February 6, 2017 Exodus 15,16; Matthew 6

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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.

The 1st Women’s Ministry | Joni Tyner

S~ Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. And  Miriam sang this song:

“Sing to the LORD,

For he has triumphed gloriously;

He has hurled both horse and rider

Into the sea.”  Exodus  15:20-21  (NLT)

O~ Miriam is Moses and Aaron’s older sister and probably in her mid 90’s when the Israelites passed through the Red Sea.  She valued music and worship  and she led the other women to sing, dance and praise the LORD.

A~ Last spring I went with a couple of friends to the Beth Moore conference here in Omaha. She taught on this verse and it really stuck with me.  I was excited to see it and remember it this evening when I sat down to read the Bible.  Beth taught that Miriam knew her purpose—in her 90’s!!! She knew the Israelite women were going to need encouragement and joy in this long journey so she packed her tambourine to help create the mood of celebration.  Beth reminded us we are never too old to be used by God!!!  God will use us where we are, with what we have—if we have a willing spirit.  I’m not sharing this story with the engaging spirit Beth did, (she had 10,000 women on their feet in excitement) but I am reminded tonight, that I can play my tambourine (use the gifts God has given me) wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity to go and sit under Beth’s teaching.  I was so blessed.  I pray the seeds that she plants  will grow and have a ripple effect for Your kingdom.  I pray that I would have a constant joy that Miriam displayed out in the dessert, gathering others around to sing and dance and praise Your name.

“BUT” | Deanna George

S~ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

O~ Jesus is teaching his disciples about how to live life. Jesus had just finished telling them how yo pray (the Lord’s Prayer) and finished by clarifying his thoughts on forgiveness.

A~ Today one word jumped off the page at me. That word is “But.” Jesus is saying that if we forgive others then God will forgive us. That sounds doable. I like that, but what comes next? A big fat “but.” That means something contradicting is coming. I don’t like that! Jesus says that if I don’t forgive others than God won’t forgive me! There are just some hurts that are so hard to forgive. For me, those usually come from loved ones or from someone who hurts my loved ones. I know I haven’t really forgiven someone when I find myself constantly thinking about the wrong done to me or my family member. I can be so good at “lip service” of saying I have forgiven him/her, but my constant thinking on the situation tells me I haven’t. This scripture just point blank told me that if I don’t, God can’t forgive me of my sins ~ any of them! That puts me through a shock wave of my thinking of where I am with God. God takes forgiveness seriously! Forgiveness can be so hard, BUT I know God will help me if I ask him. Somethings just are not possible without God!

P~ Lord Jesus, I need help with letting go and forgiving others. I need help especially with the little things that keep popping up. I can get so caught up in the issue that it builds into a bigger problem. If I would just learn to hand it over to you, then I could have a more open and healthy heart to deal with the situation. I am choosing to release the strong grip I have on “replaying the comments or actions” in my head. I’m sorry for forgetting the price Jesus paid by not forgiving others. Thank you for pointing this out and helping me to become better at forgiveness.

Sunshine | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Your eye is a lamp for your body.  A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul.  Matthew 6:22 (NLT)

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Matthew 6:22 (KJV)

O~ My eye—what I see and what I do with what I see (what I allow in my heart) determines if I will have light or darkness.

A~ I need to filter my perception through God’s word, his truth.  I need to trust him, not my understanding.

P~  Father, thank you for this truth.  I asked you for sunshine and you show me this! ❤

Adrift | Kelley Deases

S~ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)

O~ Both of these verses are very familiar to me. But I must have forgotten they appear back-to-back in this passage from the Gospel of Matthew. I don’t believe this is accidental. So perhaps pursuing the things of God as our primary aim can help us with the command not to worry.

A~ Just an hour ago, my husband asked me how my day was going and my response was, “Stressed!” He was kind and patient enough not to run out of the room seeking cover and to actually probe into the source of my frustration. I fired out my litany of work deadlines and complex issues on some job assignments, trying to complete and compile a bunch of tax documents to get our returns filed, feeling behind on the housework, busy schedules and sleep deprivation. “And,” I went on, “I haven’t even been able to sit down and read my Bible in days!” As though that were entirely separate matter, or just another item on my list of stressors. But as soon as I’d uttered those words, we both looked at each other and it clicked. I was not stressed out, depleted, overburdened, and, oh by the way, not in the Word. I had not taken the time to still my heart before the Lord and attune my ears to His voice SO things were feeling out of whack. I did not have His peace and perspective on my life and circumstances.

My husband and I then wondered out loud as we concluded our debriefing whether those without Christ in their life feel this adrift all the time. I suspect they do, and this should really compel us as believers to offer grace upon grace and to share the Gospel at every opportunity.

P~ Father, Thank You for calling me back to where I need to be — safe in Your arms.

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