Category Archives: SOAP

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.

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He Knows Every Tear

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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.

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Judgment Will Come

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S – “On that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:16

O – There is coming a day when all the secrets of our hearts will be judged by God. On that day there will be no pretending, no masking, no hiding…the sins of our hearts will be revealed and we will be exposed. On that day, I will be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. On that day, He will judge and only those who have trusted in His death for us will escape judgement.

From John Piper:
“Note this very carefully in verse 16: it is the gospel that speaks of judgment here. This means that you can’t feel the glorious seriousness of the gospel of Jesus Christ unless you know that it is a gospel about future judgment. The gospel is glorious not to the extent that it solves our problems with depression and cancer, but to the extent that it removes the wrath of Almighty God against us at the last judgment, and brings us to everlasting joy. “

“Being justified by God, being given a positive sentence at the last judgment is greater than all our mental well-being and all our physical health in this whole life on earth. “ John Piper

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/there-is-no-partiality-with-god-part-2

A – Praise God! My sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Praise His holy name! On that day when I face judgement, He will say “Paid in full.”

P – Dear Jesus, thank you, I love you. Please glorify your name in and through my life. Thank you that I am yours forever.

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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.

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Who is God?

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He’s Everything To Me

S – “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Acts 17:25

O – Paul visited Athens and was disturbed by the many idols. He saw an altar to the unknown god. He began to proclaim who that God is. Telling that the One True God made everything that is; He is Lord of heaven and earth; He gives life and breath and everything we have to each of us.

A – My heart is moved to praise our Wonderful, Almighty God. He is Lord of all! He is worthy of all praise and honor. He gives us everything. He is our breath. He is our life. We owe everything we have and are to Him. Praise His holy name!

P – Praise you Father! Maker of heaven and earth. Praise to your holy name. You are worthy. Worthy of all honor and praise. You alone give us all we need. You are all we need. You’re my breath, my heartbeat, my life, without you I’m nothing. Without you I wouldn’t exist. You alone give me meaning and purpose. You’re Holy, Just and Pure yet you love me. You loved me enough to let Jesus die on the cross knowing I would choose sin. You still love me in spite of all my mistakes, failures, and bad choices. You love me in spite of all the times I’ve taken your grace for granted and have let momentary comfort rule my heart. Father, please fill me with your Spirit and let your will be done in me. In my heart, mind, and soul. Use me for your glory.

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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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