December 25 1 John 1,2,3,4,5

We will begin a new reading plan January 1, 2017! Get the printable: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

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!

Live the Truth | Deanna George

S~ If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 (NIV)

O~ Sin is a part of us – everyone of us! Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

A~ Sometimes I can just get caught up in being “a good person”. I go about my day being nice, helpful, encouraging, controlling my tongue, and respectful, but that doesn’t mean I’m sin free. In my mind, the sins are “small,” like watching a show that I know isn’t appropriate in a God centered life, continue eating when my stomach is yelling that’s full, or spending money that isn’t in our budget because I “deserve it,” but they are sins in my life. Today we celebrate God giving us the best gift ever – the gift of Jesus, the gift of forgiveness, the gift of a father who loves us by encouraging us, disciplining us, supporting us, and teaching us how to live, love, learn, and grow. When I don’t acknowledge my sins, whatever the size I think they are, I am lessening the sacrifice God gave by giving us his son, in human form, and willingly watch his son suffer so that we may be saved. As I celebrate Jesus’ birth, I am reminded that I may need to acknowledge his sacrifice everyday by admitting my sins because they are real, they do matter, and it is my responsibility to claim them and repent. It is the truth!

P~ Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for skimming over my sins. I gave chosen to believe it’s no big deal, but it is important to you. Thank you for sharing Jesus with us. Thank you for enduring the pain of watching your son be bullied, tortured, and killed. I don’t want any of that to be in vain. Please forgive me for not being obedient to you. I usually hear a voice saying, “should I really watch this?” – “doesn’t your stomach hurt?” – “do you really need that?” In the moment where I ignore you, the sin sets in. I’m sorry! Please continue to speak to me so that I may choose the truth and not sin. Thank you for your beautiful son you shared with us. Thank you for loving me.

Thankful For Help | Michelle Myers

S~ If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  1 John 3:17 (NIV)

O/A~ Sunday my husband was getting ready to take our older daughter to a baptism party, for a friend of hers. I was out grocery and Christmas shopping with my younger daughter.  He realized that he left the interior light on in his car the day before, when it wouldn’t start.  Our neighbors tried to jump it, but as soon as they took the jumper cables off, it died.

He needed a new battery, but our account was running pretty low, because of Dr. bills, Dr. bills, and more Dr. bills. Thanks to my husband working for a great bank, we were able to consolidate much of these, so the payments are a lot less each month, and not eating up most of his check.  It is also going to allow us to take care of some other needs we have.  However, the funds wouldn’t be available for a few days to a week.

I had resigned myself to the fact, that I would either be driving him back and forth to work, so I could still do physical therapy, or since we have overdraft protection, we would just pay the fee and get his new battery ASAP.  I didn’t freak out and have thoughts racing through my head that went something like, “Why does this junk keep happening?” or “Why can’t we get a break?”  I didn’t rush home, thinking I had to solve it immediately.  I went on about my business.  When I was in the restroom at Walmart, I prayed to YOU and for YOU to show me what direction we should take in regards to this.

A friend of ours texted me, to ask if my daughter was going to be at a church Christmas party.  In my response, I told him about my husband’s car and how I am out shopping.  He told me to let him know if there is anything he could do.  I texted back, “thanks!” and left it at that.  I was at the end of myself, and knew that if anything was going to happen, it had to come from You.

This friend shows up at our home.  He knows stuff about cars.  My husband knows nothing about cars.  It is after dark, and one of the coldest nights we have had so far.   This friend offers to take my husband to an auto parts store to get the new battery, front him the money, so we don’t have to go negative in our account, and help him install it.  I am so humbled, amazed, and thankful.

P~ Thank you God for Jim and Trisha, and working through them to answer my prayers.  Just please help me stay calm, focused, and connected to You during these trials.  I watch my husband get frustrated, the way that I used to; and I realize that not all of the lessons of these trials are for my benefit.  Yet, when I have faith and watch You work with and through them, I am benefiting.

Perfect Love | Nikki Metzger

S~ There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

O~ This chapter focuses on that God is love.

A~ OK, God is the most perfect love.  He drives out fear.  There is NO fear in love.  If I am fearing something, I have not been made perfect in love.  I’m not trusting the Lord if I fear.  If I’m not trusting the Lord, am I trying to control something that I shouldn’t be?

Some of the things that are side tracking me right now and pulling me into fear: medical bills, my almost teen children’s walk of faith, the health of people I love, our cars working through the winter, the kids growing up to be responsible, kind adults who don’t live in my basement.  These fears plus 1,000 more run through my head, blocking me from being made perfect in my Father’s love!

P~ Father, Your love casts out fear!  Thank You for that promise!  You are mighty and strong and perfect love!  Help me to rest in that and my fears have no power over me.  I want my driving force in life to be Your love, not my fears!  Thank You for Your Son and today!  I love You!

The Best Christmas Gift | Tara Wiley

S~ There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love. I John 4:18 MSG

O~ The previous verses speak of judgment, and how we can be free of worry in the day of judgment because we are covered by God’s love and saved through Christ. So we don’t have to approach God out of fear, with a need to continually prove ourselves in order to protect ourselves from judgment. Instead, we can rest in HIS perfect love, asking Him to fully form that love in our hearts so we can banish fear when we approach Him.

A~ My brother Brian always made Christmas gift-opening a spectacle. He would wring his hands and tug at his hair while you unwrapped his gift, all while moaning, “Oh, I hope you like it! I hope you like it! What if you don’t like it? What if I got the wrong thing? What if I LEFT THE PRICE TAG ON? Oh no! Don’t open it!” We would all dissolve in laughter, appreciating the gift before we ever saw what it was, because he had already brought us joy.

How often do we approach God with the anxiety my brother mocked? What if I haven’t done enough? What if I’m not good enough? What if I’m just fooling myself into believing I’m saved? I’ve had those thoughts numerous times. Verses like these remind me that those thoughts come from the pit of hell. God invites me into His perfect love, where fear of judgment is cast out. He is perfecting His love in me every time I say no to that fear of failure and rejection.

P~ Lord, thank You for leading me into greater victory in this area. I confess that I still struggle at times – am I doing enough? Do I really love You with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and do I love my neighbor as myself? And will You love me if I fail miserably? Will I still be Yours? Thank You for passages like this that remind me that I am a work in progress, that You love me perfectly, and that as You reveal more of Yourself in and through me, I can carry on confident in Your love. Help me relax and just enjoy offering You the gift of my life, with no fear, knowing You already delight in receiving me, filled with YOUR grace. What a perfect Christmas gift: Your perfect, fear-ending Love. Thank You, Jesus!

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Posted on December 25, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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