November 25, 2017 Daniel 1,2; Mark 13:32-14:11

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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RESOLVE | Kim Chipman

S~ But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8 (NIV)

O~ Daniel was chosen to serve the king. Some thoughts from my study Bible: ” Daniel resolved not to eat this food, either because the meat was some food forbidden by Jewish law, like pork (see Lev 11), or because accepting the king’s food and drink was the first step toward depending on his gifts and favors. Although Daniel was in a culture that did not honor God, he still obeyed God’s laws…Resolve is a strong word that means to be devoted to principle and be committed to a course of action. When Daniel resolved not to defile himself, he was being true to a lifelong determination to do what was right and not to give in to the pressures around him…It is easier to resist temptation if you have thought through your convictions well before the temptation arrives.”

A~ I needed to hear all of this today. Truth is I’ve really been struggling – with food and drink specifically. I’m consuming crap and it makes me feel like crap – body and heart. I feel bad about myself. I’ve been exercising consistently, but still gaining weight. I’m tired and sluggish. And I’m mad at myself because it is my own doing. Then when I’m mad at myself I eat and drink some more. What a vicious, ridiculous cycle.

I need to channel my inner Daniel. I need resolve: devoted to principle and committed to a course of action. I need to think through my convictions before the temptations arise. Right now, sitting with You Jesus and my coffee in my dark quiet house, is a good time. Probably not at a holiday party – of which there will be plenty.

I need to stop this cycle TODAY. I want to. Not after the holidays, or on Monday, or after that girls’ night out. I need to stop procrastinating and justifying. I need RESOLVE.

P~ Thank You for Daniel today. Boy, did I need his example and his story. Help me right now, in the dark quietness, to nail down my specific plan. My heart needs this. I love You!

Be Intentional | Tara Wiley

S~ Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon… Daniel 2:14 (NASB)

O~ Daniel and his friends were being held captive in Babylon. While there, they were singled out as being intelligent and wise and were placed in training with the Babylonian wise men. Daniel refused to be treated like the others. He took a stand for God.

Now he had another opportunity to stand for God – and in doing so, to save his own life and the lives of many others. More than ever, he needed discretion and discernment. And God provided.

A~ One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Daniel 2:22: It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.

I ask for discretion and discernment every day in the business of being a wife to my husband and a mother and teacher to my children. I need wisdom in daily choices with my time and resources. Too often I leave that prayer to go along with the flow, just letting my emotions and the clamoring voices of the culture (and, yes, Facebook) direct me.

I need to be intentional, as Daniel was, to still myself and set myself apart for God, so I can hear and see His revelation of profound and hidden things. This is more than a brief, flippant morning prayer. This requires time.

P~ Lord, thank You for Your grace when I yield to the clamor of other voices before yielding to You. You have been prompting me to fast for the persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria, and I have pushed You aside. No more. I will stand like Mordecai. I will stand like Daniel. I will seek Your face and Your will, even if I look crazy to the people around me. Your approval is what matters most to me.

Tiptoeing  | Carrie Newell 

S~ “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.  Only the Father knows.” Mark 13:32 (NLT)

O~ Jesus is talking about the end times, when He will return again.  He is warning us to be ready for his arrival, since we don’t know when it will be.  In fact, what popped out to me is that even the Son doesn’t know when it will be.  Only the Father knows.  The rest of us just need to be ready and blindly TRUST.

A~  Right now, my life is turned upside down by my health struggles, and I have no idea how I’ll feel tomorrow, let alone a few years from now.  But, I have one of those personalities who likes to make a list and check things off as I go, until I reach my goal.  Truth is, I just really want to know how things will turn out in the end.  I want that control.   It has been made painfully clear that God doesn’t want to leave me that way.  Through my illness, God is teaching me to trust Him, and I am reminded daily, that I don’t get to know where I’m going or how things will turn out.  I just have to trust that HE does and blindly follow Him.  And that is about the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do.  But I have to believe that on the other side of all of this is something truly Glorifying to God, something only He knows.  So I will move forward, even if I’m tiptoeing 😉

P~ Father, I need you!  Every hour I need you.  Be near to me, and help me feel your presence.  Be my strength.  Help me to trust you when my fear and doubt overcome me, and help me to keep taking those baby steps forward, even when I cannot see where my foot will land.  Amen.

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