December 7, 2018 Amos 1-3; Psalm 80; Luke 5

“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!

“Because You Say So” Faith | Kelley Deases

S~ Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5 (NIV)

O~ Simon, who would later become Peter, the Rock upon whom the Church would be built, is not even a disciple when he utters these words. But having encountered Jesus, having heard Him speak, he has enough good sense/faith to know that if Jesus says to do something, he would be well-advised to do it.

A~ This kind of blind obedience pricks my heart today. Yesterday, on my day off from work, I read a biography of Nate Saint. The reason I picked it up was to be able to assist my 11-year-old with his book report and presentation coming up in a week or so. With each page, I was more and more astounded by the devotion and sacrifice of Nate, his wife, and their fellow missionaries who thought nothing of their personal comfort but worked tirelessly under adverse conditions to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth, even to a reclusive and savage tribe in the jungles of Ecuador. After spending the better part of the day reading about this type of radical devotion, I ended up having a freak-out moment on my son later that same evening when he asked for help with his homework. In my exasperation with the quantity and difficulty of the 5th grade curriculum (which is no fault of my son), I went on a tirade about how I should not be made to check homework every night and have to decipher science worksheets which bear little resemblance to the textbook. What regret I now feel that in my own tiny mission field — my home with our son — I couldn’t just sit with him and offer him help “because You say so,” but let my temper and selfishness win out.

In a recent sermon we heard as a Discover One Thing team (and then I introduced to my family on a “snow day” from church), Andy Stanley urged us to prioritize what we value most over what we want now. In other words, live out your claimed priorities rather than chase your desires in the moment. Last night, I failed to show my boy I value him and our time together, that I have compassion for his difficult academic year and that I want to reflect God’s love and grace to him. I let the “want now ” of me-time supercede the “value most” of loving my child well.

P~ Father, I have prayed this prayer so many times: Help me to always show my children love and grace. Even though I have failed again and again does not make my heart’s desire any less sincere. Thank You for the perspective You offer through Your Spirit as I read Your Word today and a renewed realization that I need You and Your power to do anything well.

Partners in the Miracle | Joni Tyner

S~ When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper and let your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master”, Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing, but if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear. A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.  Luke 5: 4-7 (NLT)

O~ Jesus has just finished teaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and tells Simon Peter to go further out into the water so they can catch some fish.  Jesus could have just spoke and had the fish jump into the boat. Or maybe, there could have been a thunderstorm and the heavens rained  down huge fish.  Jesus is God and Bible gives many examples of Jesus speaking  and amazing things happened.  I think in this instance, He first allowed Simon Peter and the other fisherman to experience discouragement and failure before He invited them to participate in the miracle.  God moves and produces miracles in many different ways but His purpose and character are always the same, He desires us to love and follow Him with a sincere heart.

A~ I need to remember this miracle when I’ve worked hard and not necessarily seen results that God is still with me.  I need to be obedient to God, (like Simon Peter) and listen and follow through and anticipate that God is going to move in BIG ways.   God doesn’t submit to Joni’s timing or agenda,  but He does love me and will always use my circumstances for His glory.

P~ Dear Lord, I want to be used by You!!  Please give me quiet faith in the waiting.  I ask for an increased hunger to read Your Word, that it would pierce my heart and give me faith and encouragement when I am discouraged.  I praise You for the miracles You are going to do in my life.  I love You.

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