December 3 Romans 13,14,15,16

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.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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Unwavering Respect | Kelley Deases

S~  Give everyone what you owe him. If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:7 (NIV)

O~  This entire passage reminds us God is sovereign over all, and, thus, the authorities in place are there because God put them there (or allowed it, at any rate). In trying to walk out our faith, we cannot pick and choose to whom we will submit and to whom we won’t. It is the position of authority which demands our deference. And I am not speaking of the recent election or the change in regime in Washington D.C. I am speaking of my marriage, right here at my home address.

A~ My pattern is so familiar: I am happy to submit to my husband — give him the respect and honor he is due as head of our household — when I agree with his decision or want to hand over to him an issue I’d rather avoid. But as soon as I disagree with his course of action, or things don’t go as smoothly as intended, I’m the first to jump ship. He loses my support and my deference. Clearly, not in keeping with Paul’s words here.

My husband is in Texas right now. Our family was all down there to celebrate Thanksgiving when my husband found a good deal on a vehicle we are in the market for. So he sent me home with our son, so we could return to school and work. But, ultimately, what he thought would take a few hours is taking a few days! Now that his plan has taken an unexpected turn, I am grumbling and complaining, which, I’m certain, makes him feel even worse than he already does being away from us.

This verse teaches me that my honor and respect of him are not to be conditional or dependent on the outcome. I am not holding up my end of this requirement with my sour attitude towards him.

P~ Father, I confess I’ve been a “fair weather fan” in my marriage. When things are going well, I’m all in. But when we face a challenge, out comes my critical spirit and obvious resentment. Show me how, in every circumstance, to be his cheerleader and not his heckler!

The Result of Trusting You | Michelle Myers

S~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)

O~ Hope, peace, and  joy in any circumstance; doesn’t just come naturally. I have to purposefully be trusting in You.  This requires me to give up my own will and false sense of control.  This requires me to go where You lead me.

A~ My oldest daughter and I had a conversation the other day, about what we could be doing, if I was still working and we had that extra income. My husband and I had the same conversation this morning. We also discussed what opportunities have opened up for us, since I quit working.

I have a feeling these conversations were prompted by You, to remind me, that everything but YOUR grace, love, and sacrifice comes at a cost.  Also, everything of this world has two sides.  There is a lot that we have had to give up, since I am not working, but there is also a lot that we have gained.  It can be hard to see this, in the day to day battles.  I can easily lose focus and start questioning, “Why am I doing this?” and “Does it even make a difference?”

On those days, when returning to work, so I can buy something new or can afford to run away to a peaceful destination, seems like a more fruitful investment than trying to deal with teenagers with yucky attitudes, I have to trust in You. You can fill me with the hope, peace, and joy that I falsely think I am going to get from another possession or place.  You can fill me with all those things, even when my kids are being self centered, mouthy teenagers, that I love, but don’t necessarily like that much.

P~ Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to stay home.  Please help me remember that my joy and peace increase as I let go of my own will and start to rely on and trust in You more and more.

Keep away.  Simple. | Nikki Metzger

S~ I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.  ~Romans 16:17,18 (NIV)

O/A~ This is good advice for me.  If someone is causing division, my course of action is to keep away.  Simple.  Keep away.

P~ Father, thank You for Your Word!

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