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S.O.A.P.

FEED YOURSELF!

We have found journaling to be an excellent way to help members feed themselves spiritually. Writing out our devotion in a journal helps to both record and process what God has spoken to us. Through sharing our journal, we look deeper into what God is speaking, gain new insight and even encourage others. One simple way to journal is using the “S.O.A.P.” method, made popular by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro through his book “The Divine Mentor”:

S for Scripture
Open your Bible to the allocated chapter in the Bible reading plan. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.

O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.

A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.

P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

To get you familiar with doing S.O.A.P., we have added members' journals which were presented at the recent church services for your reading pleasure.

Stay FAITHFUL! THRIVING amidst Struggles…

Scripture
“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” - 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Observation
The Lord is FAITHFUL. No matter who you are, No matter what you do, No matter where you are, No matter how you perceive things/life.  

Application
• I ask myself: “Have I been faithful to you, Lord? In all my years since accepting you as my Lord and Saviour in childhood?”

• He showed me another scripture: 2 Tim 2 :13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself”

• WOW!!!! Humbled me max as I am reminded to continue to remain faithful to HIM no matter what circumstances in my life – the good, the bad, the ugly….

• Do not stray too far from His straight and narrow paths regardless…

• And, He will continue to remain Faithful to me…That is His promise!

Prayer
Dear Lord, thank you for your timely reminder that You remain faithful to me even when I stray from the path of faith from you. Thank you for being there for my struggles, the ups and downs of life… Please remind me constantly to keep walking in faith with you, no matter what the circumstances. Thank you Lord for the new job you bestowed upon me and showed me You want me there for this season to serve you in that school, to encourage others when they’re down and to share their joys and sorrows. Continue to help me check my heart constantly and grow my faith in You through my daily walk with you till the end of my days. In Jesus’ name I pray…. AMEN!

Knowing

Scripture
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
- Job 42:2-3

Observation
Job’s sufferings were directly brought upon by the devil. But throughout Job’s suffering, God never gave Job the reason for his suffering.

Application
Precisely because the reason was not given, could Job progress in his trust journey with the Lord, and become one of the most recognized characters in world history. God’s purposes could be fulfilled in its fullest.

Prayer
God only you know the reason why certain things are allowed to happen. We are amazed and humbled, under your mighty hand. We thank you for Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured such suffering.



Purpose Driven Life

Scripture

“For I know the plan I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Observation

A popular verse almost every Christian can recite anytime. But to live it out, it takes me total surrender without worrying what will or will not come. When I was out of job for the past 3 months just before the circuit breaker. I spent almost everyday actively looking for a job and hope to wake up every morning to receive call from potential employer. How can I not worry when I have a family to feed and bills to pay? Savings started to deplete, and I became more anxious. I look to God everyday yearning to hear an audible voice from Him. And yes, He spoke when I finally gave up worrying for tomorrow. In fact, He spoke long before i lost my job. Very precise, He ask me what’s the Purpose of my life? I cannot live just to feed family, pay bills, upgrade my properties... I woke up instantly and I know I wasted so much time worrying. “The birds, they do not plant or harvest. I feed them. Are you not more precious than the birds?”

Briefly a week later, I received 4 job opportunities and interview arrangements.

Application
Now, I’m being employed again. This time round with a different kind of boss. A Boss that truly cares for me. A Boss that do not demand any hard work in return. A Boss that longs to have a personal relationship with me. The plans that He has for me doesn’t stop here. As I continue this new journey, still, I do not know what is going to come. But I will keep this in mind, to have a real foresight, seeing things from an eternal perspective. Live out a Purpose driven life.

Prayer
God, thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for being really patient with me. Your message are always timely. You only speak when I am ready to hear. In whichever path You lead me, guide me along in my actions and speeches. It is only in You, I find relief. Be my pace maker, so that I do not have to worry but to flow according to Your plan. Amen.

God’s Word is Light

Scripture
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. - Psalms 119:105

Observation
1. The Word of God is compared to a lamp or lantern which is carried on dark nights in country places.

2. The principal value of a lamp is that it shows us the way: and it is in this respect that the truth of God is most precious to us.

3. This lamp and light guides us with safety and comfort.

4. The Word of God is our guide and protection against danger.

Application
Don’t keep the lamp just for my own use but use it to light up the path of others as well; through sharing the gospel.

Prayer
Dear Lord, thank you for laying down your life for us which is already the best gift but You had also left behind the Bible which is Your Word, as a safety-lamp to guide us in our life journey.

Help us to always carry Your Word in our heart and use it as Your instruction and protection against all kinds of dangers.

Help us to remember that we should not only use it to shine our own paths but remember to use it to shine for others who also need to see the light. In Jesus’ Most Precious Name, Amen!

The Unchangeable God

Scripture
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39

Observation
During these uncertain times, this verse reminds us that God is always there. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Application
In times of waiting, searching, healing and hurting, even when we didn’t know it or couldn‘t see it, we know that Jesus is always there.

Prayer
Dear Lord, thank you for Your unchanging and unconditional love towards us. Thank you for always being there and for reassuring us that no matter what, we will never be alone. In moments when we feel overwhelmed by circumstances or problems, we ask that You give us a special awareness of Your unfailing love in our life. I pray and ask in the name of our Lord Jesus, Amen.

Do Not Worry…

Scripture
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own - Matthew 6:25-34

Observation
Looking at this pandemic that is happening around us now. It is very easy for us to get worried - Job stability, Family members health, Finances etc. There’s nothing wrong in being concern about the important things in our lives, but it becomes a problem when we are too overly concern. That is called worry.

In Matthew chapter 8, I was reminded that Jesus was asleep on a boat during the storm. The reason why He was not disturb or worried about the storm is because He knows the God of the storm and the same God who is in control of the situation. Similarly, we as Christian serve the same God who is not surprise of this pandemic because He has His purpose when He allow it to happen.

Application
To understand that worry will never help to solve any of my situation that I am facing. Instead of worrying and asking questions like: Why is this happening? I want to learn submit my request to God and ask the Lord: How can I make things better that is within my control?

Prayer
Dear God, we want to give you thanks that You are the God who have created us. You know our weakness and only you understand why we do or react in a certain way at times. I want to commit ourselves into your hands once again asking that may you teach us not to be worried about anything but to submit our cares and concerns into your hands knowing that you are the only God who is in control and able to change things around. In the midst of the storms in our lives, help us to be still and know that you are God. We give you thanks, In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Wisdom & Understanding

Scripture
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. - Proverbs 9:10

Observation
• Solomon had discovered that a reverential fear of the Lord, is the first step towards godly wisdom and understanding, which alone provides the fulfillment in life, which we all seek.

• His advice to his son was to search for godly wisdom, with the same determined tenacity, that one would search for precious silver or hidden jewels, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

• He exhorted his son to diligently seek her out, as one would painstakingly search for hidden treasures - for a knowledge of the Holy One is understanding, and has eternal consequences.

Application
• We should emphasise on fearing the Lord and gaining understanding of our great God and Saviour.

• The more we immerse ourselves in the inerrant and uncompromised Word of God, the more we come to a knowledge of the Holy One, and the greater we discover the enormity of His plans and purposes, for each one of His blood-bought children.

• Wise advice we could give to our children: the things this world values are ultimately a striving after the wind, but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and a knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, give me an understanding heart, a fear of Your great and glorious majesty and an increasing knowledge of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For the more I know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the more I fellowship in His suffering and pain, the more I will understand Your eternal character, and Your unsurpassed attributes - to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

I Have Kept The Faith

Scripture
2 Timothy 4:7 - … I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 3:15 - …able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus

Observation
Faith can be lost (“for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me….” - 2 Timothy 4:10)

Application
Need to make effort and continue to learn the Holy Scripture. (“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” - 2 Timothy 3:14-15)

Prayer
Lord, please empower me to keep my faith in you. Help me to trust you and fulfil your calling in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The First Gleam of Dawn

Scripture
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. - Luke 11:9-10

Observation
• Assurance that my prayers will be answered
• Context: asking from my Father in heaven (v13)
• My part: to ask, seek & knock

Application
• Not to cease in prayer, continue to seek the Lord for His deliverance from the Covid-19 situation
• Seeking God for sustenance and providence all situations

Prayer
Dear Lord, Thank You for Your assurance in Your Word that I am Your child and that You hear my prayers. Thank You for giving me Your peace and being my Provider in all situations. Lord, I pray for Your deliverance in this time of the Covid-19 virus and I will trust in Your divine power to turn this situation for the advancement of Your Kingdom. May You use me for Your great works! In Jesus’ name, Amen

God’s Everlasting Arms

Scripture
There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you. - Deuteronomy 33: 26-27

Observation
Moses praises the Lord to the Israelites proclaiming to them “There is no one like the God of Israel“

He assures them that:
• God will be with them and help them no matter whatever difficult situation or trial that they may encounter, and
• God is their refuge and underneath them are his everlasting arms.

Application
• I need to be reminded that God is my refuge when there was nowhere to turn and that I need His security in every uncertain and insecure time.
• To know that my own strength and resources are limited whereas God’s resources are limitless.
• I need to experience God’s eve lasting arms underneath me and to proclaim God’s faithfulness and his awesome power.

Prayer
Dear Lord, there is no one like You! Thank you for riding across the heaven in majestic splendor to help me when I cry out to you. May I experience you as my refuge and feel your everlasting arms of protection and love holding me. I praise you for your faithfulness and your awesome power. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!

The Call To Follow

Scripture
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. - Matthew 4:18-20

Observation
• Peter and Andrew were busy with their work.

• Jesus invited them to follow Him, to direct people towards the Kingdom of God.

• They immediately stopped what they were doing and followed Jesus.

Application
• The call to follow Jesus is to be ready to go beyond the familiar and comfortable. • The call to follow Jesus is to direct people to Him. • The call to follow Jesus is now, and not later.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, help me to be ready to respond to Your call in every moment, and in every situation. Help me to accept the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable, especially when it is required to point people to You. Help me to respond swiftly, for such opportunities are divine. Amen.

No Running Away

Scripture
[Peter] saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
- Acts 10: 10-16

Observation
Of course this verse isn’t really about food, rather, in the context of this chapter where Peter meets the Gentile centurion Cornelius, it’s talking about God accepting the Gentiles. Previously, if a Gentile came into the faith, they would have to become a Jew to be considered “clean” or ”pure” but now with this new revelation, God is telling Peter that He has already accepted them, and that they are not unclean. This concept of Gentiles being unclean was ingrained into the Jews and I think there was a certain elitist mentality that came from being ”God’s Chosen People” and that led to a certain discrimination among the ranks of the believers.

Application
I think in a modern context this verse is telling us to be careful of our elitist proclivities. It can be easy to write some people off as unworthy to be saved or undeserving of salvation. But at some point, we were all undeserving and it was God who accepted us. So in a similar fashion I should be careful not to put certain people around me in a box and label them ”unclean” but rather accept them just as God has accepted them, and just as God has accepted me.

Prayer
Dear Lord, Help me to see others the way you see them. To remember not to write off the difficult people in life, but to always remember to accept them just as you have accepted me. Remind me that all of us are created by you, and hence no one of us is more impure or unclean than the other. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

Will of God

Scripture
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Observation
Paul wrote this letter of encouragement to a group of young Christians in Thessalonica. Paul started the church in Thessalonica, disciple them before travelling to Athens with Silas and Timothy.

Key is Consistency:
1. Always
2. Without Ceasing
3. In Everything

Paul shares the Will of God for us involves 3 Actionable steps:
• Rejoice
• Pray
• Give Thanks

Application
Rejoice Always because He is for me.
Pray Without Ceasing because He fills my tank.
Give Thanks In Everything because He has a plan for me.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your love for me. During this pandemic season, Your hedge of protection is upon my country, my family and me. You watch my coming in and my going out. Thank You for Your plan for me. As I deepen my faith, guide and guard me to walk my faith. Grow me to be Rejoicing always, heighten my self-awareness on my thoughts and words. Grow me gradually to increase my time with You, Praying without ceasing. Grow me to Give Thanks in Everything. Lord Jesus, I confess this is the self-discipline I need to build. Please help me. My Abba Father, You are interested in my growth. I ask and pray in Your loving name. Amen.

Praise & Give Thanks

Scripture
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. - Psalm 106:1 (NIV)

Observation

1. Praise
2. Give Thanks
3. Thankful
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” - Corrie ten Boom

Application
• PRAISE - He is good. His love for us. His protection and covering. His mercy.

• GIVE THANKS - Despite the COVID-19 situation, the uncertainties and the possible harm, I will give thanks to the Lord for all He had done and going to do.

• THANKFUL - Counting my blessings:
> Job,
> Health,
> Many more.

Prayer
Our heavenly Father, may this season be a time to anchor our faith in you. An anchoring that is deep and secure in the rock of our salvation. Your love and mercy never fail and are renewed each day. When we look into the mountains, we know where our help comes from. Help us Lord, we pray.

Depend On God

Scripture
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. - Proverbs 16:3

Observation
In whatever we do, we commit to the Lord. He will help us.

Application
Whether it is the big things like what should I do with my life or small things like what to cook for everyone at home, I can ask the Lord to help me.

Prayer
Dear God, remind me not to rely on my own strength. Remind me every day I can ask you to help me in every thing that I do. Thank you for being patient with me when I forget. Thank you for this privilege to be able to walk with you, not only when I spend quiet time with you, but also when I work. Thank you Lord, when I am unable, you are able! Amen.

Bring Offerings In Righteousness

Scripture
To do righteousness and justice is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice. - Proverbs 21:3 (NASB)

Observation
No amount of generosity on the offering plate is acceptable to God if my dealings are not characterized by justice and righteousness.

Application
• Abides in Christ and the Words
• Walks in spirit and truth.

Prayer
Loving Father I do want to please You - but I recognise that simply trusting Your word, applying it in my life and looking to Jesus is of far greater worth than anything I myself can offer You. Make me humble and obedient before You always - all the days of my life, in Jesus I pray, AMEN.

The Worst Sermon, Ever

Scripture
• “Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.” - Jonah 3:4-5

• “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it...But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry...And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”” - Jonah 3:10, 4:1,4

Observation
• It is possible to be doing things for God, but still be a terrible witness to those around us.

• God’s sovereignty and purposes stand, even in our rebellion. Nineveh repents in response to God’s call (and not that less-than-stellar sermon)

• God’s mercy is extended to both the Ninevites and Jonah. Imagine being angry at God’s work! notice that God patiently and mercifully talks it through with Jonah instead of smiting him, much like the father did with his eldest son in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)

Application
Questions to ask:
• Is God working through me, or in spite of me?
• Do I consider myself a witness of Christ, and yet am far from being “the aroma of Christ to God” among those I have been placed with (2 cor 2:15-17)?

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for for being my gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love, even to my rebellious heart. where i have grown weary in doing good and have given in to bitterness, won’t you remind me that you have forgiven me of sin and of grievances so much greater? won’t you realign my heart and mind, that i am a willing and useful instrument for your purposes? help me to love because you first loved me, and help me reflect your love and glory to those around me. in Jesus’ name i pray, Amen.

Embracing Adversity, Remembering God’s Existence

Scripture
Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10 (RSV)

Observation
• Point 01 (focus on v8 and v9) - Paul response to Jesus showed profound humility and trust in the Lord despite his prayer was answered differently from which he prayed for. Yet he responded positively with renewed vigour. Replicating Paul’s attitude and mindset is fundamental to our relationship with God, and our Christian living in relation to our weaknesses.

• Point 02 (focus on v9 and v10) - Paul boasted not of his strength or his ministry success but rather what God has worked in and through him. Paul focused on his suffering and humiliation that unite him with Christ, who was crucified in weakness. He emphasize that God alone deserve credit for his missionary success.

Application
• Embracing Adversity, Remembering God’s Existence

• Moderating Our Expectations, Adjusting Our Mindset with Full Trust in Christ

Prayer
Paul understood clearly how to face and how to live every event, especially suffering, difficulty and persecution. He illustrated to us that the power of God is revealed to us at the very moment when we experience our weakness. Let us now open our hearts and mind to the Lord so he may come and dwell in us, and in our weaknesses, that we are able to follow Paul’s example, where we can lift our weaknesses and difficulties in full trust to our Lord Jesus Christ. That when we face adversity, we can be like as convinced as Paul did, trusting Jesus who gives us strength. Amen.

God’s Glory through Pain and In Reconciliation

Scripture
• He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. - Mark 3:14-15

• and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” - Mark 3:19

Observation
• We read here that Jesus’ ministry was growing fast and so He needed His core team - His 12 disciples. He prayed then appointed each of them.

• Among the 12, He chose Judas Iscariot

• Was Judas a friend to Jesus? YES

• Did He know Judas was going to betray Him? YES

• Did Jesus know God’s plan for Him? YES (And Judas’ betrayal was part of it, of course)

Application
• Ever wondered about why some people have/ have had to be in your life?

• Painful as it may be to have experienced a break-up of a friendship in my lifetime, God ordained it.

• God’s plan is perfect.

• He will carry out His purposes through the friendship and the break-up and then to reconciliation.

• My faith challenge: To believe that God’s glory will shine through in my friendship/enmity, in His divine timing.

• God’s glory shown when Judas’ betrayal was overcome by Jesus’ resurrection!

• Every person in my life is a part of God’s glory being revealed in my life, even the most difficult ones.

Prayer
Oh Lord, you know my heart to seek reconciliation with a friend. I believe you have a plan for this episode in our lives. Make known your purposes and help me to believe with all my heart that your glory will shine through as you bring us toward reconciliation. Amen.