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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.

Kindness

Scripture
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. - Ephesians 4:32

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done. - Proverbs 19:17

Observation
• Pay Forward – Receiver of the good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor
• Bukit Batik Auntie
• Leadership Training: Your team following you makes you a leader.

Application
• Buy that tissue paper from the lady / man at the hawker stall when they offer you one.
• Ask if they have breakfast/lunch/dinner. And ask them whether you can get them something to eat or drink.
• You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. - (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Prayer
God, thank you for being such a good father and looking after all your children without favouritism. Thank you for giving some in excess of their needs so they can share their wealth with the needy people. I will continue to pray that Doris & I and all our siblings will be able to care for our parents and they are taken care of until they will meet you. One day. Amen.

Righteousness

Scripture
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
- 2 Corinthians 5:21

Observation
God had sacrificed his son Jesus Christ that we may be saved Jesus took own the sin of the world that we may be saved.

Application
We have to be Righteous in God and not sin against him as Jesus was nailed onto the cross for us so that we would be pure.

Prayer
Dear Jesus, I pray that You may help us to be able to be righteous in the name of Jesus I ask and I pray Amen.



God Is My Master

Scripture
“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” ”- Exodus 32:1

Observation
It was not Moses but God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. But the Israelites failed to fix their eyes on God. They also could not see that God was the One who appointed Moses to lead the way for them. That’s why any complaint raised against Moses was actually directed against God!

Application
Fix our eyes on God, not on man. We need to recognize that leaders are appointed by God but God is still the One in charge. When my eyes are on God, I will not be easily discouraged or disappointed due to man’s imperfection and limitations. Ultimately, He is God; we are not!

Prayer
Dear Father God, thank you for reminding me that you are the Centre of my life. Everything revolves not around me or any man but around You. Pray that I will seek approval from the audience of One - You and You alone. In Jesus’ most precious name, amen!

A Nudge From Above

Scripture
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12


Observation
The word of God can see through our deepest intentions - it is not static, nor outdated. We can mask our thoughts from other humans, but God sees all, and God does His work daily in us to mould us even more into His image, should we allow it.

Application
Last night, I was really frustrated with some things in my life - how orientation is next week but I’m unprepared, how there are so many so many things to do, and various other things.

In my frustration, I picked up a random magazine my dad had left on my bed, and one of the first few pages I flipped to contained Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” God win liao lor.

When I approach things with what I think are the right intentions, or something I have to hide, or even when I feel justified in feeling a certain way, I sometimes read a certain verse, such as last night, and feel that gentle reprimand from God. I then have to re-examine how I’ve been doing certain things, or how I’ve been behaving towards a certain event, thing or person.

Prayer
Dear Lord, thank you for giving us Your Word - thank you for correcting us in love, and always choosing the right time and right place to pierce us such that we really really hear you. Please increase our sensitivity to your voice, to your intentions, and may you soften our hearts that we humble ourselves and obey you instead of our feelings and inclinations, and even humanly logic. Amen.

The Good Samaritan

Scripture
• In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead… - Luke 10:30

• But a Samaritian, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. - Luke 10:33

Observation
• Samaritians were despised and persecuted by the Jews at that time.

• This often quoted story could have placed the Israelite on the donkey, and the Samaritian on the ground.

• Jesus intentionally puts the Israelite on the ground to receive undeserved mercy.

Application
Jesus said the Teacher of the Law is correct in saying the entire Law can be summarized as Love our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and Love our neighbor as ourselves. By ourselves we cannot obey this law, and we cannot save ourselves. Only the experience of free grace through undeserved salvation can help us bear the fruit of love for others, especially those we find hard to love.

Prayer
Dear God, may I see the mercy and love of Jesus every day, and may that transform me day by day. In Jesus name, Amen.

God is My Deliverer

Scripture
• (NIV) - “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
• (Message) - “I can’t stand my life—I hate it!    I’m putting it all out on the table, all the bitterness of my life—I’m holding back nothing.”
- Job 10:1

Observation
• Bitterness starts out small, can be etched in my heart and if not dealt with, it will keep replaying in my mind, more anger and resentment until it seeps in and ultimately devours the spiritual soul.
• Guilt and sins also lead to unforgiveness that will affect both mental and physical health and ultimately deteriorate the spiritual soul.

Application
Trust God and never give up
1) Know who God is – The Almighty and powerful, bring the situation before the throne room of God. Remembering His promises that He can turn all situations around for good. His grace is more than sufficient for me. God can empower us to forgive these who have hurt me.

2) Psalms 41 - He is my deliverer and will deliver me in this time of trouble. - He will protect and preserve my life. - He will sustain and restore me.

3) God has given you trusted and beloved friends. Seek out their wise counsel.

Prayer
Thank You God for You are my deliverer. You have delivered me, sustained me and by Your mercy and grace I am set free. Your love has never departed or abandoned me when I am in need and You always hide me close to You under the shadow of Your wings. I thank God for You have sent friends to care and pray alongside me. Thank God I am saved by Grace and restored. And I always love You. Thank You Jesus, Thank You LORD.

Renewal

Scripture
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit in me. - Psalm 51:10

Observation
The word “renew” conjures up the promise of a fresh start. In this context, it also carries within it a sense of permanent renewal. David did not want God to renew him for a passing moment or a day only. He wanted a steady spirit of commitment for the rest of his life. David prayed that the Holy Spirit would not be removed from his heart.

Application
Like David, I need to constantly seek God’s face, conscious of my needs of a daily cleansing from sin and a renewal of his power to continue.

Prayer
Dear Lord, I commit all my weaknesses and worries. Create in me a clean heart and renew a loyal spirit in me. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

“Is Anger Towards God A Sin?”

Scripture
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. - Psalm 22:1-6

Observation
So, is anger towards God a sin? I don’t know but I know HE IS GOD AND HE IS THE CREATOR OF ME. HE is my ABBA FATHER, My “DADDY” So, I have a relationship with Him and sometimes, anger is part of that relationship. But, He and I will resolve it, our way...not just mine, not just his, but OUR way….together.

Application
• Start with Prayer
• “Let Go and Let God” is an easy phrase to verbalise...Difficult to act out but one need to continue to keep TRUSTING GOD, and to “Let go and Let God”.

Prayer
Dear Lord, help me better know Your love, and to trust You more than ever. Please don’t let go of my hand, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

A Church Revived

Scripture
All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. -Acts 2:44-47

Observation
• Importance of unity in the church
• Meeting together for devotion and prayer
• Helping those in need
• Christ will add to our numbers

Application
• Continue to serve and meet together
• Help whoever is in need without requiring any payback
• Trust in the Lord that He will provide

Prayer
Dear Lord, Thank you for providing me with this community of believers. I pray that You will continue to have your favour upon this church and that we will serve together and experience a revival, trusting in Your ways. Amen

You are not an Accident, God chose you!

Scripture
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. - John 15:16

Observation
• When Jesus chose His disciples, He went out to them and told them to follow Him. He sought them out. He initiated the relationship with them, they were not chosen by accident.
• He wants them to lead a useful & purposeful life, He appointed them to go beyond their comfort zone and get into the lives of others.
• He wants them to produce fruits that are long lasting, making significant impact in the lives of the people around them.

Application
What can I do to invest my life in the lives of the lost and God’s People?
• To serve my brothers & sisters in the church, cell group and ministries.
• To start praying & encouraging the people that God has placed in my life.
• Be courageous to walk out of my comfort zone to share His gospel to pre-believer friends, colleagues and business associates.

Prayer
Our Heavenly Father, thank you for choosing and appointing me to do your work. Help me to walk out of my comfort zone and go bear fruits that are long lasting and make impact in others’ lives. Help me to lead a prayerful life and learn to rely on your intervention as I carry out your work. I pray all these in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Courage

Scripture
• Deuteronomy 31: 23 - The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “ Be strong and courageous , for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.

• Joshua 1: 6 - Be strong and courageous , because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

• Joshua 1: 7 - Be strong and very courageous . Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

• Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go .

Observation
• The Lord is commanding Joshua to lead the Israelites into the promised land.

• The Lord had to repeatedly assure Joshua. “Be strong and courageous”

• God gave:
(1) the task (Joshua 1:6) – lead the people to inherit the land.
(2) the command (Joshua 1:7) – obey the law, do not turn to the right or to the left.
(3) the encouragement (Joshua 1:9) – Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, God is with you wherever you go.


Application
• When God gave the assignment, he will also teach us how to complete the assignment. But most important of all, he is with you to complete the assignment.
• God knew we of little faith need a lot of encouragement. He knew we are bound to get discouraged in the midst of the task. So expect discouragement but hold on to God’s promise!

Prayer
Dear God, be with me through the ups and downs. When I am discouraged, I need your encouragement. Remind me as I am forgetful. May I hold on to your promise and keep the faith.

Keeping My Eyes On Jesus

Scripture
”Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” - Matthew 14:22-31

Observation
• Peter having overcome his fears of Jesus, decided to walk on the water too. He was wise enough to wait until Jesus told him it was all right to try. Then he clambered over the side of his boat to go to him.

• God As soon as we get over our fear of the supernatural by recognizing and acknowledging God’s lordship over everything in heaven and on earth, we will want to experience that power for ourselves. I believe Jesus could do extraordinary things. Not only could he heal sick people, he could keep his temper, be unselfish, and always say the right thing.

Application
• Can I do what Jesus did? Can I stride over the circumstances of my life in triumph? Can I walk over the waters of worries and fears? Yes, if I keep my eyes on Him.

• Peter unfortunately forgot who was keeping him afloat and started to look at the reasons he should be sinking. As soon as we do that, we are sunk!

• It is a matter of keeping our eyes on Jesus, not on the storm. If we begin to sink, we can cry out to him. He will put out his hand and save us. It’s important to him that we continue on in faith and succeed in the task to which He has called us.

Prayer
Lord, I thank you for putting out your hand when I am about to sink. Help me that I will always keep my eyes on you and not on the storms that come my way. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

A Harvest Of Generosity

Scripture
“For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” - 2 Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)

Observation
God himself is the source and supply of every blessing we have, including the material ones. We are not to keep what we are given for ourselves alone but rather we are to use our resources wisely so that a “harvest of generosity“ will be produced from which we can bless others.

Application
• Giving is not only an act of worship itself but also results in worship. Those who benefit from our giving “will break out in thanksgiving to God”.
• Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift.
• Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessings back to him in a deliberate act of worship.

Prayer
Lord, too often I view my giving of offerings as an obligation rather than an act of love. Help me to glorify you through giving generously out of a thankful heart. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Let Your Yes be YES, And Your No Be NO

Scripture
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. - Matthew 5:33-37

Observation

I realize that in this times that we’re living in, knowledge is all around, you’re able to source through the internet to learn many things. Sometimes it’s so much that at times we as Christian’s begin to compromise on God’s standard. We learn to live in between the “Yes” and “No”…
• Did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden?
• Engineer vs Salesman

Application
In God’s standard, there is no “Maybe”. It’s either a yes or no. God has place something in our Spirit to differentiate between what is Right and what is wrong. So don’t compromise!

Prayer
Dear God, will you grant us the knowledge and wisdom to live our lives. Give us wisdom not of this world but from you. So that we’ll be able to be a good difference that people will look up to us because we do not compromise on the “Yes” and the “No” of God’s standard. Amen.

Praise The Lord

Scripture
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. - Psalm 103: 1-5 (NIV)

Observation
We should always give praise to God for:

1. He has forgiven all our sins by His death on the cross

2. He heals all our diseases

3. He satisfies our desires with good things. I consider these good things as:
a. The word of God which is my daily spiritual nourishment to keep my faith strong.
b. The natural, physical food for my body. Taking the right kind and amount of food will make me healthy for my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Application
I really have to make time for my daily prayer and devotion. I want to be close to God through His Word. His Word give me wisdom, strength and encouragement thereby making my life less stressful as I do my daily routine.

It is my responsibility to take care of my body by keeping healthy. That is; eating balanced diet and avoiding junk food as well as exercise.

Prayer
I praise you Lord for all the good things you’ve done for me. Help me that I may never forget to thank and praise you no matter how busy I am on my daily work. Keep me away and control my cravings for junk food. I honor you Lord by keeping myself physically and spiritually healthy pleasing to your sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sowing Seed

Scripture
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” - 1 Corinthians 3:6

Observation
• Different roles physically in body
• Same mastermind spiritually
• Everyone rejoices!

Application
• Salvation of Grandmother, aged 87.
• I planted the seed 20 years ago.
• My cousin watered it by praying and spending quality time with grandmother.
• Cousin’s cell leader led grandmother to the Sinner’s Prayer.

Prayer
“Dear Lord. Thank you for being so faithful and merciful to my grandmother. Together with my family and my children, we rejoice at the sight of our family member’s salvation. This little miracle goes a long way in boosting our children’s faith and awe in You. May You continue to be glorified! Amen!”

Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child

Scripture
Proverbs 29:15 - A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

Proverbs 29:17 - Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.

Observation
Loving our children is natural and an instinct to man. Even animals love their youngs by providing their food and protection. But sometimes, we parents commit the mistake of over loving and over protecting them. We succumb to the whims and demands of our kids without even bothering to monitor how they behave in school and in the neighbourhood. Quarrel of the kids sometimes become a quarrel of the adults.

Application
Discipline a child while he is still young. And most importantly, they have to be inculcated with Christian values especially the love of God and love of others.

Prayer
Lord Almighty father, thank you for loving us by reminding us to be a good steward. Help us to become a mirror of discipline to our children in order for them to grow and to be a better person in the community and in your kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.

Presumptuous Faith

Scripture
Then she (Delilah) called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.  Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.  - Judges 16:20-21 (NIV)

Observation
1) Samson led Israel for 20 years.
2) He a Nazirite dedicate to God but did not follow through.
3) He is living a presumptuous faith and did not know God has left him.

Application
1) Guard and nurture our faith
2) Hear from God and develop sensitivity to His voice, practise living in His presence
3) Live a life that is pleasing to Him

Prayer
God grant me the patience to hear from you daily in the midst of my busyness. Let me developed the spiritual discipline to reflect from your Word with my life and avoid any presumptuous faith. Amen

Divine Prompter

Scripture
But when the holy spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. - Galatians 5 : 22-23

Observation
This tells us the evidence of the holy spirit’s working in us. “Our sinful nature loves to do evil” (Galatians 5:17, NLT) and it can easily be fed with  wrong food such as what we see on TV, what we read and what we think about.

Even after we become believers, we still have that sinful nature and it  declares war on the Holy Spirit. The reason for this conflict of interests between the old and new nature inside a christian is that the old nature wants to go on sinful and selfish, while the new nature of Christ, imparted by the Holy Spirit, wants to be just like Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from the sinful-nature desires.

Application
Christ urges me not to give in to the selfish, insistent voice that tells me to shut my ears to the Spirit’s prompting and do my own thing. He urges me to heed His whisper and obey His Word. The prompter at a play stands in the wings, eyes fastened to the script. If the actor stumbles, the prompter is quick to prompt  so that the actor can do and say the right thing at the right time. I need to listen to my prompter, Christ himself.

Prayer
Lord help me to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Only with his help can I live the holy life that you want me to live. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.