassion. ‘Busy’ almost always rids me first of patience – and therefore, of compassion. I must remember to put people first, always, if I am to be like Christ.

P~ Lord, how I love these comforting glimpses into Your compassionate heart. I want to be like You – even when I am tired. Even when I am busy. Sometimes I find serving wearisome. You never did. Help me reflect You better today.

Confess and repent | Nikki Metzger

S~ When they heard this, all the people – even the tax collectors – agreed that God’s way was right, for they had been baptized by John.  But the Pharisees and experts in religious law rejected God’s plan for them, for they had refused John’s baptism.  ~ Luke 7:29, 30 (NLT)

O~ John the baptist prepared the way for Jesus.  John’s baptism was: Repent, turn to God.  And once people confessed their sins, John baptized them.  (Matthew 3:1-12)  Repent, confess, turn to God (where forgiveness and restoration are).

A~ Confession and repentance have been following me around the last couple of days through books and things I’m listening to.  And now in this verse.  The people accepted John’s baptism, but the Pharisees didn’t.

Confession and repentance are not fun topics and really not fun to do!  Admit my pride – that sneaks into every area of my life.  Admit that as a committed follower of Christ, I sin daily.  Admit that basically everything I do starts from a place of selfishness.  Oh yes, let’s please do this!  😉

I understand why the Pharisees rejected John’s baptism – it’s really uncomfortable admitting that I don’t know a lot and I mess up a lot!  Actually, it’s quite humbling to confess all my sins.  And to actually repent of my sins is work!  To repent, it’s a verb, it means there is an action piece in repenting, action on my part!  To move away from the sin.  And if a particular sin is deeply ingrained in me – it’s a lot of effort and work to change!  Thank goodness for Jesus who does most of the hard work, but it starts with confession and repentance on my part.

Confession and repentance lead me to a place with the Lord where He can forgive me (He always does) and to a place where He can start something new in me.  Jesus is such a gentleman, He will never start a new work in me or change me unless I allow Him to do it.  But to let Him in, I think it starts with confession and repentance.

So I’m wondering if my private time of confession and repentance needs to grow a little more mature?  (yes, it does!) This is an area of my life that is very weak, and ruled by my pride.  I just can’t get away from my pride!!

P~ Wow Dad!! A couple of days ago, I asked for more Jesus!  You respond with: confess, repent, rid yourself of pride and that’s  how you get more Jesus.  Ok!  Help me do this because putting Jesus as the King of my heart sounds great, but is impossible left to my own devices.  I love You!

My Sin and Forgiveness | Kim Chipman

S~ Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. Luke 7:47 (NIV)

O~ “A woman who lived a sinful life” came to a home where Jesus was eating. She wept at His feet, washing His feet with her tears, drying them with her hair, and pouring perfume on them. This display of love, Jesus said, was a result of her many sins being forgiven.

A~ This makes me think…aren’t we ALL this woman? Forgiven of many sins? If I humbly remember just who I am and what I’m capable of then I should show great love as well. It seems to me there would have to be a level of denial around my own sin to not live in a place where I know I’ve been forgiven of much. I don’t see “great love” showing through me all the time, though. If the correlation is forgiven much = showing great love then I need to get real. Often I don’t show great love to my family or even to You. My focus gets off. Pride overrides my humility and I forget who I am and who You are and exactly what my sin looks like.

P~ Thank You for this reminder today. When I feel things that are not love welling up help me to remember all I’ve been forgiven. I want to show Your love to those around me. I love You!

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