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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.

Radical Obedience

Scripture
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God ? - John 5:39‭-‬44

Observation
• This was Jesus’ comment to the Pharisees for objecting to Him healing the lame man on Sabbath. The invalid had been lying beside a “magic pool” for 38 years, hoping to be the first in the pool once the water is disturbed (supposedly touched by angels), and be cured.

• Jesus simply asked the man “do you wish to get well?” and healed him when he said yes.

• In the same way, Jesus is saying that we simply need to come to Jesus to be healed. It is not our study of scripture, just like waiting beside a magic pool, that will save us, but having the love of God in our hearts and accepting of Jesus Christ.  

Application
• Jesus is warning us that it is easier to put our faith in prophets and great men of this world, than Jesus.

• It is also easier to subscribe to the letter of His scriptures, than to follow the God that the scriptures testify about.

• Can we simply be obedient whenever God commands us to ‘pick up our mat and walk’, or will we reject Jesus when He appears before us because we believe He must come in a certain way, through a certain person, or at a certain time?

Prayer
Dear Jesus, I give thanks for Your willingness to come to us, to walk among us, and save us through Your sacrifice. Forgive us for putting our faith not in You, who come in Your Father’s name, but in those who come in their own names. Forgive us for seeking the glory in each other, but not in You. Help us to recover the love for God in our hearts and teach us to be obedient, that we not look in other people or things, even Scripture, for eternal Life, but only to You, Lord. Amen.

Through you, others can see Him.

Scripture
Their wives could win these men [for Christ] by the way they live without saying anything….

Rather, beauty is something internal that can’t be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious.
- 1 Peter 3:1-4

Observation
• God’s good character or image of Him in you will win over, encourage, motivate and bless people.
• These verses not only apply to wives but everyone.

Application
God has blessed Grace (my wife) with a quiet and gentle attitude, and she has won over and blessed me. She has never wavered despite all the trials and tribulations.

I ask myself, “What’s the kind of character God has blessed me with or given to my loved ones, friends?” Be thankful for them. Use them to be God’s examples.

Prayer
Dear Lord, continue to mould us to shine not for others to see us, but let us shine so that through us, others can see You. Lord, teach us, guide us, transform us. Amen.



Peace

Scripture
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. - 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Observation
• Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. - John 14:27

• Paul reminds the Thessalonians of the promise of peace by Jesus in the midst of persecution and troubles.

Application
Peace is never the absence of trouble but knowing the presence of God.

Prayer
God I pray that I will learn to be still and know you are God, that I wait upon the Lord to renew my strength and invite Jesus to my ‘boat in the midst of life storm” Amen.

God’s Presence

Scripture
And He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” - Exodus 33:14

Observation
• Background – Israelites turned away from God and worshipped idols. God said His presence will not go with them, instead He will send an angel. Moses pleaded.
• God’s presence provided us safety, strength, courage and joy during trials.
• God’s presence provide us direction and comfort.
• Enter His rest so that our hearts will not be filled with anxiety/fear or restlessness.
• Enter His rest knowing that God will be with us, there is nothing to fear.

Application
• How do we know God’s presence is with us?
• My mother fell and injured with blood clots in her brain that lead to swallowing issues.
• God comforted me with this verse during my devotion and even the worship song that happened to play on that night is about “Rest entered in our heart”.
• God promised that if we come near to Him, He will come near to us.
• Thanksgiving – God healed my mum, blood clots disappeared and she can swallow once again.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, we want to thank You, Your presence comforted us during our trials and Your presence provided us the assurance and security. Help us Lord to soak in Your presence each day. Give us the rest that the world cannot provide but only You Lord can give. Amen.

Hiding Your Word

Scripture
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” - Proverbs 22:6

Observation
• Children learns, observes and applies every second.
• “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” Ps 119:11 (NIV)

Application
• If we don’t teach, others will • Anecdote
— Children using scripture against parent (Gen 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”)
— Children praying in the face of “adversity”
— Bible-reading annually  

Prayer
Dear Lord, let Your word so richly dwell within me that I may be a better Christian, better father, and better husband that Your glory be shown to the people around us. Amen.

Be Still & Trust in Him

Scripture
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. - Psalm 37:7

Observation
God is asking us to wait upon Him and be patient. He knows and He will take care of everything. He asks us not to worry especially those evil people prospering with their evil deeds. He knows and He will take care of it.

Application
I need to lay down my worries onto Jesus’s feet and trust in Him that He will take care of it. I will wait patiently upon Jesus too and not rush into doing things my own.

Prayer
Lord, I pray for Your patience to be in me. I want to fully trust in You and not half-heartedly at times. Help me Lord, help me to build my trust and faith in You. I pray also that You will take care of things especially when the evil ones are doing wrong to me or others. I pray for strength that comes from You. Amen!

Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Lose

Scripture
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ”. - Philippians 3:8

Observation
How could Paul who has attained so much and accomplished so many things in his lifetime say this?
• This ‘someone’ : remarkable, outstanding and out of this world!
• Cannot be merely a man!
• He is God - Jesus Christ.

Application
• Am I seeing Jesus in the way Paul does?
• What does Jesus mean to me? Is He greater than all that I have and all that I am?
• I must come to a point of surrender unto all of Him.
• To see Him as worth it all. There is nothing to prove and nothing to lose when all MY HOPES and all MY WORTH is placed in my Jesus, my Lord.

Prayer
Oh Lord, my CREATOR, the God who is WORTHY of all honour and all allegiance. I desire to live for you. I want to put you ABOVE all these wordly things of pleasure, fame and fortune. As I ask you for this one desire, Lord, may you bring it to completion in my life. I know that you will because I have asked according to your will - and I know that I will receive in due time. Amen.

Power to Make a Difference

Scripture
“..and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,..” - Psalm 128:1-5

Observation
• Paul’s prayer and thanksgiving to God for what He has given the church.
• He has vested in the church a great the power.
• This power and authority extends to all things.

Application
• God has vested in us the power to “make a dent in the universe”.
• This power is not just for within the local church but to usher God’s kingdom into all realms and domains - as a Church.
• We are called and empowered to make a difference and usher His kingdom into the domains that He has placed us in.

Prayer
Father, thank you for making such great power available for us. Help us make a difference and glorify you wherever we are with such a power. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Watch & Pray!

Scripture
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” - Mark 14:38

Observation
• Jesus told his disciples to keep watch but their flesh was weak and they fell asleep.
• Jesus encourages his disciples to prayerfully ask for help to not fall into temptation and to overcome the weakness of the flesh.

Application
• Having a willing spirit is not enough, the flesh must be able to keep up with the spirit.
• Live a healthy lifestyle so my body will not be too weary to spend time with God/do His work.
• Submit my weariness to Christ.

Prayer
Dear Lord, I pray that my spirit will be willing to do Your will. I want to submit myself to You because I don’t want to rely on my own strength, but Yours. May You grant me the energy to start off the day right with You. Amen.

I Told You So

Scripture
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face towards you and give you peace. - Numbers 6:24-26

Observation
1. The LORD and you —> a tight-knitted, 1 to 1 relationship
2. His face —> my LORD looking at me
3. Action Verb
• Directional : from the Lord to you
• Goodness : 
- bless and keep, 
- make his face shine on you and be gracious, 
- turn his face towards you and give you peace

Application
1. Light travels in a straight line but my faith did not, e.g. my previous SOAPs
2. There r 10,000 Reasons to thrive but I found 10,000 reasons to whine
3. I can visualize His face full of graciousness as a loving Father dealing with my spoilt brat attitude “Are we there yet?”, “How long more?” and my temper tantrum “我不干了!”

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, You put a song in my mouth when I did not know how to pray. You kept me close when I did not have the strength to carry on. You face continued to shine on me when I did not seem to see You.

Thank you for loving me so so much, help me to love You back in words and actions. I surrender myself to Your Lordship. I pray You would teach me to be sensitive to Your voice, I will follow Your calling to serve You in my weaknesses and strengths. I rely fully on You in the fulfillment of Your purpose in my life. In Jesus’ name I ask and pray. Amen.

Through you, others can see Him.

Scripture
Their wives could win these men [for Christ] by the way they live without saying anything….

Rather, beauty is something internal that can’t be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious. - 1 Peter 3:1-4

Observation
• God’s good character or image of Him in you will win over, encourage, motivate and bless people.
• These verses not only apply to wives but everyone.

Application
God has blessed Grace (my wife) with a quiet and gentle attitude, and she has won over and blessed me. She has never wavered despite all the trials and tribulations.

I ask myself, “What’s the kind of character God has blessed me with or given to my loved ones, friends?” Be thankful for them. Use them to be God’s examples.

Prayer
Dear Lord, continue to mould us to shine not for others to see us, but let us shine so that through us, others can see You. Lord, teach us, guide us, transform us. Amen.

Remembering God’s Goodness

Scripture
Let all that I am praise the Lord ; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
- Psalms 103:2-5

Observation
Key statement: “May I never forget the good things He does for me.”

When we are well and everything goes smoothly according to what we want, we tend to forget about the goodness of God easily. We forget how He had healed us, forgiven our sins, clothed us with His tender mercy and Love, and renewed us like the eagle’s. 

Application
May I never forget about the goodness of God – how much He loves me and cares for me. 

Prayer
Lord, You are our good Father! Even though we sometimes forget about Your Goodness, yet in Your tender love and mercy, You never forget us. You love us still even when we follow the wrong path. Help us to remember Your goodness.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

Think Abundance

Scripture
“They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.” - Psalm 36:8

Observation
Our God is a God of Abundance. In Him, we will find no lack. We can feast at His table and find all our needs met according to His riches and glory.

Application
As a child of God, I must learn to think abundance. For without an abundance mentality, I’ll most likely settle for a poverty mentality.

When I think abundance, I become more gracious, generous and magnanimous. I will also be quick to overlook any offence and not hold grudges.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all Your blessings in my life. I have feasted on the abundance of Your house; You gave me drink from Your river of delights. Help me to have the mind of Christ and learn to think abundance. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Power of Words

Scripture
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. - Proverbs 16:24

Observation

1. Well-chosen words used at the correct place, correct time, give:
(i) comfort during a difficult  time
(ii) healing to the hurting soul.

2. Words have the power to build or to tear us.

Application
1. To learn to be silent, if I’ve nothing better to say.
2. Not to take for granted the powerful gift of language.

Prayer
Dear Lord, let me honour You through my speech, to have positive impact on lives. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen. 

Jesus my Great Redeemer

Scripture
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. - Ruth 1:16

Observation
• The book of Ruth is a loving, moving story between Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. It speaks of the covenant of love, trust, integrity and kindness.
• There is Hope in Christ. Light will follow after darkness. The chapters speak of Jesus our redeemer who sacrificially died on the cross to redeem me and regard me as his child.

Application
Never ever to take my salvation for granted. Because of redemption for me that I will love His word, love His people and serve the Lord with all my heart.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for accepting me as your child. Thank you that through Jesus you have made it possible for me to be delivered, redeemed and saved. I praise and thank you for your great love for me. Amen

All things Work Together

Scripture
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Observation
• God’s promise is that if we love God, in all things, and at the end, bad things work out for good.
• Not that bad things are actually good things in disguise.Not that bad things will give way to better things that will overwhelm the bad thing.
• God did not promise us better life circumstances, He promised us a better Life - Tim Keller 

Application
How to have Hope and Joy that is irrespective of bad circumstances.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for your promise that all things will turn out well in the end. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen. 

The Perfect Giver

Scripture
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. - James 1:17

Observation
• Our Heavenly Father will give us good and perfect gifts.
• He has set His mind on what gifts He will give us.  

Application
• Recently God grant me an opportunity to work in a new place. Before He did that, He showed me James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift comes from above” for 3 times. I knew He is about to give me something good.
• I will use the gift which He has given me (i.e. the skills that I have) to serve God’s purpose in my life.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for the Word which You have spoken to me. I acknowledge that You are the Giver of each and every good gift. Help me to abound in every good work and use all that I have to honour and glorify You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

The Intercession of the Spirit

Scripture
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. - Romans 8:26

Observation
• Another task of the Holy Spirit is that of an intercessor. (Romans 8:26)
• He will take what is from God and declare it to us. (John 16: 13-15)
• We don’t know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit does. He leads us into many various situations in our daily life which will cause our flesh to react.

Application
It is important to be able to hear from God, but even more important to obey Him. Pray for strength and courage to do whatever God asks me to do. God does not give me suggestions, He gives me instructions and following these instructions are in my best interest.

Prayer
Dear Lord, I thank you for dwelling in my heart and working in my life. Help me to see You more clearly and to recognize Your movement in my life. Make me more sensitive to You so I can follow You more closely. Please help me to be obedient when I recognize your leading. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Trust and Experience God’s Love

Scripture
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:16-19

Observation
As we trust and rooted in God’s love, we will experience the width, length, height and depth of His love. Though we may not fully understand God’s love, but His love will make us complete.

Application
Learn to trust and look up to God in this modern society, and not rely on solutions / resources or quick resolution which are readily available. Not to fear as God covers us with His love.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for Your love. Help us to trust and dwell in You, so we can experience the fullness of Your great love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.