December 2 Romans 9,10,11,12

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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. Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at

Chosen | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ So receiving God’s promise is not up to us.  We can’t get it by choosing it or working hard for it.  God will show mercy to anyone he chooses.  Romans 9:16 (NLT)

O & A~  This verse used to trip me up badly.  I would read it and process it this way: “I’m the one who came to God, so I chose him. And this verse says I can’t get God’s promise by choosing him, so I must not have God’s promise”.   I really believed that you didn’t have anything to do with me coming to you.  I believe now that Satan brings these thoughts to my mind.  Here are some verses that shed light and truth to the way I used to process verse 16:

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

In light of these verses, I know that you do want me to make a choice to come to you, and that desire to come to you is planted in my heart only because of your mercy. I didn’t know you. You chose me and all the time I thought I chose you.

P~ Heavenly Father, thank  you for wanting me, for choosing me.  Thank you for your healing truths.  Thank you for shining your light on this for me.  I love you.

Kind, But Strict | Michelle Myers

S~ So you see that God is kind and also very strict. Romans 11:22 (NCV)

O~ God is the master at lovingly disciplining someone.

A~ We just caught our oldest daughter in a string of lies and hiding things from us.  I am hurt.  I am angry.  I am confused.  I am not really sure what to believe, and it will be her job to rebuild that trust.  I do know what to do, though, and that is discipline her in a loving way.  My husband’s natural consequences for this same behavior was that he was left alone, and it was his job to rebuild that trust.  So, as we strip away my daughters privileges, extras, etc. and she is left alone, I need to still be loving in my strict discipline of her.

P~ God, I love my daughter right now, but I don’t really like her at this moment.  I forgive her, but I don’t trust her.  Please give me the wisdom and discipline I need, to discipline her in a loving and strict way.

Transforming Priorities | Joni Tyner

S~ Therefore, I urge you dear brothers, in view of god’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices , holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship . Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

O~  God is urging me—this is important!

There is mercy—I’m not going to be perfect and always get this, God will give me mercy. (less than what I deserve)

My offers to the Lord are considered holy and pleasing to God. Wow—I certainly don’t feel like I give him holy offerings, I feel like they are pretty pathetic.

I can transform my mind by studying His Word, memorizing scripture, and having follow through when the Holy Spirit is prompting me.

A~ As I reflected and read through some of my journaling this past year, I see the transformation before my very eyes. I wrote many prayers asking the Lord  to give me a hunger for His Word. I didn’t have it, quite honestly. I felt like an imposter on the Discover One Thing writing team. Everyone else was so spiritual, then there was me.  I really was insecure about my little faith and even less Bible knowledge. Still, I did want to grow, and for completely worldly reasons, I honestly just wanted some friends and a group to be a part of.  So I said yes and started writing and hoping no one would notice I didn’t know anything.

Here I am a year later, God has transformed my heart.  J … I always loved Him, I just didn’t love sitting down and reading the Bible, quite honestly.  An example of my priorities being transformed.:

It was Black Friday, (the day after Thanksgiving) and I didn’t have work,  so I thought I’d sleep in. Nope, I’m awake at 5am. I considered going out to shop but thought, I’m much rather read/study the Bible. So I did. I was so involved in studying, I missed the opening time I wanted to get to at Best Buy.

I forgot to eat breakfast. (food is an extremely high priority to me!) and then I missed getting to the YMCA for an “Burn the Bird” exercise class I had wanted to attend.  I saw that my heart was to be in the Word. I had chosen that over sleep, food, shopping and exercising.  That I had did that was absolutely unbelievable to me.  God has answered my prayers by giving me a hunger for Him.

P~ Dear Lord, keep me hungry!  Give me passion for Your work. Thank you for Discover One Thing and their support and accountability.

Just Do It! | Susan Aken

S~ We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

O~ Paul gives many practical teachings in this chapter to believers. He starts with telling us to give our bodies as living sacrifices to God and then goes on to describe what this should look like. In these verses, he tells us to get busy and use the gifts we have been given.

A~ God doesn’t give us gifts for nothing. He wants us to use them. I think sometimes I have made it more difficult than it is. It is not about spending all our time trying to discover what gifts He has given us just so we can say we have those gifts. He is telling us that where we have the ability so serve, then serve. If I have the ability and passion to teach, I should be teaching. If I have a generous heart and I love to give, I need to be giving. If what I say to others encourages them, God wants me to be doing that. I think God is saying, just do it. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Jump in and start using the passion and ability you have. I think if we start serving, our gifts will take us where we need to be. I just decided to once again commit to teaching kids at our church (for awhile I have just been a substitute) I spent some time thinking about it and praying but as I read these verses, I thought, “I need to be doing this. If I have the gift of teaching, then I should teach.” It is the same with encouragement, I know I can encourage people, so why am I not doing that every day or at every opportunity? I want to be one who is using the gifts I have been given by His grace for His glory.

P~ Thank you Father that in your love and generosity you not only give us salvation but you give us gifts so that we can be an active part of your kingdom. That is so gracious of you! Thank you for the gifts you have given me. Please help me use them for your glory. It is all you Lord. Everything I have is a gift from you. Help all those in your body to use their gifts where they are for your glory.


S~ Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 6:12 (NLT)

O~ Paul reminds us in this section of Scripture how to live out our faith. Use our gifts to the very best of our ability. Love others genuinely, work hard pray, help people, be humble and kind to others, and never take revenge, but do good.

A~ Lately, it seems like one trial after another in our family. All of it is out of our control, it’s not anyone’s fault, really. We live in this really broken world.

First, our dishwasher died. Annoying, but it happens, it was 14 years old after all. First world problem.

Then we had a small flood in the basement. A piece of the drain in the tub corroded and disintegrated and completely fell apart, resulting in the water from 2 showers running down into my office. A plumber, a new wall and part of a ceiling later and all is well. Annoying, but it happens. No one’s fault. Another first world problem.

Next? The washer. As I was leisurely reading in the living room it made the most awful noise during the spin cycle. Found a great repairman that my neighbor uses and he could fix it! Yay! The part cost almost as much as a new washer though. So off to buy a new washer (because 4 kids means I do laundry every. single. day.). Annoying, but it happens. No one’s fault. Yet another first world problem.

Next day my husband’s laptop died. Annoying, but it happens. No one’s fault. First world problem, ready to move to a beach on a deserted island that is not first world, though.

The day I got my new washer installed I burned (really, really badly burned) a pan of beans which left my house completely toxic for about a week. That one was my fault. I started wondering what could possibly happen next…but really didn’t even want to ask the question.

All those things are, yes, annoying and unfortunate “life” stuff that bumped into my happy. I could still hang on to being patient in the trouble. But then…

Here’s where I really need this truth of rejoicing in our confident hope. My nephew has a rare, aggressive form of cancer. He is 5. Right now, he is losing…still fighting!…but not winning. We need hope. We need hope that there is more than this broken place. We need CONFIDENT hope. I know that You are there, God. And I know that You are good. THIS is not good, but You are. I don’t understand, but I’m being patient in trouble. And boy, oh boy do we keep on praying.

Then, we celebrated that my daughter (who has juvenile arthritis) has been in medication free remission for SIX MONTHS!! Woo hoo! Something to celebrate and praise You for her health. **That night** she was going to hop in bed and said her legs and feet hurt, upon further investigation she had the characteristic, telltale rash that signals an arthritis flare for her. The next day, lab results confirmed it and the following day we were at the hospital getting an IV to try to keep in in its place.

You are my hope, my confident hope. I rejoice in You. You never change.

Honestly, Lord, I’m doing the best I can to be patient with this yuck. It’s not fair, and it’s making me sad. But You are just.

Praying, praying, praying…I keep praying. Praying for miracles.

P~ Lord, I love You. Thank You for Your truth. Even when my heart is breaking. I am so thankful for the confident hope that I have in You. I love You.

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Posted on December 2, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Susan, i love how you talked about, “just doing it”. So true, we don’t need to think it out so much, if the Holy Spirit prompts us, let’s get busy!!

    One thing I’ve realized over the past year or so is that although we have spiritual gifts that we are gifted in and called to exercise, we aren’t exactly “off the hook” with the other ones. As an example, I don’t feel like my gift is evangelism, i’m just not that great at sharing Bible verses and specifics with the salvation plan, but I still want to support that by using MY gifts. I try to encourage others that are gifted in that area.(like pastors, teachers, ect) I give financially to missionaries, I’ve provided opportunities for others to share while I used my gift of hospitality to provide the backdrop for that to happen. I’m also not great at praying, but I am trying to stretch myself in this area. I don’t want to use excuses and not try. I think when Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and love His people, many “gifts” fall under that. We love others by serving and giving and forgiving and praying for others. I find the biggest challenge in deciding what to say “yes” to, I mean sometimes it isn’t exactly a gift, it just needs to be done and if everyone pitches in a big, it’s no big deal. (as an example picking up the trash after church or putting away chairs of giving a little bit for a charity drive.)

    We are all on the same team to serve the Lord!

  2. The cool thing about when we honor God, he gives back more. I eventually made it to Best Buy and got my “rock bottom” purchase without waiting in a outdoor line. I made it an hour late to the ymca and did TWO classes to burn that post feast indulgence. And, I think i took a nap later in the day, I KNOW i made up for the forgotten breakfast, for sure!!! 🙂

  3. Joni, your soap gave me goosebumps 🙂 God is so awesome! My most earnest prayer is that others would experience the same intimacy with Him that we have…there’s nothing like it! It’s the best! And it’s available to each believer!

  4. Joni, That is awesome! It is exciting to see that happen. Kim, my heart goes out to you. Some things we can just not understand, may God help you keep trusting.

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