March 11, 2017 Numbers 8,9; Acts 9:19b-43

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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.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? | Kelley Deases

S~ Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.  Numbers 9:22 (NIV)

O~ When I was reading the familiar account of God’s visible Presence among His people, telling them when to stay and when to go, I thought, “While it would be great to have such clarity in knowing God’s will, it seems awfully unsettling to live this way.  Every morning, they have to check God’s placement of the cloud to determine their plans for the day.”  But, really, that should be the model for any believer; to wake up and ask God: “Where are You leading me today?”

A~ As an early twenty-something, I had it all planned out.  And those plans were working for a time.  Big white wedding to a handsome, upwardly-mobile lawyer, four-bedroom house in the suburbs, healthy baby boy came along a couple years later, and then … those plans for “happily ever after” came screeching to a halt when my prince left our little castle.  From that time on, I have tried to live each day, each month, each year, as God directs and not get caught up trying to figure out the way distant future.  God knows what’s in store for me.  That is enough.

P~ Father, At times I might find this life unsettling, to say the least.  But I will keep watch for that cloud and go when You want me to go and stay when You want me to stay.  Because I have come to trust You with my future.

Change Only You Can Do | Michelle Myers

S~ When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. Acts 9:26 (NIV)

O~ I am sure that the disciples were afraid of Saul and skeptical about the changes in him.  He was well known for hunting down and murdering people who followed Jesus.  I too find myself skeptical of people who have previously caused a lot of damage and hurt.  Even Barnabas vouching for him, would not have been enough for me. What I have found, is that You provide me with the guidance, proof, and trust that I need to know if a person has really changed.  Your presence in their life and heart, becomes apparent.

A~ I spoke with my aunt the other day.  My two sets of aunts and their families have both moved back to Nebraska from Arizona.  My uncle, who is in his early 50’s followed one aunt down there, so he could start fresh. Since high school, he has struggled with drugs and alcohol.  He has lost jobs, homes, cars, and been financially ruined repeatedly by his addiction.  My aunt and uncle allowed him to stay with them in Arizona, until he got on his feet.  He did get a good paying job, but unfortunately, he started bringing drugs into their home, and they ended up kicking him out.  Prior to this last conversation I had with her, he had been fired from his job, his car had been repossessed, and he owed both my aunts a substantial amount of money.  In this last conversation, my aunt said that he is still in Arizona.  I have no other family in Arizona.  He is living in a half way house.  I feel like he has burned his last bridge with people.  Yet, I am confident that he has not burned his last bridge with You.

P~ Thank you God for touching my heart and showing me a different way of life.  I pray that You will do the same for my uncle.  He is not a very likable human being.  He has done a lot of bad things and created a lot of chaos.  Yet, I know that he is and has been in a lot of pain for many years.  I know Your power in healing pain and changing people.

Paul’s Encourager-Barnabas | Joni Tyner

S~ But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul (Paul) on his journey has seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.  Acts 9:27  (NLT)

O~ Earlier, at the beginning of chapter 9, we read about Saul traveling to Damascus and he is stopped by a bright flash of light that causes him to fall to the ground.   This light is Jesus and asks him why he has been persecuting him.  Saul finds himself blinded for 3 days until he meets Ananias. Ananias share and prays with Saul and then the Holy Spirit enters him and he is baptized as a new believer in Christ.  Saul spends several days with the disciples, (and I’m guessing Barnabas was one of them) and then begins going out in the public to preach and share the good news.  Most of the people are skeptical of Saul’s motives and Barnabas intervenes and verifies Saul’s story and encourages everyone to get along and work together for the same purpose—teach others about Jesus and His saving grace.

A~ Barnabas was Saul’s (Paul) cheerleader and encourager from the very beginning.  Although Paul wrote the majority of the new testament and is known for his strong faith and spiritual guidance, it started with Barnabas smoothing the way for people to believe his credibility and do damage control after Saul was harsh with people.  I’m assuming that after Saul with filled with the Holy Spirit, he exhibited more fruits of the Spirit, (kindness, gentleness, goodness, joy, patience) but he probably still had a strong personality that perhaps rubbed some people wrong.  Barnabas was there to reinforce what Paul said and then demonstrate what he said through actions.  He was a living example of what Paul preached. 

I’m not especially good at understanding everything in the Bible or memorizing scripture. I tend to get tongue tied when I attempt to share the gospel with others. But, I do love people and I enjoy coming along side believers and cheering them on.  I will occasionally remind a discouraged believer what they are doing well and cheer them on to continue to be strong.  Through the help of the Holy Spirit, I desire to live a life where people see Him through my day to day life, words and actions.

P~ Dear Lord, please keep my eyes and ears open to see believers that need encouragement to keep doing what You have called them to do.  Help me memorize and retain scripture so that I can use Your words to encourage them.  I pray for energy and wise time management to do the assignments You have given me.

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Posted on March 11, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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