November 4, 2017 Jeremiah 50,51; Mark 2:23-3:12

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.

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Let the Rain Remind me of Who Truly Reigns! | Kimi Miller

S~ When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens are filled with water.  He causes the clouds to rise over the earth.  He sends lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.  Jeremiah 51:16 (NLT)

O~ When I am able to stay home (and stay dry), I LOVE the rain.  I love the smell of rain as it approaches from a distance.  I love to see the dark grey clouds rolling in. And I love the sound of thunder.

But if I have to go out into the rain, I am quickly annoyed by it.  Suddenly it goes from something beautiful and relaxing and easy to something cold, wet, and frustrating.

I wonder sometimes if I look at God’s Kingdom that way. From the comfort of my seat in church it’s easy and comforting to pray for others – others who are leaving for a missionary trip, or others who need prayer for the brokenness in their lives.  But when it’s my turn to “move” for His Kingdom – to be the one to actually go forth with His message, or the one to help someone in need – suddenly I’m no longer encouraged; instead, I am somewhat annoyed – inconvenienced.  Just like going out into the rain.

How can that be?  How can I be so fickle?  How can I say that I love something from a distance – and even find joy in it – but when it comes too close, when it touches me, I hate it?

A~ The Lord brings forth the rain – and through it, life is given – the earth is refreshed.  It is God’s power that is seen in the rain.  Perhaps, instead of avoiding the rain (and instead of calling in sick to work to avoid it – yes, I have done that – certainly not my proudest moment, but I’m trying to be real here, right?), I need to change my perspective about the rain.

All of those things I love about the rain – the smell, the sight, the sound – God is giving me a chance to touch it – to do more than simply observe it.  He is giving me a chance to be part of it.  I think this is what doing His will is like, too.

Sometimes – most times – opportunities to serve are not always convenient, and most are going to require effort on our end.  But when we step out and serve in obedience as He is calling us to do – we get to be part of His life giving power.  We get to refresh the earth through the love He has given us.  More than simply hearing about it through others and finding comfort and warmth in that – we can be part of it and feel firsthand what it is like to “dance” under the rain – His Reign!

P~ I guess it’s time for me to gear up.  Just like putting on a rain coat, hat, galoshes, and an umbrella to go forth in the rain, I need to dress for servant hood to go forth for You!  Please clothe me in love, humility, compassion, faith and truth so that I might be willing to encounter all the experiences You have planned for me.  Help me to be courageous with a new found perspective, so that I might not miss any opportunity to serve You in a new and exciting way.  Amen.

My heart | guest post

S~ He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Mark 3:15 (NIV)

O~ Jesus was angry and deeply distressed about the Pharisee’s stubborn hearts.

A~ The Pharisees were watching Jesus closely – just waiting to accuse Him.  Jesus knew this, yet His love for this man compelled Him to heal his hand.  Jesus wasn’t upset ’till the Pharisees refused to show compassion over the man with hand.  Jesus cares about our hearts and He cares about the hurting.

I’m finding my thoughts and actions in a similar situation, and if I’m honest, I look more like the Pharisees’ than the Healer.  I’m watching my friend who loves the Lord to start trusting Him in her situation.  She isn’t trusting Him, she is starting to complain and her heart is growing in bitterness. Instead of having compassion towards her, I’m just waiting and watching, like the Pharisee’s did that day the man with the deformed hand was healed.

P~ Father, thank You for revealing the sin in me!  I repent of my pride, my arrogance of thinking I know what’s best for someone, and my stubborn heart!  Please forgive me!  Take the stubborn, hard places in my heart and soften them.  I love You!

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