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February 20, 2018 Exodus 39,40; Psalm 15; Matthew 20

“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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Follow the Cloud | Kim Chipman

S~ Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. Exodus 40:36-37 (NLT)

O~ The Tabernacle is complete and the glory of the Lord fills it. His presence is a cloud by day and fire by night so the “whole family of Israel could see it”.

A~ My heart is Your Tabernacle now. My heart should follow Your presence ~ journey when You move, stay put until You do. Sounds simple. But I get ahead of You sometimes, or think I’ll take a little short cut. I know Your desire is constant communion with me so You can lead me, but somehow I still so easily fall in to a place where I say to myself…’I’ve got this.’ I’ve “got” NOTHING. I NEED You. I NEED Your presence and guidance. I desire so deeply for my family to see You through me. By day (cloud) and by night (fire) the whole family of Israel could see Your presence. If I choose You my family can see You shining through, too. And together we can follow you – which is really the entire point of this life…

P~ Lord help me to follow You with a willing heart, even when I don’t understand where You are going, or I think You are staying in the same place too long, or I’m comfortable where I am and don’t feel like packing up to follow You. I desire Your presence. Give me the strength, courage, selflessness, and humility to follow You wherever you lead. I love You.

A Very Generous Boss 🙂 | Joni Tyner

S~ He answered one of them, “friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage?  Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money?  Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?”  Matthew 20:13-15 (NLT)

O~ Jesus is speaking in chapter 20 about comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to that of a landowner.  He gives the example of several workers who are eager to work and accept the agreed upon wage for an entire day of work.  Then at 9am more people took the job for the same wage.  At noon and 3pm he did the same thing.  Everyone agreed to work for the same wage.  At 5 o’clock he went into town and found more people not working and told them to go to the vineyards.  Shortly afterwards he began paying everyone—everyone got the same pay. The workers who were at the job site bright and early didn’t get any bonuses, they received the same pay as the last minute workers.  Guess what? They WEREN’T happy and complained about their “unfair” pay, even though earlier in the day they were eager for the offer of work and very happy about their pay.

A~ This parable refers to a believer’s entrance into Heaven.   Jesus uses the landowner to represent  God  and believers are the workers.  ***** Jesus is telling us we get into Heaven because of Him—His grace, not by working hard and doing more.  It’s all because of His grace.  Grace means we don’t deserve it.  It’s a gift.  Jesus is telling us we shouldn’t be jealous about those who come to Him in the last minute. On the contrary,  we should be out looking for more “workers”, people to get in on the blessings of the Lord’s grace.  We should be telling others about the great opportunity He gives us.  The most extravagant paycheck ever…eternity with Him. ( reference for this was the commentary in my NLT Bible)

P~ Sweet Jesus.  This is so perfect—this parable completely shows me your love for all people.  I think of the excitement those end-of-the-day workers must have felt when they got a nice paycheck. (You are so generous!—the best “employer” around)   I’m so blessed that I have been one of yours for a long time.  Your “employee perks” are awesome too! Besides spending eternity with You, You are the best constant, faithful Companion, You give me Joy during difficult times, You calm my fears.  And, my “co-workers” (other Christians) are a super-awesome bonus to being a part of Your team.  They make this life so very sweet. So very sweet.   Thanks for seeking me out.

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