January 18, 2017 Genesis 32,33; John 10:22-11:16

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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.

Pray | Kim Chipman

S~ Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’” Genesis 32:11-12 (NIV)

O~ Jacob is praying. He had cheated Esau out of his birthright. The last time he saw him Esau wanted to kill him, and Esau was on his way so Jacob was afraid. So he prayed.

A~ First, I love it that Jacob prayed. As much as I’d like to say that’s the first thing I do when I’m afraid it isn’t. But it should be.

Next, I love how he prays. He acknowledges how awesome You are and what You’ve already done. He also acknowledges his feelings (I’m afraid…) Then, he remembers Your promise to him.

I can pray this way. I often focus mostly on ONE of these things – Your awesomeness, my feelings OR Your promises. Putting them all together seems like a healthy approach to prayer.

P~ Lord, help me to more effectively pray. Help me to be focused and disciplined. Help me to pray FIRST. I love You!

John’s life | Nikki Metzger

S~ …and many people came to Him.  They said, “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this Man was true.”  And in that place many believed in Jesus.  John 10:41, 42 (NIV)

O/A~ John was a prophet who prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry on earth.  At this point in Scripture, I’m not sure if John has been beheaded or not, but I think maybe he has because this verse is written in past tense. I have such tender feelings for John.  His adult life started out as a bang.  A huge, successful ministry. He and his disciples were baptizing so many and John still stayed humble (I must become less, He becomes more.) And then John is thrown into jail.  And in jail, John seems to get confused about God’s plan for his life and he questioned who Jesus really was.  Then he was beheaded.  It seems that John’s life ends up in the dark; quiet and ugly and doubting.

But here in Scripture, John’s ministry is connected back to Jesus and in that place MANY believed in Jesus!  Can you imagine heaven?  How many people accepted Jesus as Lord because of John?  That’s a great life right there!

So on paper, John’s life starts great, but ends pretty poorly.  But the Word tells us that many believed in Jesus as a result of John.  What if that is my story?  What if my life ends up like John’s?  Is my life worth more or less than others believing in the Creator, the King?

P~ Father, You pierce my heart with hard questions!  I want to hold tightly onto my life, but You have asked me to lay it down.  Voluntarily.  For Your Kingdom.  I don’t know God…..I really struggle to give you my kingdom for Yours!  May my heart purely say, Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name be the glory!

Oh, How He Loves Us… | Robin Laney

S~ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. John 11:5-6 (ESV)

O~ Lazarus’ sisters believed Jesus and so when their brother was sick they sent for the one who could heal him. They called on Jesus to save their loved one. The words in these verses caught my attention as I read, “Now Jesus loved them…..SO he stayed where he was.” And Lazarus died. Jesus explained that he waited so that they would believe. He loved them so much that he was more concerned with their eternal spiritual condition than their temporary emotional comfort.

A~ His ways are above ours, His thoughts are above ours, His love knows no bounds. He works all things out for the good of those who love Him. When our faith is tested because things aren’t working out the way we like, when our prayers for healing don’t seem to be heard, when we call for Him and He seems to be running late, we can look back at John’s telling of this story and be reassured that His will is being carried out for the benefit of those He loves, even when we can’t make sense of it. We may not be able to see the good in our circumstance in the present but, in hindsight, on this side of eternity or the other, I have confidence that it will all make perfect sense.

He loves us SO….

P~ Father, the enemy would seek to do evil to us and You turn it around and use it for our good. Give me faith to see You working in every situation, good and bad. Let me have eyes to see Your love even in the hardest times, knowing that sometimes You allow me to go through them so that I might believe You more. I am thankful for the knowledge of Your sovereignty and the recognition that everything that happens passes through Your hands first. Thank You for loving me SO.

God’s Timing | Deanna George

S~ So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, John 11:6 (NIV)

O~ Jesus had been told his friend is sick. Jesus loved this family, but he did not rush to their home to heal Lazarus. He waited for two days. God’s timing ~ God’s plan.

A~ God has his timing. I usually want it to happen quickly. Once again, patience is a running theme that God keeps pointing out to me. Today, I need patience with family members and their circumstances. It can be so hard for me to hand over my kids’ issues, plans, and development to God. Control tries to creep in and take over. This verse reminds me that God has it. TRUST! Why is it so hard sometimes?

P~ Lord Jesus, I do trust you. It can be so hard to shut off my mind and let go. I hate that I allow myself to get into a worry or control fit when I know you can provide me with peace. I trust you with my sons’ future. I trust you with their heart and mind. I trust you to support this mama’s heart. Thank you for having a plan for my life and each of my son’s lives.

Thomas, The Brave | Kelley Deases

S~ Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” John 11:16 (NIV)

O~  I always thought Thomas got a bad rap. Despite being one of the chosen and closest friends and followers during Jesus’ three years of active ministry, we only know him as “Doubting Thomas” because he had a hard time believing Jesus had been raised from the dead. (And who wouldn’t have trouble accepting that the same man who was flogged and beaten beyond recognition, nailed to a Roman cross, laid in a grave where he remained for three days, was walking and talking among them?) We get to read far more about Peter, who was also plagued by doubts and failures at times, but who we also got to see as a bold witness and defender of the faith.

So I was happy to come across this verse today, in which Thomas shows his fearless side — brave and loyal to his master and teacher. After all, who of us would want to be judged for all human history by one small snapshot from one small moment?

A~ In stark contrast to the relationship I have with my oldest son, which is pretty consistently positive and peaceful, the relationship I have with my younger son can be all over the map. One day, he is a kid who wants to practice his multiplication tables, read his library book and be kind and polite in his interactions with us. The next day — or sometimes the next minute — I might find his attitude has soured, his manners have gone out the window, and he is screaming at us over the seemingly smallest of issues. While these crazy dynamics can be exhausting at times, and I prefer the easier flow I get to experience with my firstborn, they are both my sons whom I love without end. It would be wrong to judge my youngest by his worst moment, or by the same token, to judge our relationship by looking at just one day.

P~ Father, You see past the external and straight to the heart. Your love for Thomas (Didymus) was fierce, regardless of whether he was Your courageous ally or Your most well-known skeptic.

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at prayer@DiscoverOneThing.com

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Posted on January 18, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Kim, I usually do my SOAP and then come here to see what God has said to all of you. I am amazed how often we have the same verse or similar thoughts. I was thinking this morning how that is such a confirmation of the truth of His word and that it is living and powerful. I also noticed the model Jacob gave us for how to respond to fear and the way he prayed. God’s word is so awesome. Thank you for starting this wonderful ministry!

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