His Grace Oasis

General Category => General Discussion => Deeper Fellowship => Topic started by: churchlady on December 02, 2008, 12:43:04 am

Title: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 02, 2008, 12:43:04 am
Have any of you heard of SOAP?  It's a daily Bible study plan for a year.
S (scripture)   O (observation)   A (application)   P(prayer)
My church does this online to promote everyone reading the Word, and then sharing thoughts on it with each other.
I don't know if anyone here would like to do this on this board or not.
Here is an example of one of mine from Sunday's reading (Romans 1-4)  Anyone interested?


Subject: soap : Sunday Nov 30, 2008


Scripture
Romans 4: 19-21  And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
And being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.


Observation
Our job is not to look at the impossibilities all around us (Abraham "did not consider his own body"), but
to look with a steady gaze at what God has promised us (revelation in an area of our life), and trust Him to get us there. 

Between the place of "not considering" and "looking unto the promise" is a place of deliberate choice to enter into rest and cease from our works.  This rest is not passive, but the activity of a living growing Word in us breathed on by the Holy Spirit.

We can't make the promise happen, ..............it starts with Him and ends with Him.  He is the author of our faith as well as finisher of it  and everything in between.

If we try to MAKE it happen, we produce Ishmael's.  But our living faith will flow out
Into action, from within that inner core where we are joined to His Spirit.


Application
This truth hits me with such relief, such awe, such gratitude, such rest of soul.  All I
can do is respond in thanksgiving.........in praise..........and in worship.
What a glorious gospel this is!


Prayer
Father, there is something in mankind that makes us want to revert back to
performance and earning those promises.  But Your patience and long suffering
to bring us from faith to faith and glory to glory eventually establishes us in
Your ways that are so much higher and beyond what we dreamed of.  Thank You
Lord for this patient inward work of transformation that gently leads us in the
paths of life.  What a great and marvelous God You are!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: JTM³ on December 02, 2008, 12:46:22 am
Yeah, actually.

We do that at our church.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 02, 2008, 08:54:06 am
If I'm hearing you right, you read the Bible plan for that day, select a passage of scripture from that reading, and then write the SOAP?

Is that how it works?
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 02, 2008, 10:26:53 am
Quote from: Pete on December 02, 2008, 08:54:06 am
If I'm hearing you right, you read the Bible plan for that day, select a passage of scripture from that reading, and then write the SOAP?

Is that how it works?


Yep, that's it exactly. 
It's really an encouragement when a lot of people are doing this together.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 02, 2008, 10:47:22 am
Sounds pretty good.  It'd be interesting to see all the different things God was speaking to different people using the exact same scriptures.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Alpine on December 02, 2008, 11:07:45 am
To be honest, when I saw the title of this thread this is what came to mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_(TV_series)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 02, 2008, 11:17:41 am
Quote from: Pete on December 02, 2008, 10:47:22 am
Sounds pretty good.  It'd be interesting to see all the different things God was speaking to different people using the exact same scriptures.


Yes, it's good to see the exact same scriptures through other's perspective and what the Holy Spirit shows them. 
I read the Bible in the morning but rarely get my SOAP done until sometime that night.  And there are some nights that I don't get it done.

Today's scriptures are Romans 9-12 if anyone here wants to try it and post what they get.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 02, 2008, 11:19:49 am
Quote from: Alpine on December 02, 2008, 11:07:45 am
To be honest, when I saw the title of this thread this is what came to mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_(TV_series) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_(TV_series))


Oh yeah, I remember Billy Chrystal playing the gay son. 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 02, 2008, 11:49:35 am
Church I went to before I moved used it
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 02, 2008, 11:56:05 am
I'm at work right now, but I'll give it a try this evening and see what I get.

(http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/afro.gif)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: DianeL on December 02, 2008, 08:42:37 pm
This a great! Churchlady, I needed to hear that tonite. Thanks so much for posting it (especially your Observation portion and Prayer).  I have a close friend recently diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma (malignant cancer - grapefruit size tumour on the right shoulder).
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 02, 2008, 09:50:15 pm
All right, let me give this a try...

Scripture:

Romans 12:17-21 (NIV)
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
   "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Observation:

This scripture goes contrary to our human nature.  When someone does us wrong, we immediately think of how we can "get them back".  We think that it is our responsibility to avenge our character, our integrity, etc., while not realizing that it is the Lord's to avenge, not our's.  We all learn "The Golden Rule" in Sunday School, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", but somewhere along the line, we've forgotten that scripture and instead read it as "Do unto others as they have done unto you."

This scripture also goes hand in hand with 1 Corinthians 13:5, which says that Love pays no attention to, and keeps no record of, a suffered wrong.  The only way we can overcome the evil and unjust things that are done to us is with good, His Love displayed in us.

When we try to use our carnal "weapons" to avenge ourselves, we will only make things worse, and evil will overcome us.

Application:

How many times have I had the opportunity to put this into practice?  Too many to count!  Nearly every day, someone is going to do us wrong in some way.  In our leadership group, we used to say that as leaders, we have two buckets to choose from when it comes to putting out fires;  a bucket of gasoline, and a bucket of water.  Far too often, we choose the gasoline and make things a million times worse trying to "avenge" a wrong.  But these scriptures are what pours water on the fire.  As far as it depends on us, we should make an effort to live at peace.

Prayer:

Father, You know that I don't do as well with this as I should.  There have been many times when I have chosen, even willfully, the bucket of gasoline over the bucket of water.  But You know my heart, and my desire is to walk in the fullness of Your Love.  I repent for those times that I have reacted in anger instead of responding in Your Love.  Help me to have the strength to keep no record of those who do wrong to me, and to not feel the need to avenge those who do evil to me.  Pour Your Love into me, even more, so that when people look at me, they see You.  Draw those who have done evil to me to repentance with Your goodness.  Thank You for your grace and mercy, and for transforming me more and more into Your image from the inside out.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 02, 2008, 10:35:37 pm
That's excellent Pete.  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/amen.gif)  Now that's something we all need.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 02, 2008, 11:38:28 pm
Scripture
Romans 10: 6-9
But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, " 'Who will descend into the abyss?' "(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what DOES it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach); that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10: 10 
For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation


Observation
When we read these scriptures, we normally read them as the way to show people how to be born again, or in remembrance of our own salvation experience.  And that is good because when we believe the gospel with our hearts, God imputes His righteousness to us permanently.........declaring us justified for all time.

But I think what we miss sometimes is that this Rom. 10: 10 "believing in the heart, speaking with the mouth" process, is the outworking of faith in any area of our lives.
 
We go from our initial faith for salvation, to faith for all the promises that are in Christ Jesus ('from faith unto faith'). Faith, in this case, speaks more of sanctification, whereby we become aligned more and more with His truth. 

We see this principle also in Proverbs, which tells us to "guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life".  It also tells us the "the power of life and death is in the tongue".  How do those 'issues of life' flow (get released), except through and out of the mouth.
Righteous alignment within releases the saving power of God without.



Application
The saving work of God through His Son is finished, and is now offered to all of mankind, including me.  God asks only that I believe it, for 'according to my faith, shall it be unto me'. 

I need to remind myself daily that the battle is to stop trying to get God to 'come down' or to 'come up' to save some part of my life, but that victory is already accomplished, the promises already mine. 

I battle FROM victory, not FOR victory.  When this is established in my heart in some needful area of my life, then my heart has become aligned with God within, and the words that flow from my mouth to that situation, coming from my spirit, will carry the annointing to break the yoke off that part of my life.

Prayer
Father, how easy it is to get our eyes off of the finished work of Christ, and cry for you to 'come down' and save us.  You HAVE saved us, Lord.  You've already come down.  Forgive me for all the times, that in various situations of life, that I forget that.  And thank You for Your patience with me.  And thank You for the Holy Spirit within that is training me in the way of righteousness.

Never stop Your dealings with me, Lord.  They are a constant sign of Your love. Your ways are perfect and I desire to walk in them.  Thank you, Father.   Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 03, 2008, 05:53:15 am
this is great! I want to try some ...


scripture
Romans 12:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=12&verse=1&version=31&context=verse)
[ Living Sacrifices ] Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.


Observation
A tendency to see worship as something we do in church, singing songs, music, corporate prayer and such. Maybe even things like using dance, drama, flags. Worship is seen as an activity of itself, words we use, exuberant phrasing even to the point of being sycophantic.


Application
Everything we do is a form of worship. When we do a kindness to someone, call on the lonely, give some change to a street person, make a donation to a charity, say a kind word to someone down in the dumps (thanks everyone! (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/winkcheeky.gif) ), pray for someone we might not even know, give of our time, finances, goods, whatever - ALL these things are forms of worship. How it delights the Father when we put ourselves out for others, when we do something that might not be convenient, easy or that takes us out of our normal "comfort zone". He sees our actions and it brings joy to His heart. Just as it brought joy to His heart when Jesus made His sacrifice. "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13) - this may not be to death, just setting our own lives aside to do something for someone else.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I thank you for this verse through which you spoke to me so long ago, confirming that it truly was You I heard. I thank you that you guided me into nursing where this prophesy has been so wonderfully fulfilled. Help us to see how this verse actually permeates every facet of our lives even into the small things, a coin here or there or a word of comfort. Let US be a blessing to YOU, oh Lord. Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 03, 2008, 08:43:03 am
This is some excellent stuff!  :2thumbs:

I think this was a great idea, churchlady.  I'm thinking maybe I'll sticky this, so it doesn't get lost and we can always find it easily.  What do you think?

What's today's reading?  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/th_TFRD323.png)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 03, 2008, 08:58:58 am
Yes, please!!! Sticky wicky!!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 03, 2008, 09:06:57 am
Today's reading..........Rom. 13-16
Thursday...................Ephes. 1-4
Friday.......................Eph. 5,6  Ps. 119: 1-80
Saturday...................Phil. 1-4



I really enjoyed your word, Jo.  Keep it coming!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 04, 2008, 08:39:56 am
Yesterday was a busy day, so I didn't get a chance to do this, but I'll be doing tonight's.  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/th_TFRD323.png)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 04, 2008, 09:44:39 pm
Scripture:

Ephesians 4:1-6 (NIV)
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.


Observation:

This passage of scripture is talking about walking worthy of the calling we've received.  How do we walk worthy of our calling?  By being humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with one another in Love.  The Amplified Bible says "making allowances because you Love one another".  IOW, the way we walk worthy of our calling is to walk in Love toward our brothers and sisters as it is defined in 1 Corinthians 13.

It also speaks of keeping the unity of the Spirit.  The way we do that is through "the bond of peace".  What this says to me is where there is no peace, there is no unity of Spirit.  It also explains why we should strive to live at peace with everyone, as far as it depends on us.

I note that we are called "prisoners of the Lord".  IOW, this is not a choice for us, because we are not our own.  We have surrendered our will to His.  His will is for us to walk worthy.

Application:

I think we should all try to do a better job of "making allowances".  Too often, we are stubborn and have to have things our own way.  But this scripture says that to walk worthy of our calling, there are times that we are going to have to "make allowances" for one another.  There are so many ways that we could do this.  I think it also ties into honoring others over yourself.  If I am honoring others over myself, I will have no problem making allowances and bearing with others in Love, even if they do something I don't necessarily like or agree with.

Prayer:

Father, I thank you for your amazing grace.  Help me to make allowances.  Help me to have more patience.  Help me to remain humble and gentle.  Help me to be a peacemaker, bringing the unity of the Spirit.  We are all unique parts of Your body, and we all need each other.  Thank You for continuing to make this Truth real to me.  Thank You for your Love and Your mercy towards me.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 04, 2008, 11:38:05 pm
I loved what you wrote Pete.  God is really speaking to you in this season about the love walk.

Here is my soap for today.  I'm getting it in just under the wire with it being 11:37 pm.



SOAP  Thursday Dec 4, 2008/ Eph. 1-4

Scripture
Ephes. 2: 1-2  And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience
       
Observation
Just let me say up front to those who may read this, that this may not make a lot of sense, because I am trying to piece together some things that I believe the
Lord is presently saying to me and I don't know quite what it's all about, yet. 

He has been talking to me lately about 'foundations'.  His Kingdom is built upon the foundation of justice and righteousness, and if we want to build either a home, a business, a church, or a nation that will stand and be healthy and flourish with good fruit, it too must be built on the same....that which is right and that which is just.

So what does this have to do with 'the prince of the power of the air', I'm asking myself because I was drawn to that verse as I read today's scriptures.  I believe the Lord has been showing me that the foundation in (let's use, for instance) a home, possesses a distinctive environment and atmosphere (air)........... abstract concepts that describe things that are very real but are not material objects. 

The environment or atmosphere or 'air' of a home will reflect the people in that home, especially the ones with the most power and influence.  It will reflect their character, their spiritual health and maturity or absence thereof, which flow from their perceptions, mindsets, attitudes, speculations, blindspots, strengths, weaknesses, etc., .............all of which are also abstract but very real and with huge impact on our lives.

And these scriptures tell us that the prince of the power of the air rules from this place or realm..........a place that battles for the minds and hearts of every one of us.  Since his (the devil) is the course or direction that this world is naturally going in, it follows that it will be easy to flow with it, and a greater power or force is needed to swim in a different direction so that the atmosphere or environment or air of a home, church or nation is different than the world.

The Lord is saying to me, I believe, that to lay a foundation in a home or elsewhere that is based on what is right and just for all that inhabit that 'airspace', the mind (especially of those who have power in that airspace) must be renewed and the heart continually made aware of and cleansed of all that doesn't fit the pattern of what is right and just for all.  For if the foundation is off, the fruit that will be built upon that foundation will not be good.

Application
The Lord is One who looks at the root and foundations rather than the surface circumstances, because if the foundation is off, what is built upon it can only be dysfunctional in some way with negative, toxic impact on those breathing that air, so to speak. 
I want to change some outward circumstance and pray accordingly and am surprised when the Lord wants to go deeper and point out to me something else deep within.  But He knows that if the abstract areas of my heart and mind are set in order, then the outward circumstances can easily follow. 

   
Prayer
Lord, I want the easy, quick answer and sometimes it just can't be that way because things deep within in the atmosphere or environment of my heart are off, and need to be set in order, before change can come outwardly.
So God, more than anything, I need You to examine me and see if there be any wicked way in me that is flowing with the course of this world. 
I want to build through prayer and obedience upon what is right and what is just in my home, in my church, in my nation.  Quicken me, Lord to whatever is askew in my foundations, that I can agree with You for the need of changes. 
You have set me free from the prince of this world and his influences on my airspace. It is in You that I now live and move and have my being.    Amen

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 05, 2008, 06:51:58 am
Scripture
Philemon 4-7
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you willhave a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.


Observation
I like this passage as it reminds me how we can infuence once another in our faith walk, being an example to one another, delighting in seeing another being strong and being blessed in their faith. And so we should remember that as we set the standard of Christ-walk to one another, we are also setting it to those who do not know Jesus. This was the charisma of Christ - often not so much what He said or did, but how He lived his life, how he demonstrated His personal philosophies, character and faith in that most enigmatic of ways - non-verbal language, body language, call it what you will. For it matters not one jot what you say or do if your first reaction to someone has been a flash of disdain, irritation or dislike, then everything you do thereafter will be coloured to that person. First impressions make a big difference. Jesus' first impression to others was one of compassion, warmth and LOVE. Nothing more, nothing less. That was what drew people to him. THEN they were open to hear His words.


Action
So I'm walking in the shopping centre and spot someone who needs help, or they may come to me asking for help. It's a nice lady, getting on in years and she's lost her purse with her money and car keys. Well, that's easy. I help her get in touch with her home, maybe even end her my mobile phone to ring home. I might even stay with her, buy her a cup of coffee whilst her husband comes to the rescue.

But now a young lad comes, scruffy, hasn't bathed in a while, and asks for help because he hasn't eaten in a couple of days. Do I greet him with the same warmth I did the lady? Do I accept his story as unquestioningly as I did hers? Do I let him within a foot of any of my possessions? Or do I assume he just wants the money for drugs or alcohol?

Stereotypes are awful but we all fall prey to them. And it's so easy to forget, in that first instant of greeting, that Christ can either shine forth from us in our FIRST reaction, or merely get to peek in as we collect ourselves and do what we know we 'ought' to.


Prayer
Dear Lord, I want so much to have You shine forth from me when I meet people, whether neighbours, the check-out girl, the postman at the door or someone in distress. But the faulted, human thing inside me so often seems to get in there first and show a side of me I want to discard. So I come to You asking that You fill me to overflowing with Your Spirit so that the image people see of me is more YOU than me!Make me truly Yours, dear Lord.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 05, 2008, 09:52:27 am
This is excellent and powerful stuff!  I love seeing what God is saying through others, and being encouraged and edified in the process.

Now, if only we could get some more people to share...  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/winkcheeky.gif)

(http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/afro.gif)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 05, 2008, 09:57:32 am
I loved using this process when we did it before. It makes the Scriptures seem to come alive somehow.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 06, 2008, 12:06:47 am
Here's the scripture for tomorrow (Saturday).  I am enjoying what you guys are writing.

Quote from: churchlady on December 03, 2008, 09:06:57 am
Friday.......................Eph. 5,6  Ps. 119: 1-80
Saturday...................Phil. 1-4


Scripture
Ephesians 6: 10-13 
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

       
Observation
The Old Testament is full of the brutality of bloody battles, warfare, weapons,
mighty men of valor, strength, courage, endurance against impossible
odds, victory, defeat, God's instruction to Joshua that he must be strong and very courageous as he leads the people into battle to take the land, etc........................
 
While in the New Testament, we see traits such as love, nurture, gentleness, patience that almost seem more feminine in nature.   It's easy to put out of our minds the blood, the gore, the horror that must have accompanied the scene at the scourging of Jesus and then His crucifixion.

Because of that, I think it's also easy to forget that we, the people of God still on this earth, are at WAR (sent out as sheep among wolves). 

Yes, the war has already been won, but we have an enemy that will do everything possible to convince us that it's NOT.  He roams about seeking whom he can devour through deception, division, doubt, discouragement, or distractions.  He wants to abort every possibility of us, as the army of the Lord, advancing His Kingdom rule on this earth.

Today's Word in Ephesians describes the enemy in terms that imply rank, position, authority, organization, and assignment ( "principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts
of wickedness in the heavenly places.")

Then we're instructed to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, and to put on all the armor that God has issued to us.  He assures us we will face an evil foe and need this armor to withstand when the battle ensues, and still standing when it stops.

II Cor. 10: 4 informs us that the weapons of our warfare have the strength to pull down the strongholds of the enemy.  We are given authority to bind and loose.

I John 3: 3 describes young strong men who overcome the wicked one because the Word of God abides in them.

II Tim. 2:-4 describes the cost and sacrifice as one of hardship endured and leaving behind the things offered by this world in order to fully engage in this battle and please the One who called us.

And Isaiah 53: 12 shows the prize of victory when the spoils are divided to the strong.
 

Application
We need to awaken to the reality that there's a lot more going on in this world than appears to the natural eye, and we ignore it to our own hurt.  ("My people perish for lack of knowledge") 

Christians have a target on their back, and the enemy means business.  We can't afford to be in disunity, unprepared, unaware, unarmed, and untrained.

We can't afford to stay in the bliss of childhood when the Lord of Hosts calls us to grow up into mature sons and daughters and be busy about our Father's business....Kingdom business. 

The reward is that Christianity is the greatest adventure ever lived or dreamed of, and we get to participate.   It's for those who will suit up and go forth, to whatever field of battle we're called and equipped to.      

Prayer
Father, You've called us to be kings and priests in this earth, serving the will and purposes of the King of kings and Lord of lords. 

Teach us Your ways, help us to yield to the training of the wilderness situations in our lives, so that we are fitted for the Kingdom. 

Give us Your vision, Lord, so that we are inspired to leave behind the temptations of this world, and reach for something higher.  Raise us up to love You,  more than we love ourselves. 

Open our eyes to Kingdom reality, and let the enemy be as grasshoppers in our eyes because we see and rest in Your finished work.  Amen.

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Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 06, 2008, 07:14:32 pm
Today (Saturday)...................Phil. 1-4

Here are next week's scriptures:

Sunday   December 7th    Col. 1-4
Monday   December 8th    1 Tim. 1-4
Tuesday  December 9th    1 Tim. 5,6;  Titus 1-3
Wednes. December 10th   2 Tim.1-4
Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4
Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8
Sat.      December 13th   Heb. 9-11 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 06, 2008, 09:21:31 pm
It's 1.30am so I'm a tad late but never mind! I also already did this so well (IMO!!) and when I hit the submit button, the whole lot got dumped!! Lord, please give me all that text again.


Scripture
Philippians 1:4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy


Observation
I emphasised 'with joy' because it seems like this is the crux of this reading but it can be taken out of context without the following verses

because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

and we should rejoice in that, the constancy of our Father God, the knowledge that He WILL fufill all His promise in us. But He also want us to put passion into our reationship with Him, passion and joy. For didn't Jesus also say ...

Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
Mark 12:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
Mark 12:33
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Luke 10:27
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

That this saying is repeated in three of the four Gospels seems to me to emphasis that this is a primary and fundamental requirement of God's, that we have passion in our relationship with Him. Passion is a partnership with joy. Without joy there is no passion, without passion there can be no joy.


Action
It often seems to me that when we come to prayer, we adopt a solemn, even dour mood as we begin to read out our shopping list of needs and wants to the Lord. And we neglect to first thank him for the blessing he has already poured out on us. Often my prayer partner and I will ask one another what we want to 'pray for' tonight but in a kind of telepathic moment, will agree that we just want to thank Him and praise him. And then we pray with joy, with an unfathomable, inexplicable joy of being one with the Father, praising and rejoicing in His presence between us on the telephone!

For that is what we are created for, what God wants of us, to lift up His Name and rejoice in His very existance. This is what the heavens ring to in eternity, the wondrous sound of the worship of angel voices. And we are part of the angelic host.


Prayer
Dear heavenly Father, Abba, Daddy - forgive us when we forget to thank you for the many blessings you have already given us. Teach us to rejoice in Your presence in our lives, to lift up our hearts in thanksgiving and glorify Your holy Name. To be one with You and the recipient of Your love is an incomparable gift of unimaginable treasure and one that should fill our hearts with passion - the passion of the bride of Christ for her groom. Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 07, 2008, 10:56:02 am
Scripture

Col 1:4

because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints

Again I think this verse is best served by adding the context of the passage

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints -- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.


Observation
"the saints" - a term generally accepted to mean other believers, other members of our fellowship. Here Paul is extolling the members of the church at Collossus for the way they expressed their love and caring for one another.

Do churches always do this? From the experiences I have had, no, they do not. Oh there is a superficial bon home, a hug and an air kiss when you greet and when you 'share the peace' during the meeting, but there is little or no depth in it. People may even be prepared to help out in a crisis but of actual and lasting friendship, if present that tends to be somewhat 'clique-y' and outsiders are just that - outside!


Action
There are a lot of lonely people in churches, imo. They come and join in the worship, may even attended the weekly home meetings and help out at events. But they rarely succeed in getting invites to a dinner accepted much less offered. These are not the people who are on the 'drop in for a coffee anytime' list, or have someone they can ring on the spur of the moment to go to the movies with them. 

Are there people like this in your church? Do you really have love for all the saints?


Prayer
Father, I pray that in all Your churches, of whatever denomination, there is real love expressed to each and every member of that family. That Your express commandment "love your neighbour as yourself" be revealed and embedded in the hearts and minds of every member of Your church. For if we do not first express true love to one another, how then can we express it to those of Your people still in darkness?
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 09, 2008, 12:15:29 am
Quote from: MissConStru on December 07, 2008, 10:56:02 am
Action
There are a lot of lonely people in churches, imo. They come and join in the worship, may even attended the weekly home meetings and help out at events. But they rarely succeed in getting invites to a dinner accepted much less offered. These are not the people who are on the 'drop in for a coffee anytime' list, or have someone they can ring on the spur of the moment to go to the movies with them. 

Are there people like this in your church? Do you really have love for all the saints?


Unfortunately this is so true.  I need to reach out more myself.  Thanks for this reminder, Jo.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 09, 2008, 12:16:46 am
SOAP  Monday Dec 8, 2008

Scripture
! Tim. 1: 5  Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

Observation
This scripture jumped out to me because I so hunger to be purified by
God's Word, and His examination of my heart.  It has been said that the Bible is the only book that reads you while you are reading it.  That is very true, but thank God
That it is so.

There was a time when I feared this, because I didn't know God's ways enough to trust Him not to hurt me.  But now I know that He wants so much more for me than
I can even think to want for myself.  I have come to love His ways.  Far from hurting me, He wants to take me to higher planes of living than I can imagine.               

Application
When I ask God to examine me and show me what is blocking His way in me, usually a circumstance will come along that causes something down in the subconscious level of my being to come to the surface.  Then I have the opportunity to see it, acknowledge to God that it is not in alignment with Him, and to ask Him to forgive me and change me.  He is faithful, but He will not impose His will upon me as a tyrant would.  Who can resist such love.   

Prayer
Father, I have found You to be perfect in all Your ways, and have come to love even your reproofs and rebukes because they are done with such courtesy and kindness.  Truly Your gentleness and tender mercies have healed my soul and I thank You.  I have found no harshness in You Lord, and Your voice and Your manner do not jar my soul.  Because of this, I am finding my heart open more and more to You, Lord and I am so glad.  Amen.<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:P></O:P>
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Quote from: churchlady on December 06, 2008, 07:14:32 pm


Here are next week's scriptures:

Sunday   December 7th    Col. 1-4
Monday   December 8th    1 Tim. 1-4
Tuesday  December 9th    1 Tim. 5,6;  Titus 1-3
Wednes. December 10th   2 Tim.1-4
Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4
Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8
Sat.      December 13th   Heb. 9-11 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 09, 2008, 09:11:28 am
Thanks so much for posting these!  They really are a blessing to me.

I haven't forgotten, but some plumbing woes in our bathroom have taken up my time the last few days.... (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/th_scifD36.gif)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 09, 2008, 10:18:38 am
Scripture
Titus 1:3 (New International Version)


and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior


Observation

There's a fridge magnet on my friend's fridge which says "Give me patience, Lord, but give it to me quickly"! How true that is. We pray for things and if they don't happen quickly we think that either God wasn't listening or we lacked the appropriate amount or quality of faith. Truth is, things will happen in HIS time, not ours.


Our human natures make it difficult for us to be comfortable with that. Last year, the church I was in was praying in strength for the healing of a small girl with leukamia. After a long and wearisome battle, she died at the tender age of nine. Some were discouraged, thinking 'what had been the point' or 'where did we go wrong?'. Truth was we had done nothing wrong and there WAS a point. What ever the outcome, we lifted this small saint up before the Lord, supported and comforted her family and the church had grown together as a result of the endeavour.


Action
When we come before the Lord in prayer and petition for something, be it for a resolution of our own ills or problems or another's, we have tendency to think the ONLY answer is going to be a quick miracle; an unexpected cheque in the post or a sudden healing. Those things do occur and praise God when they do, but more often, the healing of finances or healing takes place through the long slow process of man's proceedings. It does not make it any less of God.



Prayer
Give us patience, Lord. Patience to rest in You and trust in You and to know that ALL good things come from You. Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 10, 2008, 12:46:48 am
That was a 'timely' word, Jo.  (pun intended)  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/th_TFRD323.png)






(singinnat@yahoo.com)
SOAP  Tuesday Dec 9


Scripture
I Tim 5: 1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity

Verse 5:  Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayer night and day.



Observation
When I read this, I immediately thought of the verses in Luke 2 that tell us about one older man named Simeon and one older woman named Anna.

The world doesn't have much use for men and women as they get up in years and past their prime, but God is not like that.  When we know and love the Lord, some of the best years are in our latter days. 

This was true of Simeon who was waiting for the Messiah to appear because God had spoken to him that he would not die until his eyes saw the 'Consolation of Israel'.

Not only did he see Him when Mary and Joseph brought him, as a babe, to the temple for dedication, but he got to prophesy over Him, as well.  This elderly man, who the scriptures say was just and devout, knew even before the disciples, that this babe was being sent for the salvation of the gentiles as well as the Jews.

And there was that same day, at the temple, an old lady of 84 who spent her days and nights in the temple in intercessory prayer.  She also recognized Him, by the Holy Spirit, that He was the foretold child that would save Israel.

The creator of the universe communed intimately with these old saints and still used them in service to His purposes.  Their life had meaning, richness, and usefulness even though they were old.

Application
Age doesn't matter to God.  He will use us in His work until we go home to be with Him.  It may be behind the scenes in obscurity but what does that matter when the Creator of the universe is pleased to talk to us and share His heart and plans.  What an honor and privilege.    

Prayer
Father, I enjoy my relationship with You so much more than I did in my younger years, when I knew so little of Your ways, and was so totally self absorbed in my own interests.  Now the world seems dull indeed compared to the riches of daily time in Your presence and the companionship of the Holy Spirit.  You surely save the best wine for last, and I love You for that.    Amen.

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 10, 2008, 12:48:53 am
Quote from: churchlady on December 06, 2008, 07:14:32 pm
Here are this week's scriptures:

Sunday   December 7th    Col. 1-4
Monday   December 8th    1 Tim. 1-4
Tuesday  December 9th    1 Tim. 5,6;  Titus 1-3
Wednes. December 10th   2 Tim.1-4
Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4
Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8
Sat.      December 13th   Heb. 9-11 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 10, 2008, 10:57:42 pm
Scripture:

2 Timothy 3:5 (AMP)
For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

Observation:

These are the scriptures immediately preceding that scripture;

2 Timothy 3:1-4 (AMP)
1 BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].  2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.  3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. 4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

That's quite a list!  But what stood out to me is that in verse 5, it is talking about people who profess to be Christian.  The statement "their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession" indicates that they will say one thing, but do something else.

So what power are they denying and rejecting?  Perhaps the power of God's Love to change them, and not make them proud, arrogant, boastful, disobedient, etc. anymore.   They are strangers to the power that God's Love contains to the tearing down of strongholds, and so they say things like, "This is just my personality", or, "This is just how I am", denying that the power of God's Love can change them into something that more closely resembles the image of their Father.

Application:

The application of this scripture in real life can be tricky when talking about other people.  It is not our job to point out all the faults of other people, and accuse them of "denying the power of godliness".  We can try to encourage and edify one another, and even admonish one another in the Love of God, but ultimately, it is up to the Holy Spirit to deal with each person individually.

Prayer:

Father, my desire is to allow the power of Your Love to purge from me anything that is not of You.  I acknowledge now the Power that Your Love has to tearing down the strongholds in my life, and I ask You to continue to refine me more and more into Your image, removing anything that would prevent people from seeing You when they look at me.  Thank You for continuing to mold me more and more into Your likeness.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 12, 2008, 12:31:44 am
Pete, I say 'ditto' to the prayer you prayed.  I want that too.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOAP Thursday Dec 11

Scripture

Hebrews 1: 8-9 
But to the Son He says:
    " Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
    A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
    You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
    Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
    With the oil of gladness more than Your companions."


Observation
In a world that is growing increasingly darker and more evil, this is a very
comforting scripture to me.  God is a God of what is right and what is good. 
In fact, all that is right, just, and good originates with Him.

After hearing my pastor's message Wednesday night on people that you can not
help, and then reading these two verses, I can see that here is the truth that
they are missing. 

They are more interested in going their OWN way, doing their OWN thing, and thinking their OWN thoughts, than loving what is right and hating what is
wrong in their own life.  Therefore they aren't willing to examine their own
hearts or be corrected by those who see whereby they continually stumble.

Application

If I can't help those who are unwilling to be helped, I can at least learn something
from observing their ways.  They, at least for the time being, prefer the darkness
to the light in some area of their lives.
 
Where in my own life, do I prefer the darkness to the light.  Is there something in
my life that several people continually point out to me, and I resist hearing, or make
excuses for?

Am I easy to be entreated, so that they even DARE to tell me, or do they know that
if they tell me the truth, they will have to bind up the wounds to their soul, afterwards?

Is my ego so fragile that I can only stand affirmation, and not reproofs of instruction?


Prayer

Lord, I know how easy it is to fool myself.  I need and want Your correction. 
But I need more than that, Lord.  I need You to continually work in me "to will
and to do of Your good pleasure" so that I will prefer the light to the darkness,
the right instead of the wrong, the truth instead of the lie.
 
Don't leave me to my own self, Lord.  I know You won't.   Amen.


Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:
Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4
Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8
Sat.    December 13th   Heb. 9-11 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 12, 2008, 11:41:52 am
Scripture
Hebrews 5:8
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered


Observation
So although he was a son he learned obedience. Does this tell us that obedience did not come easily to Jesus? That being the son of God did not mean he didn't suffer the same temptations and passions that we all do. The submission was a choice, the acceptance of all that was done to him in the final days of his life on earth was his free will choice because he had complete and utter faith in God and therefore total obedience to His design.


Action
This must be one of the biggest struggles mankind encounters. We are, by nature, independent, free thinking, self-willed individuals. We like to plan our lives, decide which paths we will take, on occasion, even deciding for ourselves what is wrong and what is right. Basically, we're control freaks! We like to think that next week,next month, next year we'll do this or that. Yet God may have other ideas.

God did make us that way but in the hope that we would subdue that very stubborn streak of independence to rely and lean totally upon Him. For when we do, when we have learned obedience and trust in nothing but "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" then we will be blessed in abundance.


Prayer
Father, I strive to give up my independence, my stubborn streak. I know that standing on my own two feet gets me nowhere but that leaning on You does. Forgive that I sometimes continue to use my own feet even when I am remembering this. As Christ was obedient unto death, let me follow in his footsteps and seek that as my ultimate goal. I want no other power in my life but You.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 13, 2008, 12:45:46 am
SOAP Friday Dec 12

Scripture
Hebrews 5: 11-12  .....of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.


Observation
What struck me, especially in chapters 5 and 6 is the manner in which  the writer addressed the recipients of this letter. I believe that it has much instruction for us in our approach to fellow believers who are in various stages of growth, as well as what we, ourselves may need to do to facilitate our own spiritual growth.

The author is addressing Jewish believers who, being persecuted by their fellow Jews for leaving Judaism, were discouraged and thinking about returning to their former way of life under the Mosaic law.

Even though he refers to them as 'dull of hearing' and that for the time passed as believers, they should be teachers of others, he doesn't treat them as rebellious. 

He is very firm with them, giving them an analogy of the earth taking in rain and expected to bring forth fruit..........but then says, 'But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.'

I observed a wisdom in the author's prescribed remedy for carnality, which in this case doesn't seem to be because of sin, but because of very hard circumstances coupled with lack of understanding.

Whereas Paul told Timothy (a young but mature saint), to war a good warfare and to endure hardness as a good soldier when he faced the hardships in life, the author of this book says nothing like that, but basically uses a two-fold approach by prescribing (1) a remedial course in the basics............Christianity 101, and (2) a reminder that what they would return to is far inferior to what they now have in Christ.


Application
There is no 'one size fits all' formula for Christian growth.  A lot of factors have to be considered, and  discernment made.

These people, though saved, apparently didn't know who they were in Christ or who Christ is in them, because  it was said that they were "unskilled in the word of righteousness". 

What they needed was to be more thoroughly taught what Christ actually did for them in dying for their sins and birthing them into His Kingdom.  This would enable them to leave behind their carnal milk diet, and able to feed on the meat of God's Word, giving strength to cope with their circumstances.

What if the author had failed to have this discernment and instead just treated their carnality as rebelliousness from an evil heart of unbelief?  He could have 'quenched a smoking flax and broken a bruised reed'.


Prayer
Father, I pray for wisdom and discernment in my treatment of those believers around me who may seem to not be maturing.  Cause me to understand whether I am dealing with someone who can't be helped at the present time, or someone who has a good heart but just needs to have a deeper understanding of the truth of God's word.

I don't ever want to forget, Father how long suffering and patient You have had to be with me and how gentle You've been with my foolishness.  But neither do I want to waste time sowing seed on what seems to be for the time, barren soil.  Discernment, Lord............I ask for wisdom and discernment.  Amen.



Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:
Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8
Sat.    December 13th   Heb. 9-11 


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Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 15, 2008, 08:59:38 am
Here are this week's scriptures:

Monday      Dec. 15th  James 1-5
Tuesday     Dec. 16th  1 Pet. 1-5
Wednesday  Dec. 17th   2 Pet. 1-3;  John 1
Thursday    Dec. 18th   John 2-4
Friday      Dec. 19th   John 5-6
Saturday    Dec. 20th   John 7-8
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 15, 2008, 08:33:54 pm
Scripture
James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.


Observation
Well, truth of the matter is we ALL lack wisdom! There may be people we respect as having wisdom but often times it's in one particular area. On my bone forum, I expound and advise with great knowledge based on 50 odd years of nursing experience and therefore my members respect me as 'being wise' but when it comes to the machinations of ordinary life, I'm a total ingénue. The events surrounding my undignified departure from CF last July were testimony to that - I just never saw it coming.

That happens to some people in life. They lack the ability to have a knowledgable and sensible concept of people around them, the impact they have upon them and their lives. I was listening to a conversation on radio analysing the story in the film "It's A Wonderful Life" (starring James Stewart). It's an old, black and white movie that has become an iconic story for Christmas time. A well-meaning man gets into difficulties and thinks the world would be better off without him. Enter Clarence, a newbie angel, who sets about to show him how the world would be if he had never been born. Pure Hollywood shmaltz, actually, but a good story to demonstrate the essence of having the wisdom to realise how each of us has a place in this life and that place matters even if it is just running an internet forum for hip and knee replacement patients! It may not have the zing and prestige of my earlier roles of operating theatre manager but the messages of gratitude I often get from people whose lives have been made just a little bit easier by my words of 'wisdom' are blessings in themselves. As a result, I take my role very seriously and often seek God before I answer a question, just to make sure I have His insight into the problem. He rarely lets me down!


Action
It's a WISE man (or woman!) who seeks God before dealing with a problem, be it theirs or someone else's. Only God has the overview. We have only a one-sided view of things or a few words of explanation so we frequently get a misconstrued notion of the issues at hand. We should always think and pray before we speak, before we write or even before we post something on an internet forum! Only God has the wisdom we need. We cannot get it for ourselves. To act without the wsidom of God is to expound our own opinion which is pretty useless.



Prayer
Dear Lord, most powerful and mighty God, we must always come before you acknowledging that we have no knowledge that You did not give us, no insight that You did not imbue us with, no compassion that is not from You. Without Your guidance and teaching, we are empty vessels, unable to achieve anything of worth. Fill us, strengthen us, use us, work through us. This is all we ask. And to You goes all the glory, all the power and all the praise. In Jesus' Holy name.

Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 16, 2008, 12:43:07 am
Wow Jo, that was really good!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 16, 2008, 12:43:55 am


SOAP Monday Dec 15

Scripture

James 1: 14  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.


Observation

Not every desire that draws us away is a bad desire, in and of itself.

When I read this verse, I thought about Abraham and Sarah.  They had a promise from God that they would have a son and had been waiting for over a decade for the promise to manifest. 

They desired greatly to see the fulfillment of what God had said He would do.  Sarah began to 'lean to her own understanding' with thoughts that maybe God wanted her to give her maid, Haggai to Abraham in order to have a child by her, thus fulfilling the promise.

There was nothing wrong with their desire.  Where they went wrong is being led by the desire instead of by God. 


Application

It is not wrong for us to have hopes, dreams, and good desires.  But God never meant for us to be led by those desires, apart from Him.

Maybe we desire to accomplish a good thing in our work, or do something to make life better for our family.  Or even as Abraham, we might be believing for the manifestation of something that God has told us He would do.

But unless we submit those desires to God and seek His leading, we set ourselves up for the enemy to get his foot in the door and take  advantage of us. 

He will feed into our thoughts all sorts of reasonable sounding ideas.  If we are enticed and succumb to them, we may run ahead of God, trying to make things happen and end up giving birth to Ismael's (of the flesh) instead of Isaac's (of the spirit).  God needs our obedience, not our help.


Prayer

Father, having been one who has run ahead of Your timing so often, I appreciate Your word reminding me again of something that has been a tendency in my walk.

Never tire of reminding me Lord of the importance of talking over everything with You and seeking Your wisdom before acting. 

You said in verse 5 of this same chapter that "if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask " and that you will give "liberally and without reproach". Please nudge me in this direction, Lord when I get too focused on the desire, instead of You. 

Thank You, Father. 
Amen.
...


Here are this week's scriptures:

Monday    Dec. 15th  James 1-5
Tuesday   Dec. 16th  1 Pet. 1-5
Wednesday  Dec. 17th   2 Pet. 1-3;  John 1
Thursday    Dec. 18th   John 2-4
Friday    Dec. 19th   John 5-6
Saturday    Dec. 20th   John 7-8



Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 17, 2008, 09:09:03 pm
Thanks, churchlady. I've enjoyed reading these and I've enjoyed writing them. It's quite thought provoking.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 17, 2008, 09:28:10 pm
Scripture
2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.


Observation
"Everything we need" .... in these days of financial meltdown, people losing their jobs and often their homes as well, that's quite a statement. But read on "for life and godliness". Jobs, homes, possessions - they're all transient things from God's perspective. We have a far bigger issue at hand. In our short lives in this mortal coil, we should be careful to sift out earthly things from heavenly things. That old aphorism "you can't take it with you" is so very, very true.


Action
In my time, I've done some fund raising for various projects. I'd get phone calls from people who'd had an elderly parent or relative die and want to clear out their house. I'd get a car full of stuff from there I thought was saleable but it always made me sad. I look around my home now and see all the photographs of people I've loved and the ornaments and stuff, each of which represents a memory or a person that is/was close to me. But I know when I die, all those treasured items will be just so much bric-a-brac to furnish another jumble sale somewhere. Or rubbish to go into a landfill. With me will die what makes them special. I can take with me neither the object nor the memory. All I can take is the faith I have in my Saviour and my God. THAT is everlasting and transfers from the mortal to the everlasting life.


Prayer
Lord God, my Creator and Heavenly Father. Help me each day to remember to place ALL my faith and trust in You. Your promise of everlasting love is the foundation of everything I hold dear. Don't ever let me forget the treasure I have in that promise.

Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 18, 2008, 10:59:28 pm
SOAP  Thursday Dec 18, 2008

Scripture
John 3: 19-21  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

Observation

I have noticed over the years, since coming to Christ, that there have been times when I avoided certain passages of scripture.  I didn't want to place my life under the bright light of truth in a particular area because I knew what those scriptures required. 

Some of this avoidance of light was because I just didn't understand God's ways or know Him enough to really trust abandoning myself to Him in the said area.   I loved Him as Savior, but wasn't willing to bow to His Lordship rights in that part of my life.   

Application

I believe the cure for this comes with experiences with God that reveal to us how much He cares for, and loves us.  Also, when we really begin to grasp that we are totally forgiven for our sins,  the walls of fear and guilt begin to come down, and are replaced with trust.

The day we feel safe enough to begin discarding the fig leaves is the day our soul begins to be restored.  We find out that God won't hurt us, but will heal us. 

Eventually, we even begin to call upon the Lord to shine the light of His countenance brightly upon our inward parts.  We begin to love the light, more than the darkness because we finally comprehend that it means yet another degree of freedom from bondage. 

Prayer

Father, help me to always notice when I avoid any part of Your word, and let me take that as a red flag that some fear exists in me that is based upon a lie.  The light of Your word will dispel the darkness, uncover the lie, and with it the confusion, the stumbling, and the advantage to the enemy.  There is no need to hide from You, Lord.  You already know all about me and love me anyway.  That in itself draws me to You, to trust You.    Amen.


Here are this week's scriptures:

Thursday    Dec. 18th   John 2-4
Friday    Dec. 19th   John 5-6
Saturday    Dec. 20th   John 7-8
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 19, 2008, 08:03:40 pm
I just spent ages doing the John 2:4 and this rotten thing dumped it all!  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) 
Sorry - I just can't do it all again!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 20, 2008, 08:59:57 pm
Quote from: MissConStru on December 19, 2008, 08:03:40 pm
I just spent ages doing the John 2:4 and this rotten thing dumped it all!  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/doh.gif) 
Sorry - I just can't do it all again!


Oh, I hate when that happens!    :gah:
I use to copy before I posted, but usually I just take the chance. 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 20, 2008, 09:05:32 pm
SOAP  Saturday Dec 20, 2008

Scripture

John 7: 3 and Jesus' brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! 4 You can't become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!" 5 For even his brothers didn't believe in him.

Observation

Even Jesus didn't have perfect family relationships!

Having spent the better part of the day baking for Christmas, taking a break only long enough to deliver an early Christmas gift to a friend, I began to ponder how we try our best to make this one day a year a little bit like Eden, where everything is perfect (especially relationships).

We cook, we bake, we shop for just the right gifts, we decorate the house, we prepare for incoming relatives and visits from friends.  Our expectations are high that the day will be wonderful. 

But the truth is that just like in Jesus' family, so also in most peoples' families, not everyone is a believer.  Not everyone is easy to get along with or to be around.  Not everyone makes their best effort at kindness, courtesy, and consideration......thinking about the welfare of others before themselves.  Some are just as self-absorbed as they are the rest of the year.

This one day of the year seems, for many, to hold out the illusion and false hope that everything will be perfect

 
Application

Whereas the idea of 'Santa' can't really deliver on the hope of perfection that we all yearn for, I am comforted to know that I serve One who IS perfect, and who IS in the process of restoring all things unto Himself, as perfect as it was before the fall.  He is starting in me (in us), the firstfruits........bringing us back to wholeness and health, but even the creation itself groans in it's waiting, the Word tells us. 

That which this season seems to stir up within us....a desire to escape the brokeness of this world to enjoy everything being right and perfect, IS really happening.  Santa may be a made up story, but Jesus is the Truth.  He delivers on His promises. 

And the Word tells us that eventually Jesus' brothers believed on Him.

 
Prayer

Father, help us all this season to focus, not on false expectations, but the truth that is in Jesus Christ....that one day ALL will be restored in Him, and this present time of trouble in the world and between people will end.  We have a living hope to look forward to, even amidst present distresses.  Help us all to deliberately choose to think on this.  Amen.


Here are this week's scriptures:

Saturday    Dec. 20    John 7-8
Sunday      Dec. 21    John 9-11
Monday      Dec. 22    John 12-14
Tuesday     Dec. 23    John 15-18
Wednesday   Dec. 24    John 19-21
Thursday (Christmas) Dec. 25  I John 1-5




Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 26, 2008, 06:07:48 pm
Scripture
1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.


Observation
Have you ever considered that every mood we have is described by colours? Negative moods by dark colours and positive by light colkours.  We speak of being 'blue' when we're depressed (not a light blue, though, but dark!), in a 'brown study' when we're sombre, of being under a (dark) cloud when we have a sense of forboding and in a 'black humour' when we're angry. All through our language, negative feelings are allied with dark colours or lack of light.

By contrast, everything joyous, enervating and uplifting is of the light. Sunshine, blue skies, even Christmas tree lights!

In flag colours too ~ yellow is joy, orange is the fire of the Holy Spirit, white is purity, holiness and righteousness, light blue is the Holy Spirit and the heavenlies. Everything good, joyous and wonderful.


Action
What we often fail to grasp is that light is a CHOICE. We can choose to be in the light or in the darkness. Try changing your posture - head up, shoulders back - it's amazing the difference it can make to our attitude to life. Yes, we CAN choose whether to be in the dark or in the light. And we can choose whether to be in God's light or not.


Prayer
In this time when we celebrate the birth of Your son, we vision the light that came with Him. The star that shone and the light that came into men's hearts. Lord, I pray for those of our families who have not yet discerned that there IS a light and that they yet still live in the dark. Bless them with Your love and mercy, Lord, and let this next year be the time when they come into Your light and see the wonder that lies in wait for them.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 27, 2008, 11:59:55 am
Jo, that was powerful!  A good reminder that it IS a choice, ours to make...good or bad.  Thanks for being so faithful.


Here are this week's and next week's scriptures:

Friday    Dec. 26  Ps 117,119: 81-176  2 John and 3 John  (sorry I was late getting this one posted)



Saturday  Dec. 27  Rev. 1-4
Sunday    Dec. 28  Rev. 5-9
Monday    Dec. 29  Rev.10-14
Tuesday   Dec. 30  Rev. 15-18 
Wednesday  Dec. 31  Rev. 19-22

Thursday  Jan. 1  Gen. 1-2  Luke 1
Friday    Jan. 2  Gen. 3-5  Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3  Gen. 6-8  Luke 3   



Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 27, 2008, 06:57:03 pm
Thank you! I love doing these. However, I can't quite figure out the passage notes you give ~ can you explain,  with Rev. 1-4, Rev. 5-9, Rev.10-14, Rev. 15-18, Rev. 19-22 I'm assuming they're sequential groups of verses but there's no chapter given. So with the last one I did, I assumed it was 1 John chap 1 vs 5. Is this correct?
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 27, 2008, 07:29:42 pm
Scripture
Matthew 1
The Genealogy of Jesus
1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
    2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
       Isaac the father of Jacob,
       Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
     3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
       Perez the father of Hezron,
       Hezron the father of Ram,
     4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
       Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
       Nahshon the father of Salmon,
     5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
       Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
       Obed the father of Jesse,
     6 and Jesse the father of King David.
    David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
    7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
       Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
       Abijah the father of Asa,
     8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
       Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
       Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
     9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
       Jotham the father of Ahaz,
       Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
     10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
       Manasseh the father of Amon,
       Amon the father of Josiah,
     11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
    12 After the exile to Babylon:
       Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
       Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
     13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
       Abiud the father of Eliakim,
       Eliakim the father of Azor,
     14 Azor the father of Zadok,
       Zadok the father of Akim,
       Akim the father of Eliud,
     15 Eliud the father of Eleazar,
       Eleazar the father of Matthan,
       Matthan the father of Jacob,
     16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.


Observation
I was watching a programme yesterday about the Nativity story and Jesus' true origins. One theme of the story was that the family inheritance always passed down through the male line and that since there was no man involved with Jesus conception - i.e., Joseph was not the biological father - then could Jesus truly be considered a direct descendant of David?

It's an interesting topic that adoptive parents might want to interpret a little differently. Joseph may not have been Jesus' biological father but he raised him and gave him the family name. He loved and nurtured him, taught him his trade and no doubt, mentored him through his Bar mitzvah, standing as proud as any father as his son read from the Torah in the traditional manner of a young man entering into adulthood.


Action
I pondered on the 'proof' put forward by the scientists in this programme. I'm usually pretty open minded when it comes to scienctific study and can see room for both. A programme this evening was giving scientific explanations for the plagues that resulted in the Exodus. But though they explained them with casual matter of factness, they still had no explanation as to how Moses was able to time his warnings to Pharoah so accurately! And the same with the birth of Christ. Mary was Joseph's wife and Jesus was born into his family. It was God's plan and that's good enough for me. But then, like Pooh, I am a bear of very little brain!


Prayer
Father God, I know You want us to read and study Your Word and it's right that we should question it until we get the message You want us to have. You also created scientists to do the same in their way of doing things. I trust You, Lord. I trust that what You have created for us, You knew what You were doing and why. I don't need to explore the depths of that but just to lean on You and trust in You.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on December 27, 2008, 08:03:48 pm
Revelation 1-4 would indicate Revelation chapters 1 through 4.

(http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/afro.gif)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 28, 2008, 12:15:38 am
Quote from: MissConStru on December 27, 2008, 06:57:03 pm
Thank you! I love doing these. However, I can't quite figure out the passage notes you give ~ can you explain,  with Rev. 1-4, Rev. 5-9, Rev.10-14, Rev. 15-18, Rev. 19-22 I'm assuming they're sequential groups of verses but there's no chapter given. So with the last one I did, I assumed it was 1 John chap 1 vs 5. Is this correct?


As Pete has already explained, they are chapters, not verses.  In other words, we started on Revelations today and will be finished with the whole book next Wednesday.

The 1 John 1-5 meant chapters.  However, you can do your soap on even one verse of that day's reading if you want.



Scripture
Rev. 2-3 (the letters to the churches)


Observation

To the Church at Ephesus, the message seems to be one of examining what drives their outward actions - which the Lord doesn't find fault with.  We can be stalwarts for truth, tireless workers in the Kingdom, tenacious in our efforts, and watchful for the wolves.........but there is the need to continually let our true motives be brought to the light of our consciousness so that we can see if we're really doing all for the love of Christ.

Smyrna is the persecuted Church and the Word to them is about dealing with fear and holding on to the faith during suffering.

The Church at Pergamos, which evidently dwells in the midst of a stronghold of Satan has let the purity of the gospel be compromised by those in it's midst bringing false doctrine.  Repentance is in order.

Thyatira, while receiving much praise for it's works is receiving a rebuke for it's tolerance..........in this case sexual impurity.  I observe much of the sexualization of society creeping into the church, and tolerated 'in the name of love'.  This has to grieve the Holy Spirit.

The letter to Sardis is frightening as it's to the dead and dying church, both corporate and individuals.  I remember a time in my personal life when I drifted from the Lord (out of great discouragement and distraction).  I came to a point that the things of God did not move me.  It truly frightened me, and I got myself back to the Word of God (repentance) out of fear that even that would lose it's ability to touch my heart.  This letter is the most frightening to me, because of that experience.  Truly what has been delivered to us is not to be held lightly, but to be guarded and watched over.  The enemy IS trying to devour whoever he can.

Philadelphia, in my mind, describes the remnant of those who are advancing and going forward in the victories of Christ.  "Hey, you're doing good so Hold fast" is the message of this letter.

And finally, Laodicea which has a veil over it's eyes......a people who have refused the Lord's refining process in their lives so that the character of Christ is missing from their witness before the world, and saddest of all, they are oblivious to it. 

The lukewarm Christian is probably the hardest to move forward in the things of Christ, and where I have personally seen it, I have detected rebellion as it's root (  but that's my opinion, however).
 
Application and Prayer

Father, I know these words are as important to us today as when they were written to specific churches.  I want to have ears that hear and eyes that see so that I can be the overcomer You have called Your people to be.  Please give abundance of grace to me, Lord, to that end.  Let these lessons and instructions not be lost on me, Father.  I ask for wisdom in all these areas.  Amen.



Here are this week's and next week's scriptures:

Friday    Dec. 26  Ps 117,119: 81-176  2 John and 3 John  (sorry I was late getting this one posted)


Saturday  Dec. 27  Rev. 1-4
Sunday    Dec. 28  Rev. 5-9
Monday    Dec. 29  Rev.10-14
Tuesday   Dec. 30  Rev. 15-18 
Wednesday  Dec. 31  Rev. 19-22

Thursday  Jan. 1  Gen. 1-2  Luke 1
Friday    Jan. 2  Gen. 3-5  Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3  Gen. 6-8  Luke 3   


Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 28, 2008, 06:22:23 pm
Ah! We always did a small passage - as you have no doubt observed from my submissions.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 28, 2008, 11:52:06 pm
SOAP  Sunday Dec 28, 2008

Scripture

Rev. 5: 10  And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.


Observation   (This observation is something the Lord spoke to me in 2005 about my role as a king and priest.  I have basically copied it here from christianforums, on which I originally posted it.) 
http://christianforums.com/showthread.php?t=2063521&highlight=pray+upwards+command (http://christianforums.com/showthread.php?t=2063521&highlight=pray+upwards+command)

From the perspective of these two roles which have been assigned to me, I am to seek or pray upwards (as a priest) towards the Father in Heaven in Jesus Name. 

I pour out my heart for the person or situation, asking God for His wisdom and understanding concerning it.  I seek for His will and strategy, believing that what He has already said in His written Word about the subject is my starting place. 

Believing the written Word, I keep seeking until He begins to speak further to me through His Holy Spirit within. 

Then, having heard from Him how to look at the situation from His perspective, with His evaluation and judgement of it, I then begin to decree and declare from my heavenly position of being raised and seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father. Ephes. 2:6

In other words, once I have His decision on it, I command downwards (as a king) using the delegated authority of Jesus and the very logos and rhema words that have been shown to me concerning the specifics of the need.

Application

After speaking to the Father about the mountain, I then speak to the mountain what the Father has said.  I am to pray upwards and command downwards.

Prayer

Father, it is so easy to sit back and wait for You to do the part that You have assigned to me.  Just as You sent Jesus into the world, now He sends us and has given us delegated authority to execute His will in the earth. 

Help me Lord, to not fall back into passively whining about the problems of life instead of seeking Your will concerning them, and then aligning my mouth, thus releasing my faith towards the end of bringing Your Kingdom rule to bear on the matter. 

Thank You Lord for this glorious opportunity to co-labor with You in the earth.  Amen.


Here are this week's scriptures:

Sunday    Dec. 28  Rev. 5-9
Monday    Dec. 29  Rev.10-14
Tuesday   Dec. 30  Rev. 15-18 
Wednesday  Dec. 31  Rev. 19-22

Thursday  Jan. 1  Gen. 1-2  Luke 1
Friday    Jan. 2  Gen. 3-5  Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3  Gen. 6-8  Luke 3   
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on December 30, 2008, 01:50:34 am
SOAP  Monday Dec 29, 2008

Scripture

Rev. 12: 11  And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Observation

I read this verse and I imagine myself standing in a cemetery of martyred saints, reading this on their tombstones.  I take off my shoes as I realize that I am on holy ground.  In the quietness, I ponder their victory and what made them willing to pay such a cost.

Application

The Word says that those who KNOW their God will do exploits.  Paul said that he counted not his life dear for the excellency of KNOWING Him.  It also says that this is Life.....to KNOW Him!

Prayer

Lord, it isn't correct doctrine that makes us willing to lay down even our life for You.  It is KNOWING you!  You, Yourself are the ultimate prize, the ultimate pursuit in life.  I want to know You, Lord.  Show me how to order my life to this coveted destination.  Amen.




Here are this week's scriptures:

Sunday    Dec. 28  Rev. 5-9
Monday    Dec. 29  Rev.10-14
Tuesday   Dec. 30  Rev. 15-18 
Wednesday  Dec. 31  Rev. 19-22
Thursday  Jan. 1  Gen. 1-2  Luke 1
Friday    Jan. 2  Gen. 3-5  Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3  Gen. 6-8  Luke 3   




Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 30, 2008, 12:40:36 pm
Scripture
Genesis 1:29-30
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.


Observation
I love this passage. It shows how God had ordained how all creatures, including man, would live together and share the fruit of the planet. And how badly things have been corrupted and made askew. I'm not vegetarian (any more) but I do harbour a regret, perhaps not that we eat meat, but that man uses and abuses all kinds of animals in his drive to convert them into food. Factory farming, ill-run abattoires, battery hen houses. It's all horrible and I'm sure God weeps as well. He never intended for these creatures to be contained in cages and treated like objects. There's more but I think you get the picture.


Action
In Isaiah 11 it says

6 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
     from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

4b He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
     with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
     the leopard will lie down with the goat,
     the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
     and a little child will lead them.

So the arrival of Jesus will return everything to the way it was designed to be.
Oh wonderful day! where it will no longer be necessary for us to process foods in such quantities and kinds that only the 'civilised' nations can access them, that the poorer people have to struggle to live because the Western world has commandeered the land and all its resources to support our extravagant life style.


Prayer
Praise You, dear Lord, for such a wonderful and wondrous vision. You had everything planned but then man had to learn disobedience and corrupt it all. Were it not for Your son, we would have no hope of it being restored. Bless You and praise You for such mercy and grace.
Title: None
Post by: IKTCA on December 31, 2008, 01:22:15 am
I have been reading your posts. By adding amen to them, your devotionals become mine. Is there a better deal than this?

(S) ... from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword ...... (Rev. 1:16)

(O & A) A few days ago I heard about plastic surgeons. A plastic surgeon needs about 7-8 years of training after medical school. With a knife in his skilled hand, he can raise or lower nose, build or reduce cheek bone. Even a woman of the least appeal becomes a beauty that every eye is pleased to look at. How wonderful would it be if I could put myself under the sharp knife of the Lord and be transformed from a soul of no appeal to one that everyone is pleased to see?

(P) Lord Jesus,
Since I am ugly in my own eyes, how much uglier am I indeed?
But only if you will put your sharp sword on me,
and skillfully remove rotten, foul smelling cells out of me,
even I shall become a pleasing soul to watch.

As your knife cuts my soul,
I shall have pain and shame,
and fear of losing earthly appearance.
But for the honor of being called by you, "My Worthy Son,"
I will endure.

Lord,
With your word remove my evil.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 31, 2008, 06:05:34 pm
Nice one, ITKCA!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 01, 2009, 12:28:51 pm
ITKCA, that was beautiful!  I'm so glad you have joined with us on this thread.  Your heart for the Lord is obvious.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 01, 2009, 12:30:43 pm
Scripture

Genesis 1:1  "In the beginning........................"


Observation

Well, we've finally finished the book of Revelation (ha ha).  Now we start at the beginning...Genesis.  As the people of the world make New Year's Resolutions, I want to encourage anyone here who may still be hit and miss in their Bible reading to take this opportunity to make a fresh start, a new beginning...........one that pays dividends like you wouldn't believe.

The Word of God is alive! (my "word is Spirit and it is life").  Even when you are reading it and think you are getting nothing from it, the life of God is getting down in your heart, where one day you will find yourself in a situation, and the Holy Spirit will reach down in that treasure box of your heart and pull up just what you need.

I hope all of us will make a quality decision to fill our treasure box full this year, so we can be strong and know our God.  Out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth WILL speak this year (that's a given).  And the bible tells us to "guard our heart for out of it are the issues of life."  Let's equip ourselves to speak life, not death.

Don't let the amount of scriptures each day discourage you.  I read until the Holy Spirit draws my attention to something and I may spend the whole time on one verse or small passage.  If I don't have further time to complete all of the rest, I start the next day on the scriptures for that day and don't worry about what I didn't get read yesterday.  The idea is to read the Word of God everyday with the Holy Spirit as your guide, not to bind yourself to some rigid plan.

Even if you don't post your thoughts on this thread, if you read it you will be influenced by those who do, to keep reading each day.  It's a win win situation.
   
Application

Prayer

Father, I pray for Your people here at hisgraceoasis that 2009 will be a year of receiving great revelation as we give ourselves to renewing our minds with Your Word.  You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Lord.  There is no other.  Your Word is living, and transforms our thoughts, our speech, and our actions.  May we give ourselves in 2009, to putting FIRST the seeking of Your Kingdom (through Your Word and Spirit), in all our decisions and all our plans, inorder to have a walk that is worthy of You.   Amen.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:

Thursday  Jan. 1    Genesis (chapters) 1-2   Luke  (chapter) 1
Friday    Jan. 2    Genesus (chapters) 3-5   Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3    Genesis  (chapters) 6-8   Luke 3 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 01, 2009, 08:31:06 pm
I notice this thread gets a tidy amount of views, Sharon. So people must be reading even if they're not joining in.



Scripture
Luke 2
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
51 but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.


Observation
We see by this a demonstration of not being too hasty to interpret God's word. Sometimes people are too eager to share what they receive - or think they have received - from God. They can't wait to get down the front of the church and spill it all.

But sometimes it's not appropriate. The word might be for later or it might not be for sharing at all. It might be a personal word. But they are precious words, none-the-less. We should hold them 'in our hearts'.


Action
Not being a very well read Christian, it always perplexes me when people say that to discern the truth or vailidity of a word, we should check that it aligns with God's Word. It's been my experience that you can cherry pick about anything to cover anything in the Bible. But time will certainly be the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps that's why Mary kept these things in her heart.



Prayer
It's amazing to us, Father God, that You speak to us individually as well as collectively. That you CAN and WILL speak to us. You are the mighty God, Alpha and Omega, the Living God. Yet You choose to regard us almost as equals. Amazing! Thank You for Your mercy and grace.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 02, 2009, 09:26:08 pm
This devotional was inspired by the post above - Mary kept all things in her heart. I thank Miss C much.

..... (Simeon's prayer) you are letting your servant depart in peace .....
.....  for my eyes have seen your salvation ..... (Luke 2:29-30)

Simeon only saw Jesus wrapped in a blanket, but he left the earth in peace.
Mary didn't quite understand the prophecies and events, but was not troubled. She kept all in her heart, trusting God would reveal all at the right time.
My soul witnessed the cross and resurrection of Jesus, which neither Simeon nor Mary (then) witnessed. But I am still not in peace because I don't see God's will is done on earth, not even in his own church.

Simeon and Mary saw less but trusted the Lord.
I saw much more but still don't trust the Lord. I see my unbelief clearly with my own eyes for the first time. I confess I believed none of the promises.

Father,
I am a man of little faith.
Your grace was great and allowed me to witness the cross and the resurrection of Jesus. But my doubt is is still with me.
Since I didn't believe your words and Jesus', silence me in your wrath.
But if you remember your promise, be merciful and create faith in me.

Surely I am coming quickly.

Lord,
Bless my soul one more time, and let me see your coming. Then I shall have peace.
Amen.


Rupert
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on January 02, 2009, 09:51:41 pm
Even though I don't do these this often, I read them all, and I wanted to post and tell you all how much your posts have blessed me in this thread.  Keep 'em coming!

(http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/afro.gif)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 03, 2009, 08:24:53 am
Fantastic, Pete! I love doing them - it gets me reading the Scriptures again and more, gets me thinking about what I have read. Can't be bad!




Scripture
Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.


Observation
How many of us can, with confidence, say this? That we have found favour with the Lord?

By our own strength, not a single one. But happily, that is not the end of it. By God's mercy and grace, we, unlike Noah, are not judged according to what we DO but what Jesus DID! Isn't that something?


Action
The other day, there was a news item about a woman who had given her brother half her liver because his had failed and he was near death. The press made much of this heroic gesture and quite rightly. The liver is one organ that cannot easily be cut into as it is very difficult to stop it bleeding. It was an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal undertaking for her. How many of us would have been willing to do such a thing, I wonder? I know I would like to THINK I would but when it came to the crunch, knowing what I do, I wonder? It's the ultimate, supreme sacrifice.  How much greater to do that for someone you have never actually even met! And more, for people who are rejecting, even hating what you are doing, what you stand for.

It's like ~ just imagine you are in a condemed cell, awaiting execution and one day, a stranger comes, unlocks the cell and tells us to go home for he has come to take your place! Unthinkable, yes? But friends - it happened. It really did!


Prayer
Lord Jesus, I cannot ever find words enough to thank You for what You did on the cross. My heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude and wonder. Bless and praise Your holy Name for ever and ever. Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 04, 2009, 02:36:38 am
(Scripture) Genesis 6-8  Noah, the flood, all evil wiped out, new beginning

I hear unbelievers lamenting, "If God exists, how come such an evil is done?"
The world is truly wicked. But it didn't start that way. Noah and 3 sons started fresh after God wiped out all evil.
The evil deeds done today are the creation of the mankind. Men are to blame themselves.

Jonah was a righteous man. To him, Nineveh deserved destruction. Indeed, she did.
The disciples saw the town, that rejected Jesus, deserving destruction by fire. Indeed, she did.
But the Father and the Son, who are thousand times more righteous than Jonah, didn't destroy the towns.

I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. (John 12:47)

The towns escaped destruction not because they didn't deserve destrution.

I am living not because I haven't done the deeds deserving destruction.  I am living only because the Father endured my wickedness and let Jesus plant a seed in me, the seed that will sprout one day and lead me to salvation.

Father,
Let me have a glimpse of your heart.
All souls you desire to save, even though they are wicked in every thought.
Even the beginning of your mercy I cannot comprehend.
O then, Father, where is the end of your mercy?

Lord Jesus,
Let me have a sliver of your heart.
Then I shall understand Father's mercy.
Amen.

Rupert
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 05, 2009, 06:45:49 pm
Scripture
Galations 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up.


Observation
I use a daily devotional and this was today's reading. The commentary read on: Perseverance means stopping not because you are tired but because the task it done. Diplomat Robert Strauss quipped "Success is like wrestling a 1,000lb gorilla;. You don't quit when you're tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired!" When you're fresh, excited and energetic you work at a task with vigour. Only when you become weary do you need perseverance. Fatigue and discouragement are not reasons to quit, they are reasons to draw closer to God, rely on our character and keep going. We underestimate what it takes to succeed. When we haven't counted the cost we approach challenges with mere interest. What's required is total committment! To quote Happy Feet, the saying goes "Triumph is a 'try' followed by an 'oomph'!"


Action
Now I have a sister who, in her lifetime has turned her hand to many skills, too many to list them here. They included tailoring and cooking. Had she been a man, she'd have been a tailor or a chef at the top of the profession. She often comments how everything promoted these days - gadgets for cooking, artwork, sewing and anything else you can thing of, is prefaced by the phrase "It's so easy". In these days of prepacked, pre-prepared meals, clothes and stuff, no-one expects to have to put any effort into anything anymore. They expect to be able to turn out haut cuisine and haut couture with no skills and less effort.

How then can we expect people to accept that being a Christian requires committment, devotion and sacrifice?


Prayer
Lord, forgive us our weakness in times of trial, forgive us our weakness in any times. It is often so much easier to turn on the tv and watch a movie than to get out our bible and draw closer to You. The world is a mesmerising cacophany of sound and sight. Forgive us when we lose You in the hustle and bustle of 21st century life. Forgive our human weakness and help us persevere for Your sake.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 07, 2009, 09:12:48 am
Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:

Thursday  Jan. 1    Genesis (chapters) 1-2   Luke  (chapter) 1
Friday    Jan. 2    Genesus (chapters) 3-5   Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3    Genesis  (chapters) 6-8   Luke 3

Sunday  Jan. 4    Genesis 9-11;  Luke 4
Monday  Jan. 5    Genesis 12-14;  Luke 5
Tuesday  Jan. 6   Genesis 15-17;  Luke 6
Wednesday Jan. 7  Gen. 18,19;   Psalm 3;  Luke 7
Thursday   Jan. 8  Gen. 20-22;  Luke 8
Friday   Jan. 9   Gen.23,24;   Luke 9
Saturday Jan. 10   Gen. 25,26;   Psalm 6;  Luke 10
Sunday  Jan. 11   Gen.  27,28;  Psalm 4;  Luke 11
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 07, 2009, 11:14:24 am
Scripture
Genesis 1
9. And God saw that it was good (3rd day)
25. And God saw that it was good (6th day)
31. And God saw all that He had made, and it was VERY good (6th day)


Observation
Ever watched an artist at work? Or a painter/decorator or even a plasterer? Every so often during their work they take a step back to regard what they've done and if it's good, they'll nod to themselves in a kind of manner that indicates they are satisfied. I can just imagine God doing that as He created universe, the earth and then all of creation upon the earth. I think it's a wonderfully humanizing picture of God.

Pete has been posting about his children's birthdays, first Nate, now Melody. Just like our Father in heaven did, he stepped back and regarded what he had created and has said to himself that 'it is VERY good'! Parents tend to do this and it's a beauty to behold. How much more when we behold in the scriptures that "God saw all that He had made and it was VERY good"! Daddy, You are wonderful, loving father.


Action
In everyone's life, there is something they do that gives them great satisfaction, whether it be a job or a hobby, something where we have a tendency to step back and regard what we have done. Creativity is a wonderful thing be it a physical thing or something like music or performance arts. It enriches our life and the lives of others. We feel delight and joy at a job done well. God delights in our creativity as well so let's not forget to thank HIM for our talents.


Prayer
Father God, I thank you for the skills and talents You have placed in me - art, writing, nursing, knowledge of things that I can use to help others (thinking of BoneSmart), computer 'skills', imagination, love of Your nature and Your creatures - all these I praise my Creator for. Without them I wouldn't be the 'me' that You created. YOUR skills are beyond description. All that You have created defies description. I just know that any praise and worship I can give you in return is miniscule by comparison to what You have given me. Blessed be Your Holy Name.

Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 07, 2009, 11:15:45 am
Oh  my! I've been working on that post for hours (had a nap in the middle!). Must have been a prophetic thing!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 07, 2009, 03:43:44 pm
If I find in Sodom 50 righteous within the city,
then I will spare all the place for their sake.      (Genesis 18:26)

Later, upon Abraham's request, the angel dropped the number to 10. The big town of Sodom could have been saved from destruction by just 10 righteous. "Surely, this nation has 1000 righteous and the Lord will save this nation from destruction because of them," I said to myself.

What if we fall short by 500? What if 50 short? Or even 10 short and the nation cannot be saved?

I was reading this passage during lunch break. A strange thought arose in my mind. I was reading the passage as the Lord's invitation to be one of the several that fall short of the required. It would be a great honor to hold up the nation with prayers.

Immediately, I dismissed the thought. If I said I would straighten myself and become upright before the Lord, even the trees in my neighborhood would laugh. T

Then I remembered a passage from Isaiah:

You will not be ashamed.

Lord,
It is too great a call for someone like me to envy.
There must be many desiring the assignment. Call them and dismiss me.
Amen.

PS: I still don't have peace.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 07, 2009, 05:31:09 pm
Most excellent, Rupert!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 08, 2009, 12:54:58 am
I cannot post a devotional this time because I could not complete my thought process. Instead, I have a question.

(the angel said to Lot)
Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.  (Genesis 19:22)

What is a righteous man to God?
Lot tied the hands of God, to the point of God saying, "I cannot do anything because of you."
I thought and prayed about this and it's now past midnight. I am still without an answer.
What is a righteous man to God?

Father,
What is a righteous man to you?
[HIGHLIGHT=#c00000]

[HIGHLIGHT=#ffffff]Friends,
Please, let me hear from you. [/HIGHLIGHT]
[/HIGHLIGHT]
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Sarah on January 08, 2009, 01:56:33 pm
Quote from: IKTCA on January 08, 2009, 12:54:58 am
I cannot post a devotional this time because I could not complete my thought process. Instead, I have a question.

(the angel said to Lot)
Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.  (Genesis 19:22)

What is a righteous man to God?
Lot tied the hands of God, to the point of God saying, "I cannot do anything because of you."
I thought and prayed about this and it's now past midnight. I am still without an answer.
What is a righteous man to God?

Father,
What is a righteous man to you?
[HIGHLIGHT=#c00000]

[HIGHLIGHT=#ffffff]Friends,
Please, let me hear from you. [/HIGHLIGHT]
[/HIGHLIGHT]




When I read this chapter of scripture it seems to me that Lot was saying he wanted to be somewhere before God destroyed the cities.  for some reason, which I can't explain, Lot wanted to go to the city and not the mountains.  I just get that thew angels were given instructions to get Lot and his family to safety before destroying S & G.  I may not have been reading your question right.  (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/noidea.gif)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 08, 2009, 02:18:38 pm
Rupert, I think you need to read the entire story ............

________________________________________________________________________

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning."

"No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square." But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."

So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it--it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."

He (the angel) said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar. )

By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
_________________________________________________________________________


As I read it, it was the angel he had this interchange with and who 'could not do anything' until Lot and his family were safe. And what made him righteous in the angel's (?God's) eyes was that he was prepared to go out on a limb to protect the strangers under his roof.

That's as far as my thinking gets me.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 09, 2009, 07:57:05 am
Thank you for the long reply. I wanted to feel God's heart that went out for Lot. I know a man trying to feel God's heart is too much to ask.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 11, 2009, 01:31:21 pm
Thus Esau despised his birthright.   Genesis 25:34

I used to despise Esau for considering his birthright as nothing. But I am finding a similarity between him and me.

Esau
Rght to be blessed by his father, whose Father is God.
A red soup

Me (a Christian)
Right given to me at rebirth. Right to have fellowship with Lord Jesus.
Fleshly pleasure and earthly gain

If I knowingly fall into fleshly pleasure and earthly gain, it's because I despise Christian birthright and despise fellowship with Jesus. I am finding myself not an inch better than Esau for the first time.

Father,
I used to despise Esau. But I see me in him. I have been the one to be despised.
Give me the resoluteness of heart to cherish and guard my birthright.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 11, 2009, 11:47:10 pm
Hi everyone! My computer has been acting badly all last week and tonight, so I am borrowing my husband's to post the next scripture references.

This Week's Scriptures:

Sunday     Jan. 11   Gen. 27,28;  Psalm 4;  Luke 11
Monday     Jan. 12  Gen. 29,30;  Luke 12
Tuesday    Jan. 13  Gen. 31-33;  Luke 13
Wednesday  Jan. 14  Gen. 34-36;  Luke 14
Thursday    Jan. 15  Gen. 37,38; Psalms 7;  Luke 15
Friday      Jan. 16  Gen. 39-41;  Luke 16
Saturday    Jan. 17  Gen. 42,43;  Psalms 5;  Luke17
Sunday      Jan. 18  Gen. 44-46;  Luke 18
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 12, 2009, 10:16:35 pm
 

Scripture
Gen. 29,30  Luke 12

Observation

My observation today is that the Lord looks after the powerless and those of low station in life, who are trusting in Him.

In Gen. 29, my heart goes out to Leah, because surely she knows, on her wedding day, that Jacob is being deceived by his soon to be father-in-law, into thinking that he is marrying Rachel, her sister, who is described as "beautiful of form and appearance" (while it says that Leah has weak eyes). 

What young woman wants to start off married life with those strikes against her, much less knowing she was not wanted as his wife, to begin with.  But the women of that time had little power over their lives.

However, the scriptures indicate that Leah put her trust in God, and looked to Him in her troubles, and God looked out for her

In Chapter 29: 31 it says, "When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren."  In a day when married women received their status and approval for bearing many children, especially boys, Leah was lifted up to a place of blessing by God's specific touch upon her life in this area. 

It was only after Leah had birthed 6 sons and a daughter (and two other sons through her maid) that it says in chapter 30, verse 22 that "Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.  And she conceived and bore a son, and said, 'God has taken away my reproach." 

Application and  Prayer

God, You see the circumstances of our lives and You care.  Even when we have little or no power to lift ourselves up to a better place in life, or to improve our station, You are able and willing.  You delight to show Yourself strong on behalf of those who put their trust in You.  Thank You for Your goodness and mercy, Lord.    Amen.




This Week's Scriptures:

Sunday   Jan. 11   Gen. 27,28;  Psalm 4;  Luke 11
Monday   Jan. 12  Gen. 29,30;  Luke 12
Tuesday    Jan. 13  Gen. 31-33;  Luke 13
Wednesday  Jan. 14  Gen. 34-36;  Luke 14
Thursday    Jan. 15  Gen. 37,38; Psalms 7;  Luke 15
Friday    Jan. 16  Gen. 39-41;  Luke 16
Saturday    Jan. 17  Gen. 42,43;  Psalms 5;  Luke17
Sunday    Jan. 18  Gen. 44-46;  Luke 18


Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: san54 on January 12, 2009, 11:40:36 pm
Genesis: 29 verse 25
   25 So it came to pass in the morning,that behold ,it was Leah.
   And he said to Laban,,"What is this you have done to me?"
   Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you
    deceived me?"

Observation-Jacob and his mother manipulated Issac and stole Essau's
             birthright. It was interesting to note that as Jacob traveled
             to his Uncle Laban's home he met his beautiful cousin
             Rachel.He fell in love and asked for her hand in marriage.
             His Uncle agreed and after 7 years of work for his beloved
             his sneaky Uncle tricked him into marrying his unattractive
             older daughter.
             I can imagine how hurt,disappointed and angry Jacob must have been.
             Certainly he remembered  the dishonest way he obtained his
             brother's birthright. God often times teaches us  our most
             difficult lessons as we reap what we sow in others lives.


Application-   One application that jumped out at me was the generational curse
             
              that seemed to be on Jacob's family .His mother Rebekah and Uncle Laban
    
              were both very manipulative liars with little or no repentance for their

              dishonesty.It brings to my remembrance that what I do not only
            
              affects me but generations to come.



Prayer-  Father in the name of Jesus thank you for your word.Please help us to do unto others as we would have them
          to do unto us. Bless my family members and those that are praying with me to be mindful of how we treat
          our fellow man. Take away our desire to covet what belongs to another.
   Bless us to sow good seeds and reap a bountiful havest because of your faithfulness. Oh and Lord we know that manipulation
   is  as witchcraft.Deliver us from  this kind of evil we pray.Thank you for hearing and answering our
    prayers.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen and Thank God
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 13, 2009, 06:04:48 pm
Scripture
Genesis 31:49

It was also called Mizpah, because he said, "May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other
Genesis 31:4
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.


Observation
The one fact that springs out about Jacob and his family is that, despite their obvious faith in God, it was a very dysfunctional family! Jacob had cheated his brother out of his birthright and then his father-in-law had cheated him out of his bride, his wages and many other things. So Jacob had taken his family and flocks and guiltily ran away. Yet when the two men came face to face again, instead of argument there was repentance and reconciliation. Jacob had been afraid that Laban would take reprisals against him for running away as he did and that certainly appeared to have been Laban's intention. But God stepped in and stopped him.

Then later, when Jacob heard he was on an intercept course with his estranged brother, his fear caught him again. Convinced that yet again he was going to be on the receiving end of some retribution, he went to some extraordinary lengths to conceal the true size of his family amd estate in case Esau chose to loot and pillage from him.

But Esau had no such intention. Instead he 'ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.'


Action
Repentance and reconciliation is a powerful thing. It washes away past hurt, mends broken fences and heals wounds caused by offences, real or imagined. Trouble is, it takes a LOT of humility to repent, to admit you've done wrong and need to be forgiven. Pride, you see. Man is filled with it. We are by nature, a competitive and selfish breed. Our perception of ourselves is mostly biased towards the notion that our actions are above reproach! Oh, if that were only true and we could really see ourselves, not only as others see us but as GOD sees us too. How much would we repent and desire to be reconciled then.


Prayer
Father in heaven, You are perfect. Perfect in intention, perfect in desire and perfect in love. We can never hope to come within a million miles of that perfection which is the only way You are able to meet us face to face. How wonderful that You do not see us as we really are but through the 'looking glass' which is the image of Your son, Jesus. Without Him we could never hope to be reconciled with You. Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 14, 2009, 02:04:17 am
Genesis 30: Jacob married Leah and Rachel. Jacob got 11 sons from the sisters and their maids.

While reading Genesis 30, my heart was filled with thanksgiving.

The Bible does not just say Jacob got 12 children from Leah, Rachel, and their two maids. If the Bible did so, it would be the most boring book.

The Bible records personal stories of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, including jealousy and conflicts among them. But in the end, God governed their hearts and kept them in unity. That's why the Bible is a heart-warming book.

This chapter reminded me of one event. After daily devotional became a routine (lunch break and evening) - there is a reason I state this here - and supernatural experiences also became somewhat routine, I started to ask for spiritual gifts, many gifts. I thought I was ready for them. One day, while I was praying, the Lord answered:

You have a woman to whom you are the only man, and two children who are not tainted by evil ..... (the Lord listed a few more) ....  Who owes more to whom? Do I owe more to you or do you owe more to me?

I saw a thought hiding in me that I was going a great favor to the Lord by doing devotional twice a day, and that the Lord owed me spiritual gifts. (The Lord knows my hidden thoughts. Amen.)

It was God who kept my wife's heart to me and my two children from evil. It was God who kept my family of 4. The same God kept Jacob's family of 16 through jealousy and conflicts.

Father,
You are the Lord of my family.
You fed us, you clothed us, and you kept us in one.
Even when I quarreled with my wife and displeased you, your grace brought reconciliation to me. I vividly remember that day.

Father,
Now and forever, I petition you to remain as the Lord of my two daughters.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 14, 2009, 07:19:39 am
IKTCA - that is an awesome message!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 15, 2009, 12:15:48 am
I am certain that every devotional posted here is a fragrant offering to the Lord. Some may look better than the others to human eyes. But to the Lord each is equally fragrant, equally pleasing.

Isaac breathed his last ... his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. (Genesis 35:29)

Both Abraham and Isaac received the same promise from God that their descendants would be as numerous as sand in the shore and possess the land. Neither saw their descendants possessing the land.

But Isaac saw Jacob and Esau becoming numerous before his death. He saw all 12 sons of Jacob and 5 sons of Esau. At least, he witnessed the beginning of the promise fulfillment.

Abraham had only one son Isaac. (Other sons born out of promise he sent far away.) Isaac became rich and strong, but Abraham died without seeing even the beginning of promise fulfillment. What was it like to live with a promise yet to be fulfilled?

Moses strived all his life without entering the Promised Land. But he saw the Land before death. Abraham died even without seeing any.

The Lord gave me a promise. It is still unfulfilled. Will I see the beginning of promise fulfillment before death? Or will I die without seeing?

Father,
If I am to die without seeing, increase my hope and faith in your promise.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 16, 2009, 08:42:03 am
I need to post everyday here.

Reading the Bible, reflecting on it, and putting it down in personal journal is one thing. I do it regularly.
But organizing it in a post-able format is another. It takes more time, more prayers, and more reflection. A post is different from scribbled journal notes.
I need to do this everyday for my own training. But If I do, I am afraid mine may run a few days in a row. That would be no fun for others to read. And I don't want it, either. I want my posts alternating with others'. Please help me.

Thank you.

Rupert
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 16, 2009, 10:00:57 am
Oh please don't worry! I love reading your submissions. But I'll do another because it's helping my bible study too!


Scripture
Gen. 39-41
The story of Joseph and his slavey in Egypt. The crux of the chapters is that he was honest and trustworthy and as a result, others were blessed because of his presence

Luke 16:3-6
The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg - I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'
So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied.
The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.'
Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?'
'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied.
He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'
The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.


Observation
I find these examples very puzzling.

Although it is not said specifically that the manager has been guilty of wrong doing, he nevertheless
takes the threat of being fired as absolute. Instead of presenting evidence to clear his name, he falsifies the books to curry favour with his master's debtors. And he was commended for it!

Whilst Joseph, who had done nothing wrong - except, perhaps, being a bit proud in front if his brothers - was sold as a slave by his family and then imprisoned for a rape that never happened. Yet he still found it within himself to work hard and diligently for his masters in both situations and ended up being rewarded for that by being made second in command next only to Pharoah!


Action
To pray!


Prayer
Father God, there are many things in this life I cannot understand. Jesus said it so I trust it. I cannot understand everything. But I place my faith in You, dear Lord. Someday I shall have a clearer vision and will see more clearly all that You strive to teach me. Until then I sit at Your feet, read Your word and trust in You always.
Title: Joseph trusted God.
Post by: IKTCA on January 17, 2009, 01:49:52 am
Genesis 37, 39, 40, & 41 Joseph's story

Joseph had moments when he could have lost hope.  When his own brothers betrayed him, when he became a slave that was sold and bought, when his trusted master threw him into a prison, Joseph could have given up.  If he had, God could not have achieved all that He intended.

Much can God do through a man who trusts Him and follows Him. Paul trusted Him in a shipwreck, in hunger, in prison, and when abandoned by his own church brothers. Knowing that He would not take advantage of him, and that He is capable to save him from destruction, Joseph and Paul persisted in hope and trust.

God has not put me in a prison or in hunger. Just because He gave me a promise and has not fulfilled it yet, I am discouraged. These chapters contrast me against Joseph, and tell me where I fall short.

Father,
I confess I lack trust . Let Joseph teach me trust and hope in you and your words.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 17, 2009, 08:54:37 am
Quote from: churchlady on January 11, 2009, 11:47:10 pm

This Week's Scriptures:

Saturday    Jan. 17  Gen. 42,43;  Psalms 5;  Luke17
Sunday      Jan. 18  Gen. 44-46;  Luke 18
Monday     Jan. 19   Gen. 47,48;  Psalms10;  Luke 19
Tues       Jan. 20   Gen. 49,50;  Psalms 8;  Luke 20
Wednes.    Jan. 21   Exodus 1,2;  Psalms 88;  Luke 21
Thurs.       Jan. 22    Exodus 3-5;  Luke 22
Friday       Jan. 23    Exodus 6-8;  Luke 23
Saturday   Jan. 24    Exodus 9-11;  Luke 24




My 'soap' which follows is actually yesterday's (friday's) scriptures. 
I'm doing a little catch-up.


Scripture
   
Genesis 39-41; Luke 16

Observation

As I read all of these real life stories in Genesis, the song that Harvey sings ("God Knows How To Grow A Man"), keeps coming to my remembrance. 

Jacob goes through a 20 year refining process with his deceitful father-in-law, Laban.  And Joseph is in Egypt approximately 20 years before his brothers come to buy grain, and they are reunited. (from 17years old when sold, to 30 years old when brought before Pharoah, to 7 more years when the famine begins and his brothers need to find food).

What I am observing is NOT the approximate years that some of these biblical figures go through trials, but that God allowed them to go THROUGH them, while showing mercy and blessing IN them, and they come out on the other side changed and matured.  You begin to observe such a difference in them.

God had a plan for Jacob's life and Joseph's life and our lives, as well.  We must be refined to get to our God-given destiny.

(Rev. 3:18 "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white
garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.")


Application

The important thing about going through trials is our RESPONSE to them.  Joseph kept his faith in God throughout, even though I am sure that he went through some dark, scary times when his faith was sorely tested. 

This biblical glance at the broad overview of these men's lives even changes the way I pray for myself and others...........not just to get OUT of troubles but to respond properly while IN them.


Prayer

Father, You and You alone, know how to get us through the wilderness situations of our lives and out to the other side, better for the experience.  You promised that when we pass through the waters, they would not overcome us......and when we pass through the fire, we would not get burned. (Isaiah 43)

Help all of us, Lord to trust in You, who are both the author and the finisher of our faith in every trial of life.  Work in us the power and the ability to respond appropriately, so that we don't grow discouraged and drift from You, but that we pull in even closer than before, so that true maturity and growth occurs, and not bitterness of spirit.

Our hope is in You, Lord.  Amen.
Title: Tree-Moving Faith
Post by: IKTCA on January 18, 2009, 02:36:02 am
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5)

I can relate to the apostles through this passage. I used to see them as giants of faith transplanted to the earth after being born and raised in another star. But now I see. They were just like me. Before they became giants of faith, they, too, struggled to have more faith.

If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree .............(Luke 17:6)

This verse used to offend me. I say "offend" because the verse did more than cutting my heart. It used to frustrate me for not having the tree-moving faith. I used to protest to Jesus, "Lord, if you raise the standard of faith that high, who can reach it?" But now I see. Jesus said this to increase the apostles' faith. Just as Jesus said to the unclean, "So I want to," Jesus was saying to the apostles, "I want you to have this faith."

Lord Jesus,
Increase my faith.
Speak to me, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' it would obey you." Then I shall have the faith.
Amen.
Title: What do you want me to do for you?
Post by: IKTCA on January 18, 2009, 11:56:09 pm
Jesus asked the blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" (Luke 18:41)

Starting tonight, I am going to wait for the Lord until he asks me, "What do you want me to do for you?" I will say, "Lord, raise healers at every church. Your children are suffering much without healers. If I may add another, raise teachers at every church. If I may add the third, let my eyes see harvesting at the jail." Since I cannot wait indefinitely. I am going to wait for the Lord for next 3 days.

Friends,
If you remember me next 3 days, encourage me in your prayers.
Thanks.

Rupert
Title: Crying out day and night
Post by: IKTCA on January 20, 2009, 12:26:46 am
.....Cry out day and night...
God will avenge speedily..... (Luke 18:7-8)

Whenever I read this passage, I used to think "crying out day and night" was too big a requirement for God to bring righteousness. "How can an ordinary believer cry out day and night?" I used to complain silently to the Lord. But the Lord Jesus knows my hidden thoughts. I think he decided to teach me tonight.

Daddy wants to decorate his son's birthday party with balloons. He goes to a store, and buys a box of balloons and a tank of helium. When he comes home, his son picks a balloon from the box and hands it over to the father, who then fills it with gas, seals the bottom, attaches a string, and fills the party room with balloons.

Crying out day and night is picking up balloons and handing them over to the father. The rest the father does.
Finally, I saw how small a work it is to cry out day and night compared to the rest that the Father does.

Lord Jesus,
Since that's all required of me, I will stop complaining.
Even if you told me to do more, I would gladly do,
for now I see how much work the Father needs to do for me.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 20, 2009, 03:07:57 pm
Scripture

Luke 17: 6-10 

6 So the Lord said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down to eat'?
8 But will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink'?
9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'"



Observation

The scriptures clearly reveal that God has given to each man the measure of faith (that is why truth has to be suppressed if not wanted). 

It (faith) is like a tool to accomplish a purpose.  It is my duty to use it.  Even when I do use it, I am not owed thanks from God, because I am only doing what I should do in the first place.  I need not pat myself on the back when I use what was given to me.

In verse 6, Jesus is giving us an example of what that tool can do....."pull a tree up by it's roots and cast it into the sea". 
In John 6:29 Jesus said, (in answer to the question, 'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?'), "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

Application

For me the application of this is to be tougher on myself, concerning faith.  It is my duty to believe God (not only my privilege).  I don't have the right to doubt what He says and go back and forth and feel sorry for myself, or get lazy with His promises, etc. 

'Toughen up. child of God!', I must say to myself.  My faith is to be both IN His service and AT His service for His Kingdom's sake and His Name's sake.  He gave it to me to do the work of God assigned to man.


Prayer

Father God, I desire to no longer look at my faith as mine, to do with as it suits me, but to see it as the miraculous and powerful tool that it is, to accomplish Your will on this earth in my little area of influence.

Open my eyes, Lord to the possibilities all around me and strengthen me in this resolve.  The day is evil.  I am to redeem the time, and you said that our faith is more precious than silver or gold.  Help me to guard my heart from any other attitude than this.   Amen.


This Week's Scriptures:

Quote[/SIZE]
Saturday    Jan. 17  Gen. 42,43;  Psalms 5;  Luke17
Sunday    Jan. 18  Gen. 44-46;  Luke 18
Monday   Jan. 19   Gen. 47,48;  Psalms10;  Luke 19
Tues     Jan. 20   Gen. 49,50;  Psalms 8;  Luke 20
Wednes.    Jan. 21   Exodus 1,2;  Psalms 88;  Luke 21
Thurs.     Jan. 22    Exodus 3-5;  Luke 22
Friday     Jan. 23    Exodus 6-8;  Luke 23
Saturday   Jan. 24    Exodus 9-11;  Luke 24
[/SIZE]
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 20, 2009, 11:51:06 pm
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)

It's time for me to grow out of me-Lord relationship to Lord-The Lost-me relationship.

Lord Jesus,
I toiled all night but caught no fish.
Now I am ready to drop the net where you tell me to.
I am tired of not harvesting any.
I will go where you send me and do what you tell me.
Only do not hide your will for the Lost from me.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 22, 2009, 12:51:10 am
In the daytime he was teaching in the temple,
but at night he went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet.

Then early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.  (Luke 21:37-38)

When did he sleep? When did he rest? Knowing it was time for his departure, he poured out all he had.

Jesus knew his hour has come to depart from this world.......he loved them (the disciples) to the end. (John 13:1)

I always wondered what was "loving to the end." Now I see. Praying for them with little or no sleep was one of the examples of "loving to the end."

Lord,
The disciples deserved your loving to the end.
But why are you loving me to the end?
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: IKTCA on January 23, 2009, 02:08:35 am
With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. (Luke 22:15)

I used to think that the last supper was to establish the ceremony of communion. But why did Jesus say he desired to have the meal with fervent desire? After all, it was just a ceremony. He could have verbally explained to his disciples. I couldn't understand. I decided to have communion by myself, and got some wine and bread.

I prayed a while, ate bread and wine, and prayed some more. While I was praying, it came to me that the meal was not just a ceremony. Jesus was spiritually giving his body and blood to his disciples then, though the physical breaking would take place on the following day on the cross. To Jesus, it was not a ceremony. It was real.

Lord Jesus,
Breaking up your body you desired.
Shedding your blood you did in thanksgiving.
This love did not exist before the meal.
Mankind is awakened to this love at the meal.

As you commanded, I will do wine and bread in remembrance of your love.
Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 25, 2009, 02:37:17 pm
This Week's Scriptures

Sunday      Jan. 25   Ex. 12,13;  Ps. 21;  Acts 1
Monday       Jan. 26   Ex. 14-16;  Acts 2
Tuesday      Jan. 27   Ex. 17-20;  Acts 3
Wednesday    Jan. 28   Ex. 21,22;  Ps. 12;  Acts 4
Thursday     Jan. 29   Ex. 23-24;  Ps. 14; Acts 5
Friday       Jan. 30   Ex. 25-27;  Acts 6
Saturday     Jan. 31   Ex. 28-29;  Acts 7


For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English and pick your version)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 25, 2009, 07:03:44 pm
Quote from: churchlady on January 25, 2009, 02:37:17 pm
This Week's Scriptures

Sunday      Jan. 25   Ex. 12,13;  Ps. 21;  Acts 1
Monday       Jan. 26   Ex. 14-16;  Acts 2
Tuesday      Jan. 27   Ex. 17-20;  Acts 3
Wednesday    Jan. 28   Ex. 21,22;  Ps. 12;  Acts 4
Thursday     Jan. 29   Ex. 23-24;  Ps. 14; Acts 5
Friday       Jan. 30   Ex. 25-27;  Acts 6
Saturday     Jan. 31   Ex. 28-29;  Acts 7


For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English and pick your version)


Scripture

Exodus 12: 21-23

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb.

And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.


For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.



Observation

The children of Israel had a part to play in their protection from the death angel that was
about to destroy the firstborn of every Egyptian.  That part was to apply the blood.  If they
refused to do that, they had no protection.


Application

I believe that sometimes we suffer because we don't think we have a part to play in obtaining the blessings and protection of God.  We sit around waiting for God to do something when He is waiting for us to do OUR part. 

God has completed the purchase of redemption for us.
Now it is OUR part to believe it and make the application of it to our life in every area.

The blood of Jesus is just as alive and powerful now as it was then, but access to it is by grace through faith..........a living faith that DOES the word, not just hears it with mental agreement.


Prayer

Father, I don't want to be deceived into thinking that just because I read your word and have it stored up as knowledge, that it automatically makes me a doer of it (and therefore benefiting from it). 

Faith has action to it.  It has speech to it.  Out of the abundance of the heart, my mouth will reveal what is truly believed.  Let me 'apply' the blood daily to my circumstances through my choice to believe, act and speak in agreement with His sacrifice and all that it has made possible for me.  Thank You, Lord.      

Amen.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on January 29, 2009, 11:47:01 pm
Scripture

Acts 5: 1-4 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."


Observation

Am I not just like Ananias and Sapphira if I sing songs that I surrender all to Jesus, or say to the Lord in prayer...'I give my all to You, Lord', and then hold back part of my life for myself, to
govern and use as I see fit? 


Application

I see such a need in my life for greater revelation of Jesus, the only thing that will loosen my hold on my own selfishness and fear.


Prayer

Reveal Yourself to me, Lord.  Open my eyes!  Give me such a revelation of YOU, that I will never recover from it, but be swallowed up in the passion of knowing You, where everything else will pale in comparison to that quest.    
Amen.


Quote from: churchlady on January 25, 2009, 02:37:17 pm
This Week's Scriptures

Sunday      Jan. 25   Ex. 12,13;  Ps. 21;  Acts 1
Monday       Jan. 26   Ex. 14-16;  Acts 2
Tuesday      Jan. 27   Ex. 17-20;  Acts 3
Wednesday    Jan. 28   Ex. 21,22;  Ps. 12;  Acts 4
Thursday     Jan. 29   Ex. 23-24;  Ps. 14; Acts 5
Friday       Jan. 30   Ex. 25-27;  Acts 6
Saturday     Jan. 31   Ex. 28-29;  Acts 7


For those who like to do their reading online:
http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English and pick your version)

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 01, 2009, 06:48:42 pm
Quote from: churchlady on January 25, 2009, 02:37:17 pm
This Week's Scriptures

Sunday      Feb. 1  Exodus 30-32;  Acts 8
Monday       Feb. 2   Ex. 33,34;  Ps. 16;  Acts 9
Tuesday      Feb. 3   Ex. 35,36;  Acts 10
Wednesday    Feb. 4   Ex. 37,38;  Ps. 19;  Acts 11 
Thursday     Feb. 5   Ex. 39,40;  Ps. 15;  Acts 12
Friday       Feb. 6   Lev. 1-3;  Acts 13   
Saturday     Feb. 7   Lev. 4-6;  Acts 14   


For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 01, 2009, 09:03:16 pm
SOAP  Sunday   Ex 30-32;  Acts 8:


Scripture

Acts 8: 1  "Now Saul was consenting to his death."

Observation

Here Paul, prior to being saved, is watching Stephen being stoned to death, and the scriptures tell us that he is okay with it (consenting).

As I read this verse, another verse popped into my mind...."life and
DEATH are in the power of the tongue".

While I wouldn't want to watch someone be literally put to death,
how often have I spoken WORDS to someone that killed their encouragement, shattered their peace, put to death the hope that was in them towards something, brought to an end the healthy esteem they felt for themselves, darkened the light that was in them..................all the
while consenting to their (soul) death, because of no repentance/change.   

Application and Prayer

Father, I suppose we don't get through this life without words of
death coming from our mouth at times, but it should not be.  You've
called us to speak words of grace to those who hear us.  Please give me a daily awareness of what I speak, and a soft heart to care what those words impart, and how they impact those who hear them.

Lord, I desire to never "consent to their death" though my effect on
another's soul.  Let me impart life, Lord!
Amen.






Quote from: churchlady on February 01, 2009, 06:48:42 pm
This Week's Scriptures

Sunday    Feb. 1  Exodus 30-32;  Acts 8
Monday     Feb. 2   Ex. 33,34;  Ps. 16;  Acts 9
Tuesday    Feb. 3   Ex. 35,36;  Acts 10
Wednesday    Feb. 4   Ex. 37,38;  Ps. 19;  Acts 11 
Thursday   Feb. 5   Ex. 39,40;  Ps. 15;  Acts 12
Friday     Feb. 6   Lev. 1-3;  Acts 13   
Saturday   Feb. 7   Lev. 4-6;  Acts 14   


For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)


Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 03, 2009, 12:05:28 am
Scripture

Exodus 33: 3
Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey;
for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people."


Observation

In this case, the presence of God (something usually to be desired), could mean death to the people.  When I read it, I remembered in the New Testament that after Annanias and Sapphira died before Peter and the Apostles, that fear fell on the disciples and many wouldn't get close to them but kept a distance.

Application and Prayer

Oh, that the fear of the Lord would return to the Church in my day. That followers of Christ would be afraid to just live any old way while standing in His presence. 

Then, holiness would return to the Church, and with it the authority and power to His people. 

The Church would no longer be mocked in the world, but feared.

So be it, Lord!  Amen.


Quote from: churchlady on February 01, 2009, 06:48:42 pm

This Week's Scriptures

Sunday    Feb. 1  Exodus 30-32;  Acts 8
Monday   Feb. 2   Ex. 33,34;  Ps. 16;  Acts 9
Tuesday    Feb. 3   Ex. 35,36;  Acts 10
Wednesday    Feb. 4   Ex. 37,38;  Ps. 19;  Acts 11 
Thursday   Feb. 5   Ex. 39,40;  Ps. 15;  Acts 12
Friday   Feb. 6   Lev. 1-3;  Acts 13   
Saturday   Feb. 7   Lev. 4-6;  Acts 14   


For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 04, 2009, 12:33:20 am
SOAP  Tuesday  Ex. 35, 36; Acts 10

Scripture

Ex. 35 (parts)  Ex. 36 (parts)

21 Then everyone came whose heart was stirred,

and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord's
offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service,
And for the holy garments.
22 They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing
heart, and brought......

3 So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning.

6"Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary." And the people were restrained from bringing,
7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be
Done--indeed too much.


Observation

As I was reading this account of the people's willingness and zeal
to give of their substance and their time and talent for the
building of the Lord's sanctuary, I had to remind myself that these
are the same people who just a couple of chapters back were
worshipping a golden calf!!

And, that they are the same people that the writer of Hebrews tells
us were ultimately disapproved by God to obtain the inheritance that could have been theirs.

What held them back?.......unbelief.

Application

While it is very good to give unto the work of the Lord, and to offer time and talents to His use, I need to guard something that
the Lord reminded me of at the first of this new year.........and
that is, that.. my "faith is more precious than silver or gold."

All the blessings of God are accessed by grace "through faith." In
any of my doing or giving, I must not lose focus on what pleases God, and that is to BELIEVE Him, out of which will come obedience,
from which, inheritance/destiny is fulfilled.



Prayer

Lord, I desire first and foremost to have a simple trust in who You are, and what You say, and that my life will flow from that.

Let me walk as a little child before You, Lord.........with that kind
of trust.       Amen.



This Week's Scriptures

Sunday    Feb. 1  Exodus 30-32;  Acts 8
Monday   Feb. 2   Ex. 33,34;  Ps. 16;  Acts 9
Tuesday    Feb. 3   Ex. 35,36;  Acts 10
Wednesday    Feb. 4   Ex. 37,38;  Ps. 19;  Acts 11 
Thursday   Feb. 5   Ex. 39,40;  Ps. 15;  Acts 12
Friday   Feb. 6   Lev. 1-3;  Acts 13   
Saturday   Feb. 7   Lev. 4-6;  Acts 14   


For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 07, 2009, 11:16:22 pm
Scripture

Psalm 15

1 LORD,
who may abide in Your tabernacle?
       Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

2 He who walks uprightly,
       And works righteousness,
       And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
       Nor does evil to his neighbor,
       Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
       But he honors those who fear the LORD;
       He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
       Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
       He who does these things shall never be moved.

Observation and Application

It seems from this list of requirements, if I want to abide in His tabernacle and dwell in His holy hill, I shall have to depend on someone else's righteousness to do so.

While the Lord has put a new nature in me, I can't say I have always met this standard although it's my desire and aim.

Prayer

Father, thank You so much that You see me through the eyes of Your Son, and have imputed His righteousness to me.  He walked in perfect obedience before You and then went to the cross and bore my sins, giving me this acceptance in Your sight.  Let me strive by Your Spirit within me to walk worthy of such a gift.  Amen.




This Week's Scriptures
Saturday    Feb. 7   Lev. 4-6;     Acts 14

Sunday      Feb. 8   Lev. 7-9;     Acts 15
Monday      Feb. 9   Lev. 10-12;   Acts 16
Tuesday     Feb. 10  Lev. 13,14;   Acts 17
Wednesday  Feb. 11  Lev. 15-17;   Acts 18
Thursday    Feb. 12  Lev. 18,19;   Acts 19;  Psalm 13
Friday      Feb. 13  Lev.  20-22;  Acts 20
Saturday    Feb. 14  Lev. 23,24;   Acts. 21;  Psalm 24
   
For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 08, 2009, 02:55:35 pm
Scripture
Leviticus 7-9

7:1 These are the regulations
7:7 The same law applies
7:37 These, then, are the regulations for ...


Observation
Leviticus = book of the law. And the law as handed down from God to Moses to the Israelites was detailed in the extreme. Within the three chapters, the word 'then' is used 20 odd times.

'Then' means in addition, also, something else to be added. And it seems that in the Law there was always something else to be added! The complexity and intricacies of the Laws are something to behold. Every step seems to be followed, if not actually, then implicitly, by a 'then'. It was laborious and time consuming, wrought with fear that if you did not follow the rules to the letter, you would forfeit your chance to be forgiven or accepted by God. Every facet of life was covered and therefore every facet of life offered you an opportunity to fail.

Jesus changed all that. Hallelujah!


Action
Nowadays we can live our lives with one law - Jesus. And the new covenant He left us with -

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Luke 10:27


Prayer
Psalm 109
30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD;
     in the great throng I will praise him.

31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
     to save his life from those who condemn him.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: bill16652 on February 08, 2009, 03:08:31 pm
My observation of the law is this:  that mans law always has things added as needed but started out fairly simple and God is the same way.  In the garden there was one commandment given but as man progressively fell further there were more laws.  It is so simple to follow God but so complicated not to.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 11, 2009, 11:52:16 pm
Hi fellow soapers,
If the truth be told, were it not for the discipline of this SOAP, I would seldom read Leviticus.  It's not a favorite of mine.  But today,  something caught my eye that I hope to keep before my face from this time forward.  It moved me deeply.

Scripture

Lev. 16: 11
"And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself.
12 Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil.
13 And he shall put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die.
14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.


Observation

In these passages, we see Aaron, in his role as high priest, go into the Holy of Holies once a year on the day of atonement, with the blood of the sacrifice.......and he sprinkles it on the mercy seat and before it seven times.

When he finishes his assignment, he leaves and takes off the priestly garments and goes on his way.   He does this year by year.

Nothing is indicated that the blood is ever wiped off of the mercy seat or cleaned from before it.  It remains, and more is applied the following year, and years after.  Picture such a sight!!

The Holy of Holies is the place of the Lord's presence amongst his people.  The mercy seat is overlaid with gold as are the angels that sit atop it.  It must be a glorious sight to behold.

And yet, here is this blood, daily and continually before the presence of God.  Aaron has gone on his way and soon forgets the day's events, but the Spirit of God remains, as does this blood of sacrifice, as a  continual sight before God's eyes.......... and a reminder to us that He always sees us through the sacrifice of His Son's blood.

Application and Prayer

Father, my heart is stirred beyond measure at this poignant scene.  You have chosen to put before your view for all time, the blood of the sacrifice of Your Son which was spilt for our redemption. 

When I contrast this with what the scriptures presented yesterday of man's pitifully fallen state.......with his boils, rashes, bloody discharges, infectious sores, baldness, uncleaness...........I am so humbled and amazed at such mercy and love and such holiness.

How can any pride of mankind exist in Your presence?  It can't.  You and You alone are worthy of all our praise and deepest gratitude. 
Amen.



This Week's Scriptures
Sunday      Feb. 15  Lev. 25;  Acts. 22;   Psalms 25-26
Monday     Feb. 16   Lev. 26,27;  Acts 23
Tuesday    Feb. 17   Num. 1,2;  Acts 24
Wednesday  Feb. 18   Num. 3,4;  Acts 25
Thursday    Feb. 19  Num.  5,6;  Acts 26  Psalms 22
Friday      Feb. 20  Num.  7;   Acts 27    Psalms 23
Saturday    Fev. 21  Num. 8,9;  Acts 28
   
For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 16, 2009, 09:27:25 am
This Week's Scriptures
Monday   Feb. 16   Lev. 26,27;  Acts 23
Tuesday    Feb. 17   Num. 1,2;  Acts 24
Wednesday  Feb. 18   Num. 3,4;  Acts 25
Thursday    Feb. 19  Num.  5,6;  Acts 26  Psalms 22
Friday    Feb. 20  Num.  7;   Acts 27    Psalms 23
Saturday    Fev. 21  Num. 8,9;  Acts 28
Sunday    Feb. 22  Num. 10,11; Mark 1;   Ps. 27
   
For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 16, 2009, 06:31:53 pm
Scripture

Leviticus 7:1-7

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the LORD by giving equivalent values,
~ set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels.
~ If it is a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels.
~ If it is a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver.
~ If it is a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels.


Observation

I cannot say I am not being a tad flippant about this but most of you know I am somewhat 'feminist' when it comes to the male/female roles in the New Testament, about the interpretation of the Scriptures when it comes to the woman's place in the modern church; not being allowed to lead a church, preach, be a pastor or priest. Even to the interpretation of the verse in Hebrews "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." (1 Tim 2:12)


Action

Now I am wondering - is this where it all stems from? Leviticus is the Old Law; but we were freed from the old law in Christ. So how come we are still labouring under the yoke of the old law?


Prayer

Free Your children, Lord. ALL your children.
Free those who are labouring under a fascist or dictator regime
Free those who are imprisoned without charge or trial
Free those who are imprisoned without good cause
Free those trapped in poverty, hunger and disease
Free those trapped in problems made insurmountable by man's interpretation of law, judiciary law, common law and Your law
Free those who cannot see that Your Old Testament law was rendered obsolete by Your son Jesus Christ.
Amen
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: jazzypooh on February 20, 2009, 09:38:51 am
Churchlady i got a question. is this a yearly Bible reading plan that you all are going by?
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 20, 2009, 06:49:20 pm
Quote from: jazzypooh on February 20, 2009, 09:38:51 am
Churchlady i got a question. is this a yearly Bible reading plan that you all are going by?


Yes it is.  I wish more would participate.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on February 21, 2009, 11:31:02 pm
Scripture

Acts 28: 26-27
Saying, ' Go to this people and say:
"Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
  And seeing you will see, and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them."'
Observation
There's a principle in teaching that I've heard spoken of as the 'law of readiness'.  Basically it says that when the student is READY for a particular truth, learning will come. 

There could be several reasons for lack of readiness........immaturity, distractions, no interest, etc.  But in this passage of scripture, the reason given is hardness of heart.  And it adds that it's a choice...."and their eyes THEY have closed". 

Application and Prayer

Father, I know there have been times when I have CHOSEN not to receive a truth.  I wanted to believe what I wanted to believe, about something.  I repent of those times and ask for abundance of grace and mercy to have a different heart...........a hungry heart, a willing heart, an open heart.  Strengthen me to that end, I pray Lord Jesus.  Let me love the truth, even when it's not comfortable to do so.    Amen.



This Week's Scriptures
Saturday   Feb. 21  Num. 8,9;  Acts 28
Sunday     Feb. 22  Num. 10,11; Mark 1;   Ps. 27
Monday     Feb. 23   Num. 12,13;  Mark 2;  Ps. 90
Tuesday    Feb. 24  Num. 14-16;  Mark 3
Wednesday  Feb. 25  Num. 17,18;  Mark 4;  Ps. 29
Thursday   Feb. 26  Num. 19,20;  Mark 5;  Ps. 28
Friday       Feb. 27  Num. 21-23;  Mark 6,7
Saturday   Feb. 28  Num. 24-27;  1 Cor. 13
   
For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)





Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on March 01, 2009, 02:10:02 pm
The book of Numbers is so rich with truths relevant for today, that I have been greatly slowed down in my reading of it.  I just can't move fast, for fear of missing something very important to my current walk.  So, I am only on chapter 14 and that is the resource for my SOAP today.

Scripture

Numbers 14

Observation

Here in chapter 14, we have a generation of people to whom God is willing to give, (both as an assignment and a blessing), the destiny of taking possession of the land of promise and beginning to settle it for themselves and their descendants.

But sadly they miss their destined purpose for their generation!! and die off while still living in the wilderness, though supplied by God with their basic needs.

God calls it (vs.11) rejection of Him, and unbelief, and in Hebrews it's referred to as rebellion.  This becomes their legacy!!

Application

The fear of God is upon me as I read this, because I know that the same cloud (the Holy Spirit) has also moved in MY generation, and through those movements, God is saying that He is willing to give to me and to all who are His people alive in this present age, a destiny to inherit by possession, (both as an assignment and a blessing).

But I have my part to play, if I don't want my "carcass to fall while still in the wilderness".  And that part is both to recognize where the cloud is moving and to believe enough to follow in obedience.

I also realize that I am the recipient of both a generational AND a personal call to destiny.  I don't have control over what my generation as a whole chooses in this (similar to the experience of Caleb and Joshua), but also like them, I CAN and will choose personally.

Having been born again in 1972, I have witnessed several 'moves' of the Holy Spirit...........the Charismatic Movement, the Word of Faith Movement, the more recent restoration of the office of Prophet, and several more to this present day, of which I could talk at length.  Therefore am I striving to walk more and more in the gifts of the Spirit, which in my generation is my inheritance?  Am I striving through the Holy Spirit to walk more and more in faith in His Word, which is also my inheritance to possess in my day?  Am I increasingly taking more land in these areas?  Or am I murmuring and complaining. 

I also am aware that the stream from which I have received the bulk of my teaching and training for the last 3 decades serves to place in me certain strengths and weaknesses that further define my personal destiny and assignment in my generation..........strengths to bring to the table, and weaknesses to show me my dependence on others in the Body of Christ.

The reading of the Old Testament is renewing in me a new reverence and carefulness before the Lord.  Yes, He is my Father and loves me unconditionally, but He is also God, and I must remember that in order to walk before Him properly.

Prayer

Lord, how I want to have in me the same spirit that was in Joshua and Caleb when they came back from spying out the land of promise. 

They too saw the obstacles and challenges that lay before them in taking the land, but over and above circumstances and the fear of man, they held Your Word in high esteem and chose to believe that above all else. 

That's my heart, Lord.......to do just that.  I know that apart from Your mercy and abundant grace, I will fail miserably and yes, my 'carcass will fall in the wilderness' and shame will be my legacy.  But You ARE willing through Your Son, the righteous One, to give me all the grace that I need and desire, to believe in what You are releasing to Your people today.

I ask for it Lord!  More, Lord....more of Your presence, more of Your grace.....more of Your mercy to believe You and to obey You, and to walk worthy of You.  And not just for me, but for everyone who reads this and desires the same.

Amen.

This Week's Scriptures
Sunday     March 1  Num. 28,29;  Mark 8
Monday     March 2  Num. 30,31;  Mark 9
Tuesday    March 3  Num. 32,33;  Mark 10
Wednesday  March 4  Num. 34-36; Mark 11; 
Thursday   March 5  Deut. 1,2;   Mark 12; 
Friday       March 6  Deut 3,4;    Mark 13   Psalm 36
Saturday   March 7  Deut. 5,6;   Mark 14;  Psalm 43
   
For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: bill16652 on March 01, 2009, 02:18:29 pm
That is a rich teaching with manmy truths in it.  What you have pointed out about taking possession of our land let us remember that the reason that generation did not enter in was because of fear and looking at circumstances with their eyes rather than believing God.  It is only when we understand that God has given us our land and He is well able to defend us and help us to fulfill His piurpose for us that we can look at any circumstance and not be afraid.  True fear of the Lord is good because at that point we have a reveranvce and belief min God that nothing man does can shake. 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on March 01, 2009, 11:48:01 pm
Thanks Bill, for your comments.
These scriptures are deeply motivating me to examine more closely whether I am really pressing in to what God has offered to this generation.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on March 02, 2009, 08:25:13 am
Scripture

Numbers 15

Laws of Grain and Drink Offerings
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you have come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving to you,

7 and as a drink offering you shall offer one-third of a hin of wine as a sweet aroma to the LORD.


Observation

As soon as I woke up this morning, before I got out of bed, two words came to my mind.......DRINK OFFERING.  That's all, just those two words.  I had no idea what God was saying to me.

When I got home from church, it was my intention to spend the afternoon trying to catch up in my journal reading to where I was supposed to be for today's date, so I started reading where I left off yesterday (the beginning of Numbers chapter 15), and lo and behold, the first thing I read is the heading...the "Laws of the Grain and DRINK offerings."

I knew this was no coincidence so I did a little research on the drink offering to learn what it means.  God is very specific about WHEN and where the drink offering can be made, and after reading the many passages where it is mentioned, a picture began to emerge and a connection began to form in my mind of these two words and something that happened while I was in prayer Friday morning.

There has been a specific area of my life where the Lord had told me about two years ago that the 'wilderness trek' (trials/testing) was over, but I was not yet crossed over to the land of blessing in this area, but was in transition to it.

And I have to say that for the last year, I have been so severely attacked in my thinking concerning this area that I knew the enemy was trying to abort the about-to-come blessing.

But Friday morning in prayer, a shift occurred, and I 'crossed over', in this particular area of my life.  Like Jacob, I've wrestled with God this past year, and the brokenness is completed.  God won and I have a 'limp' to prove it.  LOL  (http://www.incredimail.com/app/?tag=emoticon_click_me&lang=9&version=5853718&setup_id=7&aff_id=101&tID=102303&addon=IncrediMail&id=95202&guid=7523D9F9-3CDF-4CF2-B5D5-FBD2FC181A9F)(http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/thspeechless-smiley-0101.gif)

The drink offering pictures God's joy in seeing the completed work of Christ take place.  When Jacob's trial and testing period with Laban came to an end, and he returned to Bethel where God first spoke to him, he poured out a drink offering to God and entered a new era of his life with a new name...... Israel. 

Likewise, in these verses of Numbers 15, God states that when they enter the land that he is giving them, and make offerings, they will be pouring out a drink offering to Him..........a sweet savor that God enjoys as He rejoices over a completed work of Christ in them.......... not in the wilderness while God is doing the work in them........but when it is completed and they enter the promise.

Application and Prayer

Father, I rejoice that You have loved me enough to continue working in me these long years to get me to the place of blessing in this area of my life. (I also thank You for the new assignment given to me Friday morning) 

Your patience and longsuffering towards me is evident.  Your tenderness and mercy sustained me.  And now may my life in this area be poured out a drink offering to You so that You can rejoice in the completed work of Your Son in this aspect of my being.

Thank you Lord, that You desire to bring EVERY area of my life to this point of blessing, and are faithful to deal with me to accomplish this.  I pray that through your abundant grace, that I will be enabled to co-operate with the Holy Spirit fully in this, so that many other areas of my life may be offered as a drink offering too.

I love You, Lord.

Amen


Check this out!  It goes right to today's passages. 
http://www.lifejournal.cc/bible/ (http://www.lifejournal.cc/bible/)

This Week's Scriptures
Sunday   March 1  Num. 28,29;  Mark 8
Monday   March 2  Num. 30,31;  Mark 9
Tuesday    March 3  Num. 32,33;  Mark 10
Wednesday  March 4  Num. 34-36; Mark 11; 
Thursday   March 5  Deut. 1,2;   Mark 12; 
Friday     March 6  Deut 3,4;    Mark 13   Psalm 36
Saturday   March 7  Deut. 5,6;   Mark 14;  Psalm 43


For those who like to do their reading online:

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/)   (scroll down to English, and pick your bible version, then scroll down the version page to pick the book and chapter)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: churchlady on March 09, 2009, 09:01:00 am
 

Check this out!  It always goes right to the link for today's passages. 
http://www.lifejournal.cc/bible/ (http://www.lifejournal.cc/bible/)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 14, 2009, 07:13:45 pm
Scripture
Psalm 40

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
     he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
     out of the mud and mire;
     he set my feet on a rock
     and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
     a hymn of praise to our God.
     Many will see and fear
     and put their trust in the LORD.

4 Blessed is the man
     who makes the LORD his trust,
     who does not look to the proud,
     to those who turn aside to false gods.

5 Many, O LORD my God,
     are the wonders you have done.
     The things you planned for us
     no one can recount to you;
     were I to speak and tell of them,
     they would be too many to declare.


Observation
In my present situation, awaiting surgery in three days time, I am especially conscious of the need to draw close to God for peace and reassurance. But He is showing me again and again that He has my every need attended to, I have no need to fret or feel anxious, He WILL provide. At a time when I truly thought there was nowhere and no time for me to go for help, he spoke to my brother and had him plan to come to my aid. Isn't that awesome? A man who all his life has been sceptical, even mocking, of religion, hears and responds to the Holy Spirit and, as yet, is not even aware of it! Praise God!


Action
The one thing I know about this action by my brother is that I have been blessed by so many good friends from so many different places and that prayer gets answered! It makes me even more aware that, despite not presently being a member of a church, one can still draw close to God. I may not be diligent in my study of the Scriptures or in having 'proper' prayer times but I have found that I talk with God constantly throughout the day. He and I are constantly 'on-line' and so actually sitting down to pray seems somewhat superfluous. Despite this, I have still been guilty of trying to make things happen in my own strength. I suppose it's part of the nurse and manager in me, to organise and get things done. This is fine until one starts trying to do what God has already planned to be done!


Prayer
Father God, praise and honour to You, oh Lord. May Your Name be raised in the heights, covered in glory and blessed by man and angels alike. You care for Your children, You tend to their needs and even in Christ said that, like any good father, You would not give Your child a stone when they asked for bread. I know this, Lord, and I trust it, believe it and have faith in it as Your word. So forgive me for my lack of faith, for not trusting that You would see me through this event. Even in the face of my lack of trust, and believing that it was too late in the day to have anyone contemplate putting their own lives on hold in order to come and help me, You have shown me that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU!

I just pray now that You would speak more into the hearts of Marion and Brian. That having listen to and complied with the urgings of Your Holy Spirit, even unknowingly, they would now be open to Your voice and find at last what they have been missing all these years. What a trump of joy that would cause in heaven and in my heart! And all the honour, all the praise and all the glory go to You, my lord and God. Hallelujah!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on August 11, 2009, 07:17:50 pm
Scripture
Exodus 17:15  the Lord is my banner
Isaiah 5:26, 11:12, 49:22 He will lift up an ensign to the nations
Isaiah 13:2 lift up an ensign on a bare hill
Isaiah 11:12, John 12:32 Jehovah Nissi - the Lord our Banner - gathers exiles as he lift His banner
Isaiah 18:3 when a standard is raised on the mountains
Isaiah 62:10  lift up a standard over the peoples

There are more but the denouement is to be found in Jesus prophetic words
John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."


Observation
I was so moved when I rediscovered these words. People have been sometimes sceptical, sometimes puzzled and sometimes downright dismissive of my use of flags for worship. I've even had it said that it isn't biblical!

Yet there are flags, banners, ensigns and standards all over the place in the OT! Yes, some have said, in the OLD testament but not the new.

No? Do you see the quote from Jesus' own lips in John 12:32? Jesus Himself is the ultimate banner. He is the one that was to be lifted high on a hill to draw the nations unto Himself! That's worship! That's subjugation to the one true God.




Action
My flags do that. As they dance in the air, they draw attention, they make people notice them.

The colours are a language. The movements are a language. Together they draw men to what they announce - Jesus!

I see Jesus as a banner, a standard. High on a hill, hanging on a cross. He did that in order to draw the nations to Himself, to the Son of God.


Oh the passion! Oh the wonder! Did Jesus really do that for us all? Did He really do that for me?

How little then, for me to fly the flag for Him as I sing and worship and praise Him. Hallelujah!



Prayer
Oh Jesus my Saviour - that you would be the standard set for me, that you would be the flag raised high above the land so all men could see and be drawn to You.

Praise You, oh Jesus, Christ of my soul, Lord of my life, beloved of my heart. Praise and bless Your Holy Name.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: sharonl on August 11, 2009, 09:23:35 pm
Thank you Jesus - I know that Jesus smiles down on you big time as you worship him with the flags.

It is so beautiful and has so much meaning.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on December 05, 2009, 12:44:45 pm
Scripture
James
1:19-20 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires
2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favouritism


Matthew
5:14 & 16"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.



Observation
I was thinking about moderating on internet forums (!) and came upon these verses whilst browsing through James yesterday. It gave me pause for thought as I just before I had been in pm conversation with a member who had received an infraction for flaming. It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so intent to point out to others how their theology and view of what constitutes being saved is wrong that they cease to be what Jesus always implored us to be - a light to all. He said "let your light shine before men". My friend couldn't get the point that he was being penalised not for what he said but the way he said it. Let your light shine before men.

I worked with a sage old surgeon once and when he caught me being 'assertive' (iow bossy!) with my staff he would tut tut at me and say softly "You catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar"!!! How true. Would that we would all speak with honeyed words, not in the earthly interpretation which is deceitful but kind and gentle. Wouldn't we catch a lot more 'flies'?



Action
I would give anything to be a light to the people but I know sometimes I come across as severe and bossy, even in real life. It's interesting how what comes out of my mouth sometimes seems to metamorphose in the air before it reaches the other person's ear. How much more so are words written into cyberspace. We need to really careful not only what we say but how we say it. A tough call - really tough.


Prayer
Oh God my Father, I ask Your forgiveness that I sometimes let my 'tongue' run loose and do not mind what I say and how I say it. Help me, teach me, to control those thoughts and actions so I too can be a light to the people, whether they are in real life or on the internet; they are all Your people and precious to You. And because You love them then so do I.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 19, 2010, 05:26:07 pm
Nuggets of Gold

S
cripture

Recently I saw the verse Ps 35:27 "Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant".



Observation
Of course, that's in the ASV whereas my NIV bible says "May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, "The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant". But it kind of proves the point of my commentary here as I when saw this verse it completely turned my heart around! As a result, I posted this testimony

QuoteI have a testimony to share. I came in here yesterday to have a little browse as I do once in a while, and I spotted this thread and decided to have a look. I read the OP and my heart just went 'ping'! I was completely taken up with that message.

Now I've always been 'sympathetic' to the WoFers, as a mod I've hated seeing how others deride and mock. And, thanks to Pete's tutelage a year or two back, have always felt a certain kinship with the philosophy. No more than that.

But this verse and Mike's comment, really got to me! I was rejoicing in the whole idea. This evening, I was talking on the phone with my prayer partner (she lives in Spain and I ring her every Monday evening so we can share some prayer time) when I found myself praying in the Spirit how He has prospered me in so many areas - health, happiness, fulfilment - so many other ways.

I run a forum for people having hip and knee replacements. Mostly it's an extremely rewarding experience as most people are very grateful for the information, support and encouragement they get there. But yesterday a lady registered who'd had a knee done but had developed another, obscure and extremely painful condition. She was having dreadful trouble getting people to listen and understand about her circumstances. Now I'd never heard of this condition but one thing God has blessed me with is an ability to think outside the box, to be discerning enough to see people's experience from their point of view. I replied to this lady and she was overjoyed that she'd found someone with a spot of compassion! She actually said "Oh my gosh! An "angel" has appeared!"

However, it didn't stop there. My sister had knee replacements done in the past few years and has had terrible pain in her legs which has been bizarre and thus far, undiagnosed. She and I are at our wits end to know what to do. But as I was researching this other lady's condition, I was suddenly struck with a realisation ..... (http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b286/flagady15/smilies/ideaIPB.gif) ..... this was all my sister's symptoms I was reading about!

So I now see how God is prospering me. Not only have I been blessed with a home, the wherewithal to keep warm and fed and a host of other things, He also provides me with the means to help others across the world and benefit my own family as well!

I am so excited right now - excited I have found something to (hopefully) help my sister but also that I can say without a hint of doubt that I believe that God wants to prosper us. Not always in money but in so many other ways. And to prosper those we love as well.

Thank you for this, Mike. Thank you!
Action
Now this happened about two weeks ago and since then I have had some remarkable things happen. For instance, I was in a prayer meeting with some friends one morning and was moved to pray for a friend in Spain who is having some problems with the local authorities over her property. The worst case scenario is that she be required to demolish it at her own expense, thus being rendered homeless. My partners took up the prayer with me and for some minutes it was quite intense. Later that day I spoke with her on the phone to discover that she had had a bad day trying to cope with this very issue and, arriving home in tears of despair and frustration, finally had the inspiration to say to her husband, in similar despair, that they would NOT be negative about this, it was in God's hands and he would see them well. When we checked the times, it was about the time we were praying for her!

There have been other things testing me this last weekend, my third departure from CF, for instance! But instead of getting really rattled and injured about it, I was able to calmly let it go - no bitterness, no grudges, no recriminations. I got treated badly for the third time and it will be the last! But God gave me the dignity and humility to not want to hit back. It doesn't matter, it's unimportant. Whilst I was reading pms from the advisors about it, I was watching news reports about Haiti and realised it's all so petty and trivial and unimportant. There are people in this world buried alive under rubble, who are desperate for water, food and medical help. Puts it all into perspective. I have no more time for forums except for BoneSmart. At least with BoneSmart I know I am really helping people who are in genuine distress, who are scared of their impending surgery or in pain and depression after it. That's a forum that really makes forums worthwhile. Most of them are so much fluff, dust bunnies under a cyberspace bed. Fan forums, poker forums, you name it.

But God can bring good out of bad. It reminds me of the programme I once watched on gold mining - how they have to mine thousands of tonnes of ore to get one ounce of pure gold. God is the great miner - He can get that ounce of gold out of the dross that occupies the internet. I count myself privileged that He chooses to use me in that grain of gold He was created. BoneSmart is such a grain of gold and so is HGO.


Prayer
Lord my God, You are such a gracious and loving god. Your mercy and love extends to all parts of this planet, this life and even to the internet. You touch people using all manner of media. This thing we call the internet has spawned a great deal of evil but You meant it for good and You will dredge the good out of it. We thank You and glorify Your Holy Name for the precious nuggets of gold you draw out of this man-made river of mediocrity, nonsense and even evil.

Hallelujah and glory to Your wonderful and blessed Name!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 25, 2010, 05:08:49 pm
When I posted this, I happened to notice that the view count for this thread was 3333 - it's now 3385 which means it's been viewed 52 times. I am very touched!!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 25, 2010, 05:30:40 pm
Scripture
Jeremiah 1:7-10
"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."


Observation
I read this passage in church yesterday and in the evening, attended another service where the Bishop of Jarrow was preaching. Now I have to say, as a preacher he wasn't the most inspiring I've ever heard. But his message was. He commented that we were meeting in the parish church of St Peter in the parish of Ryhope. He commented that being a member of a parish church didn't imbue us with anything special. Sure we could make ourselves useful and enlist for some voluntary work within the church, we could be active members of the church fellowship. But what were we doing for the parish itself? The parish was the neighbourhood, not the church. And being a member of the parish church meant we became responsible for the people in the parish!


Action
What an awesome responsibility! It gave me to realise that we don't join a church for our own spiritual well-being but for the spiritual well-being of others! Others who don't even belong to 'our' church. Should we be intimidated by this task? Not at all! Remember God said "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."


Prayer
Lord, I pray you will put words in my mouth, words that will heal, encourage and enable but mostly words that will reveal You in all Your glory to those who do not know You. You know I am willing, Lord my God. Please show me where and when to go. Please give me the courage to go.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 25, 2010, 05:41:01 pm
Picture of a modern day Christian (sometimes!)

(http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/funny-pictures-kitten-rules-a-tower.jpg)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Sarah on January 25, 2010, 07:21:54 pm
That was awesome and a very powerful scripture.  Thank you so much!   :hug:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 26, 2010, 01:20:15 pm
Thank you, Sarah! :amen:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Pete on January 26, 2010, 01:50:10 pm
I just now took the time to read each of these posts thoroughly Jo, and I must say that it's pretty awesome to see the revelations God is giving to you!  It's also awesome that you are willing to share what He is showing you so that we can all benefit.

That's exactly what the body of Christ is for.  :2thumbs:

O0
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 26, 2010, 03:24:43 pm
Thank you, Pete! Your comments are much appreciated. It actually helps me a lot to express them. Funny that - thought is one thing but it's passive and quickly gone. Writing it down is a whole other thing!

Onward and upward!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Sarah on January 26, 2010, 03:30:50 pm
You are really a blessing with this thread Jo!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 26, 2010, 05:41:49 pm
Scripture
Jeremiah 1:7

But the LORD said to me, "You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you."


Observation
I had reason to remember these words today. Some weeks ago I got a speeding ticket but was offered the option of attending a Speed Awareness Course instead of getting the 3 penalty points on my license. Needless to say, I accepted. I had a couple of hiccups - twice I missed the letters (I'm terrible at leaving my post to accumulate for weeks!) and missed the deadline, first to accept the offer and second time to book the place. Each time I rang I was a about 24hrs too late and should have forfeited my place. But somehow when they checked, the system hadn't withdrawn the offer. They were mystified as they said the computer usually updated itself at midnight. Nevertheless, I got my place booked.

I turned up this morning with 17 other hapless victims of the police cameras and we sat through a 4 hour presentation about how speed kills. Actually, I found it extremely interesting.

But the lady I was sitting next to seemed to have trouble getting up from her chair. She actually volunteered the fact that she was waiting for a second knee replacement! Naturally I presented her with one of my BoneSmart cards and we got talking. She was delighted to meet another 'kneesie' and even more delighted to find there was a forum! I found her first knee was done by a mediocre surgeon and wasn't a great success. So I was able to advise her how to get to see a much better one! She was eager for information and had lots of questions but since we didn't have the time to talk, I gave her my phone number. I hope she calls and I expect she will.


A
ction
See, I have no doubt that God arranged this meeting! Neither that He does indeed "work in mysterious ways". Both of us had to get speeding tickets - actually both of us had to break the law! - and then book the same session and then sit next to one another! Not to mention my failing to book before the deadline and the mysterious failure of the computer to update itself - twice! How many more "coincidences" do you want?

Prayer
Father God, You are indeed the master of all things on earth and in heaven. You can ordain the stars and control the deep. For all this was created at a mere word from You. How simple then, for You to arrange for one person in need to get the information and support she needs. The wonder, the amazing wonder of it is that You care in that detail to concern Yourself with it.

Again I stand in awe and wonder. I am truly amazed how You care for Your children and humbled that You allow me to bear witness to it in this small story. All the glory, all the honour and all the praise be unto You, Almighty God.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 02, 2010, 01:35:46 pm
Scripture

John 1:1,2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.



Observation
I actually used this for my very first submission in this thread but never mentioned how important the verse was to me, specifically the words in red: this was my very first meeting with the bible after I was saved. I was wrestling with a desire, a compulsion to reach out to a patient who was in need. A young man who had just learned he had terminal cancer. He was 28 yrs old. I didn't know him before he came to my theatre (OR) for surgery but something about him pulled at my heart strings in such a way I was powerless to deny it. For a nurse to "get involved" with a patient was verboten in those days and could result in disciplinary action so I was in a real dilemma. I didn't understand this feeling and I feared it. It took me  11 days to realise that I had received a word from God! Shortly after, a colleague in whom I confided, responded with the awful warning "Oh Jo, don't - you know he's going to die". When I got home this was the first time I actually opened my very old KJ bible, given to me as a babe, and read a verse at random. It was Romans 12:1!


Action
I know long term Christians can
sometimes dismiss the notion of a random choice verse to 'hear the word of God' but as a very new Christian, I knew of no other way and it was enough to get me on the road. The extraordinary things that happened in the following 9 months would fill a book but were a constant reminder and confirmation that I was doing what God wanted me to do. I knew beyond any doubt, that I had to give of myself and not stint in anyway for the remainder of Ian's life. It was more for me than for him. It was my training and proving ground and God blessed me for it - once I had done sobbing out the pain of the loss, that is. God was patient and kind. He was with me all the way through and I knew He was never far away, even though I was often far away from Him. How patient, kind and steadfast He is!


Prayer
Precious Lord, You are such a wonderful, caring father and I love you so much. I still praise You for the wondrous experience I had, knowing You through Ian. You bring good out of the bad. Glory be to Your wonderful Name!


3460
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 07, 2010, 03:47:39 pm
Today our Rev Judith had some readings and then played a piece of classical music. Her intention was to see if God spoke to any of us through this. He have me the following:


Genesis 2:8
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east

Revelation 4:5
From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder.


Thinking  of the Genesis reading, the Lord put Haiti into my mind and this  message:
“Remember  that the earth and everything upon it I created out of chaos and fire.  Everything - the mountains and continents and the continental plates upon which  they drift. All are MY creation. And after the creation that came out of the  chaos and fire came beauty, peace and procreation.” 
And I  remembered how Jesus said “You can destroy this temple but it will be raised  again in three days”.
The Lord  showed me mountains shooting up from the chaos of the mantle of the new planet  earth. The Alps, the Pyrenees, the Himalayas  and more. All were created out of the chaos that was the earth and the Lord  created them in 3 days – HIS  days.

(http://i46.tinypic.com/23tshoo.jpg) (http://i49.tinypic.com/2le5wt0.jpg)

And when  the chaos was quietened at His command, the mountains became splendiferous with  plants and trees, waterfalls and mists and snow and rain.
(http://i47.tinypic.com/24xpdv5.jpg)  (http://i49.tinypic.com/jsg4zd.jpg)

Life  sprang forth and leaped about the peaks like mountain goats and lions,  sure-footed and beauteous in their joy of life and living. 
(http://i49.tinypic.com/10xshnc.jpg)  (http://i48.tinypic.com/2cegzr.jpg)

“I will create the temple out of  chaos” sayeth the Lord. “Out of chaos and carnage, beauty will come and peace  will reign!”

(http://i47.tinypic.com/2s123oz.jpg)



3483
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Sarah on February 08, 2010, 08:41:43 am
That was beautiful.  :hug:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 08, 2010, 12:16:07 pm
 O0
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on April 21, 2010, 08:08:56 pm
Scripture

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man       
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked       
or stand in the way of sinners       
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,       
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,       
which yields its fruit in season       
and whose leaf does not wither.       
Whatever he does prospers.



Observation

In Proverbs 3 it is also said

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,       
but keep my commands in your heart,

2 for they will prolong your life many years       
and bring you prosperity.

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;       
bind them around your neck,       
write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Then you will win favour and a good name       
in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart       
and lean not on your own understanding;


Action

This is about a man who stands by his own faith and principles. Who does   not shrink from speaking the truth or saying what has to be said. Who   is a light that shines for others. Such men are few enough in these days of financial greed and deception, ambition and selfishness. It's nice to see a man who is his own man and not afraid or ashamed to speak out his faith.


Yes, Pete - I'm talking about you!   O0


Prayer

Lord, in this little internet haven we have named as Your Oasis, we do meet under Your Grace. We do find that little haven of peace and stillness that encourages and enables us to draw closer to you. To see You in others and feel You in the words that are spoken.

And yet it is a place where we can vent our feelings and frustrations without fear of being castigated, knowing we will always be accepted in love.

Lord, bless this place. And bless the man who has charge of it.

In the Grace of Jesus, Amen



3819
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: DianeL on April 28, 2010, 04:45:45 pm
 :amen:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on June 06, 2010, 07:27:39 am
Scripture
Matthew 5:13-16You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to the house. In the same way, let you light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven




Observation
At the risk of reverting to my favourite topic, this passage has a lot of connotations with flags and banners as it is all to do with Jesus. Jesus gives us our saltiness. If we lose sight of Him, we lose our saltiness. He is our banner, our standard.

Dictionary.com list 28 definitions of the word standard but the primary one is "something   considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model." So Jesus is the standard by which we can set the course of our lives. And when we have done that, we should not hide the fact but "put it on its stand (so) it gives light to the house".

This last week a man lost his head and went on a shooting spree in the Lake District. Villages and towns that were hitherto places of tranquillity, were suddenly converted into a shooting gallery. 12 people were killed and 25 injured in less than 3 hours. The man then took his own life. The reasons for all this are being explored in their minutiae by the police and the press. Ultimately, it will probably be an unanswerable question.

But the light that shone in the midst of all this was the The Rev John Bannister, from St James Church in Whitehaven.


He said “We are still reeling from the disaster with the Keswick school bus. The majority of children on that bus were from here in Whitehaven and surrounding villages and to be faced with this in such a short time is truly dreadful.  The community is exceptionally close-knit. You hurt one of us, you hurt all of us.  It’s the kind of place where you can leave your door open, so it’s the kind of thing that really does shake   the very foundations.”


But the actual point of this  is that Rev Bannister was quickly on the streets, comforting people, helping, talking, supporting. Every day he was there, amongst the people laying flowers, in their homes, just being there. What an example!

He has the salt and it's rich, rich, rich!

(This is not , in anyway, to dismiss the similar activities of the emergency services or numerous local people who, with little regard for their own safety, were quick to go out and help the stricken)



Action
Here in the UK it's becoming more and more difficult to be open about being a Christian. Yet in such a situation as Whitehaven, one man was in TV and press reports being able to speak openly about his faith and the reason why he was making a point of being there for people.



Prayer
Lord, I pray for the people of Whitehaven. Be with them in this stressful time. Comfort and love them and help them to forgive even though they will never understand what has happened.

Father, give us all the strength to step forward in such times, to help those needing help, to be the salt You urged us to be. Never let us lose our saltiness!

In the name of Jesus - our standard for life.Amen




3916
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: DianeL on June 06, 2010, 08:47:31 am
 :amen:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: sharonl on June 06, 2010, 08:49:02 am
Blessings to you Jo for a heart that cares.

:amen:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Sarah on June 06, 2010, 04:22:23 pm
I read about it Jo and I'm praying with you.  For those effected to come to our sweet FAther for comfort and peace.

Thank you for the reminder.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Foadle on June 06, 2010, 05:52:47 pm
I agreement with the prayers prayed here
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on June 21, 2010, 04:32:35 pm
Scripture

Luke 12:14Then he said to them,   "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life   does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Observation

Isn't it amazing how much of our media is concerned with acquiring things? Shops in the streets, shops in the mall, shops online, even shopping channels! It all reminds me of Gollum (also called Smeagol) in the Lord of the Rings. He had been a normal Hobbitt, pleasant and harmless, generous and kindly. But he came upon The Ring and lusted after it so badly it corrupted his mind and body totally.

Gollum: We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us.   Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!

A fairly obvious characterisation of man as perceived by J R R Tolkien. But it could be argued he wasn't far from truth. It's in our nature and how well the devil knows how to take advantage of our nature.


Action

Isn't it easy now to see something we want or even fancy and click a button on the computer and voila!  we has it! I currently have a couple of boxes of 'stuff' waiting to be sold on Ebay. Things I've bought, unwanted presents - all destined to join someone else's 'stuff'. I remember a time when all I had I could put into one suitcase!

Prayer

Lord, let me not worship 'stuff'. I don't want 'stuff' to be a god in my life. You are my only God and I want only to worship You.


3974
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: DianeL on June 22, 2010, 06:47:37 am
 :amen:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on October 29, 2010, 05:19:34 pm
SCRIPTURE
Proverbs 18:10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to   it and are safe.



OBSERVATION
This is a familiar verse, we all know the song, it's a great one to sing in church and the kids love it!
But do we really take this to heart all day and every day?
Do we run into the tower of the Lord? Always?

You know that when we do, His love, strength and wisdom are there for us in abundance.

Remember
Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is   something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
Ecclesiastes 1:10

Yes, we frequently and loudly proclaim how we have found the strength of the Lord in our troubles as if it was something new and yet it was there all the time and has been since the beginning of time!


ACTION
We should make it our business to be constantly aware of the Lord's tower and how it is available to us at all times and in all circumstances. It takes commitment and endeavour. It takes faith. But the Lord is there; has always been and will always be so.


PRAYER
Praise to You, oh Lord, who is constant in His love, His discipline and His generosity.
How it must sadden You when we fail to run to You for comfort and strength.
How wonderful it is that when we finally come, You are never sparing with Your open arms and gracious mercy.

Praise be to You, oh God! Praise be to You.




4172
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 19, 2012, 07:46:36 pm
SCRIPTURE
Isaiah 6:3
And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;  the whole earth is full of his glory.”



OBSERVATION
I seem to have had quite a few flag orders of late. When I sit upstairs, cutting the fabric, pinning and sewing it, I like to listen to a cd I have of Roy Fields's worship during the Florida outpouring in 2008 and it includes this song.

It speaks to me as I work on the flags, it keeps reminding me that these flags are going to all corners of the UK to be used in worship and to glorify the Name of the Father.

Do you know how special that is for me? How important? Just the knowledge that the works of my hands are being used all over the place in worship. I haven't been to church in two years as I cannot find a church that is sufficiently Pentecostal for me. I like to be active when I worship.

But this afternoon, the Spirit really spoke to me whilst working and listening to this song. He was feeding into my heart that THIS is my worship right now, THIS is my song and my prayer.


I thought you might like to share in it too

This is a realm of Your glory
This is a realm of Your grace
I can feel Your mighty power
It is moving in this place
We’re in the presence of angels
With God’s glory on their wings
Like the voice of many waters
I can hear the angels sing
Holy, holy, holy, holy
Worthy, worthy, worthy, worthy
Glory, glory, glory, glory
This is a realm of Your glory
This is a realm of Your grace
All my heart’s desire is to see Your face

Roy Fields - In The Presence Of Angels (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-jwVchdwxQ#)

ACTION

Much as I regret not being part of a fellowship right now, I am content because I know I can worship and pray at home on my own. I have never doubted, no, not for one moment, that God resides in my house. Isn't that something?


PRAYER

Father God, my heart, my hands and my voice are at your command.

My praises ring in this dwelling and my heart all but bursts with love for You.


Praises to You, oh my God and my King!










6470 Views
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Optimax on May 19, 2012, 08:04:24 pm
Your heart and desire is so much toward God! :amen:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 20, 2012, 06:21:28 am
Why thank you, my friend. I appreciate that.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: sharonl on May 25, 2012, 09:40:26 am
That is so beautiful Jo - I can relate to you totally - I have not been in church for several years for the same reason - my husband and I get more out of worshiping at home than in the churches around us - they are so dry that I come home and cry.  God is smiling down on you as you worship - your worship is not lost - the Glory surrounds you as if you were in the middle of a large congregation.

I have felt guilty because I don't go to church, but I have not felt any condemnation.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 25, 2012, 01:48:12 pm
Thank you, Sharon. I was thinking of you at the time as well ...
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on June 10, 2012, 12:38:09 pm
May 20th 6470
June 19th 6730
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on June 10, 2012, 01:37:44 pm
SCRIPTURE

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8There is a time   for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,a time to plant and a time to uproot,  a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build,a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance,a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,a time to search and a time to give up,a time to keep and a time to throw away,a time to tear and a time to mend,a time to be silent   and a time to speak,a time to love and a time to hate,a time for war and a time for peace.

OBSERVATION
I happened to tune into the GodTV channel this morning and there was Brian Houston (Hillsong Sydney) preaching about the constancy of God and the transient nature of us. Everything we do or have is transient; our thoughts, our intentions, our goals, our desires, even our callings. None of it is forever. We can aspire to have dreams and goals that we yearn to achieve, It made me think about a lot of things: my flags, my work, health, wealth and happiness and depression. They all come for a time and then go away, sometimes forever, and sometimes to return.

ACTION
But is that a cause to feel you've let go of things forever? No indeed. We never know, in these transient periods, when we are going to enjoy or struggle through certain things again. The only thing we have that is constant and everlasting is God, our rock, our strong foundation and everlasting comforter. Hang on tight always!

PRAYER
Dear Lord, our Father God and eternal Saviour, we know we can always trust in you. Thank you for being there for us and never, ever letting us down. Our prayer today is that You would breathe life back into this forum where Your graciousness and favour has always been exhaulted

In Jesus' Holy Name. Amen
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 16, 2013, 07:19:35 pm
May 20th 2012 - 6470
June 19th 2012 - 6730
March 16 2013 - 8899

So you're still reading this then!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 16, 2013, 07:40:11 pm
I'm going to stray a little from the format:

I was musing on what the Bible had to say about loneliness and made some surprising finds. There are a small number of quotations referring to man being alone such as these:

Genesis 2:18  The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

1 Samuel 21:1   Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?

Job 7:16   Let me alone; my days have no meaning.

Psalm 102:7  I lie awake; I have become  like a bird alone on a roof.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 how can one keep warm alone?

Isaiah 63:3  I have trodden the winepress alone;  from the nations no one was with me.

1 Timothy 5:5  The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God

But I was intrigued to find loads of comments referring to God ALONE. It made me think: He is alone, in his One-ness, He is alone and has no companion, no partner, no-one of his kind to keep company with.

Except

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

He was alone until He created Man. What must the depths of His loneliness have been that he sort to create a companion with whom he could have a relationship. And if it's not 'normal' for God to be alone and lonely, then it's not normal for me. Which rather accounts for the fact that I feel so dreadful when the evidence of my aloneness confronts me. But God knows how I feel and understands. Amazing!

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 16, 2013, 08:05:32 pm
In case you all wondered why this topic, it's because it's now midnight Saturday and 30 whole hours since I last spoke to another human being ...

(http://flagsforworship.co.uk/jo-pic/images/2crybimxm.jpg)

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: jiminpa on March 17, 2013, 12:12:43 am
Quote from: flaglady on March 16, 2013, 08:05:32 pm
In case you all wondered why this topic, it's because it's now midnight Saturday and 30 whole hours since I last spoke to another human being ...

(http://flagsforworship.co.uk/jo-pic/images/2crybimxm.jpg)


Aw Jo, you should always have someone to talk to.  I pray that God will send good Christian friends your way. 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 18, 2013, 09:00:54 am
Thank you, Jim. That's very sweet of you.

However, I shouldn't be so gloomy really - just had a meeting with my financial advisor and learned that I've now moved into the 'upper income' bracket meaning that some of my money will be taxed at 40% (http://flagsforworship.co.uk/jo-pic/images/thudymy.gif) 

I think I can safely say that God has really blessed me in my autumn years ....
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on June 15, 2013, 06:26:39 pm
Scripture
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.



Opinion
Apparently there are now over 7 billion people on this planet growing at a rate of 1 million a day. If God is present as love in each beating human heart, that's an awful lot of love on this earth. So why are there so many wars, dictatorships and despots, so many areas smitten with drought, disease and poverty? I could list all the incidences that are in my mind as I am writing this but I know you're all more than familiar with them as am I. So why do they exist? Is it because satan has got at the hearts of the big corporations, infested them with greed and self-serving power that sees millions being spent on advertising and bonuses instead of feeding the poor? Has satan got at the hearts of politicians and world leaders causing them to stock great mountains of food and fuel instead of spreading it around where it's so desperately needed?

It's estimated that in the EEC there are 'mountains' of butter, milk, wine, maple syrup, eggs (powered I trust!), meat and timber - total value some several billions of Euros. These are held back to artificially inflate the high street costs of every kind of product to to average 'man in the street'. So what does this do - it makes these foodstuffs a veritable dream for the families starving in famine struck Africa and war torn Syria.

Where is the love that God wanted us to have in this world? If Jesus died to bring us that love, how come it's not being passed to those in greatest need (at home and abroad).


Application

And yes, I know there are heaps of charitable organisations out there doing what it can to bring succour to the needy. Water Aid seeks to install fresh water wells in African villages, Christian Aid brings food and medicines to refugees from drought and war, The Buy a Cow organisation has a neat way for us to use our gift giving to bless an impoverished family with anything from a cow to laying chickens and The Brooke Animal Charity goes out and about all over the world to aid beast of burden suffering at the hands of uneducated owners with treatment for the animals and education for the owners so they will get the best out of and for their prize possessions which are veritable lifelines for their owners and their families.

But it's not enough. We need to pray more. We need to stir the hearts of those in and with power, to have them collaborate more, bring the world together in a vision not unlike that of "Star Trek" where our children could proudly say "poverty has been abolished". Wouldn't that be a reckoning of love, a realisation of all that Jesus died for and stands for.



Prayer

Dear Father in Heaven, please teach us to pray. Stir our hearts to pray more in faith and with more fervour than we have ever done before. May we have such passion that we stir your loving heart to crack open the marble hearts of those in power who  have skewed ideas about right and wrong, who stand on podiums declaring their intentions to make a difference and may even truly intend to but bureaucracy gets in their way and their good intentions come to naught. Dear Father, stir us to stir you that you in turn will be moved to affect a sea change in the hearts of the mighty and powerful whether they be legal or criminal - may their wealth turn to dust until it is watered by the blessed rains of your Holy Spirit.

In Jesus' Holy Name
Amen

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on June 15, 2013, 06:32:48 pm
May 20th 2012 - 6470
June 19th 2012 - 6730
March 16 2013 - 8899
June 15 2013 - 9712

So you're still reading this then!  ;)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on July 04, 2013, 09:08:45 am

Ecc 1:9-11 KJV  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.  (10)  Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.  (11)  There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.


it seems as though the world is getting worse as time goes by; but while our modern age of instant communications spreads the bad news more effectively, i often think that there are no streets lined with crucified bodies now as there were in Jesus' day.  according to the scripture above, there is nothing new 'under the sun' - which to me says 'without the leading of the Lord'.  each generation ignores the wisdom of the one before, and passes no wisdom to the one after; all wisdom must come to each person directly from God through fellowship with Him.


it's all too easy to become distracted by what's happening 'under the sun', and lose track of what's available 'above the sun' - which is to say what's available by being led by God.  too often people react based on knowledge without understanding, failing to seek God's leading before they act.  we all have a tendency to metaphorically look to God and say 'i got this one Lord; i know what to do here'.  whenever i make a decision without at least seeking guidance, i miss an already-available blessing at the least and take on a temporary curse at the most.  thank God that He looks at the intent of my heart and not at my performance!


Father God, i know that You are always providing me with guidance, and that i am not able to make the right decisions without being led by You.  thank You that You look at my heart, so that when i follow Your leading Your Kingdom is advanced in the earth and i am protected and prospered even though i might suffer persecution in the near term.  thank You that when i miss it and make my own decisions, You look at my heart and through Your grace i am protected even though i might suffer for a while from the effects of my bad decisions.  thank You that You have faith in me, even when i don't act in faith in You; thank You for choosing me, and that You never make a mistake!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 13, 2014, 06:30:31 pm
May 20th 2012 - 6470
June 19th 2012 - 6730
March 16 2013 - 8899
June 15 2013 - 9712
January 13 2014 - 1,1392


So you're still reading this then!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on January 13, 2014, 06:55:17 pm
SCRIPTURE
I found there are several instances where Jesus chose or was required to be on his own

Matthew 4:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+4:1&version=NIV)Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Matthew 14:13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+14:13&version=NIV) When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.
Mark 1:35 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+1:35&version=NIV)  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Luke 4:42 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+4:42&version=NIV) At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.


OBSERVATION
A state of solitude is often a considered to be a negative thing. Being a person who lives on her own and has done for well over 50 years, it can be negative but at the same time it can be a positive thing too. I watch my older sisters struggling to cope with their ageing and ailing husbands and think how lucky I am not to have such a burden. But I also know how much I regret not having children and grandchildren. There is always a pay-off in these things.


ACTION

These days of solitude I can put to use as I wish. I can pootle around on the computer, do some house work, go out shopping as and when I wish. But some days, I just really wish I had someone I could phone and say let's go out for a meal. In those times, I invariably think I Jesus alone in the wilderness being tempted. Then again, I think of him seeking solitude to get away from the crowds so he can spend some time communing with the Father. What precious times they must have been.

And then I think, I have those precious times also. I can commune with the Father any time I like and for as long as I like. No interference, no other jobs pressing to be done, even if there is a heap of washing up or ironing to be done! It can wait. Time with the Father can't.


PRAYER

My dearest, beloved and loving Father, thank you for giving me the freedom to come to you and speak with you any time I like. There are many who do not have that privilege. There are many who do so in fear of death because our faith is against the laws of the country. You have placed me in a country where I have the freedom to express my faith. The freedom to pray to you and acknowledge you as my God and my Saviour. Blessed be Your Name, Father, Saviour, loving and everlasting God.

AMEN
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 06, 2014, 05:41:50 pm
SCRIPTURE

2 Timothy 1
6
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.


OBSERVATION

With recent discussion about the future of this form, I was moved to make this small medication on the topic. And the word that kept coming to me was LOYALTY. Paul adjured Timothy to remember his loyalty to Paul and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be strong, powerful, filled with love and self-discipline in the love of Christ.

It's all too easy to wander away from that which feeds and nourishes us but return to it we must if we are to develop and grow in the love of our Lord Jesus.


ACTION

We should gather together with those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, commune  and fellowship with them


PRAYER


Heavenly Father, this place was created for a reason. Its name was chosen with purpose and that purpose was you! We pray only that this  community will draw together again, celebrate your Holy Name and rejoice in the presence of your Holy Spirit. In the name of our saviour, Christ Jesus, make it come alive again.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: jiminpa on February 07, 2014, 08:54:31 am
Quote from: flaglady on February 06, 2014, 05:41:50 pm


PRAYER


Heavenly Father, this place was created for a reason. Its name was chosen with purpose and that purpose was you! We pray only that this  community will draw together again, celebrate your Holy Name and rejoice in the presence of your Holy Spirit. In the name of our saviour, Christ Jesus, make it come alive again.
Amen!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Yitzchak on February 08, 2014, 04:33:55 pm
Here is one.

Scripture
QuoteGen 15:6  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.


QuoteRom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.



observation
In the Hebrew , the word for believe in this verse is aman. Which is a form of the word amen. One of the basic ideas is that to have faith means to agree with God.

The Greek word in Romans for confess is homologeo. which is composed of two Greek words. Homo means to agree and logos means to speak. So literally speak our agreement.

    So in the Romans verse , there is believe in my heart which is the Greek word for faith. So knowing the back round of the word faith in the Hebrew. It says agree in my heart and also agree with my words.(homologeo)


action

   I study the word of God and pray and discover the will of God. Then I bring myself into agreement with God which is a place of faith. Both in my heart and in my words.

prayer

     I pray that my words and thoughts will be in agreement with God.

Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 08, 2014, 10:14:15 pm
Yay! Thank you for those posts, brothers! It's good to read them!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Yitzchak on February 11, 2014, 08:20:16 pm
Scripture
   
QuoteMat 2:12  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Mat 2:13  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Mat 2:14  When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:


Observation
  This situation was far from perfect in the way that I see perfect. Being warned in a dream , people after them and having to flee. Not what I would have expected for the most important person who ever lived , meaning Jesus.

Action
  I can't go by the outward appearance of a situation. God sometimes delivers us from having trouble and sometimes He delivers us right in the middle of trouble. My action is to trust God , no matter how many people come against me and how chaotic the situation seems.

prayer
I pray that God watches over me and protects me so that I can fulfill the calling on my life.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Yitzchak on February 13, 2014, 09:30:54 am
Scripture

QuoteGen 15:6  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.


Observation
The word God can is a title rather than a personal name.  In the English , we usually distinguish by using a capital G in the word God if we mean the one true God. We use the lower case g for a false god. But in the Hebrew , different verses use different names of God. There are hundreds of them , but there are around a dozen or so that are the names which occur over and over. In this verse is one of those times. The name used in this verse for Lord is Yahweh. It is where the name Jehovah comes from. But Jehovah is a sort of half English / half Hebrew version. There is no J sound in the Hebrew so the J is a y in Hebrew. Anyway , The actual Hebrew is Yahweh.
   By saying that Abraham believed in Yahweh , it makes it very specific. Abraham did not simply believe in some unknown or unspecified higher power as they like to do in the twelve steps programs. Abraham believed in Yahweh which is the name the Scripture uses for the more personal Covenant making God of Israel.
  So I see two things here. One , that our belief is to be in the specific one true God. And two that it is to be in Him as opposed to in the situation. We can have faith for situations , i think. But the saving Faith that Abraham had which the New Testament uses as an example of true saving faith is in Yahweh.


Action

     My action is that I will focus my attention on believing in the one true God. I believe in Jesus and have a relationship with him. I don't just believe a set of doctrines ( although that is important ) or believe for certain blessings ( although that is true also ). I believe in God , first and foremost.

Prayer

  Lord God , I resolve to keep my faith pure by focusing it upon You. I ask your help to do that. In Jesus name , amen.
Title: Matthew 1:21 SOAP
Post by: Bryan on May 07, 2014, 03:35:53 pm
SCRIPTURE

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."  (Matthew 1:21 NIV)

OBSERVATION

The Prophet who was to come was on the way.  The plan of God was beginning to take shape.  A lowly, poor virgin girl was about to give birth to a King, a Savior, to God!  What a tremendous, extraordinary event was happening.  God was no longer allowing people to suffer under the oppression of the Mosaic Law anymore!  He saw that if we were ever to draw near Him we would need help.  So His plan was to offer Himself!  Not to expect more from us than what we already had tried.  Even the most pious and righteous fell far too short of His standard!

APPLICATION

"to save" is meant here not just in the eternal life sense.  sozo is a Greek term for utter deliverance from evil, harm, and peril.  Jesus did not come just to bandage our wounds (in a spiritual sense) He came to eradicate them, make them a thing of the past, to free us completely from the power sin (and the flesh) had over us.  And He did!  Glory He saved us!  "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (sozo)." (Acts 16:31) Sin no longer has dominion over us in Him! (Romans 6:14)  All the old has died and we have been reborn into a new existence.  (2 Cor 5:17)

PRAYER

Jesus...  You. Are. Incredible.  Prince of peace, the Almighty!  Thank you Jesus for what you have given us!  For the love that flowed from your veins on the cross!  Jesus, You are worthy!  Thank you for breaking the chains that held us down.  For defeating the devil and making him powerless over us!  Lord, I love you!  I praise you Jesus!  You are the risen Son of God!  Death itself had no hold over you and it has no hold over us because of You!  Hallelujah!  Increase the revelation of your presence in us Lord!  Fill us with the thoughts and realities of our place in heaven in You Lord!  That no mountain is too steep, no valley to low, no sea to wide, no obstacle to great to separate us from You and Your love!  Thank you Jesus!
Title: Genesis 4:10 SOAP
Post by: Bryan on May 08, 2014, 06:28:13 am
SCRIPTURE

And the Lord said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10 ESV)

OBSERVATION

Cain had just slew Abel over the issue of their offerings.  He was full of wrath and fury that his younger brother's offering was accepted by God while His was not.  So he took Abel to the field and slew him there.  We see here that the blood of Abel was crying out to God from the ground it slipped on.  For vengeance?  Perhaps.  But what we can see for certain is that blood speaks.

APPLICATION

There's actually a few applications to be taken from this.  First, that even when you think you have gotten away with something, God knows what you have done.  Cain, for all we know, would have gotten away with this murder had God not confronted him about it.  God knows the secrets that we sometimes think no one else does.  Secondly (and more importantly), when Jesus slipped His blood for us on the cross we were given access to the Father by that offering.  By it we are forever cleansed and made holy and righteous in God's eyes because of the blood offered.  When the accuser stands to condemn us for the sins we have committed, the blood cries out on our behalf and declares us innocent.  We are under the blood, Jesus blood, and He will never let us fall into condemnation again.

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for your blood!  Thank you Jesus for spilling you blood for me even while I was in sin.  I had no right to claim your sacrifice as my own and yet you offered it for me anyway.  By your blood Lord I am free, set free from the power sin had over me.  Not just the inability to escape sin, but the condemnation sin brought into my life.  You took that on the cross, in love and grace, and you ABOLISHED that price forever through the sacrifice of your blood Jesus and I want to say THANK YOU!  Thank You Jesus for delivering me!  Thank You Jesus for cleansing me!  Thank You Jesus for helping me in my hour of need!  By your blood I am healed and forgiven, and through your blood Jesus I will be saved!
[/quote]
Title: Matthew 4:1-3 SOAP
Post by: Bryan on May 09, 2014, 10:20:33 am
SCRIPTURE

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." (Matthew 4:1-3 NIV)

OBSERVATION

Jesus had just been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit.  We see He is immediately led by the Spirit to confront the devil in the wilderness.  What is the first temptation?  Satan challenges Jesus concerning His status as Son of God, his identity.  How many times are we led into a wilderness and think we got ourselves there?  How many times do we think God led us into a wilderness to punish us?  No, it's not so.  Sometimes we are led into a wilderness to confront our adversaries and be strengthened in faith.

APPLICATION

What is our identity in Christ?  The very righteousness of God (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:17), holy (1 Cor 1:30; Heb 10:10) justified in the sight of God.  We are his children!  Heirs to eternal life and all the promises of Abraham!  So the Spirit leads us into a wilderness to have us confront the accuser.  Satan will challenge us.  He will challenge who we are!  We've all had the I'm so unworthy moments.  That is not us being so pious and humble, that is us believing and agreeing with satan that we are not who we were redeemed to be.  If he can get us to deny our place in christ then we have no backing on which to confront him and defeat him in the future.  Take your stand on Christ and who you are in him!  Tell that old liar to get lost and be ever mindful of the One who gave himself for you!  (Romans 8:5-6; Col 3:1-3; Phil 4:8; 2 Cor 10:5)

PRAYER

Jesus, renew us in Spirit!  Bring fresh revelation of the grace you have bestowed upon us!  May your light and love shine in us and through us Lord!  Strengthen us Jesus to confront the devil during the evil day!  Always bring us into remembrance of who we are in you and what you have given us by shedding your blood for us!  I praise you Jesus and beseech you on behalf of all saints to strengthen your church with might and power in the Holy Spirit.  May we be fruitful, fully pleasing you in every work we do.  May wisdom and revelation come to all believers so we may know you Lord!  Remind us Lord that we are holy because of you, we are righteous by your blood!  We need not dwell on the past, because it is erased and forgotten.  Let us press forward into the future, full of faith and grace Lord Jesus!
[/quote]
Title: SOAP Power and blessing of prayer
Post by: Bryan on May 10, 2014, 10:37:49 am
SCRIPTURE

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. (Psalm 4:3 ESV)
If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. (Proverbs 1:23 ESV)
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3 ESV)

OBSERVATION

The power of prayer and the marvelous revelation that the God of the Universe not only hears us but answers us is truly awesome!  Many times in scripture God tells us to call to Him and He promises an answer will come. 

APPLICATION

Now many times we grow discouraged as we may not have heard His voice in a while, if ever.  Dear friends, that is not a fault of anybody but our own.  The man after God's own heart gives us the great key to hearing the Lord's voice:

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1 ESV)
But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. (Psalm 38:15 ESV)
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5 ESV)

Wait on Him!  Sit silently in His presence (Ps 62:1, 5) and listen for Him to answer you.  He will.  May these words resound within all of us as we seek to grow in Him:

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:8 ESV)

PRAYER

Oh Lord, on you do I call!  You are the answer to all our prayers, for what can we be denied when we are walking closely with you oh Lord?  I love you Jesus!  I thank you Lord for your many graces and mercies that have sustained me and carried me through.  Lord I pray on behalf of all saints and ask that "according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:16-19 ESV)

Now to You oh Lord who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 ESV)
[/quote]
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 11, 2014, 11:15:13 am
Bryan, those a fantastic! I loved reading them. Thank you so much for posting.
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 11, 2014, 11:17:54 am
May 20th 2012 - 6,470
June 19th 2012 - 6,730
March 16 2013 - 8,899
June 15 2013 - 9,712January 13 2014 - 11,392
May 11, 2014 - 12,343


So glad you're all still reading this! AWEsome!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on October 25, 2014, 10:37:52 pm
January 13 2014 - 11,392
May 11, 2014 - 12,343
October 26, 2014  14,756

No posts since May? Got to do something about this! :amen:
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Bryan on January 01, 2015, 05:48:48 pm
I honestly forgot all about this thread...  :banghead:

I will get something together if I am still allowed to do so, considering how things have been with me lately....  :)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Bryan on January 01, 2015, 06:24:11 pm
SCRIPTURE

Zechariah 4:6 NASB "Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts."

OBSERVATION

This prophet spoke these words to a man of God that was responsible for leading the people of God into the tasks set before them.  Zerubbabel was the leader of the returned captives.  He was charged with their safe keeping, but not just the safety of the community but its rebuilding mission.  We learn from Nehemiah 2 that Jerusalem was still on fire 70 years after its destruction at the hands of the Babylonians!  That gives some idea of the amount of devastation that ensued there. 

Zerubbabel had a tremendously difficult job ahead of him.  We know from scripture that after committing to the LORD's work, he stalled out and began to be side tracked.  This is probably when these words of Zechariah were spoken to him.  I imagine Zerubbabel was overwhelmed with the burden of the mission, but the mission was never intended to overwhelm him.  God reminded him that only through his Spirit would Zerubbabel lead God's people to success and prosperity!  This is the word for us today!

APPLICATION

Stop trying to accomplish everything on your own, that is through your own means.  The job is too difficult, but the awesome thing is that it was meant that way.  Not because God enjoys seeing us suffer under stress and anxiety but because he wants us to remember he alone is our source of life.  Only from him can we find success and be prosperous!  He always acts with our best intentions at heart.  What better course of action do any of us have but to fall down on our knees before an Almighty God and cry out, "Lord, I can NOT do this unless you help me!"  May that be the cry and desire of our heart today!

PRAYER

Father in glory, hallowed be thy name!  I cry out to you Father, from the depth and depravity of my wanderings.  Save me!  Help me!  Lead me!  I can not do your work unless you alone oh LORD grant me the ability to do so.  I submit to your Holy Spirit.  I ask that you work around my dumb, deaf, calloused heart and teach me in ways I can understand.  Spirit, lead me!  Spirit, help me!  I trust in you Holy Spirit of God, I depend upon you for I can not move another step unless you direct me!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: Bryan on January 02, 2015, 11:18:33 am
SCRIPTURE

Luke 4:1 NLT  Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,

Luke 4:14 NLT  Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit's power. Reports about Him spread quickly through the whole region.

OBSERVATION

Jesus received the Holy Spirit "without measure" beginning at his baptism in water as recorded in all 4 gospels.  Immediately upon leaving the Jordan River he is led by the Spirit to go into the wilderness.  The wilderness is a topic all on its own for another day.  What is important here in this passage, an important precedent Jesus was setting for all to come after him, is those who are full of the Holy Spirit are led by the Holy Spirit.

You see it's becoming commonplace for the people of God to cry and pray and plead for a filling of the Holy Spirit then whether they receive it or not, go on about their daily lives doing their own thing, their own work.  God doesn't give us the Holy Spirit for him to submit to us.  He gives us the Holy Spirit because we have pledged to submit to him.  Jesus Christ is Lord!  We cry out, Father, send me the Holy Spirit.  But what change does that bring about? 

We think because we enter a wilderness apart from God's blessing and God's word that we have sinned.  That is not the case.  Many times, the Spirit is the one that leads us into the wilderness to test the genuineness of our faith.  Will we really be faithful to the pledge we made?  If we are faithful, as Jesus, we will indeed walk full of the Spirit's power and receive the ministry of angels (Matthew 4:11).

APPLICATION

Those who are full of the Spirit are those who are led by the Spirit.  Do you know someone that lives a rather worldly life and yet claims to be full of the Spirit?  To be true, they may be full of something but it cannot be the Holy Spirit of God.  Those who have God's seed in them cannot make a habit of sinning (1 John).  The fruit of the Spirit is love...  Love for God always shows in love for people.  May we be alert in the Spirit, submissive to his leading, even if into a wilderness.  In fact, if I must pass through the wilderness, as Jesus and Paul did (Galatians 1:17), to experience the full power of the Spirit, I will embrace it and pray for the strength to endure.  When all you can do is stand on promises God has given you and the word he has spoken to you, keep standing.  For you have the Spirit of God with you and he will never leave you nor forsake you.

PRAYER

Oh Holy Spirit, sent from the Father by the precious hands of Jesus.  The promised one from old.  Spoken of by the Prophets.  Come!  Forgive me for all of my failures.  Forgive me of my stubbornness.  Break me as the wild stallion must be broken, so that you may have full control and reign in my life.  I may not enjoy it, in fact I'm sure I won't, but remind me of the gentleness and care for which you give.  In order for you to be my Comforter, I must be uncomfortable, lead me into the wilderness so your power may rest upon me I beseech you!
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on February 25, 2016, 02:00:21 pm
Scripture
Luke 5:16 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+5:16&version=NIV)   But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Observation
I'm now in a wilderness having lost interest in the church I started going to. I had high hopes at first but it ultimately proved to not to be 'the place'. So now here I am at home again, alone again and my only contact with the outside world is my sister and my co-admin on BoneSmart who I phone on an almost daily basis (tbh, my sister and I phone each other 3-4 times a day because she's in much the same state)

But I find myself leaning more and more on God, praying more and conversing with him in a social way that I never would have years ago.

Application
Praying as you do your housework, watch TV (yes it is possible!) or typing on the laptop is very soothing and empowering.

Prayer
Dear Lord, meet me in the lonely places - those in my life, my home and my heart. Though I am deprived of social contact, I am never without your presence and that makes me feel very precious and loved.



25/02/16 21,053
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01/03/16 21,125
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 12, 2016, 08:10:14 pm
13/03/16 21,498
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 12, 2016, 08:31:29 pm
Scripture
1 Corinthians 13 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13&version=NIV)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  ...

Opinion
How familiar is this passage, exhorting us to be careful what we say and how we say it for fear that we do not express concern, caring, empathy, sympathy, respect or love. It's so easy to give advice or comment and come across as snippy or a bit harsh or even judgemental. We may not mean it that way but sometimes that's how it's received.

And even more so in this form of communication Jesus could have had no knowledge of - the internet. People say things - on Twitter, Facebook, a forum - that may be a throw away comment, meant to be lighthearted or even a joke but the reader doesn't read it like that and they get hurt. It's awfully difficult sometimes to put this extra something into words without the visual cues of facial expression and body language.

Application

So life is complex. Communications are complex. It's so important that we remember when speaking to another person that they are complex too, just as we are. Never take this for granted. Savour it, treasure it and experience it all in its wonderful, infinite richness and remember that God gave us this extension to our being. How wonderful! How precious it is.

Prayer

Dear Lord, never let me take communication for granted. Never let me be careless with another person's feelings. Above all, Lord, never let me take LOVE for granted. This precious emotion we all have and share. It comes from You and we can never lose it. Praise be to the God of Love!
Amen


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Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 22, 2016, 03:22:41 pm
22/03/16   21,741
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: jiminpa on March 24, 2016, 02:58:29 pm
Anything we do for any reason other than love is a dead work at best.  Yes, communication is important, but all actions are to be done in love.  As it says, even if we give ourselves up as martyrs, but don't have love, we have done nothing at all.  Wow! 
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on April 12, 2016, 06:04:47 pm
12/04/16  22,053
16/04/16  22,122
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on April 12, 2016, 06:40:29 pm
Scripture
Matthew 27: 45-46: 50-51
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Observation

I've heard a number of discussions and sermons about this moment and while some say that it was inexplicable that God would turn away from His 'only beloved son', to me it seemed clear that there could only be one reason - Christ Jesus came to earth to "take away the sin of the world". He could only do this by literally taking it on to himself and if he did, this was why he had to descend into Hades in order to shed it and rise triumphant. Once when I was listening to a sermon on this subject, I had a vision which I really must put down on paper some time soon. It was a picture of Jesus on the cross, his whole body covered in a thick black tarry cloak that was, quite literally, the sin of the world. As I looked at it, there was a raining of big black globs of this tarry substance still falling from the sky but the drops were flying straight to the body which was fast becoming weighed down by the weight of it all, arms strained and stretched to the maximum. It was at this point when God, unable to look at such a massive conglomeration of earthly sin, had to turn away and Jesus felt him draw away, felt the sudden and awful deprivation of His Father's presence which he had been immersed in since the day of his birth. That was why he cried out in such anguish.

Application
When you look at the crucifixion like this, it brings home to the faithful, just how great and how terrible was the sacrifice Jesus made, how great the sacrifice God made and how extraordinary was the love that made it possible or the sin that made it necessary.

So the veil was torn from top to bottom so that there was no longer barrier between God and His people. We no longer needed prophets and priests to interceded for us. We could do it for ourselves, person to person but only because of what Jesus had done in cleansing everything and everyone so that when God looks at us, he no longer sees us as the truly sinful creatures we are, he only sees that which was purified by the blood of the ultimate lamb, the Lamb of God - Jesus.

Prayer
Lord God, it is beyond our human comprehension to truly understand or envisage what Jesus did for us. We are so ignorant it defies our richest imagination and yet it is there, described in detail in the Bible, in the words of your disciples who witnessed it. But they only saw the physical facts of that terrible day, they never saw or understood this from Your point of view. Through Your Word to me, I have attempted to put it into poor words but even so, it lacks the true meaning of it for you and for your Son.

We can only go down on our knees and thank you that you cause it to happen so we could address ourselves to you and experience Your wonderful, forgiving and everlasting love. Praise Your Holy Name.



19/04/16  22,220
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 20, 2016, 08:25:17 am
May 20, 2016 22,853 Views
May 26, 2016 22,911 Views
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 26, 2016, 08:27:01 am
I love this forum. It truly is an oasis to me as it's the only place I have to read about and write about my relationship with the Lord. So I like to keep this thread going and consequently, here is another offering!

Scripture
Mark 2:17 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+2%3A17&version=NIV)
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Observation
Every day I have to take tablets to keep myself healthy. Some are for diabetes, one is for a stomach problem and so on. All these conditions are pretty much self-inflicted. As a nurse, I know that both those are due to being overweight. It would be so easy to say 'oh just lose some weight and you'll be fine' and I know that to be true but it's not that simple. So I take my pills. In the same way, I should read my Bible. I don't always and so don't I lose out on the very thing that would give me health and well being, both physically and spiritually?

Application
Why do I do this? I have no idea. It's just getting into the habit, I suppose. There was a time I'd sooner not go to bed at all than go without doing my daily bible reading (Every Day With Jesus was a great resource for that!) but whether I really got anything from it or not was questionable. I've read the Bible right through three times and though it was interesting, did I really get anything from it? I think not, because I never had anyone to discuss it with. And therein lies the issue. We need to share and explore what we read of the Holy Text in order to benefit from it - don't we?

Prayer
Heavenly Father, you know my heart better than I do. I know You are daily with me when I work on BoneSmart. I hear and feel Your precious whispers as I seek to give answers and support to needy and hurting people. Therefore I know you are a real presence in my life. Give me Your word, Lord, on how I am to use the Holy Scriptures to strengthen and validate my life in You. We all need to hear or feel Your presence and Your guidance.

Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.

(
1 Samuel 3:9 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel+3:9&version=NIV) So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’”)
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on May 29, 2016, 05:55:57 pm
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May 31/05/16 Views 23,031
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on June 09, 2016, 07:02:08 pm
June 10, 2016 23,175 views
Title: Re: SOAP
Post by: flaglady on March 10, 2019, 07:01:38 pm
March 10, 2019

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