March 25, 2018 Deuteronomy 1,2; Acts 22

“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.

Printable reading plan: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

Want to walk through the Bible one book at a time? Head over to Discover One Thing Online Study!

The Consequences of Fear | Joni Tyner

S~ this is Moses talking to the Israelites—“The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.” -verse 30

Moses continues to remind the Israelites– “But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord Your God, who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.” -verses 32-33 (emphasis underlined is mine.)

Finally, Moses reminds the Israelites of the consequences of their lack of trust in God’s provision. “When the Lord heard your complaining, he became very angry. So he solemnly swore, “not one of you from this wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors.” – verses 34-35

O~ I’ve known the story of the Israelites wandering for 40 years in the desert since I was a little kid. This morning, I saw it from a fresh angle.  This morning’s reading is telling about God leading the people to the promised land and they were too fearful to go in.  God gives them a pep talk and reminds them that he has been with them and will continue to fight for them. Still, they refuse to move .   The Israelites allow their fear and lack of trust in God immobile them.  It is their lack of trust that angers God and He tells them that NONE of the 2 million Israelites will enter the promised land. (except Caleb and Joshua).

A~ I have always thought that the 40 years was a result of the Israelites disobedience to God.  This morning, I see that God has given them grace and forgiven their sins. God is ready to bless them and it is their fear that stops everything.  I’m imagining their minds had a million “what if’s” and they decide it isn’t worth the risk .   They decide to settle with so-so.   WHAT??  God put up with their sin for 40 years, He has forgiven them and is ready to move on and BOOM!!!… they lose their happy ending because they are too fearful to trust Him at the very end of the journey.

Oh my goodness.

This is giving me new insight to trust God for things that are hard and scary.  My sins are covered and forgiven by the blood of Jesus; the best blessings will come from trusting God in uncertain times and moving forward when He gives direction.  (See Kelley’s post on 3/22.)

P~ Dear Lord,  please forgive my lack of trust.  I know you created this majestic earth and spit the Red Sea and raised Jesus from the dead, help me to believe You care and intervene in my little life.  I desire to have an abundant life and see Your blessings.  I pray for courage to follow Your leading.  Thank you for this powerful lesson today.  This song reminds me that fear is NEVER from God.

Encourage | guest post

S~ But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it.  Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it.  Deuteronomy 1:38 (NIV)

O~ Moses is reminding the people what God has done.  This is focused on the new generation that will be entering the promised land.  Moses isn’t going to the promised land, Joshua is leading the people there.  So from now ’till Moses’ death, the Lord is asking Moses to encourage Joshua.

A~ Breathing life into the next generation will advance God’s Kingdom in ways that my generation never will.  How am I doing this?  What could I be doing better?  Who am I impacting eternity for in the next generation besides my kids?  This is not for many, but one or two at most.

P~ Father, I lift up two young women that you have called me to.  Let me, in Your power, encourage them because they will be ushering in Your Kingdom like none other.  As I encourage them, please bring encouragers to my kids!  I love You!

Speak so they listen | Marisa Hartman

S~ When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Acts 22:2 (NIV)

O~ Before Paul was given the chance to speak, the crowd was in an uproar. They were trying to kill him for “teaching against their people.” (Acts 21:28 paraphrased) When Paul began speaking in their language, Aramaic, they quieted and actually listened.

A~ There aren’t many instances of crowds yelling at a single person anymore. Mostly, people just tune you out if you are saying something they don’t want to hear or don’t understand; especially my teen and pre-teen. I know other parents can relate to having to repeat themselves many times before a child even grunts a response. It’s infuriating. Refrains of, “I didn’t hear you,” or “you never told me that,” waft through the air. Learning to speak so that they hear me the first time is a battle I’m continually fighting. Being a patient mom sometimes isn’t my strong suit. Making sure that they have their earphones out and are making eye contact is definitely a step toward winning the battle. In Paul’s case, he was battling for his life, but the lesson remains: speak in a way that your audience will hear you.

When talking, especially about faith, am I using words that are clearly understood? Am I reaching my audience on their level? If I want to be listened to rather than heard I need to choose my words and tone carefully. I also need to listen rather than wait for my turn to respond. Good communication requires both listening and speaking. Now, if I can just teach my teenagers that…..

P~ Father, thank you for the humbling gift of children. I am so glad, blessed, and overwhelmed that You chose me to raise these amazing humans. Lord, help me to remember to listen more than I speak, to them and to You. Lord, I pray that You use my mouth and words for Your glory always. I’m so thankful that you call me daughter. Amen

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