December 3 Romans 13,14,15,16

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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

A Sharp-Dressed Christian | Joni Tyner

S~ Instead clothe yourselves with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ…  Romans 13:14 (NLT)

O~ We are to clothe, “put on” Christ. This means it is right next to us, it is near our skin, our heart, it is the image of who we are.

A~ By doing this, I will be “wrapped” in Jesus’s presence, I will more easily be able to resist sin. Also, others will see Him—a life that reflect righteous living. The means I can love unconditionally—like He does. I won’t see the wrong in others but believe the best in them.

I need to wear my clothes daily!! I need His presence daily!! I am His plan to reach others by loving people they way  does.  There are specific people out there that He wants me to have “appointments” with—to love intentionally like He loves them.

P~ Dear Lord, I want to be dressed by You.  I want my “outfits” to attract others to You. Help me to create margin and be intentional with others.

True Help, With A Good Heart | Michelle Myers

S~ Do not owe people anything, except always owe love to each other, because the person who loves others has obeyed all the law. Romans 13:8 (NCV)

O/A~ It has taken me along time to realize that ‘loving people’ doesn’t mean enabling them, catering to them, etc.  I really try hard to pull my own weight, take my personal responsibility in this world seriously, and do my best to not owe people anything.  Yet, I have also found that not everyone shares the same views as I do, when it comes to this matter.

I have been in situations before where I needed people’s help, and graciously accepting it, was something my independence and prideful self struggled with.  I also like to help people.  So much so, that it has gone beyond helping to enabling.  Eventually, either as the giver or receiver, the condition of our hearts will come out, and I have found it will take a huge toll on the relationship as a whole.

This isn’t what God wants for us in our relationships.  He wants us to give, help each other, etc.; but there have to be boundaries.  I can’t give or expect someone else to give, what they don’t have or what God is telling me or them to hold on to.  Nor, is it wise for me to give something, expecting that someone will then “owe” me in return.  And, I have to realize that for some people, what I give will never be enough for them, but I don’t “owe” them anything, except my love.  And by doing that, regardless of what their expectations were of me, I have obeyed God.

P~ Thank you God for all that you have given me.  Thank you God for the extras that you do give to me, and that I am able to share with others.  And continue to work in me, and show me, who those others are, that you would like me to give to.  As you know, I have not always gotten this part right, and have given to others who are unwilling to do things for themselves, are not utilizing the resources you have given them well, etc.  I really need your guidance in this area.  Also, please continue to work on my own humbleness, as I am often reluctant to accept true help, from well meaning people.

Pay the Debt | Susan Aken

S~ Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law…Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?…You then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block in your brother’s way…Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification…Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up…Accept one another, then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 13:8,10; 14:4,10,13,19; 15:2, 7 (NIV1984)

O~ Paul talks a lot about how we as Christians should treat one another. In these three chapters, his heart is on promoting unity in the body. Disputes, conflicts, judging each other and promoting self-interest was a problem in the early church and has always been a problem because of our sinful natures. This is something we must make a decision to fight against. We must choose to love each other, accept each other, stop judging each other, build each other up and please others. The goal is to bring praise to God.

A~ All my life I have seen these issues in the church. I have been a part of them! How many people have stopped going to church because of hurt feelings or because others judged them? How many friendships have been destroyed because we couldn’t accept, forgive and love each other? The pull to judge others is in my own heart. Only through the grace of Jesus am I able to forgive and love. Paul says, “Stop passing judgment.” It is not our job to be judge; we are called to love. Paul urges us to “make every effort” to do what leads to peace and to build each other up. What if I put more effort into building others up than I do into judging them? It is impossible for me to judge another’s heart anyway. We are to accept each other, not try to change each other. For me, the problem often is that I want others to do what I want them to do but God says love them for who they are. We should help each other to be the unique individuals we are and leave any judging to God. When we accept each other, it brings praise to God. But this isn’t easy. It is a battle. The enemy and the flesh fight me on this every day. The only way I can make these choices is through the power of the Holy Spirit and by yielding to Him. Any true love that comes from me; must be His love.

P~ Father, Thank you that you are love. Thank you that you love us and give us grace every day in spite of our weaknesses. I need you Lord. I confess I can’t love like this in my strength. In myself, I am selfish, weak and quick to judge. Please, Jesus, love through me. Help me to love and accept all my brothers and sisters. Help me to build them up for your glory.

Others and Me | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat.  But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong.  And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat you are not acting in love if you eat it.  Romans 14: 14, 15 (NLT)

O~ Paul is telling believers to be aware of other’s beliefs and not just concerned with our own.

A~ This verse reminds me that in order to walk in this (to not do something without considering what others believe about what I’m thinking about doing) I first have to be aware of what they believe.

P~ Heavenly Father, I fell like I have become insensitive to others, for the sake of my faith.  Here, you tell me to not do something that could cause others to stumble, because they might not believe what I believe about that something.  Please forgive me.  I feel like instead of being aware and considerate of others I instead assert my freedom to do.  Please give me your perspective of balance in this area.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.  That was a quick answer…you want me to choose to respect their beliefs. it does not take my freedom away when I choose to not do something that I’m free to do for the sake of others.

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Posted on December 3, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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