Daily Archives: January 4, 2018
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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The ark, Jesus, and storms | guest post
S~ For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. Genesis 7:17 (NIV)
O~ Eight people were on a REALLY big boat with a lot of animals. And they probably were on the ark for six months or more.
A~ I watched a play about Noah at the Sight and Sound Theater in Branson, Missouri. It gave me a glimpse of what life might have been like on the ark. Living on the ark for all that time wasn’t like being a guest on a cruise ship. It was probably very hard work, smelly, dirty, and very uncomfortable.
Actually, the middle of the life-saving ark, was probably much like the barn or cave where the life-saving Messiah was born. Isn’t it funny how the Old Testament always points to Jesus some way?
I wonder if some Christians believe that if they are saved or believe that Jesus is Lord, that their life would be like stepping onto a cruise ship as Jesus’ guest. Jesus never promises us the fancy life or the easy life or the American dream life, He promises us a full, abundant life in Him. He offers us a place on the ark, it’s not void of the storms of life, but a way through them.
P~ Father, thank You for making a way for us in the middle of storms! I life my family members up who are walking through BIG storms right now. Make room in their heart for Jesus. May no bitter root grow in his heart because of this storm. Thank You! I pray this in Jesus’ Name!
The Sighting of Dry Land | Joni Tyner
S~ Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. Two more months went by, and at last the earth way dry! Genesis 8: 13-14. NLT, (I added the emphasis of showing that God’s timing was slow—at least from a human (my) perspective.)
O~ 1. Noah was an old guy—601 years old. The Bible tells us in Genesis 6:9 that he was righteous in the sight of God.
2. Noah had to live through the storm that was caused by other people’s sin.
3. This storm was LONG!!! They were cooped up in the boat for over a year!!!—Think about that. The same food every day for a year. I wonder if any family members got sea sick? Oh my… I was miserable on a 3 hour boat ride last year, what would an ENTIRE year feel like?
4. The earth had “almost” dried up—he saw the surface of the ground but STILL HAD TO WAIT for 2 more months. Again, think about that. Think about being so ready to get off the ark and then having to wait for 2 more months.
5. The last thought about this passage. So, finally, after a year of probably being sea sick, sick of caring for the animals 7 days a week from morning til night—with no days off, no overtime pay, no promotion, they got off the ark and what did they do??
Noah had to start life “over”.
He had to begin the huge task of finding a place to live, clearing the land, building the house, the farmland, their tools, furniture, everything. This sounds like an incredible amount of work after being on the ark and working nonstop for over a year. Like, there was no sabbatical for Noah.
A~ God’s Word speaks to us if we take time to read it!!!!!! I didn’t expect to see a “Word from God” this morning when I decided to have a quick read before heading to work. I literally got a lump in my throat as I realized, I so needed to understand that-once again, God’s timing is not our timing.
I’ve journaled several times in the past 2 years about our only son and his struggles with addiction and his choosing a different lifestyle from the one he grew up in. It’s been a long, painful, miserable 7 years. We’ve been dealing with all the ups and downs and disappointments almost daily with little hope of ever seeing the “dry ground”.
Finally, we are starting to see dry ground.
God’s timing is not my timing, but as I have been imperfectly faithful with His plan, He is slowly, steadily, showing that our story is not over, that He has our family in His protective hands.
This passage made me realize that even when we “get off the ark” and hit dry land—we won’t walk into a perfect, ready-made life. We will need to continue to do the hard work of abiding in God and rebuilding what was lost in the storm.
P~ Dear Lord, thank you for prompting me to read Your word this morning. I have a busy day ahead of me at work and I was so tempted to just “relax” and do nothing before going to work. Because of reading this passage, I feel like You had coffee with me and said, “keep going girl!!!!!—Keep doing the consistent right things!!!!- You are seeing dry land!!! Keep up your strength for the beautiful, (but hard!!) task of rebuilding. I hear You telling me, “it’s going to be worth it!! My Kingdom is ALWAYS worth the hard work!”. Thanks for the encouragement Jesus!
Saving the World | Kelley Deases
S~ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17 (NIV)
O~ The Church (by which I mean me and every other person who claims the name of Jesus Christ) would do well to remember Jesus’ purpose in leaving heaven, humbling Himself, becoming a man, and coming to earth. It was to save people. To heal people. To teach people. To love people. It was decidedly not to condemn people in their ignorance and sin. So we ought not to take that posture as we “go into all the world” either.
A~ I get so disheartened sometimes as I look around and see so much rampant sin, so much that is broken and ugly and wrong. So much pain in this fallen world. The words of a recent song by Matthew West echo this sentiment. He says, “So, I shook my fist at Heaven and said, ‘God, why don’t You do something?’ But the song goes on to give God’s answer to that question, which is, “I did, I created you.”
P~ Father, Give me eyes and ears that are sensitive to detect ways I can be a helping hand, an agent for change, and an ambassador of Your love in my home, my city, and wherever it is You place me.
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