Category Archives: SOAP

Pure Wisdom

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S – “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in you hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:14-17

O – Demonic wisdom = bitter jealousy (this is a harsh and violent jealousy, fervent), selfish ambition (courting distinction, desire to put self forward, partisan and fractious; intentional promotion of self) , disorder (confusion, instability) , every vile ( evil, wicked) practice

Wisdom from above = pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason (easily obeying, compliant, willing to yield), full of mercy (kindness or good will towards the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to help them) and good fruits, impartial (without dubiousness, ambiguity or uncertainty) and sincere (without hypocrisy, unfeigned)

A – The call is for me to be pure in heart, to seek peace always, be gentle and kind, be compliant and willing to yield to others; not demanding my own way, full of mercy towards others, mercy that calls me to action when a need is there, to be impartial and sincere with others not pretending, not being a hypocrite but showing genuine love and my life should result in good fruits.

If I decide to promote myself and seek my own honor, if I covet what others have and go after it…this results in disorder, confusion and sin in my life.

P – Father, help me guard my heart. Help me walk in purity and truth. Please help me seek your wisdom and let go of selfish ambition and pride.

 

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It is Finished!

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S – “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

O – The greatest moment in history. “It is finished.” Jesus accomplished what He came to do. He paid the price for the sins of all humanity. He redeemed all humankind. He fulfilled the law and paid the price for our sin. He finished the work. It was complete. Nothing else needs to be done. All that is left is to believe and receive the gift. To accept his righteousness and confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

A – In that moment, Jesus paid for my sin. When He said, “It is finished”, that was for me. He suffered for every sinful choice I’ve ever made or will make. It’s finished, done. There’s nothing else I can do to earn it. All that I do now is a gift for Him. It is a way of showing my love. A way to show I believe. But salvation is complete.

P – Thank you Jesus for paying the price for my sin. Thank you that I belong to you. Thank you for being willing to suffer and die. Dear Jesus, help me to live for you.

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He is Lord Over Me

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S – “Jesus answered him, ‘You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.’”
John 19:11

O – This verse is another reminder of the sovereignty of God. He has all power, all knowledge, all authority. There is no one over Him. No one who makes decisions unless He allows them to do so. He has authority over all powers, over all that exists.

A/P – The LORD God has authority over my life. I belong to Him. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Nothing comes into my life unless He allows it. I acknowledge His authority over all that I am. Help me Father to walk in submission and humility, help me to not resist you. I want to yield my heart and soul. I want to walk open to you will, whatever it is, whatever it looks like. Please forgive me when I act as if I know what I need. Please forgive my rebellion and foolishness. I want your will and not mine. Please Lord. I know there is nothing good in me apart from your Spirit. I am your creation but marred by sin. Thank you for rescuing and restoring me. Please help me remember I am a sheep and I always need my Shepherd.

SOAP

 

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The Law of Liberty

 

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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.

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Will I Choose Silence?

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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.

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Indestructible!

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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.

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Do I Love God More Than Pleasure?

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S – “…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people….always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:4b-5,7

O – Paul is telling Timothy what it will be like in the last days.

A – I don’t want to love pleasure more than God! We have so much pleasure in our culture. It’s so easy to get caught up in good food, nice homes, vacations, clothes, entertainment, so much is right at our fingertips. The more we give our flesh, the more it wants. We can easily, I easily, slip into living for the next meal, the next fun event, the next “comfort”, the next purchase. But what’s that? Those are all temporary distractions. None of that means anything in eternity. Loving God is primary, loving God is supreme, loving God is for eternity. I don’t want to “appear” godly but have no power of the Spirit in my life or to always be learning but never really encounter the truth.

P – Please Jesus, help me to keep my love for you primary in my life. Help me know how to live in the world without living for the world and its pleasures. The pleasures aren’t sinful necessarily but they can turn my eyes from you. Please help me live in balance. Please Lord, help me live in the power of the Spirit, help me know truth.

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