“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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Holy Plans – for me?! | Tara Wiley
S~ Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you… Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)
O~ In Jeremiah’s day, prophets were a dime a dozen. People knew trouble was brewing and they sought out soothsayers to ease their minds. There were plenty of people willing to peddle their own words as God’s, calming anyone who would hear.
But in the midst of this cacophony of lies, the one strong melody of God’s Truth rang clear from a handful of men. It was a Tough Love message. Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel, Nahum, Ezekiel. These men’s lives were not rosy, but they were fruitful. And God called Jeremiah to be one of these strong, clear Truth-messengers.
In today’s New Testament reading, Jesus calls His followers His sheep, with Him as shepherd, and He offers this powerful statement:
“He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He gets them all out, He leads them and they follow because they are familiar with His voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.” John 10:4-5 MSG
Jeremiah was called by God – a holy plan revealed. He was obviously prepared for this call. In a society full of liars, he knew God’s voice when he heard it. Once he got that first prophetic message, he probably had an inkling of the devastation this calling might bring to his life. Still, he followed. And he had the confirming, familiar, comforting voice of the Shepherd to guide him every step of the way.
A~ In a society full of liars, I must still myself daily to become intimately familiar with the sound of God’s voice. I do not want to miss His holy plans for me as His sheep.
Today, I am beginning a week of concentrated preparation for the school year. Scheduling the kids’ academics (we homeschool) and extracurricular activities, along with my own activities (violin lessons, Bible study, AF wife responsibilities, and personal artistic goals) is so overwhelming. How will we fit it all in? Surely I must be wise here, and know where to say NO.
I need to know God’s voice this week. I need His wisdom as I make plans, to hear HIS holy plan overarching all the details and follow boldly, even if it means making waves.
P~ Lord, You know that organizing, planning, and carefully choosing what to say yes or no to – all of this is hard for me. I get so excited this time of year, but all too often my excitement leads to far too many yes-es. This year, while I’m feeling stronger and more energetic than ever, I must be mindful of margin. Lord, I need to hear YOUR voice and YOUR call for me and my family. Fill me with Your wisdom, Lord. Guide my research, my time, my choices. Help me to set aside distractions so I can accomplish what I need to with confidence and peace.
And most of all, Lord, let me follow you like a sheep follows its Shepherd – confidently knowing Your voice, trusting Your guidance as You fulfill Your holy plans for me.
Set Apart for His Plan | Joni Tyner
S~ I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT)
O~ Jeremiah was reflecting on God’s plan for his life. He is acknowledging that God knew everything about him before he was even conceived!! How cool is that? God knew he was be special (set apart) and a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah is proclaiming this is about God’s plan, not his own human efforts.
A~ I’m getting ready to leave for a 3 day camp that is for younger teens (ages 11-15 years) that are currently in foster care. Many have been abused, neglected, made to feel worthless. As a volunteer, I was asked to write some notes to give to the kids at camp. The purpose of the notes is to encourage these kids and make them feel wanted. I want them to know that they are NOT a mistake, they are precious to God. He knows everything that has happened in their life, even before they were conceived. He has a plan for their lives.
God also has a plan for my life. As I’ve grown in my faith journey, I often think about what my personal purpose is. Why did He create me? How can I best use the gifts and resources and my personality traits to serve Him? I love this verse. He knows me. He has set ME apart. He has a specific assignment for ME.
P~ Dear Lord, thank you for loving me and pursuing me. I want to serve you with the purpose You have designed for me.
Fault in God? | Kelley Deases
S~ What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? Jeremiah 2:5a (NIV)
O~ Sometimes it’s all in how you phrase the question that steers the answer. Rather than simply pose the question why the people of Israel turned away from their God, God pointedly asks, “What fault did they find in me?” Of course, the answer is they didn’t (and couldn’t have) have found any fault in The Almighty, so they must have strayed for some other, presumably lesser, reasons.
A~ Why do I stray? Whether for an hour or a day or a week? Did I find fault in God? Of course not! My reasons are so varied and trivial as “I needed more sleep,” “I am too busy,” or “A hundred other things were vying for my attention.” I would do well to heed God’s inquiry to the people of Israel in Jeremiah’s day, and realize God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Anything that would cause me to stray from My King is not worth it, if I really stopped to think about it.
P~ Father, Thank You for ever beckoning Your people “Come.” In You, they, and I, will find refuge, rest, and hope. And absolute perfection.
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