Category Archives: Bible Study

Love is Everything

IMG_2324 love is fulfillment

S – “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law…whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10

O – Paul repeats this several times to emphasize that love is the fulfillment of the law. How often have we as Christians been “law-keepers” with an attitude of judgment, resentment, or arrogance toward “sinners”. But that isn’t fulfilling the law at all. If we don’t love, we fail.

A – If I don’t love, I fail. What law could I keep that would matter if I don’t love others? I grew up thinking if I kept this list of ‘rules’ then I would be right with God. But most of those rules were all about me: don’t drink, smoke, dance, do drugs. Also, keep sex for marriage but that involves other people. Some of those rules might be wise choices for healthy living but that is not the debt I owe. The debt I owe is to love others as Christ has loved me. The focus should be loving others and doing what is best for them not focusing on myself and keeping rules that make me proud. It’s not about making myself better so I can be proud. It’s about losing myself to serve others in the name of Christ. “Love does no harm to a neighbor”. It’s about living to do what is best for others.

P – Father, forgive me. Please forgive me for so often getting it wrong in my life. Especially in the early years but I still lose the right focus. Please help me to love others as myself and to be determined never to do harm. Even the harm of neglect, of not giving what I could give, of not acknowledging others when the opportunity comes. You know my heart Jesus, even better than I do. Please forgive me for selfishness, pride, judgment, and being unloving. Help me. Holy Spirit please love through me. In my own strength, I’m nothing. Please let your love flow through me. Help me to walk yielded to you.

SOAP Bible Reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under love, relationships, SOAP, Bible Study

He Knows Every Tear

eyes-795647_1920

S – “You have kept count of my tossing; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8

O – David wrote this when he had been captured by the Philistines and had to pretend to be insane to save his life. (1 Samuel 21:10-15) He was constantly on the run during this period. His life was always in danger. Saul was a madman and determined to kill David. David was called a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) This verse shows his deep feeling and how close he was to his Father. He knew God was aware of all his wanderings and even knew about each tear he shed.

A – God knows every step I take, every thought I think, every tear in my heart. He knows every weakness, every sin, even when I am clueless, He knows all about me. And He loves me with an everlasting love! It’s easy for me to appear to others as better than I am. It’s easy for me to make excuses for myself. But God sees me exactly as I am and loves me. He loved me enough for Jesus to die for me and give me everlasting life. He knew when He created me how often I would fail, how weak I would be and He still died for me. He still loves me. He still knows every tear I shed.

P – Father, thank you for loving me with a perfect love. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me even though I did not deserve it. Thank you that you love me so much you are aware of every tear I cry. Help me to walk in awareness of your love. Help me to walk in step with your Spirit. Help me to live like I’m loved because I am loved completely.

SOAP Bible Study Method

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Study, God's character, SOAP, struggles

Change Your Default Setting

cloudscolossians3 2-2709662_1920S – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

O – Paul is giving instructions to believers to live a godly life and please God. Here he tells us to keep our minds set on what is above.

A – “Set your minds” – What you think about – this implies that we have a choice. We can choose what we think about, what we set our minds on. As hard as it might seem and it isn’t easy, we do have a choice. We should think about “things that are above.” What is above? Jesus, our Father, heaven, eternity, all who have gone before us, all those who will join us there, God’s will, eternal rewards, all the promises of God, His Word which will last forever. Not on things of the earth: what is temporal, material things, sin, pain, sorrow, temporary pleasures, money, earthly gain and power, problems and worries, physical limitations, pride, selfish gain. Is it possible to never think about those things? Of course not. But to “set” my mind says to me that which I think about the most. The channel I set my radio to. My default setting. What I always go back to. I need to make things that are above my default setting for my mind. Yes, I will think about earthly things and I need to at times but my goal is to always bring my mind back to what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

P – Please help me, Lord. Help me to set my mind on you, on your truth, on eternity. Help me to train my mind to always come back to truth. Thank you that because of your Holy Spirit, that is possible. I love you Jesus.

SOAP Bible Study Method

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Study, heaven, SOAP, thoughts, truth

The Helper

help-66609_640

S – “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7

O Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the “Helper” in John 14, 15, and 16. The Helper, the Spirit of Truth. The disciples can’t imagine that it would be better for Jesus to leave them. But Jesus teaches them if He returns to heaven, the Helper will come who will never leave them. Helper: advocate, legal assistant, counsel for defense, intercessor. The one who stands by my side to help me and intercede for me. The one who lives in me.

A – I love this name for the Holy Spirit. Helper. I desperately need help. My flesh is weak, my mind is often like a wave tossed by the sea, I have no strength of my own. I need the Helper. Knowing He is there is water to my soul. It is a life raft in the sea. I depend on His intercession for me because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

P – Jesus, thank you that you didn’t leave us defenseless. Thank you that you knew how weak we are and that we would need all the help we can get. I believe in you Jesus. I love you. I know you died for me and I’m yours forever. Thank your for sending the Helper. Please Holy Spirit, fill me, help me. Help me live to glorify my Lord. Help me get my eyes off of myself. Please glorify Him in spite of me.

SOAP

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Study, Christianity, Holy Spirit

The Law of Liberty

 

pexels-photo-272337

 

S – “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:25

O/A – The perfect law, the law of liberty. This jumped out at me. It’s not us keeping the law, it comes from the freedom we have in Christ.

“When the fulfilling of the Law it is called the “law of liberty” it means that as Christians we pursue love in liberty from law-keeping as the ground of our justification or the power of our sanctification. Instead we pursue it by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). We look to the Spirit of Christ for transformation so that love flows by power from within, not pressure from without. The law of liberty is the leading of the Spirit, and “where the Spirit is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).” John Piper

It’s all about being led by the Holy Spirit and as the verse says, by “perseverance”. We keep on keeping on. If I keep doing what I know is right by the power of His Holy Spirit and don’t forget, I will be blessed.

P – Thank you Jesus that my obedience comes from the freedom I have in you and not from a need to earn righteousness. Please help me to persevere in doing and not be a hearer who forgets.

Learn more about    SOAP Bible Study Method

2 Comments

Filed under Bible Study, Obedience, SOAP

Will I Choose Silence?

pattern-blueEsther2548026_1920

Do you ever feel inadequate? Maybe you don’t use your gifts because you think they aren’t good enough.

I often feel inadequate as a voice speaking out. I look back on previous devotions and see I need my own advice! It’s frustrating. Part of me thinks I need to be more “spiritual” or “victorious” to share a message with others. But, I suspect readers relate more to my struggles than to my victories. No one has it all together and shouldn’t give the impression they do. However, this struggle doesn’t go away.

Recently, I was doing my daily  SOAP  reading and this verse stood out:

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Queen Esther had the opportunity to speak up for her people and possibly save them from destruction, but she was afraid. There was a good chance she would die if she approached the king without being summoned. Her uncle Mordecai gave her the advice in verse 14, telling her if she kept silent, God would bring deliverance from another place.

The truth of that verse hit me. “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise…from another place.” I realized I can stay silent, but if I do, God will use someone else to share His message. I’m the one who misses out if I don’t share. God will find a messenger. He will accomplish His purposes on earth. For Him to ask me is a privilege: not a right. If I deny that privilege, I lose it. I want Him to use others but I don’t want to miss out on that opportunity! If I keep silent and don’t share through writing, I’ll miss the blessing of experiencing God working through me. I’ll miss the encouragement that comes from others. I don’t want to treat lightly the grace He is giving me by offering opportunities to share His truth. I can’t take that for granted. Opportunities come from Him. I’m not entitled to the privilege of sharing through writing.

Yes, I need to seek Him, live for Him, and know the truth of His Word: otherwise, what I have to share will grow thin. Living for myself doesn’t produce fruit. But, the fact that I stumble and fall and struggle with my flesh doesn’t disqualify me from the race. I’m humbled and awed that He would still give me opportunities and still use me to encourage others. I don’t deserve that privilege. It’s all grace.

What are your gifts?

How is God using you?

If you struggle at times with feeling unworthy to use those gifts, remember if you stay silent, if you put your gifts aside, God will send someone else, use someone else and you will be left without the blessing that comes from serving Him. He wants to use all His children. He wants all believers to operate in the body as one.

We are all important and together we fulfill His purpose on earth.

I don’t want to miss out on experiencing Him working through me.

Father, thank you for the grace you give me every moment, every day. It’s amazing grace that I can even come to you in prayer. Thank you for the opportunities you give me to serve, to share, to write, and to give. Help me to take each one. Open my eyes to see when and where to speak and what to say. Open my ears to hear your call. Please work through me and let your will be done not mine. May all glory always go to you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Study, Obedience, personal, SOAP

Indestructible!

marvel-greater than1641554_1920

S – “This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life.” Hebrews 7:15-16

O – Jesus is the “other” priest. He became our great High Priest because of the power of an indestructible life. Jesus, God, is indestructible. It is impossible for anything to ever happen to God and no power is capable of destroying Him. Every fantasy we ever had about any superhero is more than fulfilled in Christ. Even in our imagination, there is none greater.

A – This indestructible High Priest is my Savior! He is my Lord. My protector. My Sovereign. Even my Friend. Mind blowing truth.

P – I bow before you Father and worship at your feet. That you in your holiness and greatness would love me and love me enough to send perfection to die for me. Words cannot express thanks. I lay my imperfect love at your feet.

SOAP Bible Study Method

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Study, Faith, God's love, Jesus, SOAP