Daily Archives: March 8, 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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Gaze towards Heaven | Joni Tyner
S~ But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God. Act 7:55 (NLT)
O~ Stephen is at his death sentence trial in front of Jewish high council. While standing accused, he gives accurate accounts of Abraham, Isaac , Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David and Solomon’s faithfulness to God. He then points their messages to Jesus. In verse 56, he states, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
A~ As I read chapter 7 in Acts, my overall thought was that Stephen was so faithful to God during very stressful (deadly) circumstances. He wasn’t defensive or whiny or minimizing anything. He simply stated what he knew of God’s faithfulness and trusted Him for his current situation. He was empowered by the Holy Spirit and kept his gaze on heaven. I need to emulate Stephen’s actions by staying focused on God’s past faithfulness and then get laser focused on God and His glory. I don’t need to waste time and energy and emotion on the “noisy clutter” that surrounds me. I desire to deal with life stuff in a simple, “get it done” type of way and then get back to Kingdom work.
P~ Dear Lord, help me to stay focused on You. I have a brain that goes on bunny trails about so many things. I pray the roots I have in You are getting deeper and stronger and give me wisdom as deal with life. Thank you for this reminder to keep my gaze on You!!
Curse Turned To Blessing | Kelley Deases
S~ “This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush.” Acts 7:35 (NIV)
O~ If I’m remembering the account correctly, Jim Daley from Focus on the Family told a story about when he was a kid and his mother’s friend made an unkind remark, which went something like “Does he ever stop talking?” Those words stung so much that he still remembered the moment all those years later as a grown man. But the irony is God transformed that curse into a blessing when he gave Jim Daley a speaking platform as radio host and President of Focus on the Family Ministries.
A~ God is in the business of bringing beauty from ashes. And as he did for Moses and for Jim Daley, He has done the same for me. He took the very same date stamped on my divorce decree and made it my wedding anniversary with my second husband. He took my feelings of worthlessness from my first marriage and resulting divorce and gave me a new husband who has taught me what it means to be cherished. God took my pain and hopelessness and gave me a ministry of hope and of life after divorce I can share with others who are hurting.
P~ God, Thank You for being in the details. For taking our curses, messes and humiliation and, by Your power and grace, turning them into our greatest triumphs.
Forgiveness | guest post
S~ He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. Acts 7:60 (NLT)
O~ This verse is about Stephen, a believer. All of Acts 7 is his last moments on Earth and what he shared with the people who were falsely accusing him. He was arrested, then stoned to death by the religious people of the day. Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit (vs. 55) and he asked the Lord to not charge his killers for his death. Oh my!!
A~ My heart is really twisting and turning this command of forgiveness around today. I was really challenged by my pastor in regards to forgiveness and now I’m reading Stephen’s account. God, You are trying to tell me something, aren’t you?
Stephen is literally dying and he asks for his killers to not be charged with his death. Another example is when Jesus is hanging on the cross and asks God to forgive His murderers. God, it’s just too much! I have been really hurt by this person that you’ve placed in my heart. I would really like it if You could have a word with her and tell her about proper behavior!
But I don’t hear You saying that You’ll talk to her. You are drawing me close, and I hear You say, “Forgive her, as I’ve forgiven you!”
P~ Oh Lord! How? My heart hurts, I’m confused, but I do want to let this go! Help me to forgive her Lord! In Jesus’ Name I pray! Amen!
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