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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.
God Provides | Luisa Penaherrera
S~ Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children! Matthew 14:19-21 (NLT)
O~ These verses bring me back to who’s in control and where my eyes need to be.
A~ What I see with my physical eyes do not determine what can result from my circumstances. God is my God and I need to trust and rest in him and ask him to provide.
P~ Father, I love you.
Starting to sink | Kelley Deases
S~ But when he [Peter] saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Matthew 14:30 (NIV)
O~ I always thought Peter got a bad rap for getting scared, having doubt, and starting to sink. But, think of it…..before he could sink, he first had to walk on water! None of us can make such a claim. That’s huge! What I love about this scene is Peter’s faith to even get out of the boat and take a step out on the waves toward his master. But then, when he begins to flail, he is saved. Not by his own efforts, but by Jesus’ hand reaching out and picking him up.
A~ So sometimes I will realize success in my life through the talents and abilities God has given me. For He gives me my very life and each breath I breathe. But other times, I fall flat on my face, don’t have what it takes, stray off course, or just royally blow it. But He still has me in His hands. Through my weakness He is proven strong. And this is where His glory can shine. When I appear to have it all together, those around might look at me; when I slip below the waves and He saves me, they can see Him at work!
P~ Jesus, Thank You for the mystery of how You use brokenness and weakness to show Yourself holy and mighty. And that You would use me at all.
I Doubt Like Peter | Joni Tyner
S~ So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink, “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Matthew 14: 29-31 (NLT)
O~ This is the backdrop to this interaction between Jesus and Peter. Much earlier in the day, the disciples had gotten word that John the Baptist was beheaded and they went and claimed his body and buried it. They then told Jesus and he attempted to go off to grieve but was surrounded by an extremely large group of people. (+ 5000) Jesus has compassion on these people and encourages them and heals their sick. He then does a jaw dropping miracle and feeds the mob with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish—(and still has leftovers in 12 baskets!!)
Jesus again attempts to be alone and sends the disciples out in the boat so he can go off and pray. At about 3 o’clock in the morning, Jesus hears their cries out in the lake and walks on water to reassure the disciples. Peter now sees Jesus out on the water and tries to walk to him but is engulfed by waves as he freaks out by the circumstance of the crazy storm. Jesus grabs him and asks why he doubts.
A~ I’ve heard about Peter sinking in the water many times over the years. I’ve also heard about the part where he takes his eyes off of Jesus and sinks. This morning I saw the part where Jesus addresses Peter’s doubt. I think it stuck out because I started thinking about all Peter and been through with Jesus. Just hours before that, he had seen thousands of people come to Jesus with physical ailments that Jesus had compassion on and healed. He participated in the feeding of the 5000—that had to be awesome!!!! He had sat through countless hours of teaching. He was up close and personal with Jesus and I’m sure encouraged on a daily basis.
Yet he doubted Jesus when life got to be too much.
This last week in church we were having some powerful worship time, it brought me to tears as I sang about Jesus breaking our chains. I lifted my hands as I sang , yet, in the deepest part of me, I felt doubt. I believed that God created the heavens and the earth, I believed in all of Jesus’s miracles on the Bible, and I believed for other people that He could break their chains—I just didn’t think it was true for me. I just didn’t think that God hearing, or more accurately, choosing to answer my prayers. I doubted.
I feel so much like Peter. I’ve been following Jesus for a pretty long time, I’ve seen so many miracles, I’ve seen changed lives. I love him. Yet…I still struggle with doubt—doubt that certain circumstances in my life will ever change. I keep trying to keep my eyes on Him, but I get sucked into the waves around me and—as much as I know Him, I still get fearful.
P~ Dear Lord, please forgive me for doubting Your power. I want to be a believer that is strong for You and confident that You will do what You say You will do. I ask that Your Holy Spirit infuses fresh confidence in me and believe Your truths for my life.
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