As we begin this new year, the last year of the second decade of the 21st-century, it’s quite overwhelming to think almost 20 years have passed since the turn of the century. How time flies - which means the return of Jesus is that much closer! Until then, we should be doing everything we can to live up to our God-given abilities and calling. Part of our journey is the time we spend daily with the Lord. There are multiple ways this can be accomplished and by no means am I suggesting the “S.O.A.P.” system we have started, for our second year, is the right answer. We are offering it as “a” solution, one of many choices or options a person could use for daily devotions. Whether you just open your Bible and read as the Spirit leads daily or wait upon the Lord with your Bible near you and spend time in prayer, however you decide to accomplish a daily gathering with our Heavenly Father is up to you.
As a reminder, the S.O.A.P. system stands for 4 points which can help us in our daily growth. Here are the 4 anchor words; #1 Scripture, this is where we spend time reading the Word not just to increase our level of information; rather we are looking for transformation. #2 Observation, as Pentecostals we believe the Holy Spirit speaks to us on a regular basis. We are reading the “Logos” (written) Word and we should believe it will speak to us as the “Rhema” (living) Word. Obviously the Word is alive, but in a personal sense we want the Scripture to speak directly to us. #3 Application, during our time of meditation or introspection, which includes the leading of the Holy Spirit, we believe God is going to use this passage to reveal Jesus in a life giving way to us or for others. #4 Prayer, Communicating with God includes listening. During this time we also pray back the scriptures declaring their promises towards us. These four steps have no perfect order; sometimes we are praying and the verses we read finally makes sense, sometimes we are reading scripture and the Spirit reveals a step of faith to accomplish, sometimes we’re involved in ministry and the Spirit of God brings to our remembrance of passage we read. The most important point of this entire article is we don’t just read the Bible to read the Bible. Our Bible is our companion. It should be a part of our daily walk with God. Most of us would not leave home without our cell phone; obviously our communication device with the world is very important. So why would we go out in the world without the Word of God near us? As we begin 2019 I’m believing you have or will have some method in place for daily devotion, knowing the ultimate purpose for our time with God results in us becoming a renewed follower of Christ.
Here are some additional resources to consider in 2019. For those who use their cell phone, tablet type device and/or computer for reading the Word of God, an excellent option for S.O.A.P. reading and/or Ready Set Go is the online resource found at resourceministries.org which includes a daily devotion. Amazingly the article written today, which was last Thursday, goes along perfectly with my thoughts above. I had never heard of the gentleman who writes the daily article in conjunction with the Bible reading, but after a brief research process the information seems sound. As always, be lead by the Spirit of God, and not just what the internet says is the truth! This resource comes from believers who are part of the Foursquare Church International which is very similar to the Assemblies of God. If you just want an online resource for daily Bible reading check out www.mydailysoap.org. It does not line up with our Ready Set Go handouts but it would be a good option for those who prefer online reading. The links for these options will also be found on our website and Facebook page. Look for these links to be activated in the near future. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11