January 15, 2018 Genesis 27; Psalm 4; John 8:48-9:12

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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Taking control, when I need to wait | guest post

S~ His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me.  Just do what I say; go and get them for me.” Genesis 27:13 (NIV)

O~ This is the start of the account of Jacob stealing the birthright from his brother.  The whole plan was initiated by Jacob’s mother, Rebekah.  Rebekah knew that Jacob would rule over his older brother, but she set things in motion by her own deceptive plan.

A~ Rebekah knew the outcome of her children’s future, but it wasn’t happening on her timeline, so she tried controlling the situation.  It reminds me what her mom-in-law, Sarah, did many years before. Sarah knew her husband would be the father of many because God had promised that.  She didn’t wait long enough and ended up giving her maid to her husband to start the family.  Sarah was trying to control the situation.

Sigh.  I see so much of myself in Sarah and Rebekah!  And I believe their hearts were in the right place. They just didn’t have the patience to see God’s plan in action – so they intervened and attempted to control the plan.  Both times, it didn’t go well.

Looking back, the times I tried to get my husband to be the spiritual leader of our home by telling him what to do, forcing him to go to church, or my favorite:  having a bad attitude when he messed up – I was trying to control him by MY intervention, MY timeline.  The hard truth is: everything is on God’s timeline and He will accomplish His plan right on time.

If I could tell Sarah and Rebekah one thing, I’d probably tell them to, ‘Wait, God has this under control. He sees, He knows, He remembers the promises He has made and He is working and aligning all things up.  So please just be patient and trust that He has this.’

If think if Sarah and Rebekah could talk to me, they would say the exact same thing!

P~ Abba, thank You for Your Word!  Thank You that even through Sarah and Rebekah’s and my mistakes, You work everything out!  Will you please help me settle into patience?  Doing and planning are easier.  Praying and trusting is more difficult!  I love You!

Sleep in Peace | Kelley Deases

S~ I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8 (NIV)

O~ Over the course of David’s life, he was many things: a youngest brother, a shepherd, a songwriter, chosen of the Lord, a warrior, a leader, a king, a man after God’s own heart, a lustful man, a murderer, a repentant sinner, a father and a grandfather. But for all his greatness and great failings, he was a man — a man with human needs, such as the need to lie down at night in peace, in spite of all his burdens and responsibilities. David had come to learn the source of his peace and security was trusting in the Lord to keep him.

A~ Certainly my life is much different than David’s in so many ways. But I too have my own burdens, fears, responsibilities, sins to grapple with, and stressors that can weigh heavily. And I too, like David, have come to learn that the Lord will provide this perfect peace, if only I will take my eyes off of my circumstances and fix them firmly on My Maker, My Keeper, and the Lover of My Soul. In Him, I can find my rest.

P~ Father, I love how You speak so clearly and so timely into my life, if only I am faithful to be still and listen for Your voice.

The Great I AM | Joni Tyner

S~ Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM.”  John 8:58 (NLT)

O~ This statement is Jesus declaring his deity, that he is GOD. The statement I AM is God’s holy name for himself. (Exodus 3:14 )  My Bible notes say this was one of the most powerful statements uttered by Jesus, he was declaring he existed before Abraham.  Jesus was present at the beginning of creation as part of the Trinity ( the Light- Genesis 1:3 )

A~ Jesus is given all power and authority from the Father.  I can trust Him with all of my concerns.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for this reminder—that you are the great I AM.  I pray that I embrace all that Your name means for my life.

p.s.  I love this song and I found this video that has clips from a movie that portray Jesus’s life.  The scene where the earthquake  hits after Jesus’s death was really powerful.  Also, watch the very last scene—Jesus overcomes death and is the great I AM.

Glory on Display | Jessie Papinchock

S~ “Jesus answered, “ It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva.  Then he anointed the man’s eyes with mud. John 9:3,6 (NIV)

O~ Jesus encountered a blind man and the disciples were asking Jesus if it was this man’s personal sin or the sins of his parents that brought the blindness upon him. It was customary in that time to assume that ones suffering was as a direct result of ones sins.

A~ I’ve been following the story of a little boy named Jaxon who became incredibly ill from an E. coli infection. My heart broke as update after update seemed more bleak and the requested prayers became many and more desperate. The family has a strong foundation in Christ and constantly spoke of believing that they would see a miracle done in their son. Jaxon’s story became national news and prayer warriors around the world rallied around this family, also praying for and believing in a miracle. And God has answered! That sweet 2 year old boy is healing and slowly becoming whole again. He is living out the miracle. And the world is getting to witness the glory of God on display and the power of prayer! What an incredible testimony! We may not fully understand the reasons why God allows us to go through hardships but we can have faith to know that if he has allowed it, he is also working in it so we can experience his mercy and the power of his deliverance. The verse goes on to tell how Jesus healed the man. He spit on the ground to make mud and then anointed the mans eyes with the mud. Guys, the creator of the world recreated, with dust, this man vision. In the middle of our trials, we can cling to the fact that God is in control, he knows exactly what he is doing in and through us and that in the end his desire is always to restore us. All to his glory.

P~ Heavenly Father, I know I have not done well at remembering much of this lesson. When I’m in the middle of hardship, I am completely focused on what I did to bring this pain on myself or when the hardship can be over!! God help me focus more on you in those seasons and less on myself or my circumstances. Help me to lean into the humbling. Help me to lean into the season and ask you to guide me through it. I don’t want to fight you through it. I want to allow you to do the work in me that I may come out of the suffering, restored. Amen.

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at prayer@DiscoverOneThing.com

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