July 28, 2018 Ezra 4; Psalm 113,127; Titus 1

“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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Wait for It… | Tara Wiley

S~ Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne. Ezra 4:4-5 NLT

O~ This was a long trial. The people of Israel had been in captivity and were now returning to rebuild the temple, the most holy place where they met God. Yet those who obediently began this work encountered a trial of a new kind: nonstop harassment and persecution.

The attack lasted for more than 25 years. The people didn’t get to pray and receive a quick answer – even though prayers for relief from this persecution would certainly be a Godly prayer! As time went by and the struggle continued, they had to get discouraged. Why was God allowing this fight when they were doing exactly what they were supposed to do? Why didn’t He intervene?

But the Israelites also had a history with God. They could look back on their years of slavery in Egypt and see that God did deliver them. They could look at David and how he was delivered from Saul’s persecution. They could see a little of the purpose in the wait in these situations: the Israelites grew in number and power during their time in Egypt, and all circumstances had to culminate in bringing Moses into play as a deliverer who could familiarly approach Pharaoh. They could see purposes for David’s wait as well: as he waited for God’s deliverance and his rise to the throne, he developed a strong, loyal following – and no doubt his leadership skills were strengthened with experience as he matured.

Now, in this present circumstance, the Israelites had to wait for a supportive king to ascend to the throne. No other strong explanation is clear. They just had to wait, doing what they knew they were supposed to do in the meantime.

A~ Sometimes the reason God calls us to wait isn’t obvious. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Other times, He has something specific that needs to happen in us as we wait.

Regardless, waiting has always been a part of His plan.

Yuck. I don’t like this. I hate waiting. I want results. I want answers to prayers that I am sure are in the center of His will – why won’t He respond? Even though, like the Israelites, I can look back and see God’s deliverance in so many waiting seasons in my own life, I still resist the process. I still fight doubt and fear. Every time a new waiting season comes, I say, I’ll do it better this time! And yes – I see progress. “I have [not yet] achieved [perfect spiritual maturity in waiting seasons]. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

P~ Lord, thank You for giving so many examples in Scripture where people have to wait. Thank You for the ways You work in waiting. Thank You teaching me much in the waiting seasons of my life. Thank You that I can trust You even when I struggle with the wait. Thank You that I can look back and see that You have matured me over the years, and that I can handle waiting better than I used to. I still fight against it. I still have a long ways to go. But I know Your grace covers my wavering, and I trust You to complete that work You’ve started in me. I will forget my past failures and regret and look forward to what lies ahead, determining to grow more in You as the seasons of life continue – even if they involve waiting.

The Center of it All | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless.  Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.  Psalms 127:1  (NLT)

O~ Life wasn’t meant to be lived without God at the center of it.

A~ My husband and I have been in our new home and state for almost a month now and about 2 weeks ago I started thinking about what  I am going to do here? Should I get a job?  Of course I should-what else would I do?

Then I realized that I am trying to figure this out without even asking God.  So I decided then that I would wait to hear from God.  About 1 week later I attended an open house at the High School my husband works at, just to check out the school.  It turned out that we arrived a half hour earlier than we were supposed to.  There was a PTA meeting going on at that time so I sat in for it.  During the meeting there was a discussion of a mentoring program that the school was starting, where you meet one on one with the same student throughout the school year. ☺

Let’s just say that it was no mistake I was there a half hour early and got to hear this. I signed up for that and am very excited about it!

P~ Father, thank you for providing.  Thank you for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and prompting me to wait to hear from you.  You want to provide but I don’t always wait on you.  Help me trust you and put you in the center of it all.  Thank you for loving me. ❤

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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