February 21, 2019 Leviticus 1,2; Matthew 21

“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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Faith and Fig Trees | Jessie Papinchock

S~ Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do
things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up
and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have
faith, you will receive it.” Matthew 21:21-22

O~ Jesus had just caused a barren fig tree to wither and die. A fig trees leaves and fruit will
typically appear around the same time. So for this tree to bear leaves but no fruit was
symbolic of the hypocrisy of anyone who appears to be bearing fruit but in fact does not.

A~ My faith is so small. I’m so quick to forget the mighty works of God and how He has
personally rescued me, provided for me, healed me, chased after me and answered
countless prayers. He has always been good to me. Even in seasons when I was sure I had
no idea how a given circumstance could be redeemed; still He was good and I could see,
looking back, His fingerprints on it all. And yet, after all this evidence, time after time I
continue to come to places of doubt. I let the disappointment take over and it becomes the
loudest voice in my head. I become like this fig tree, bright and green and blooming, but
barren. So easy to tell others to hold fast to His promises but deep down I struggle to do
that same. Jesus told the disciples that if they had an unwavering faith in God, that they
could move mountains with that kind of power. The power of the almighty God Himself is
promised to us and lives within us. Our faith is one way that we get to tap into that power.
All we have to say is, “Yes Lord. Your will be done.” And He promises to give us everything
we need for the task, season or circumstance ahead of us. We are promised victory in
return for our faith. Choosing to trust in God and grow in our faith produces fruit that, in
turn, can help develop the faith of others when they see the fruits of our faith.

P~ Lord, I want to be a mountain mover. I pray in moments when my faith begins to falter
that I turn to your word, where I will find countless written promises to never leave me or
forsake me. That you are for us, so who could stand against us? I pray I remember the
nature of who you are and rest in your sufficiency. And bring to my mind the many, many
memories I have of times I personally felt your presence and saw your promises come to
fruition. You have never failed me. And I am so thankful for how sure and consistent and
constant you are even when I am not. That is undeserved grace. Amen.

Honestly Honest | Kimi Miller

S~ So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Matthew 21:27 (NIV)

O~ The chief priests and elders were questioning Jesus’ authority. In response, Jesus asked them a question. The verse above is their response, as well as Jesus’. (Remember, they did know why they were asking, but they didn’t want to be honest about it.)

Jesus continues the conversation and gives three more parables for those who are listening to understand. But until they repent, until they humble themselves before God, they cannot fully understand what Jesus is speaking to them. Until they are honest with God about their sins, they cannot fully grasp what He is saying.

A~ Sin is the barrier between You and me. There’s no way to enter into Your presence until my sin is dealt with. This is why there are things I cannot fully understand; when I have hidden sin in my life it’s difficult for me to hear You. Until we deal with the sin – the barrier between us – I will never be able to fully hear (understand) what You are speaking to me. When I’m finally honest with You – about EVERYTHING – You can be honest with me. Or rather, I can finally hear the Truth You’ve been speaking to me all along. You are always honest, always True.

I will not gain understanding until I’m honest about my own standing – until I’ve humbled myself before You, confessed the truth, and earnestly seek to understand Your way.

P~ Lord, search my heart. If there is any hidden sin lurking below the surface, help me to see it. Holy Spirit, whisper to me what I need to hear. Remove anything that hinders me from hearing You. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for dying for my sins, so I can commune with You.

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