January 27, 2018 Genesis 48; Psalm 10; John 17:20-18:14

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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Do Something | Joni Tyner

S~ You bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, So mere people can no longer terrify them. Psalm 10:18  (NLT)

O~  Psalm 10 asks lots of questions about why God seems to be far away when people are suffering.

A~ This is applicable to the world we live in today. There is no shortage of evil, wicked people who seem to, as the psalmist says, “like a lion crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless.” (Psalm 10:9)  It’s not fair, I don’t understand why, and it breaks my heart to know that people in the world are suffering at the hands of evil people.  They are so many people forced into sex slavery, people tortured for their belief in God, and, even “everyday people” who are mean and cruel and harsh to their kids/families.

Again, I don’t know why God allows all of this—but I do feel our response should be to do more than talk about it, do more than share Facebook articles.  I think God want US,  His church,  to be His hands and feet and make a difference.  It could be through donating money for clean water, it could be through sponsoring a child with a reputable organization, or maybe it is offering love and a home to a child in foster care.  I am familiar with a wonderful family right here in Papillion who has selflessly taken in 6 foster kids , (in addition to their own 3) and given them opportunity for a new life.  They have been God’s hands and  life changers for these kids.  They didn’t just feel bad about the injustices in this world, they did something to make a difference.  Here’s a Matthew West video that I like.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for all the people that are your hands and feet and are loving orphans and the oppressed.  Specifically, I pray this morning for Jim and Lisa and their family.  Give them strength as they have ups and downs and crazy tired days.  Thank you for their compassionate hearts to these kids.  I pray that each child will embrace their love and be able to one day replicate that for others.  I pray for each person in their family, please give them Your strength and replace the enemy’s lies with Your Truth.

Of One Accord | Robin Laney

S~ I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. John 17:22 (NIV)

O~ Jesus’ prayer to the Father was that we, as believers, would be unified, of one spirit with God the Father, God the Son, and each other.

A~ This week, I was blessed to be invited to a gathering of believers at my friend Donna’s home. There were about 25 of us there for the sending off of a beautiful young woman of God as she prepared to return to her home in Charleston, SC. There was singing, sharing testimony of what God had done in the past and what He was up to in the present, looking forward with great anticipation to what He has in store for the future, encouraging one another, laughing and crying and loving one another. It was a mixed crowd of younger and older, men and women, pastors and lay people, students and professionals and housewives, some from the city and some from the suburbs, all different shades and shapes and sizes each from different backgrounds and experiences and faith journeys. We gathered together all of one accord. It was all about Jesus and it was a beautiful evening. Just as it should be. I believe that our Father in Heaven must have been smiling.

P~ Father, I love the moments when the Kingdom is as it should be. They are little glimpses of Heaven. I pray that we, as the Church, would make special efforts to erase divisions whatever they are. Let us glorify Christ by coming together in complete unity to let the world know that You sent Jesus and that we love them just as You love Your Son.

United? | Kelley Deases

S~ May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  John 17:23 (NIV)

O~ In a world that can be cut-throat and competitive, “look out for number one,” touting self-interest above all else, Jesus instructs believers to be united in the spiritual sense. Just as in marriage we are called to oneness, so the body of Christ should be set apart from the rest of the world by its love and grace for one another.  Do I see this?  Am I part of the problem or the solution?

A~ In several of the circles, even of believers, of which I am a part, there is disunity.  At the Christian school where my youngest attends, I am seeing alliances form.  In fact, one of our close friends has decided to leave the school over some issues existing with the administration and the board, and has decided to educate her child at home.  Another family that has children in that school has been ripped apart by allegations of abuse within siblings.  Even in my own family, a cousin and his spouse are divorcing after 25 years of marriage, notwithstanding they met, married, and raised their children in and around the church.  Disunity seems to abound, because we are so human and so imperfect.  Yet even in the midst of these broken relationships, I can seek to be Christ-like in promoting love and peace and forgiveness.  I won’t do it perfectly either, but I can call on the Perfect One when I fail and fall.

P~ Jesus, You desire that I am One with You and with all believers.  Help me take steps in the direction of unity and not division, peace and not discord.  In my family, at my job, in my church.  Help us all to reflect Your love and Your grace in a world that needs to see more of that.

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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