September 21, 2018 Song of Solomon 1-4; 1 John 2:18-29

“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!

A Season of New Love | Joni Tyner

S~ Look the winter is past,

And the rains are over and gone.

The flowers are springing up,

The season of singing bird has come,

And the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.  Song of Songs 2:11-12 (NLT)

O~ Song of Solomon (also called Song of Songs) is a love dialog between King Solomon and a Jewish maiden.  It is poetic and sometimes difficult to follow but there is quite a bit of sexual expression in this book.  Many people are shocked this is in the Bible!!!  Anyways, in these verses, the lovers are reflecting that “winter has past” and  “the season of the singing bird has come”.  It is a reference that they have been through difficult times and now they are celebrating that their love is having a rebirth, a second chance.

A~ My husband and I just celebrated 30th wedding anniversary in July.  We were married when I was in college and just 21 years old.  As I look back at the 30 years, I see a marriage that we built on  faithfulness by doing simple things each day and being committed to the “for better or worse” thing.  I don’t think any marriage is easy, there have been health issues, financial issues and other “little foxes” that have been in the vineyard. ( I’m referencing 2: 15)   I’m so thankful that we have stood by each other and now are entering a new season –a season of joy and fun and laughter and thankfulness to be together.

The hubby was gone on a fishing trip with his brothers and our son for the past 3 days and I was anxious for him to get back home.  I told him last night, “I’m just not myself when you are gone.”  I know he feels the same about me.   We are choosing the celebrate each day as a gift from God, we  are eagerly look towards our future and attempting to minimize past hardships.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for the blessing of this man I married.  Please give me continual prompts of how to love him in his love language. I pray that our marriage would give You glory and that we, as a team,  can serve You.

Remain | Kelley Deases

S~ See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  1 John 2:24 (NIV)

O~ At first blush, the term “remain” conjures up a sense of staying put, sitting still and not moving. But when I reflect further about what it means to remain in Christ, I don’t think it’s a static state. It is the tendency of our minds and hearts to drift. Drift with our moods, drift along with the ideas screamed the loudest, drift toward the many distractions which vye for our attention. I picture this “remaining” as more of a clinging to something secure and constant, as to a sturdy pole in a strong gale or a buoy in the tossing waves.

A~ So if remaining requires me to hold tight with all my strength, am I doing this? Am I actively curbing my wandering thoughts to conform them to Christ-like ones? Am I gathering with other believers to sharpen and be sharpened? Am I prioritizing reading and prayer, so I am attuned to His still, small voice?

P~ Father, Help me fully grasp that remaining in You in not a passive condition and to maintain that strong grip against all that tries to pull me away.

Influence | Marisa Hartman

S~ As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you were also remain in the Son and in the Father. 1 John 2:24 ( NIV)

O~ This letter was sent to a group of Greek believers that we’re splitting apart due to false teaching. Some of the group abandoned their faith in Jesus because of a popular belief in their culture. Greeks believed that the body is evil and only the spirit is good. Because of this belief they could not reconcile how Jesus could be fully man in the flesh and fully the spirit of God.  They ended up convincing themselves that Jesus was not the savior he claimed to be. John wrote to the group as one that witnessed first hand the power and humanity of Jesus.

A~ Popular beliefs in culture can absolutely affect believers. Just because something is generally accepted doesn’t make it truth. In order to fight the complacency that can creep into our minds we have to remain in the Word. We have to remember what we learned from the beginning of our faith journey. As we focus our hearts and minds on His truth the lies and “accepted truths” of culture fade away.  The people that we choose to spend time with influence us. We are also called to influence others. If the first person we seek out and allow to influence us is God, we will protect ourselves from falsehoods and manipulation. The more time spent with someone, the more like them you become. Making God my priority will help me become more like Him.

P~ Father,  Thank you for wanting to spend time with me. Thank you for putting people in my life that influence me for good. Thank you for allowing me to see the ways I need to grow. I ask that you mold my heart and my actions to reflect you more and more. I am proud to be a Jesus girl. Forgive me for the times I have fallen into complacency.  It’s so easy for me to want to belong to the world. I know that belonging to You is the only thing that’s important but my desperate, broken flesh wants so much to be accepted. Belonging to You is enough. Please forgive me when I forget that. I love you! Amen

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