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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HOW? | Kim Chipman
S~ Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ Malachi 3:7 (NIV)
O~ Over and over again in the Old Testament the Israelites turn away from God and over and over again He begs them to come back. To return. I don’t think that is any different for us now. I (when) fall away you just want me back.
A~ The sweet promise here is that when I turn back to You then You will also return to me. Unlike human relationships where there is some risk of rejection, You promise that You will return. It doesn’t matter how far I’ve run, or for how long. Here it says they’ve been running away “ever since the time of your ancestors”. That’s a long time!
Like an Israelite, I ask the same HOW question. Just telling me to do something is often not enough. I need the dots to be pretty close together. I need to know HOW.
Please show ME how. I’m looking at a new year. HOW do you want me to pursue You? I feel You leading me to continue daily Bible reading, but add reading more books instead of wasting time on social media. Listen to more podcasts that grow and challenge me. Memorize Your Word. (I’ve tried that before but don’t stick to it well. I want to follow through this year!) What are the other HOW ways You want me to return to You? To keep You in the front and center of my heart and thoughts?
P~ Lord, show me! Thank You for the promise that You will return to me when I pursue You. That brings my heart peace. Continually show me HOW I can return to You. Help my heart to be quiet so I can hear You. I love You!
An Eye Opening Dinner | Joni Tyner
S~ As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Luke 24:30-31 (NLT)
O~ This is what is going on in Luke 24. It is Easter morning and several women go to visit Jesus’s grave and discover he is gone. (Luke 24:3) They scurry off to find the disciples and relay what they have seen. The disciples disregard their story as nonsense. Later that day, Jesus again appears to 2 believers on the road but they don’t recognize him. Jesus hangs out with these guys and discusses the scriptures in the Old Testament foretelling the coming of the Messiah. Unbelievably , these believers still don’t connect the dots and figure out that Jesus really did resurrect—just like he said he would. These 2 guys like Jesus, (who they don’t recognize) and invite him to eat dinner and spend the night. As they sit down to eat, Jesus takes the bread and blesses it and BOOM!!!—their eyes are opened and they recognize him.
A~ This is what stuck out to me in this morning’s reading.
- Jesus was smart and obviously knew every single scripture in the Old Testament.
- He was a likable guy–these guys invited him to stay with them for the night.
- Jesus’s closest friends, the disciples, didn’t “see” Him until they sat down to eat and were “doing life”.
So, I guess my application is to continue to read and learn and know the scripture but realize many people aren’t going to “get” my faith until they see it through daily life. I think there will come a time when their eyes are opened and then I can share scripture that points to Jesus, but, until them, I need to be prepared that relationship building takes time.
S~ Dear Lord, please give me a hunger to read Your word so that I know Truth to back up my faith. I pray You open my eyes to Your appointments in my life and I pause and “hang out” with those people. Thank you for reminding me that I need to continue to prioritize spending time with people and that the end goal of helping them see You.
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