November 13, 2018 Ezekiel 17-19; Mark 7:24-37

“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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Sigh | Marisa Hartman

S~ He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Mark 7:34-35 (NIV)

O~ Jesus took the man away from the crowd in order to heal him. Was it to gain quiet enough to focus? Was it to keep His healing powers secret? Did Jesus lead the man away so He could get a moment of peace? We don’t know. Jesus does heal the man, but then urges the people not to speak about it. I wrestle with this a lot. Jesus came to save the lost. Wouldn’t He want to be known? I believe He does want the people to know Him, but not as just some miraculous healer. He wants them to know who He is; the Savior. He doesn’t want the people focused on His works, but rather His heart for them and His Father’s plan. He sighs deeply before healing this man because He knows that by doing so it will perpetuate the crowds following Him to be healed. In His great love for that one man, He heals him anyway. The people are amazed and talk more and more about the healing even after Jesus asks them not to.

A~ Jesus has a great love for each one of us. He wants to take our afflictions away, but His strongest desire is for relationship with us. Sometimes we need the trials to point us back to the one who is our strength. In His wisdom He draws us to Him in the ways we understand. Sometimes, a song plays at just the right time, or a check shows up in the mail when we’re wondering how to put food on the table, or a friend texts to check in when we’re feeling low. God uses what will speak to our heart to show how much He truly loves us. Today, my oldest son came over to have lunch with me. When He got here, I could tell he wasn’t feeling well. I hate it when anyone I care about is sick, but it was kind of nice to be able to take care of my 22 year old again. Just being able to be there for him was such a blessing. As my kids get older I’m needed less and less. They are amazing self-sufficient people, and it’s nice to get to really be there for them. I think God feels that way about us too. We can handle a lot, but He loves to be there for us. I’m learning to stop trying to be everything and do everything on my own. He wants to be there to help me. I just have to let go and trust Him. I know that I can trust Him. The actual turning over of control is what I stink at.

P~ Lord, help me follow you and relinquish the need to be in control. I know you have great things in store for me and my family. I trust in your goodness. I’ve seen Your provision in my life before. Forgive me for being like an Israelite and forgetting. I can almost hear Your sigh as I come to You again and again with the same problems. I’m grateful that you do not turn from me. I follow You, not because of what You can do for me, but because of who You are. I am also so grateful for the time you’ve granted me with these amazing kiddos. I pray that they seek You and fall for You the way I did. Amen.

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