December 24 John 19,20,21

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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Peace is the key | Trisha Baker

S~ Again Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” John 20:21 (NIV)

O~ Jesus came to His disciples after His crucifixion, and they were very upset because they were lost without their leader. He was their purpose. When he came to them, He gave them purpose. But even greater than that, He gave them secret to life, which is peace; and their purpose was to go into all the world and to preach the gospel. Before He told them He was sending them, He gave them peace, and this is the key. People in the world, especially this time of the year, are filled with unrest but He has sent us out to show them the peace that only He can give. Without this peace, we cannot be the light He sent us out into the world to be.

A~ As I go throughout my day, it is so easy to get caught up in the hype of season and get very agitated because everyone is in a hurry and people just don’t move fast enough. But I have to remember that He has sent me to be a light in the world, and one of the greatest ways I can be that light is show the peace, that only He can give, to others. Unfortunately, it is not always normal for people to be gracious to each other and peaceful with each other, meaning to not be in a hurry and be agitated with each other, so when someone is, it can really stand out. This is what He has sent us out into the world to show, His peace to others. This is the peace we can show when we are stuck in traffic or stuck in the line at Wal-Mart in the midst of everyone that is grumbling and complaining about not enough checkout lanes being open.  His peace will exude from us, and others will want to know how we can be so happy in such a frustrating time, and this is our chance to share with them that it is only because of our wonderful Jesus, who is the true REASON FOR THE SEASON!

P~ Father God, thank you so much for sending your Son down to this earth, to show us how You want us to live. You have shown us through Him the way to a truly peaceful life. Please help us to remember the peace you have given us when the craziness of life seems to take over. Help us to be an example to others of the way you wish us all to live. Thank you for Your peace and grace that you give to us every single day. In Your precious name, Amen.

Consider the Source | Michelle Myers

S~ Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.  (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, ‘Lord, who is going to betray you?’)  John 21:20 (NIV)

O~ A few years ago it was brought to my attention by a TV preacher that “the disciple whom Jesus loved” was John.  John also was the one writing the book, in which he referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”.  He refers to everyone else by name, but he repeatedly throughout John, refers to himself as the, “disciple whom Jesus loved”.

A~ Prior to understanding who wrote this book and who was referring to himself that way, I thought maybe Jesus showed this disciple some extra special love.  Why else would he be referred to, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”?  Yet, once all the pieces were put together, I realized that this honestly had nothing to do with the way Jesus did or did not treat people differently.  This had to do John’s ego.  Jesus loved all the disciples.  Considering the source of the information is so very important, before I listen to, put stock in, or even respond to someone’s dialogue or theology about You.

I used to dread Christmas.  It was a crazy time of trying to get a lot done, meet everyone’s expectations, and not go broke doing it. By the time it came around, I was exhausted and really didn’t want to be around anyone.  It took me awhile to understand that a good portion of my extended family felt the same way.  They dealt with it by drinking too much, so they could stand to be around one another and have the “feeling” of having a good time.  I was also told by two close relatives, one of them who attends church regularly, that Christmas was for the kids.

Once I considered the source of this, I was able to stand in the truth of it.  Jesus came for everyone.  Christmas is about Jesus.

This year I am looking forward to celebrating.  We gave more to others, that we didn’t even know, than to ourselves.  We have drawn names, and besides the girls’ stockings, we have limited it to one $10 gift.  There has been more thought and time going into that one gift.  Christmas Eve, after church, we are having close friends over for a meal and some games.  Christmas Day, we are enjoying a good meal as a family, but it won’t be the prime rib that I had been expected to provide and pay for, by extended family members for years.  My girls are helping with the preparations.  I am actually looking forward to this Christmas, and actually celebrating the birth of You.  I am so over the worldly expectations, commercialization, and stress.

P~ Thank you God for helping me see and understand the truth.  Thank you for helping me break free, from the expectations of others. Thank you for providing us with wonderful friends to spend time with this year, and celebrate You.  Please just continue to help me recognize the source and stay focused on You and Your truths.

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