December 1, 2017 Hosea 1-3; Luke 1:1-38

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: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

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Marriage God’s Way | Kelley Deases

S~ I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. Hosea 2:19-20 (NIV)

O~ God is wooing the nation of Israel back to Himself, likening this reconciliation to a restored marriage union. A marriage as God designed it to be — forever, righteous, just, loving, compassionate, faithful and acknowledging the Lord.

A~ Sometimes I feel ashamed to admit I am divorced. While my actions were not the immediate cause of the demise of my marriage, looking back I am humbled how blind I was to red flags (flashing, neon red flags!!!!) that were there before we even wed. I was so enamored by this good-looking, charming, popular, wealthy young man who I felt was “out of my league,” I failed to see his lack of respect for me and his ever-wandering eye. And while it was certainly shocking and painful to discover his infidelity and ultimate abandonment of our family, God was able to teach me profound lessons through that experience I could have learned no other way. I learned what a worldly marriage can look like — insecure, tenuous, based on performance and emotion — and can have compassion on others. I understand singleness and being a single parent, which helps me minister to women in that place. But then God gave me a man after His own heart and allowed me to experience what a union based on Christ can be. And because of my past, even the mistakes, I have a deeper appreciation for the gift I have been given this time around.

P~ Father, You are truly a God who takes our pain and weakness and transform it into our victory once we get to the end of ourselves and let You take the mess we made.

My why | guest post

S~ “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.”  Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38 (NIV)

O~ Mary has just been told that she is going to be having a baby without any physical act on her part.  In her day and age, this posed many risks and uncertainties.  Yet, without hesitation her response is: I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.

A~ At work, we were asked our ‘why’.  Why do we do what we do.  What motivates us to do the best we can do?  Our picture and our ‘why’ is going to be displayed.

If my life on earth is to grow up in Jesus and bring others to Christ, then my ‘why’ is truly this: to live and love like Jesus.  That is what I should write on my ‘why’ card.  And I know in my heart that’s what I should write.

Yes, that ‘why’ may have consequences because my work environment is not Christian friendly.  This is scary to me because I don’t want to lose my job.  I desire Mary’s resolve in this situation!  I want to say, without hesitation, I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.

P~ Abba, somedays it would be easier if I worked in a Christ friendly setting, this wouldn’t even matter.  But then what about all those lovely people at my secular job?  You love them so much, don’t You?  I humbly ask, in Jesus’ Name, for the strength and resolve like Mary!  That my heart would align with Yours.  Please forgive my hesitation!  I fear losing my job and not having a stable income.  I love You so much!  Thank You for giving me an opportunity to boldly pick You!  May You be glorified in this and ALL things!

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


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