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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Believe | Deanna George
S~ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
O~ I am created in God’s image!
A~ I need to let that sink in. I am created in God’s image. He made me exactly how he wanted me. I can and do struggle with self-worth. But why? Do I believe that God made me in his image? Do I look to others to validate my worth? Who on this earth is greater than God? No one, so why do I feel I need to receive my worth from man? I know I feel valued and loved when I meet with God with an open and ready heart. I know I feel value when I am obedient to God. I am created in his image, and there is no one I would rather be like. I need to believe: believe that he doesn’t make mistakes, believe that I can have a healthy self image, believe that God’s image can shine forth when I allow him to work in my heart and mind.
P~ Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me, even when I doubt my worthiness to you and those around me. You don’t make mistakes. Thank you for reminding me that you made me in your image.
But the World Didn’t Recognize Him | Kimi Miller
S~ He came into the world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. John 1:10 (NLT)
O~ Jesus came into the world He created; The Messiah, wrapped in the flesh of an infant child. And the world did not recognize Him. In their most recent song, Arrival, Hillsong writes, “Who is God that he would take our frame, the artisan inside the paint. Or breathe the very air his breath sustains; the architect inside the plan. Oh come now hail his arrival. The God of creation. Royalty robed in the flesh he created. Jesus the maker made himself known.”
Yet, the world did not recognize him.
The Jewish people were looking for the Messiah who would bring peace to the world, but the peace God was bringing was not the peace they were expecting.
“I’m leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid,” (John 14:27, the words of Jesus).
The Jews had their own expectations of what peace should look like. Could it be that their own expectations blinded them to the truth? Could it be that their expectations caused them to miss what God had done? Was it their expectations that caused them to miss the peace? God’s peace?
A~ How many times have I missed Your peace because I thought I needed, wanted, or believed for something else? How many times did my expectations overshadow the reality of Your hand already at work?
During this past Christmas season I’ve been thinking a lot about Your arrival – how nothing about it was what Your people expected. In fact, none of it was expected, and yet it was all prophesied. I wonder if they had heard the prophesies so many times that they began picturing it in a way that was relevant to them – a way that met their expectations, but missed the bigger picture You were painting.
I realize that when I set expectations, I’m often setting myself up for distractions and disappointment. I start looking for something “expected” and I miss that which is right in front of me – the thing You want me most to see. Instead, You remind me, “Let your eyes look straight ahead. Fix your gaze directly before you.” I hear You tell me, “Let go of your expectations, Kimberly. Quit trying to figure it all out with pictures in your mind of what you want to see. Instead, trust Me. Know that I have a plan.” And so, my only expectation is that You would grant me eyes to see and ears to hear – that I would not be part of a world that didn’t recognize Him – The Prince of Peace.
P~ Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes and my ears. May my heart be steadfast in its search for You and the peace You bring. Amen.
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