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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.
Where’s My Focus? | Michelle Myers
S~ She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘This time I will praise the LORD.’ Genesis 29:35 (NIV)
O~ Jacob was in love with Rachel. He made an agreement with her father, Leban, to work for him for 7 years, and then he could marry her. After 7 years, in a very deceptive way, Leban gave Jacob Leah, his older, unmarried daughter, instead. Jacob worked another 7 years, and then was able to marry Rachel. God saw that Jacob did not love Leah, like he did Rachel. He made Rachel barren. Leah had 4 boys. With the first 3, her focus was on getting Jacob to notice and love her. With the fourth one, her focus shifted from Jacob and his attention toward her, to praising God.
A~ When I do things for people approval, my focus is all wrong. First, what people want me to do, isn’t necessarily what You want me to do. Second, many times, people stink at showing gratitude and approval. If my focus is on that, from them and not You, I can easily become frustrated with doing for them, what YOU have told me to do.
P~ LORD, thank you for helping me get to a place of understanding, when it comes to serving people for people approval versus serving people for You. There is freedom when I do it for You. I am not tied to their reactions and responses. I am also more aware of when I fulfilled my responsibility, and it is time for me to move on, make a change, etc. Please just help me stay connected to You, and my emotions in check, so that I am not responding and reacting to people in a manner that does not represent You well.
My Story | Kim Chipman
S~ He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:25 (NIV)
O~ This man was blind from birth and Jesus healed him. The Pharisees were questioning the man and his parent’s, trying to trap Jesus in something since He healed on the Sabbath. Both the parents and the healed man were just sharing what had happened. They didn’t really make any other claim to who they believed Jesus to be, they just knew that he was miraculously healed.
A~ This is a great reminder of the power of our stories. I’m not some highly educated theologian. I don’t academically argue God well. I know what I believe to be true and how my life has changed because of my relationship with You. THAT I am happy to share! I don’t need to have all the answers to share the amazing, miraculous joy, peace, and hope that I have because of You.
P~ Lord, help me to share unafraid. you have crafted a story through my life so people can see You in it. Help me to boldly share. I love You!
One Thing I Know | Kelley Deases
S~ One thing I do know. I was blind and now I see! John 9:25 (NIV)
O~ Often times we can over-complicate things, even our faith. Simple faith requires we just believe. In this account, the man who had been blind since birth knew Jesus had healed him and rightly believed it was a miracle from God. The Pharisees insisted on interrogating the man, trying to uncover some kind of trick or discredit the method used or day of the week. So ironic to see how they were the truly blind ones in this story.
A~ Over the years, I have often been guilty of having just such a Pharisaical heart. I have sneered with skepticism at those who claimed to have heard from God or had an encounter with Him. In the past, I have even tried to explain away my own experiences of having God’s hand move in a situation. But, in the end, there are some things which cannot be explained apart from the supernatural. I believe God esteems my simple faith — the faith He credited to Abraham as righteousness — far more than my Pharisee-like cynicism. He wants me to not only have the faith of a child but to speak of it; not to join with the scoffers and nay-sayers but point to His handiwork in all things.
P~ Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
Blind Trust | Deanna George
S~ Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact he is the one speaking with you.” John 9:37 (NIV)
O~ Jesus is speaking with the man that he healed, who was blind from birth. The blind man didn’t know who Jesus was when he was healed. Jesus is telling him that he is the Son of Man.
A~ The blind man didn’t know who Jesus was, but he allowed him to put mud on his eyes, and he obeyed him by going to the Pool of Siloam to wash his eyes out. He believed without proof. He accepted God’s healing. He knew God had to be behind it. There are times when I desperately need to see or feel God’s presence to act in faith. I’m not always going to gave that. I just need to trust and act. God will reveal himself in his time. I don’t have to wait for a more definitive sign that it’s what God wants. It just may be a still small voice that says, “go,” “forgive,” or “patience.” When I listen, the peace that comes because I was obedient is all the proof that I need to know I listened. The “blind” trust is vital to my life because I can’t always “see” his plan for me. He wants me to learn trust in each step.
P~ Lord Jesus, my mind likes to know the what, when, where, and how before I act. My heart knows that you don’t always provide that information. I hate to admit that my mind sometimes -ok a lot of time- beats out the heart, and I drag my feet on acting out your will for me. Please help me strengthen my heart so it acts without all the information my mind desires. I want to trust you from the get go when life gets guard. Please point out in such a vivid way that I am not trusting you. I want to freely act when I don’t understand. I need your help with this Lord. Thank you!
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