December 22 John 12,13,14

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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

Whom Will I Please? | Susan Aken

S~ Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:2-3 (NIV)

O~ I have read these verses many times but this was the first time I noticed that Martha is still serving and Mary is still at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42). Also, Mary is still being criticized for what she is doing. Earlier Martha criticizes her for listening to Jesus instead of helping her and now Judas criticizes her for wasting perfume. Yet in both cases Jesus is pleased with her.

A~ Often we have to choose between pleasing people and pleasing God. Mary continued to choose to please Jesus in spite of the criticism of others. When we put Jesus first, others don’t always understand. I have too often held back my faith because of the fear of what others would say. I want to be more like Mary and be so focused on Jesus that I am not even aware that people around me don’t like what I am doing or that I don’t care if they are not pleased.

P~ Jesus, help me to be more like Mary. Help me to live focused on you and how I can please you. Help me to be so focused on knowing you and honoring you that the others fade into the background. Thank you Jesus for loving me so much. Thank you that you love me even when I fail. Please be glorified in my life.

Dying to Produce | Kelley DeAses

S~ I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  John 12:24 (NIV)

O~ Doing what God calls us to do requires sacrifice. Time.  Money.  Effort.  Maybe getting into the mess of other people’s lives.  Maybe exposing the mess of our own life.  Doing what God called him to do cost Jesus his very life.  But for him, it was worth the sacrifice.  God asks so much less from me;  but will I be willing to pay the cost to do it?

A~ Being introduced to this method of approaching the Bible and employing the SOAP technique of journaling has been life-changing for me.  Thus, as I have been imparted wisdom leading to spiritual growth, I feel I have a responsibility to share this gift with others.  An opportunity presented itself to lead a Sunday school class at church.  It has meant allotting time out of my busy December schedule to read, study, plan lessons and buy supplies.  It has meant standing in front of a group of people who may or may not think I have a worthwhile message to convey.

And just as I was reading Jesus’ words here, I felt a nudge to share this SOAP method of reading the Bible with another group of friends I have — some moms from my son’s school.  A few of us have met socially on a couple occasions, but I have it in my heart to host them in my home where we can socialize, yes, but also delve into the Word of God together.

P~ Father, Thank You for divinely inspiring my actions.  Empower me through Your Spirit to be obedient to this call and make whatever sacrifices need to be made to advance Your purposes.

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Posted on December 22, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I just did the advent reading today. I thought of how John was a bit like Mary. He was more interested in pleasing God than people. He heard from God and was obedient to seek Him in the wilderness. I’m guessing that there was pressure to not do that, even though his parents knew his purpose, I wonder if his mother worried about her only child “going off” in the wilderness. His parents, elderly when they had him, had to be really old by now. i would think they might doubt God’s plan and want their son close to them. (i would!!) I wonder if they faced criticism that John didn’t fit the sterotype of what a priest’s son looked and acted like. They chose to obey God rather than be people pleasers. I don’t think i would have noticed that in the reading if i hadn’t read your post. Thanks!!

  2. Thanks for sharing that scripture, Susan. That is so true, Mary was right beside Jesus and cared more about that than being a people-pleaser. That is some powerful truth!!

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