November 1, 2018 Jeremiah 42-44; Psalm 48; Mark 1:1-20

“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!

Go to Church! | Kelley Deases

S~ Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Psalm 48:9 (NIV)

O~ What’s the big deal about going to church? We might be solid in what we believe. We might be consistent in our prayer time, say a blessing at every meal, and even attend a small group where we can be open with other believers. But there is something about gathering together with the collective Body of Christ, to join as one in worship of the King.

A~ My grandmother’s words still ring in my head, though she has been gone from this earth for almost 20 years now. “Go to church. Every week. Every time. Don’t miss. Go to church.” There are so many possible distractions and excuses, but I am consistently blessed when I am obedient in this area. This past weekend, I felt “off.” I was not feeling 100% physically, though not contagious. The “to-do”‘s of the week were pressing in and I was tempted to stay home and rest before things really began to ramp up. But I went to church with my husband and son, as always. And, as always, I was blessed to see friends, sing praises, witness several baptisms, and gain some much-needed perspective to transcend my trivial worries. After all, what do they amount to, in the face of God’s commission that we join Him in seeking out and saving the lost?

Last weekend, even as we were out of town staying with relatives, my husband located a nearby church to visit. It actually felt like home as we joined other believers in worship and fellowship and received a powerful teaching.

I guess my grandma knew a thing or two about living a good life: “If it’s Sunday, get to church!”

P~ Father, I thank You for my home church. And for my new “home away from home” church. Thank You for the faithfulness of the staff and volunteers to serve there, so that together we might have the opportunity to “meditate on your unfailing love.”

He guides me | Joni Tyner

S~ For that is what God is like.

He is our God forever and ever.

And He will guide us until we die.  Psalm 48:14 (NLT)

O~ God is my God FOREVER.

A~ My Bible study notes say that as we pray for God’s guidance in our struggles we need both a map and a constant companion—the Holy Spirit. The Bible is our map and the Holy Spirit guides us and helps us understand what we read.

P~ Dear Lord, I pray that your Holy Spirit infuses me each moment of my day and guides me in a way that gives you glory.  Please keep pursuing my heart when I wander and neglect studying Your word.   I. So. NEED. You.

Translation | Marisa Tomlinson

S~ Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do. Jeremiah 42:3 (NIV)

O~  The people of Judah had just been decimated. Verse 2 says:

“though we were once many, now only a few are left.”

They come to the prophet Jeremiah begging for God’s direction. They cannot approach God on their own. They must communicate through Jeremiah like you would through an interpreter.

A~  Because Jesus is my savior and he sacrificed himself for my sin, I can humbly approach the throne of God. The Holy Spirit is my Built-in interpreter. Any time of day I can reach out for his guidance and he will hear me.

“The Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

The Holy Spirit gives me a direct link to God. I don’t have to wait 10 days to hear back from a  prophet, I can sit at his feet now. What an amazing blessing!

P~  Thank you Lord for always listening and wanting a direct connection with me. Like the people of Judah, I long for your direction. Thank you for walking me through this life until I can jump into your arms in Heaven. Please help me to keep my mouth shut and ears open when You have something for me. My heart is yours., My life is yours. I surrender to your perfect will. I will trust and obey you for all of my days. Amen.

Keep Your Vows | John Deases

S~ Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows! But hear the word of the Lord, all you Jews living in Egypt: ‘I swear by my great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, “As surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.” For I am watching over them for harm, not for good; the Jews in Egypt will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed. Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs. Jeremiah 44:25-28 (NIV)

O~ The people of Judah had been warned by the Prophet Jeremiah to turn from their detestable ways of burning incense to idols or risk the wrath of God. However, the warning falls on deaf ears, and the people brazenly proclaim they will continue in their ways. The expression “Be careful what you ask for” comes to mind. The people of Judah persist and are unyielding so God tells them to go ahead, stay the course, and prepare for the consequences (purge).

A~ Lest I think that I’m not like the people of Judah, I am reminded of times when I have been unyielding myself. I remember in the early days of my marriage when an argument would take place with my lovely, beautiful wife and how it would greatly affect me. My knee jerk reaction to an argument was to retreat and not talk to my wife for a period of time (I’m sad to say it sometimes lasted up to 3 days). In my immaturity, I shut down and retreated into my shell like a turtle. Being emotional and hypersensitive like this wasn’t working. I sensed God wanted me to grow up and respond differently. So, I cried out to Him to help me discover a better way. The answer came to me during a “Love Like You Mean It” cruise excursion. On this cruise ship, many workshops were offered to enhance Christian marriage relationships. In one particular workshop, I learned that in the heat of the battle, my wife needs to know that I love her and that she is safe. Checking out emotionally was crushing my wife’s heart and it was making her feel less secure in our relationship. For the first time ever, I realized the damage I was inflicting upon my wife when I would succumb to this pattern of abuse. I decided to make some changes and vowed to try my best to protect my wife’s heart versus step on it. I am happy to report I’ve never forgotten that special teaching on the cruise ship. Nowadays, marital conflict doesn’t derail me as much. I’ve made great strides in how quickly I get over something and I let go of past offenses more readily.

P~ My prayer today is for marriages, that they would have a strong foundation. I pray that conflict within marriages would be resolved in a healthy non-threatening way. And if there is anyone struggling with resentment or harboring offenses in their marriage, I pray You would set them free.

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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