Daily Archives: February 21, 2018
“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NLT) The heart of this ministry is to inspire a love for God’s Word and encourage the discipline of daily Bible reading and SOAP journaling. 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 Salty Times | Tara Wiley
S~ Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. Leviticus 2:13 (NIV)
O~ The command to include salt was so important, it was repeated three times just in this small verse. A little research into the grain offering led to some explanations; most focused on the preservative nature of salt. Studying the other passages of Scripture that mention salt was insightful, too. (I found RC Sproal’s devotional, HERE and the Torah Class commentary HERE particularly interesting)
But what immediately came to my mind was tears. Tears of pain, of sorrow, of joy: tears accompany the most profound moments of our lives.
The salty grain offering was a memorial offering filled with gratitude for God’s mercies and for what He had done. Memorializing God’s work in times of physical and emotional pain as well as in times of joy leads to a deeper relationship, a deeper trust, and a deeper sense of gratitude for all He has done and will do.
A~ Today, I am not feeling well. Trying to figure out the why’s of my body’s ups and downs can be challenging, but regardless of the reasons, I have an opportunity to offer even the difficulty of today as an act of worship. Honoring God with my salty moments is not always easy, but it is always rewarding.
P~ Lord, today I come before You with an offering of gratitude. Grateful for Your mercy, covering the sinful choices I’ve already made today. Grateful for Your strengthening when I feel weak. Grateful for the salty times of life. As I go slowly about this day, help me be sensitive to the moments I can memorialize in an offering of praise to You.
Trust | guest post
S~ Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:18-22 (NIV)
O~ Jesus was on the move early in the morning. As he walked back to the city, he was hungry so he went to a fig tree to get fruit from it. He saw there was nothing on it but leaves so he said to it…may you never bear fruit again and it immediately withered.
His disciples were amazed and questioned how the fig tree could have withered so quickly. Jesus responds by telling them that if they have faith…without doubt…they can also do powerful things. If they truly believe what they ask for in prayer, they will do it.
A~ There are several things in this section that stand out to me. First, Jesus was up early in the morning. He always took advantage of every hour and let no time of the day be wasted. He knew his time and how many people needed him, so he acted with purpose at all times.
Second, when Jesus walked to that fig tree, in that moment, there was no fruit on it, only leaves. I have recently been gardening and God has taught me so many things through caring for the plants. One thing He has shown me is about the leaves. I have noticed that below the fruit the leaves often die. I have to be careful to prune the leaves daily or the leaves begin to take all the nutrients. God has shown me that the same care needs to be taken in my life. I need to regularly sit with God and let him prune me..taking out that which is in me that is not of him so that more fruit can grow. If I allow too many worldly things to grow in me…symbolized by the leaves…there will be no room for him or for fruit in my life.
Finally, it is funny to me how the disciples could see Jesus do all of these amazing miracles and still be so surprised that he could make a fig tree wither. They had seen him heal people over and over, had seen him walk on water, turn water to wine, still the storm with his voice, multiply food to feed five thousand, etc., yet they were surprised that he could speak and make the fig tree wither. As I was thinking about this, God reminded me I am no different. I have heard of and believe that Jesus did these things and I have seen him work miracles in my life…yet I still do not act as if I truly understand the power of Jesus. I still act as if His power is limited somehow or His desire to do big things in my life is limited. God showed me this is clear by how little I ask of him in prayer. Here Jesus challenges the disciples to trust him enough to move mountains….God has challenged me to do the same.
P~ Lord, I love you!! I know you are so powerful and I stand in awe of all you do and all your are. Help me to remember all that you have done and help me to trust in all that you will do in my life and the lives of those around me. Help me to pray big things for you..so that you may be glorified. Let me ask for things that are far beyond my ability so that I know only you can complete them. Help me to trust in you more and more so that your power can shine through my life. Prune me, empty me of all things that are not of you. Help me to bear fruit so that others may find nourishment. Help me not to waste my time on unimportant things but to remember my time here is short and there are many who need to hear about you. Help me to use my time to make you even more famous than you are. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Pray! | Kim Chipman
S~ Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:21-22 (NIV)
O~ Prayer is powerful. Jesus is reminding us that when we pray in faith He hears and responds.
A~ I just started “The Armor of God” Bible study by Priscilla Shirer (for the 2nd time, because it’s AWESOME). A huge part of this study is strategic prayer. Priscilla says, “Unless prayer is a vital and thriving part of your life, you will never achieve spiritual victory” and “our prayers need to be fervent and specific, strategic and personal”.
All of this has me looking at my prayer life more seriously. Quite honestly,my prayer life could not, to this point, be characterized as viral, thriving, or fervent. But that’s about to change…
I want spiritual victory. I want to make the devil sorry he ever messed with me. I want to claim the full life that Jesus died for me to have. It’s about to get serious up in here!
P~ Thank You for the gift of prayer. Thank You for opening my heart to see my need in this area. Guide me so I can grow in my prayer life. I love You!
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