Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Below you will find the S.O.A.P. I did today. May it bless and encourage you.
If you don't know what S.O.A.P. is, please refer back to my post called "Pressing In."
In that post, I shared:
We are starting 2010 with a deeper commitment to prayer, to God's Word, and to obedience. We are taking these next two weeks to seek Him and draw close to Him.
So for the next two weeks, there will be very few, if any, political posts here. Perhaps the occasional copy and paste of a Facebook note. For the most part, however, anything that I post during this time will be spiritual in nature, like sharing some S.O.A.P with you.
What's S.O.A.P? It's a type of devotion that we do at Rock Solid Church. It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. It involves reading the Bible and then writing out one Scripture that stood out, writing what I observe in it, writing how it applies to my life, and writing out my prayer concerning it.
Read that full post here. Read yesterday's S.O.A.P. here.
S.O.A.P. - January 5, 2010
Scripture - Matthew 5:11-12 - "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Observation - Jesus taught His disciples to do what seemed impossible: to love those who hated them because of Him, who did them wrong, who had it in for them. Even seemingly more impossible is that in this Scripture He taught them to rejoice when it happens! He promised that persecution brings blessing, so why not rejoice?
Application - At times I have been unjustly treated: slandered, lied on, etc. I have experience in being done wrong--and by people I've stood beside during the most painful ordeals in their lives. It's not easy to rejoice in those times. It's not easy to pray for those people. But I must. I must. I learned several years ago that it's impossible to pray regularly, fervently for someone--and not love them. It's impossible to truly lift someone up in prayer and not start to love them. I believe that's the main reason God requires in His Word that we pray for them--not so much for them (although that's part of it), but for us! Praying for them changes us! I can rejoice in that! Yes, people will fight us as we stand up for Christ. I think of Sarah Palin and all the hatred heaped upon her. Some can't even state why they hate her, but I know why. It's the light of Christ that she carries that many can't stand. She can rejoice, though. When people attack my faith, I, too, can rejoice. I have a great reward! We, God's own, have a great reward.
Prayer - Lord, it's not easy to rejoice when we get persecuted for doing right, for loving You. It's one thing when we deserve it, but when just loving You brings opposition, it does hurt. But, Lord, we are certainly no better than You, and You endured it--and prayed even on the cross for those who crucified and mocked You. You are my example, Lord. Help me to stand boldly for You, come what may. Help me never to hide Your light or Your Word; I am "not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes." My God, I want to love You more, honor You more, proclaim You more. To honor You means to suffer at times at the hands of the lost. Father, help me to rejoice. I'm reminded of the apostles who were beaten because of their faith in You and their preaching of Your marvelous name. They left there, the Bible says, "rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for Your name's sake." WOW is all I can say to that. God, make me a person of such God-love that I simply pray for those who persecute Your people. I want a heart to pray out of sincerity. Let my prayers bring conviction upon them, revelation of Your love, grace, and mercy, and deliverance. Let my prayers cause repentance in them and an outpouring of Your Spirit upon and within them. Jesus, thank You for being my example of a hope and joy that is not predicated upon good times only. You are that hope and joy. You are my strength, and in that I can always rejoice. Oh! What good news! Thank You, Jesus. I love You, Lord.