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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.

Peace In The Lord

Scripture
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33

Observation
• We will have difficulties and uncertainty in this world. The world will try to scare us and throw us off course with chaos and fear.  

• We need to seek God and draw close to him for protection.  

• In times like this, we are also consistently being tested.  

• Jesus said that, in Him, one may have peace.  

Application
• In a world full of uncertainty, we are consistently being tested. We need to stand united and pray even more. 

• Sometimes I need to cut myself away from the world’s overwhelming information, to ask God for His direction. Too much negative news can create anxiety and fear. 

• We need to be faithful to God, and show that we do not live in fear. 

• We also need to encourage the people around us. 

• Jesus says, Take Heart! I have overcome the world.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for being here for us, and guiding us through uncertain times. Help us not to worry, but cast all our anxiety onto you. Help us not to live in fear, but to look to you for direction and security. Protect us from the evil one that is causing all these hopelessness and fear. Help us to have peace in our hearts for You have already sent your Son to overcome the world. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Oh! How Great Is Our God

Scripture
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
- Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)

Observation
• Oh how deep the riches of God’s wisdom and His Knowledge. • How unsearchable His judgements.
• Who can know His ways?
• Who can know His minds?
• Who has been His Counselor?
• Who has given to God that God should repay them?
• Unless and until God reveals Himself to us, we can never know Him.

Application
From Him Through Him For Him Are All Things
• From Him - Be Grateful
• Through Him - Be Humble
• For Him - Glorify Him


Prayer
Oh God! You are such a great God! May I lived my life demonstrating Your Greatness acknowledging what I have are from You and I can only accomplish much because of Your Grace upon my life and may I live my life in praise and glory to You. Amen.



Character

Scripture

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that sufferings produces perseverance. Perseverance, character and character hope. - Romans 5:3~4

Observation

• There’s Glory in our sufferings.

• There’s Hope in our sufferings as well.

Application
As long as I remain faithful and trust to God fully no matter how difficult the situation may be, I’m sure that my endurance and perseverance yield a great reward.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the courage and strengths you bestowed upon me. May you continue to guide me and keep me under your protections that I may be always away from anything that lead me to destruction, In Jesus name, Amen.

Beloved

Scripture
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine - Song of Songs 6:3a

Observation
This verse is one of the most often quoted and used during Christian and Jewish wedding ceremonies.

It talks about coming close to God, and establishing that relationship of intimacy, of mutual belonging, of fulfillment of the love that we are to have for God - which is one of the important values in every strong marriage.

Application
At the beach of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, God reminded me how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. It is in this particular place that Jesus restored Peter for denying him three times. In spite of what Peter did, nothing has stopped or lessened Jesus’ love for Peter. The same truth applies to me!

I’ve learnt that the best way to overcome fear is God’s perfect love towards me. I will therefore put my trust in Him and give thanks in every season of my life!

Besides re-dedicating my life back to Jesus, I have also renewed my wedding vows with my husband in Cana. The Hebrew words inscribed on our rings are: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”.

Why this verse? Because I’ve been reminded recently th at I am God’s beloved. In fact, I am also my husband’s beloved. I am truly grateful to God in this!

Prayer
Dear Abba Father, thank You for reminding me that I am Your beloved. May You help me to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ towards me. Amen!

To Die Is To Live!

Scripture
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20 NIV

Observation
• Paul - once most zealous in the LAW among many Jews
• But through the law, died to the law. To live for God
• Crucified with Christ. Died to Self, to Law. Now devoid of respect and great privileges the law brought him.
• Christ had to die. Paul had to die to himself, in order for Christ to live in him.
• To die is to live. Free from the law that ironically condemned him.

Application
• To die is to live.

• If I am really living by faith in Christ, then I should allow myself to die, so that Christ may live in me.

• “Oh death, where is thy sting?”

• How do I die to myself?
- How do I put the needs of others before myself?
- How do I allow myself to be backstabbed so that I might show patience and love to these very ones who show me otherwise?
- How do I push myself harder and discipline myself so that I can continue walking close to God?

Prayer
Oh Lord, thank You for dying for us so we may live. Help me to be like Paul who boasted in being crucified with you and who lived a life of dying to himself every moment of his transformed life. I want to gain life as I learn to die to myself every day of my life. Empower me and reveal yourself to me as I pursue you with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Amen.

The wisdom from above…

Scripture
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds … - James 3:17

Observation
Key words

1) Peace loving, gentle, willing to yield, mercy – key ingredients in a good relationship

2) Wisdom from above is NOT just
• An answer to a specific question
• A profound moment of insight
• Way out of a situation

3) Wisdom from above help us to have right relationship with God, with others and even with ourselves….

Application
My story ..

1) Difficult colleague in office, God did not re-org her out of my working team
2) God guide me to have face-to-face talk with her
3) Realize different expectations of different roles that we play
4) God guide me to pray for her ‘to have joy’ in her life…
5) God ‘teach’ me how to work with difficult people in our life …

Prayer
Dear heavenly Father, we give thanks that we are able to call upon You to grant us wisdom. Lord, help us to have wisdom in our character development and become more approachable, more compassionate and understanding. Help us to get along well with one another. In Jesus most precious 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!

You Comfort Me

Scripture
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. - Psalms 23:4

Observation
God is with us through our struggles. He will protect and guide us.

Application
I do not need to worry about my O levels too much because the Lord will make a way for me and I should just trust in God.

Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, may you give me the course and faith to trust in your word, that you will protect and guide me through this uncertain times, in the name of Jesus I ask and pray, Amen.

No Running Away

Scripture
Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.
- Psalms 55:6-7

Observation
David when he was in trouble wish that he can run away and find a resting place. Like David when problem arise, we want to run away find a place whereby we can hide our problem.

Application
When I am facing problem, learn to trust God instead of running away from it.

Prayer
Father God, when problem arise give me the strength to trust in you and may you comfort me with your presence in Jesus name, Amen.

Love the Lord your God

Scripture
But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. - Joshua 22:5 (NIV)

Observation
As Joshua sent the Eastern tribes home after they helped to conquer the land of the West, he reminded them to love God and walk in obedience to Him.
• Why love first?
• Can they (and I) love God and not walk in obedience to Him?
• Can they (and I) walk in obedience to God without loving Him?

Application
1 John 4:16 (NIV)
• ..God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
• It’s because of God’s love and my love for Him, that I can walk in obedience to Him, keep His commands, hold firmly to Him, and serve Him with all my heart and soul.

Prayer
Thank you God for Your love. I can have shortcomings, but help me to love You more each day. So I can walk in obedience to You, to hold firmly to You, and to serve You with all my heart and soul, to be the salt and light in the world for You. 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.

Self-Control

Scripture
• Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. - 1 Peter 1:13

• Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. - 1 Peter 1:22

Observation
• Be alert

• Be careful of how I manage my emotions (v13a: be self-controlled)

• Be careful not to give in to sinful behaviours (v13b: prepare…minds for action)

• Place my hope on the hope that Jesus has promised

• Love others genuinely from the heart

Application
It’s not rocket science, God wants me to learn self-control this season. When others make me angry, don’t blow my top and don’t give in to sinful behaviours Instead demonstrate self-control.

Prayer
Dear God, please help me to exercise self-control and not give in to any form of sin. Please help me to surrender my thoughts, struggles and emotions to you and let the Holy Spirit guide me every day. And help me to love others truly with the love of Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.