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
Want to walk through the Bible one book at a time? Head over to Discover One Thing Online Study!
Singling Peter out | Nikki Metzger
S~ Now go and tell His disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there, just as He told you before He died. Mark 16:7 (NLT)
O~ Several women were the first to see the empty grave. An angel met them there and said that Jesus wasn’t there. The angel instructed the women to tell the disciples, but he singled Peter out.
A~ The third time Peter denied Christ, he added a curse on himself (Mark 14:71). Peter denied Christ three times, he didn’t help bury Christ and he wasn’t one of the first ones up to go to Jesus’ grave that Sunday morning. I wonder the despair that Peter was feeling from his third denial of Christ right up to the moment of hearing about the empty tomb. I can imagine that Peter was ashamed, confused, mad at himself, guilty, all the while, he was grieving the death of his Friend.
I think the angel at the gravesite was instructed or knew to single out Peter. Maybe to let Peter know that he was still a part of the disciples, no matter what he had done. That Jesus was going ahead of the disciples to meet them AND Peter was to be a part of that. I wonder the relief and comfort that Peter felt when he heard the women say exactly what the angel had said and called Peter out by name.
I’ve experienced the shame and guilt and despair as Peter has. I’m probably worse than Peter. (But there is no comparing who is the biggest sinner because we ALL fall short). I remember proclaiming Christ as my Savior as a teen, but repeatedly denying Him for years.
The despair that brings me now! It’s like this big black mark on my face that never goes away, no matter how much I study His Word. So I put my head down, hoping no one sees that black mark. Maybe how the angel singled Peter out for restoration, the Lord does that for me too.
P~ Father, I confess that I never understand things the first or second time You teach them to me. This lesson of grace, mercy, restoration, forgiveness, let it go deep in me to those layers of my soul that haven’t been touched by You.
Accompanying Signs | Kelley Deases
S~ Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:20 (NIV)
O~ This last verse in the Book of Mark describes what happened after Jesus rose, appeared to his disciples and was then taken up into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. And the description fits us, as modern-day disciples, just as aptly. The Lord is still with us as we go out and tell others about Him and He still confirms His Word by signs.
A~ In fact, as I reflect back on how the Lord has been with me and confirmed His Word by signs over the course of my life, there are many specific events I could point to. The two biggies are probably how He made His Presence known to me through His sweet servants (ladies at my church) when I was in a pit of despair after my divorce. I also clearly saw Him at work in bringing me to a retreat where I heard a testimony about reading the Bible, was given a free book which inspired me to read the Bible for myself, which birthed a new chapter of my life where I was regularly reading God’s Word to hear Him speak, journaling to clarify and reinforce those lessons, and ultimately forming a group to encourage other women to do the same.
P~ Father, I can feel inadequate as I read of the boldness and great sacrifice of the early disciples, who were chosen to share Jesus’ earthly ministry. Yet I am grateful and humbled You have revealed Yourself to me in the unique ways You have. I am convinced and desire to bring others along to being convinced as well.