August 3, 2017 Nehemiah 5,6; Psalm 146; Hebrews 2:14-3:6

“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

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Immediately | Kim Chipman

S~ Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.” Nehemiah 5:11 (NIV)

O~ The poor went to Nehemiah for help. They were borrowing just to be able to buy food and being charged interest by their own people. The rich were taking advantage of the poor. Nehemiah saw this was not right and demanded it be made right *immediately*.

A~ This is the word that stands out to me…IMMEDIATELY. I’ve been noticing procrastination within myself. I’ll see something that needs to change, but maybe I don’t really feel like it. I don’t really want to. So I push it off. I’ll start that exercise program Monday, or when the kids go back to school or on the first of the month or pretty much any time besides right NOW. I see myself doing it with lots of things. Even things I know You have asked me to do. I tell myself I’ll do it…you know…sometime. Not now though.

Nehemiah demanded things be made right immediately. Once he was aware he expected change. I need to embrace this attitude. NOW.

P~ Lord, help me in each choice – large or small – to start now. *Immediately*. Help me to change this about myself. I love You!

Welcome Him with Praise | Chelsea Horne

S~ I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. Psalm 146: 2-3 (NIV)

O~ I like the contrast in these verses: praise God, do not put your trust in man. The key word for me is praise. I have a tendency to come to God and complain, rather than praise Him. I often don’t come to Him with a grateful heart. God has been asking me to come to Him, first, in anything and everything. But I also need to come to Him with praise, I need to welcome Him with praise into my situation.

A~ There are times when life knocks me down, and I feel like I can’t get back up again. I feel trapped. But I know that this is an illusion, a lie from the enemy in an attempt to keep me from surrendering it to God. He is the only One that can get me out of any and all cages that the enemy tries to build against me.

No matter what the situation, I can find rest and strength in the Truth that God is strong enough to handle it. So, today, when and where I feel overwhelmed or trapped, I will surrender it to Jesus and praise Him for all that He has done for me.

P~ Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for not coming to You with a grateful heart in the past. I know that You want me to come to You exactly as I am, but thank You for showing me this simple concept and how truly important it is. Please help me to come to You with anything and everything today. To surrender the stresses on my heart to You and to remember to praise You for Your Goodness and Love. Please help me to see the beauty of the world and in others through Your Eyes, rather than the ugly. To acknowledge the ugly, and surrender it to You, instead of allowing it to take root in my heart and make me feel trapped in my situations. Thank You for freeing me from my bondage, and for continuing to remind me of Your Love for me and of Your unconditional Love that You have for absolutely everyone. Please guide my heart to You today, Lord, and help me to love others as You do.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,


Fix my thoughts on Jesus | guest post

S~ Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. Hebrews 3:1 (NIV)

O~ ‘Fix your thoughts’ sent me to dig deeper into the translation.  Other translations of the Bible read: think carefully, consider, keep your focus on, take note.  When I looked into the original language of ‘fix your thoughts on Jesus’ – a couple of things emerged.

There are two exhortations (directives) from the original language: the first is – fixed attention and close scrutiny.  The second is a specific kind of contemplation, almost rendered to ‘compare’.  It means to weigh one thing in relation to another.

A~ The idea that the author has to ‘fix your thoughts’ on Jesus is no small task!  Fixing my thoughts on Christ requires purpose, my attention, my choice to do this, and a desire for what Jesus would have to say instead of me.

Just today, as I’m heading back to work….all I could think of was that I needed to get to my next place and get all that work done and then move to the next place for the next set of work.  I was completely focused on me and my tasks.  If I was weighing my thoughts and ideas of a successful day against Jesus’, I think He would have thought that relationship building and listening to my co-worker’s summer stories would have been a much better use of time.

P~ Oh Father, Your Son paid it all for me and yet, I still pick my idea of how to spend my time.  I’m so sorry!  I want to love people well and be in the moment with them, fully engaged.  I’m sorry that my agenda ran today’s time.  As I move forward, help me to fix my thoughts on Your Son!  I love You!

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