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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!

How can God’s yoke be light?

Scripture
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls…
- Matthew 11:28-29

Observation
Key words:
Weary / burdened – why do we feel weary / restlessness?
• Doing things on our own effort
• Things that we pursue may not be God given purpose
• We are out of alignment with God’s given purpose..
• Once we get disconnected with God, His rest cannot be release to us

Why His yoke is lighter? • Yoke that God mentioned is what He has planned for us …
• He will not give us more than what we can bear
• His yoke is lighter because He has already given us the wisdom & resources to carry it…
• More importantly, He is going to carry it with us!

Application
How to carry the yoke, we must go back to 3 Re: • Re-empowered • Re-engaged • Re-energized

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, we ask that you give us a fresh anointing today that we will realign and refocus on the yoke that you’ve prepared for us. Renew us when we are weary and discouraged. Help us to get up and continue to finish this race well !! Amen.



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.

Help Others

Scripture
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” - Proverbs 3:27-28 (NLT)

Observation
Withholding good is inconsiderate and unfair when we have the ability to do so, and should not wait. Maybe the person might be in a desperate situation, and it can be a missed opportunity to show God’s love to others

As in 2 Corinthians 9: 11, 13 (NIV), God teaches us:
1. Verse 11 - You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

2. Verse 13 - Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

Application
In this trying time we are facing today, there are more people around us who need help. Am I withholding myself from doing good when I have the ability to do so? What is withholding me back?

Prayer
Dear God, Thank you for blessing and providing to my needs. Help me to be sensitive to people around me who are in need. Show me how to help them so they can see the love and glory of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Steps To Advancing Together

Scripture
Joab said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you. Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” - 2 Samuel 10:11-12 (NIV)

Observation
1. No in-fighting
2. Helping each other succeed
3. Be Strong
4. Do your best for God & His People

Application
1. Explicit confidence in the church’s leadership
2. Giving your best effort and knowing God will do what is best for His Church and His people
3. “All hands on deck”


Prayer
Dear Lord, help us to advance together by rendering help where it is needed and to do our best for Your people and Your Church and knowing full well that You will do what is good for Your Church. 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

Faith In Uncertain Times

Scripture
“For I know the plans 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
• Was originally told to Jews living under the Egyptians/Babylonians

• Spoken to people in midst of hardship and suffering

• Not meaning immediate escape from difficulty but rather having a plan to prosper them in the midst of their difficulty

Application
• One of the most uncertain times in recent history.

• As a nursing student, I have to return to clinical soon.

• Fear and uncertainty plagues me but I have to trust God.

• That in the midst of hardship, He will prosper me.

Prayer
Dear God, you are my alpha and my omega. I admit, I do not have enough faith in you as when I think about just what my future few months hold, I feel fear, doubt and anxiety. Instead, I should thank you Lord for giving me this unique chance to experience what hospital life is like in the midst of a pandemic, albeit not that severe in Singapore. Oh God, give me the strength and faith to carry on trusting in You and trusting that You have a plan for me. Not to harm me, but to proper me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen

God at Work

Scripture
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.- Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

Observation
God is at work ever since the day of creation although we might not see it, he is still at work changing our life and making it better.

Application
God is still at work in my life, he is changing my character and he want to make me to become a better person.

Prayer
Father God, mould me to become a better person you want me to be, help me to surrender to you daily. In Jesus name, Amen.

Obey & Do His Commands

Scripture
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. - 1 John 2:3-6

Observation
• God wants us to know Him
• God wants us to keep his commands
• Jesus wants us to live like Him

Application
Obeying and doing His commands are the clearest sign that we are knowing Him, loving Him and living in Him.

Prayer
Father, forgive me that I tend to love you in words then in your Words. Give me the divine grace to obey and live your commands, the discernment to differentiate what is knowing and what is doing what your word says, in my daily live and decision that I make. Amen.

Here I Am

Scripture
• Genesis 22:2 - Then God said, “Take your son, your only son whom you love - Isaac - and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

• Genesis 22:8 - Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”And the two of them went on together.

Observation
• V2 - Abraham’s response - absolute obedience no questions asked.

• V8 - Abraham trusted that God will provide for the sacrifice.

Application
At this juncture of my life, there might be changes to my job but I can be assured and trust in Him that He will provide and lead me as I walk in obedience to his will.

Prayer
Dear Lord, I thank you for your kind provision and love that I do not lack anything. I believed and trust in You that all things work out for good and I am called to fulfill in your purpose and your will. In Jesus’name I pray.

A Mustard Seed

Scripture
He told them another parable “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” - Matthew 13:31-32

Observation
Slow, but surely growing:
• Not to underestimate the little interactions with the children during their impressionable years.

• Need constant reminders to take time to savour the moment and invest in relationship, especially at home.

Application
• Being aware of children’s life stages and being consistent in messages and habits
• Being patient with explanation and illustration
• Reduce electronic time and increase interactive time
• Reduce work engagement at home and after office hours

Prayer
Dear LORD. Thank you for the family time and the safety that you provided us during this strange time. May our lives and words live out the teachings of Christ, so that they may be impressed on the hearts of our children. For we know that steadily but surely all these will shape the habits and lives of our children towards Christ-likeness”. 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.

This Current Situation Shall Also Pass

Scripture
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.- Ecclesiastes 3:11

Observation

God had predestined the fate of his creation since birth to death.

Application
In my daily walk with Him. I experienced ups and downs as there were challenges and struggles but with His love and grace and through perseverance I’ve overcome them. At this current situation of uncertainties, I know that God has plans for His creation including me.

Two of my family members are currently away from us and we never see each other personally for more than half year now due to this current health crisis that made the world transport system in standstill. Even how much we miss them, I know that there will be an end to this unpredictable circumstances. Through God’s timing, we will meet them again in the nearest future. This current bad situation shall pass.

Prayer
God thank you for your Love and Mercy. May you leave us lessons to learn from this current situation. I pray that you end this Pandemic at the soonest time so that we can once again enjoy the life that you destined for us. In Jesus name Amen!

What tree am I?

Scripture
“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” - Luke 6: 43-45

Observation
• Good tree produces good fruits and bad tree produces bad fruits
• Good person do good things and bad person do bad things
• You can tell a tree by its fruits and you can tell a person by his words and deeds

Application
• What I produce depends on who I am on the inside
• When I see bad fruits coming out of me, especially my words to my family, my wife, my children, I need to check myself, who is in control within me?
• Holy Spirit? Or my flesh?

Prayer
“Jesus, I give you full control of my life. Holy Spirit, fill me and help me work in step with you. So that I can produce good fruits, refreshing words and loving deeds, that comes from the treasury of my good heart, because you are in control, and not my flesh. Remind me to check inwardly, when I notice bad fruits coming out of me. Thank you because only you can help me product good fruits. In Jesus name I pray, amen.”

Peace

Scripture
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7 (NASB)

Observation
• God’s peace is supernatural and unexplainable.

• God’s peace “will guard your hearts.” in Proverbs 4:23 it is said “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

• God’s peace will guard “your minds in Christ Jesus.” we are called to love the Lord with all our heart and all our mind.



Application
When I am nervous or worried, I can rely on the peace of the Lord to guard my mind and my heart as well as to put me at peace

Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for speaking to me through the Bible. Thank You for assuring me that you will guard my mind and heart., I pray that you will continue to cover me under your wings and grant me your peace. Amen

Quiet Confidence in my God

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
• “All things” - both good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant – everything.

• “Everything” that we meet in life, everything, works together for our best.

• The author is very certain about God’s goodness and he said “we know that” - Do I really believe that 100%?

Application
Believing Romans 8:28 will lead to:

1. Peace and rest in God.
2. Joy in spite of negative circumstances.
3. Confidence in our God (His love, His ability and character).
4. Faith that is anchored on the strong foundations of Christ.
5. Wisdom & Strength for everyday.
6. Hope in the midst of suffering.

Prayer
Dear Father Lord, help me overcome the fears in my life. Turn my fear to faith for You have assured me that all things will work together for my best. You have also promised that You are with me all the time. You will never leave me nor forsake me. Lord, You provide! You heal! You are at work all the time! I can fully rely on You! With such assurance, help me count the benefits of my Lord daily and simply be at rest in Your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Unknown Maid Servant

Scripture
"If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria ! He would cure him of his leprosy." - 2 Kings 5:3b

Observation
• In spite of being taken captive, this young maidservant (no mention of her name) got a remedy for this deadly disease.  
• Instead of wanting the death of her captor, she did the opposite ; repaying good for evil, with this recommendation.
• Bold to declare in faith that the prophet, servant of the God of Israel, would definitely cure her master. 

Application
A reminder to demonstrate a sincere desire to serve well, in any circumstances, like this unknown maid servant, as rewards are from the Lord.

Prayer
Dear God, no matter how low my position or how insignificant I may feel, You can use me, for your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. 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.