March 27, 2018 Deuteronomy 4,5; Psalm 43; Acts 24

“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!

Conversations with the Kids | Joni Tyner

S~ But watch out! Be careful to never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live!  And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9  (NLT)

O~ Moses is giving instructions and a pep talk to the Israelites.  They have seen God be faithful and perform many miracles during the decades in the wilderness; soon they will enter into a new season and God wants them to REMEMBER and pass the memories on to their children.

A~ Our family has always went to church and made our faith part of our everyday life—I believe our kids would definitely say this if asked about their childhood.  They no longer live in our house and for the most part, don’t make going to church a priority or actively pursue their faith. This scripture is reminding me to keep up the assignment of living a life that gives God glory in a natural, life-giving way.  My kids don’t want lectures on their behavior and they certainly don’t need shame to bring them closer to Jesus.  I believe they need a mom and dad that loves them and continues to live a life of obedience to Jesus.  Our lives and conversations should reflect God’s past faithfulness and the hope we have for the future.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for allowing me the gift of motherhood.  Please forgive the many times I’ve been annoyed and even mad at my kids, the times when my selfish ways choose other things instead of making them a priority. I pray that You will fill my heart and mind with scripture and memories that I can share with my kids in a natural, God honoring way that stirs their hearts.  I ask for wisdom in how to respond to situations that come up that don’t align with our beliefs. Dear Lord, I believe the good work You started in them will continue to grow and  be completed, please give me constant guidance in how to continue to pour into that process.  I love You.

Staying in Prison | Tara Wiley

S~ When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. Acts 24:27 (NIV)

O~ What a miserable time this must have been for Paul. He spent TWO YEARS in prison, speaking truth to a man who really only wanted a bribe. Then, he continued to be held prisoner as part of a political move.

I wonder, when Paul knew he was to go to Jerusalem, and hoped to testify before Caesar in Rome… did he know this was how it would go down? Did he get frustrated by the hours, days, months… years… the seemingly impossible barriers and the roads to nowhere…?

I am in the middle of a crisis with one of my children. It seems that the more I do the things I’ve been instructed to do to help her through this, the more things stay the same. I’m finding myself easily frustrated, wanting to get off of this hard road and find the quick fix that will make ME feel better.

Paul could have used his connections to get that bribe Felix so desperately wanted. Then he would have been free to continue his ministry. But Paul knew he was where he was supposed to be, even when it seemed impossible.

A~ I know my job is to love my children through their hard times. When I’m unsure of the HOW, I can rely on the wisdom from parents and counselors who have been down this road before, and trust God to do the work I cannot do on my own. I may feel imprisoned in this place, and agonize while watching my daughter in her own prison, but I know God is working in both of our lives right now, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

P~ Lord, you know my heart, my frustration, my exhaustion. You know how imprisoned I feel, how my heart breaks for the prison my daughter seems hopelessly caught in. We need Your miracle, both to sustain us as a family during this prison-time, and to get us OUT of it. Help me remember, both with Paul and with Joseph, these prison days were a part of Your plan. Help me trust Your plan today, one hour and one choice at a time.

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