“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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Set Free | Tara Wiley
(and a few side notes about my SOAP process)
S~ He will take the live bird, the cedar stick, the scarlet yarn, and the hyssop branch, and dip them into the blood of the bird that was slaughtered…When the priest has purified the person, he will release the live bird in the open field to fly away. Leviticus 14:6-7 (NLT)
O~ I don’t know about you, but these Leviticus passages are pretty tough to slog through sometimes. Then, something like this ritual comes along and I can’t get the picture out of my head. This isn’t just another sacrifice. The symbolism immediately spoke to me, but I also knew I wanted to know more.
So, this is one of those days where my SOAP took a life of its own. I found myself snatching many moments from my busy schedule to think, to pray, and to look at multiple commentaries and online sources. (Here’s the cool thing: the commentaries were helpful, but not nearly as helpful as simple cross-referencing to see where else these items show up in Scripture. God’s Word really DOES speak louder than any one person’s! And much of what I gleaned from the passage was identical to the commentary. I don’t say that to brag on MY interpretation – I say that to brag on the Holy Spirit who promises to lead and direct us as we read and pray. Don’t ever feel that you don’t know enough to be able to accurately study God’s Word!).
I’ve learned more than I have space to share here, so I’ll just pick one piece of the puzzle that beautifully illustrates the way God’s Word is woven together to tell the most amazing Redemption Story: the mention of hyssop and wood immediately took me to the Passover story in Exodus. In it, the Israelites take a hyssop branch soaked in blood from a sacrificial lamb, and use the branch to sprinkle the blood on the wooden door-frames of their home. Hyssop – blood – wood. The blood spared them from a judgment of death (just as the second bird in Leviticus was spared and set free). Jump forward into the New Testament, and you’ll see the ultimate sacrifice, bleeding on a wooden cross, that you and I might be spared from death – might be set free.
A~ I am in awe of God’s Word! Sometimes it leaves me shaking my head, saying, “I don’t get it, but I trust You anyway.” And then, moments of clarity come along and I see the big picture rise up from the details, singing so loudly God’s redemption song… and all I can do is worship.
P~ Almighty God, Your Word never ceases to amaze me. YOU never cease to amaze me! From Genesis 1 to the last words of Revelation, You are whispering – sometimes SHOUTING – “I am Life-Giver. I am Rescuer. I am Redeemer.” And today You are calling ME to be a part of Your redemption story! Just as the Israelites were spared from death; just as the bird was set free to fly – You have spared me through Jesus, and you have set me free. I am filled with gratitude. Thank You. Help me live in that gratitude and the freedom it gives me today.
The Most Holy Place | Joni Tyner
S~ At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and the tombs opened. Matthew 27:51 (NLT)
O~ Jesus has just died on the cross. The temple had 3 main areas: the courts, the Holy Place, (where the priests were allowed to enter) and the Most Holy Place. (entrance to the Most Holy Place was allowed once a year by the high priest. They even tied a rope to his foot should he be struck dead so that they could yank him out of the Most Holy Place without receiving their own death sentence.) This scripture is telling us that the old system of the temple is now destroyed. We all have direct, immediate access to God. This is very clearly explained in Hebrews.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.” Hebrews 10: 19-20
A~ This verse is powerful! It changes everything for those who believe in God. The Israelites were constantly bringing sacrifices and then having the priests present them to God. There was no personal relationship what-so-ever! The penalty was death for those who tried to “go to God” on their own. (by the way, I researched about the Most Holy Curtain.. It was 60 feet high, 30 feet wide and 10 inches thick according to one source, it took 300 priests to hang it up. :O—anybody else have a jaw dropping experience at visualizing that?) So, … The big, humongous curtain was completely torn in two, from the top to the bottom, when Jesus died on the cross. The ripping from the top to the bottom signifies God initiating a way to us. We, believers in Jesus, will never need a middle man to get or talk to God. We are to boldly approach the throne.
P~ Dear Lord, I love that I have personal access to You whenever and however my day goes. This is a You and me thing, I wouldn’t want others to the yuck in my heart, my doubts, my sin. I thank you for this personal, immediate and unconditional access to sit at your feet. Thank you for choosing me.
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