December 17, 2017 Zephaniah 1-3; Luke 12:22-59

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.

Printable reading plan: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

Want to walk through the Bible one book at a time? Head over to Discover One Thing Online Study!

Take Great Delight | Kelley Deases

S~ The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

O~ I love these words! I am fairly certain my eyes and heart have gravitated to this particular verse year after year when we reach this spot in the reading plan. Comfort and joy and love and grace just ooze from this text, reflecting how God truly sees His children.

A~ This year I have seen this verse pop up every week in my youngest son’s class newsletter from Cornerstone Christian School. That’s because it is a favorite of one of the fourth grade teacher who compiles the newsletter. This, in and of itself, is a great joy — knowing my child has such “a cloud of witnesses” in his teachers, school staff, Sunday school helpers, neighbors, family and friends who are pouring their faith into him in various ways.

P~ Father, I am truly humbled when I think of the Christian community You have blessed us with — from the faith-based nonprofit where I work, to the Christian schools my boys have attended over the years, to our home church, to our various Bible studies and small groups of which we have been a part. The support, encouragement and prayer covering have been vital to my walk as a mom, a wife and a seeker of God.

I Can’t; He Can | Tara Wiley

S~ Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is Your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 (Amp)

O~ This tender encouragement comes right in the middle of some painful instructions – a call to unwrap, to let go of too-comfortable religion; to give up worldly goals; to be freed from the worries of this life. Impossible instructions. Words that make me squirm.

When I was a little girl, I went through a season of “I can’t.” Apparently the frequency of my use of this phrase caused not a little grief for my mom. She actually disciplined me for saying the words for a time. The lesson stuck with me. A few years later, I memorized “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) and pounded the promise into my mind during long runs at track practice. I carried those words around that 1/4 mile loop, over and again. The real life challenge is taking the words beyond the spiritual practice track, right into the walking out of everyday living where I might face some hurdles too high for me to conquer on my own.

Jesus knew it would be hard to follow His lead, venturing away from comfortable religion or cultural pressures to focus on stuff. He knew I would read His words here in Luke 12 and immediately balk, “I can’t!” He speaks to my fears with such love and compassion. He reminds me I am not alone in this. In fact, it brings God pleasure to work out His purposes in and through me.

A~ When I read hard commands and struggle with how to live it out, I can hand over my fear and remember it’s not on me to make my life have kingdom impact. Today, when I struggle with the living out of this God-directed life, I will pause and remember: not only can I do all things through Christ; it brings God pleasure to give me what I need.

P~ O Lord, I am seized with alarm – I can’t do this! – and I do struggle with fear – I might fail, over and over again! You knew I’d feel that way, so You spoke gently and tenderly to me through Luke 12:32. You reminded me You are not standing by, waiting to mock and condemn me in my failure. You are running with me, water bottle and energy chews in hand, giving me what I need. I will choose today to refuse fear and instead accept Your help as a gift You offer not out of pity but with pleasure.

The Responsibility God gives us | guest post

S~ And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the Master can give the responsibility of managing His other household servants and feeding them.  Luke 12:42 (NLT)

O~ Jesus is teaching about being ready for when He comes back.  To not just do your own thing, but be doing the things of the Lord.

A~ At first glance, I thought this verse was for the dear DOT (Discover One Thing) team.  The message to them about teaching others to feed themselves on the Word of God!

But I think God had it for me today.  Every so often, my heart goes up and down, and I become overburdened with the responsibilities the Lord has given me.  God hasn’t given too much, it’s my mind that makes it too much.

God has charged me with maintaining the tone of our home.  For example, if someone is negative or fighting, or feeling down at home, He wants me to set my heart on things above and help that person work out those feelings.

God also is asking me to really invest in my marriage, that my words are kind and uplifting.  That my actions reflect placing Chad above myself.  He has also given me 26 young women to just love like He loved me.  (And God lets me get paid for this one, yippy :):)

While these things aren’t difficult, they can be emotionally draining, ESPECIALLY, when my heart doesn’t match up with the Lord’s (otherwise known as putting myself before Him and my people.)

P~ Lord, I LOVE my people that You have put in my life!  What does a faithful, sensible servant, one who You can give responsibility to look like in my life?  God, I want to do this life in a way that glories You, but Help!  In Jesus’ Name!!

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