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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Don’t Be A Jerk | Luisa Penaherrera
S~ Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. Matthew 1:19 (NLT)
O~ Joseph was planning to break the engagement with Mary when he learned she was pregnant. Not knowing she was carrying a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit, but just that she was pregnant and instead of humiliating her, he was planning to “break up” quietly to not bring her disgrace.
A~ I can treat others respectfully when they hurt me. I don’t have to be a jerk!
P~ Heavenly Father, I struggle with this. A LOT. It seems there isn’t much time from when I feel hurt to when the words fly out. Especially during that time of the month! Please help me to treat others respectfully when they say or do things that hurt me. This is how I would like to be treated.
God Knows | Kelley Deases
S~ Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her [Mary] to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. Matthew 1:19-20a (NIV)
O~ What I glean from this description of Joseph’s thought process here is that he carefully reasoned out a rational solution to this most complex and disgraceful scenario, taking into account morality and societal norms and respecting his own and Mary’s feelings in the midst of it. But when God inserts Himself into that decision-making process, Joseph was receptive, changed his position entirely, and thus came to play an active role in the greatest story ever told.
A~ So for me to follow Joseph’s example does not require me to abandon all rational thought and moral code, but to be open to God’s leading in the face of careful consideration. I need to trust that if He is calling me to do something, or to refrain from doing something, He has a good reason, whether I can see it or not. He knows the big picture, the long-term outlook, and the inner workings of all the moving parts. Sometimes I just need to be obedient, even when my own capacity for reasoning, code of morality, or personal feelings would dictate otherwise.
P~ Father, I wonder if this word You have given me today is not only for me, but perhaps for a friend who asked me to pray with her for guidance. Thank You for blessing this time I spent with You this morning. Please continue to direct her steps and mine in the way You would have us go.
Follow the Lighted Path! | Joni Tyner
S~ After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. Matthew 2:9,10 (NLT)
O~ The wise men had begun following the star from their homeland in the East. They stopped in Jerusalem and asked Herod about the newborn king. In verse 9 we see they again follow the star to guide them. They don’t know the exact details of the journey, they simply follow the path God has set before them.
A~ Over the past year or so, I’ve done some reading and research trying to understand how to know God’s will. Do we do this? Or buy that? Live here? Work there? What is God’s will?? What I’ve come to understand and realize is that we ARE in God’s will when we are in His Word. (Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.—Psalm 119:105)
As we seek to understand Him, the beginning of our path becomes clear. It probably won’t be a long distance view, but enough to take a few steps and then wait for guidance for the next few steps. This is how our faith in Him is built. We simply trust.
Our daughter recently moved to Colorado. She had graduated from college with a PTA degree but was unable to find a suitable job in Omaha. One day a job opening plopped in her inbox about an opportunity in Aurora, Colorado. (her clinical instructor was friends with the manager of the clinic). She responded and that same day they asked her to come interview. 48 hours later we drove out for the interview and they offered her the job. The job is about 30 minutes from her aunt and uncle’s house and they graciously offered to let her stay there. She doesn’t know all the details of what’s next in terms of long term living arrangements, marriage, ect, but I have encouraged her to keep in prayer and wait on God’s timing. I believe the next “life step” will eventually become clear.
P~ Dear Lord, I pray for my daughter this evening. We miss her!! We know that this a good thing for her to become independent and grow in her faith walk, still…comfort my mama’s heart and protect her. Light her path, give her wisdom for what to say yes to and what to avoid. Thank you for family and the solid support she has. We trust You.
Talk about it at home! | Nikki Metzger
S~ But John tried to talk Him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by You,” he said, “So why are You coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize Him. ~ Matthew 3:14,15 (NLT)
O~ John the Baptist and Jesus are talking about John baptizing Jesus. John recognizes that he isn’t worthy to baptize Jesus, but why? John 1:30-34 states that John didn’t know that Jesus was the Messiah ’till after he baptized Him and saw the Holy Spirit descend on Him. So why would John hesitate before baptizing Jesus? He had been baptizing people left and right.
A~ I have no idea if this true or not…….but a possible answer to this question could go back some 30 years before.
Jesus’ mom, Mary and John’s mom, Elizabeth were cousins. Mary and Elizabeth spent three months together, doing life. Mary and Elizabeth were both pregnant at that time; Mary with Jesus, Elizabeth with John.
Elizabeth recognized Mary’s baby as being Lord by the way her baby moved in her. How exciting!
So growing up, Elizabeth and her husband probably talked about Mary’s son, Jesus with a very high regard. John probably always heard how Jesus was going to do great things for God and when Jesus showed up to get baptized, John questioned it because of what he learned at home.
Did you heart that? John learned about Jesus as home!!
Even if you are the only one talking about Jesus at home, it matters! Keep it up! Allow Christ’s love to shine through you and on to your family. Look at this example, John’s mom talked about Jesus, and then one day (30 years later!), John got it! Like really got it! He saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus! Wow!
P~ Thank You Lord! Home matters! Renew in me a clean heart for my home! Let this be a place where Christ is proclaimed! Let everyone who enter feel Your holy presence! Thank You! In Your Name, I pray!