- Why SOAP?
- Cheow Sheng
- Alvin Goh
- Loo Chen
- David Gan
- Henry Tano
- Sylvia Sim
- Joshua Wu
- James Low
- Deborah Liow
- Jeremiah Goh
- Winston Lin
- Priscilla Tan
- Daniel Goh
- Michael Tham
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
“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
• 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.
• 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.
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
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)
• 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.
From Him Through Him For Him Are All Things
• From Him - Be Grateful
• Through Him - Be Humble
• For Him - Glorify Him
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.
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
• There’s Glory in our sufferings.
• There’s Hope in our sufferings as well.
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.
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.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine - Song of Songs 6:3a
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.
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!
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!
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
• 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.
• 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?
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…
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
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….
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 …
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.
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. - Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14
• Solomon calls into question the meaning of life and finds everything to be meaningless.
• He proceeds to explain how we can find meaning in a meaningless world.
• By the end of the book he provides the antidote to nihilism.
• Namely: enjoy what God has given you, apply yourself well, keep God’s commandments, and do good.
• Enjoy what I have rather than chasing fame or fortune for those are meaningless.
• In whatever work I do be it in school or at work, I should do my best (whatever is worth doing is worth doing well).
• Remember to keep God’s commandments.
• Do God’s work (e.g serving) and do it well (back to point 2).
Dear Lord, Help me live meaningfully in this meaningless world. Remind me to count my blessings, apply myself well, keep your commandments, and do good by doing your work. Give me the wisdom to discern what is meaningful from what is ephemeral. Amen
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.” - Psalms 112: 6-8 (ESV)
• Not afraid of bad news… heart is firm…
• Heart is steady… will not be afraid…
• Why so steady?
- Verse 1 “…Blessed is the man how fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!”
- He knows his Lord intimately, through His word and His works.
- He trusts his Lord.
• Being afraid, heart not steady is an indication that I may not know my Lord well enough.
• I need to know my Lord, through His word and His works.
• I need to experience Him, I need to “train” my faith.
Father, help me to know you intimately, to love your words and to constantly yearn for your words. Help me to experience your works, give me boldness to step out of my comfort zone, to train my faith. So that I will learn to trust you more and more, so that I will not be afraid of bad news and that my heart will be steady. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The First Gleam of Dawn
The way of righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. - Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)
The writer of the proverbs pictures the way of the righteous as being like that first gleam of dawn.
• God’s wisdom gradually brings light to our journey and enables us to walk in straight paths. (Proverbs 4:11)
• His understanding illuminates the dark places in our lives, bringing healing and new life.
• God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all. (1 John 1:5)
As I listen to His word and obey His instructions. His light transforms me. I reflect back this light to the world like the gleam of dawn.
Lord, warm me with the full light of your love. Illuminate my darkness with your wisdom. Help me to reflect your light to others who long for the sunrise of your knowledge and wisdom. Amen.
God is Good
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 (NIV)
• To know who God is. Everything is under his control.
• Faith and perseverance
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6 NIV
Thank you God for the love and assurance that I can trust you in all situations and you will turn everything for good. Amen.
You Comfort Me
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
God is with us through our struggles. He will protect and guide us.
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.
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
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
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.
When I am facing problem, learn to trust God instead of running away from it.
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
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)
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?
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.
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.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. - Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)
Even when we face trials and challenges in turbulent times, we should fret not, as God provides ever-present help. Some challenges may seem impossible to overcome, yet with God’s help, everything is possible. Quoting a children’s song, “With Christ in the Vessel, we can smile at the Storm.”
• Examinations in September-November period
- Promotion Examinations
- Mother Tongue
- Project Work
• Trying period for most students due to heavy workload.
• Believe in God and His ability to provide help in times of need.
Dear God, Thank you for helping me through the recent block of examinations. It is only because of your ever-present help, that I am able to overcome the difficulties faced and emerge victorious. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Hiding in the Shadows
Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Protect me from wicked people who attack me from murderous enemies who surround me. - Psalm 17:8-9
This psalm was written by David as a plea for justice in the face of false accusations while being persecuted by King Saul. He offered up this plea with the confidence of someone who knows that his prayer will be answered, and he is praying to the One who could protect and hide him.
Jesus said: “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
• always be ready to accept trials and oppositions in this world, trusting that God will be with me, covering me in the shadow of His wings.
Lord, let trials and oppositions that come my way serve as opportunities for me to worship you always. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Amen.
Your Love Is Better Than Life
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. - Psalm 63:1-3
• Matthew 5:33 says if we seek first his Kingdom - all these things shall be added.
• Often I come to God because of ‘all these things’.
• Yet the Psalmist cries out ‘Your love is better than life!’
Everything that life has to offer, in my lifetime - cannot compare to the palpable presence of God’s enduring love.
I need to be aware of the distractions that hinder my desire, and sins that suppress my appetite for God.
Lord, I pray that we may throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. May we be so close to You, so that we may truly cry out, like the Psalmist, ‘Your love is better than life’.
The Worst Sermon, Ever
• “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
• 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)
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)?
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.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. - 1 John 2:15-17
• Do not love the world and the things of the world which are:
- the lust of the flesh – desire for physical gratification
- the lust of the eyes – desire for material belongings
- the pride of life – desire for social standing
• Instead, we are to love God.
• He who chooses to walk in the ways of God and obeys Him lives forever.
• We have to choose either the ways of the world, or we choose God. There is NO sitting on the fence.
• We choose to be spiritual minded over carnally minded.
• We cannot serve two masters (Matt 6:24).
• All we possess in the physical world is to be used for God’s purposes.
Heavenly Father, I confess that my heart is often divided. While I yearn to obey You and to walk in Your ways, I often find myself desiring the things of this world, the things of the flesh. Your Word says clearly that I can choose only ONE. So whenever I am in situations where I have to choose, help me to always choose YOU. Amen.
• 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
• 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
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.
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.