November 21, 2017 Ezekiel 40,41; Psalm 128; Mark 11:1-26

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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Joyfully Follow | Kim Chipman

S~ How joyful are those who fear the Lordall who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Psalm 128:1-2 (NLT)

O/A~ Thank You for this promise today! There are times – often lately – that I get focused on fruit (or lack of how much fruit I desire/expect). I easily forget that everything has a season. And just because I expect fruit to look a certain way does not mean that is what YOU want it to look like! This isn’t about MY expectations! You have a plan. I can choose joy in following You! You promise that I WILL enjoy the fruit of my labor. I can find JOY in fearing and following You!~

P~ Today I will choose joy in following Your ways and trusting You! I love You!

Hosanna! From Every Position | Tara Wiley

S~ Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Mark 11:9 (NIV)

O~ Christ was in the center of the crowd. Some went ahead to prepare the way. Others ran alongside, close enough to touch the donkey’s coarse hair, the Messiah’s linen cloak. Still others came behind, pursuing Jesus even without seeing Him. Every person worshiped. Every person in place.

A~ I’ve been in each of those positions with Jesus: running ahead, heralding His arrival; running alongside, in His palpable presence; running towards Him, unable to even see Him, just trusting He is there. Each part of the journey is significant. Each place is necessary. Can I continue to trust that I am right where He wants me to be?

P~ Lord, forgive my doubts about the ups and downs that accompany this pursuit of You. You have me in different places in different seasons. No matter where I feel I am standing, help me praise You. Fill me with the joy of that procession today, so I may triumphantly announce, “You are blessed! You who come in the name of the Lord! You, Prince of Peace! Come save us, Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

My Church | Kelley DeAses

S~   And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’ ? But you have made it a ‘den of robbers.’ ”  Mark 11:17 (NIV)

O~  There are only a few incidents recorded in Scripture when Jesus gets angry.  One is when He observes His Father’s house, the temple, looking more like a marketplace than a sacred place for worship, teaching, and prayer.

A~  So, this makes me wonder:  What if Jesus walked into my church this week? Would He be pleased or angered at what He sees?  These days, I am regularly attending two different churches, one on Saturday evenings with my husband and one on Sunday morning with my high-school senior. (My kindergartner gets to join me for both services!) Due to schedules, preferences, and a lot of history, this is the situation that works for us right now.  When I try to assess both churches from Jesus’ eyes the best I can, I do think He would be pleased overall:  His Word is preached, community abounds, songs of praise rise up, and people can find a place to serve and be served as they have gifts and needs.

But what of His other temple? My own heart.  As I even begin to “judge” these places as though their identity is something separate from the people inhabiting them, I come to the place of realizing that my heart is really all I need concern myself with.  On any given Saturday night or Sunday morning, am I prepared to worship, to receive, to learn, to teach, to share, and to love?

P~  Thank You, Lord, for new revelation that the godliness of anyplace I go begins with me, as I carry Your Spirit within me.  I pray for my church(es) and all churches worldwide who profess the Name of Jesus Christ.  May they, collectively, and each believer, individually, be strengthened and heartened as they follow Your leading.

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