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October 20, 2017 Jeremiah 13-15; Revelation 13:11-18

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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Return to Restore | Kim Chipman

S~ This is how the Lord responds:

“If you return to me, I will restore you
    so you can continue to serve me.
If you speak good words rather than worthless ones,
    you will be my spokesman.
You must influence them;
    do not let them influence you! Jeremiah 15:19 (NLT)

O~ Poor Jeremiah. Hated everywhere he goes. Honestly I can’t imagine how difficult things were for him. Judah was out of control and Jeremiah was the one sent to deliver some harsh messages. Here he is crying out to God to help him! He is seriously in fear for his life! He reminds God that he loves His Word, it is his heart’s delight! He did what was right and did not join in the sin. But why does the suffering continue?

A~ Recently I had someone close to me pick at my desire to read the Word regularly. They said something like, “It’s like you’re trying to be some sort of saint or something.” That stung. I need You. I need Your Word for my soul nourishment like my body needs food. I can’t do this thing without You. It isn’t to put on some sort of show for anyone. I know You know my heart.

But as I hear Jeremiah cry out I can relate. Now, not everyone in my entire world is opposing me, but I’ve had opposition. In fact, lately I feel the spiritual battle a whole lot. Lots of stirring up in my heart and in my relationships. Stirring isn’t necessarily bad, but it is uncomfortable for me. And when I feel misunderstood that is particularly painful for some reason.

So, the way You responded to Jeremiah is for my heart today, too. I may be the only one pursuing You, and the enemy may be unleashed against me, but…

If I return to You, You will restore me so I can continue to serve You. If I speak good words rather than worthless ones I can be Your spokesman. I must influence them, do not let them influence me!

P~ Lord, I know Your voice and I know what You are calling me to do. Help me to remember to return to You so You can restore me. I know You are calling me to trust You no matter what the swirling circumstances around me look like. Help me to love well. Help my life to glorify You. I love You!

This Calls for Wisdom | Tara Wiley

S~ Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived…This calls for wisdom. Revelation 13:14,18

O~ In both our Old and New Testament readings today, people were drawn to worship something other than God, and the results in both circumstances were disastrous – enslavement, death. In Jeremiah, the false prophets led the people astray by telling them they were speaking in God’s name, when they were just people-pleasing, speaking what they knew the listeners wanted to hear. Here in Revelation, the deception of the false god was extreme, because the beast had miracles on its side. Not all miracles are from God. What I notice in both Jeremiah and here in Revelation is a consistent shifting of focus: the glory goes to man or beast, not to God.

A~ It’s a strong litmus test. Are the leaders I’m listening to – and the folks I’m going to for wise counsel – consistently directing all glory and credit to God? Do they show sincere humility? If not, I need to take heed. This calls for wisdom.

P~ Lord, I refuse to be deceived by the false leaders of this world. They exist everywhere – secular ‘self-help’ gurus, even false Christian leaders who are bent more on manipulating others and glorifying themselves than on humbly seeking and glorifying You. This time we live in calls for wisdom! God, keep my mind and heart so deeply immersed in Your truth, so filled with Your Spirit, so I can discern what leading is from You – and what is not. And as I lead, remind me of these things, Lord, so I can keep my feet firmly planted in You, with all glory to You, at all times. I pray that there would never be room for doubt as people look at my life: I am following hard after You alone.

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