December 29, 2018 Psalm 147; Luke 23:1-43

“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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Faith Over Strength | guest post

S~ He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:10-11 (NLT)

O~ This is in a Psalm of praise over the mighty goodness and power of God. The verse I selected in particular comes right after the Psalmist says, “He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.  He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry.” As if to say, God is too great to take pleasure in any measure of strength of man. But what does catch such mighty God’s attention is a heart that fears and hopes in him.

A~ I am convinced that, “I’ve got this.”  You name it, I think I can handle it on my own. I am still waiting for the day, when I walk away from something and truly feel I did indeed manage it well completely on my own. Little to big things, truth is, we were never made to handle any of it on our own. And God asks us to do all of it with him in mind and for his glory. He is not more proud of you for tackling a day completely by your own strength than if you had stopped and asked him to provide strength, or assistance. In fact, he actually values a humble heart more. He wants us to cling to him for patience, hope, bravery, strength, love, joy, kindness, generosity, wisdom… all things that we may struggle to muster up on our own. But when we recognize the source of everything we need is HIM and we humble ourselves, he promises to give us everything we need in every moment of our lives. If he is loving enough to care for the rains of the earth and the bellies of wild animals than how much more does he desire to care for us and give us everything we need to live lives of abundance and freedom? He does not delight in watching you handle life on your own. He delights in your dependence on him.

P~ God I ask that I spend way more time asking for your wisdom and provision than trying to figure out how to handle my mess without anyone’s help. I always make a bigger mess when I leave you out of it. I may not always understand your ways or your methods, but I have never once been let down by them. You love me too much to watch me fail or live in pain. You desire for me to thrive and grow and mature in my love for you and faith. Help me to have faith in the process knowing that everything you do is only for my good and will produce an abundant harvest in my life. Give those who read this permission to release the need to control or take over anymore of their day. Give them your promised peace in place of their worry. You’ve got this Lord. Thank you Good Father. Amen.

God’s delight | guest post

S~ ….the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. Psalm 147:11 (NIV)

O/A~ That’s it?  God’s delight isn’t when I serve, or am super patient with my kids, or grow my relationships?  God delights in those who  have utter amazement and awe when they think of Him and those who trust Him?  A wise person taught me to question what I read by asking, does this align with other Scripture.

My mind jumps to the parable that Jesus told about the lost son.  That dad went crazy when he saw the lost son coming home.  The son had done nothing, but hurt his dad, the dad didn’t care, he just wanted his son.  So he ran towards him, put items on the son that identified him as the son and celebrated.

Maybe I’ve been striving a little too much lately and not sitting in awe and wonder of my God.  Maybe the people around me need to hear that God delights in those who wonder about Him, who put their hope in Him.

P~ Abba, thank You!  For Scripture that never conflicts with each other, for glimpses of who You are, and for Jesus!

Not deserved | Marisa Hartman

S~ We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. Luke 23:41 (NIV)

O~ Both Pilate and Herod found nothing wrong with Jesus. Still, the crowd called out for Jesus’ crucifixion. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus death and everything he predicted came true.

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

“He (Herod) plied him with many questions but Jesus gave him no answer.” Luke 23:9

“By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?” Isaiah 53:8

“But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.” Luke 23:23

These are just a few direct examples. Christ’s life and death are talked about all throughout scripture; Old Testament and New.

A~ Jesus did nothing to deserve death. In order to fulfill his purpose he chose to walk through the horrific pain fulfilling scripture and prophecy as he did. He died a gruesome death he did not deserve. Why? God designed the plan to return us to himself as soon as Eve even started speaking to that rotten snake. Jesus took the punishment we all deserve as the final sacrifice in God’s divine plan. He gave himself so that we can live in community and connection with God directly. We deserve death and condemnation because we all have sinned against God. Jesus took away all of that condemnation. We get to live life with joy instead of fear. We get to live with God forever. Jesus gave us that ultimate gift.

P~ “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:42

Lord thank you for your overwhelming gift. I don’t deserve it and yet you offered yourself as a sacrifice for me. Thank you for the life of joy you offer if we just believe and accept. Amen.

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