September 26 Ezra 4; Psalms 113; Psalms 127; Luke 9

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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.

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Sabotaging Plans | Michelle Myers

S~ They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:5 (NIV)

O~ The exiles started to do some rebuilding.  Their enemies did not like it, so they tried many different tactics to sabotage the process.

A~ I can’t believe how much this just aligns with my life right now, and the rebuilding of my health, our marriage, family, and finances.  I mean, it is constant and the craziest stuff, that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever is happening, and as You already know, I am getting worn down.  As I am getting word down, my responses and reactions aren’t the most Godly.  I need Your help.  I need Your guidance.  I need You!

P~ Thank you God for dropping a substitute in my lap for me, so I could “get out of” another obligation I had made over a month ago.  This allowed me to spend some time with You.  This allowed me to focus on You and the work You have given me to do.  This is what the people in the Bible did as they were rebuilding. They stayed focused on You.  They continued on, in spite of the sabotaging behavior from others.  Please help me do this.  Please help me remember the truth of who is behind this and whose I am.  Please help me remember this, before my mind becomes a hot mess and I wasted minutes, hours, a few days, etc. either in a pity party or trying to figure out people, circumstances, and the crazy things of this life.

Not Enough Nachos | Robin Laney

S~ But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” Luke 9:13 (ESV)

O~ Jesus and his followers find themselves, at dinnertime, surrounded by 5,000 or more people. The disciples ask Jesus to send the people on their way to find food and lodging. Jesus answers by telling the disciples to feed the people. They respond to him through the lens of their reality which shows that they have very little food in hand. Jesus then takes what they offer up and multiplies it to feed everyone in the crowd and they find leftovers when all is said and done.

A~ Our Reality + Our Willingness + God’s Power = Perfect Provision. I have a story to share.

Years ago, we served lunch on a corner in downtown Omaha. We started on a chilly day in November with a desire to feed hungry people, a big pot of soup for 25, some apples, some day old pastries from Panera, and about 15 guys Dave rounded up from around the park.

Fast forward about three years. We are now on the corner serving 200+ people lunch every week. One particular Sunday, we were serving Nachos. We had prepared the best we could using the previous week’s numbers and adding a bit for any unexpected guests. We had never run out of food and usually had enough for seconds and take-home plates. As the last 75 people approached the tables, I received word that we were running out of chips and other items. My faith stood strong, at first, because my experience over the years had always been the miracle of the loaves and fishes. God had always provided exactly what we needed. As they opened the last box of chips and I saw the length of the line (about 50 people long) I began to fret. The reality I saw was that some were not going to get fed. I was expressing my concern to a good and Godly friend and he was blown away by my worry. He said, incredulously, “Where is your faith?”

I said to him, “Look! There isn’t enough!”

At that moment a man walked up to me and asked if I was in charge. I shook his hand and asked what I could do for him. He said, “Well, every Sunday I buy about 50 burgers and fries and hand them out to people I see on the streets. I see that everyone has gathered here and I wonder if you might be able to use them.” I almost dropped to my knees!

My friend just smiled and said, “See….”

God had added His power to our willingness to go and our resources. It all added up to His perfect provision. He asks us to share what we have with those who lack but He never expects us to do it all alone. He asks us to go but never without His equipping and power and provision. He doesn’t expect us to fix all of the wrong in the world, single-handedly, but just to do what we can with what we have and trust Him to fill in the blanks. We + Him = Plan A. There is no Plan B. Share what you have today and see what He does to multiply it.

P~ Lord, thank you for this moment in my life. I don’t always remember it right away and begin to fret but You always bring it back into my mind at just the right moments to get my heart set straight. Thank You for allowing us to witness Your perfect love and care.

Jesus | Joni Tyner

S~ After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.  And they were shout with a great roar, ‘ Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb.’  Revelation 7:9-11 (NLT)

O~ Heaven is not a destination for a specific people (denomination)—it is for ALL people who call upon the name of Jesus as the Lord and Savior for salvation.

A~ I recently went and saw the movie, “Hillsong-Let Hope Rise” with my daughter.  There was a part in the movie where they showed clips of people singing, “ Mighty to Save” from all over the world.  There were children from Africa singing, a lady washing clothes in a slum, tough guys on a road trip, a toddler in her car seat.  The common thread–

Everyone was calling on the name of Jesus to save.

I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I think about God’s  beautiful Church.  I found the clip from the movie and I would love for you to take the 3 minutes to watch it.  I believe this is the way we find reconciliation in our country. We embrace what we have in common, not how we are different.  Jesus wants us as we are, –just come to Him.

P~ Dear Jesus, thank you for this reminder, it’s not about “us” and “them”.  We are all Your children.

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