Here’s how this works.
Each day I’ll read and S.O.A.P. one chapter of Romans. S.O.A.P. is a simple way to focus on what God is speaking to you through what you read. It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, & Prayer.
Every time I read a chapter God always focuses my heart and mind around a specific part of that chapter. Sometimes it’s just a verse. Sometimes it’s more than that. That verse or group of verses becomes the focus of my devo.
There’s one other practice that helps me know, understand and follow scripture – memorization. Consider memorizing the verse or verses you S.O.A.P.
Romans 5:18-19, “Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (NLT)”
For the past 4 chapters Paul has shown us the history of salvation. He’s made it clear that we all have a problem. That problem is sin. Sin is our disobedience to God.
- We are sinners by nature – which means sin is built in. It’s like our DNA. We’re born with a condition that ultimately leads to our physical and spiritual death. From birth our relationship with God is broken. What caused this condition? It started with Adam. He made one wrong choice. He and Eve chose to ignore God’s Word and eat from the one tree in all the world they were told to leave alone. One wrong choice and everyone throughout history is infected with a fatal condition. But let’s not place all the blame on Adam. You would have taken a bite yourself.
- We are sinners by choice – We don’t simply sin because of a pre-existing condition. Be honest. We sin because we like it. We like doing things our own way. We don’t like being told what to do. We enjoy getting rowdy every now and then. It’s fun to see how far we can push things before they get ‘really’ bad. We’re not looking to hurt ourselves or anyone else. We’re just looking for a good time or the freedom to do what we want, when we want, the way we want.
It’s often the word ‘JUST’ that takes us the wrong way. It’s ‘just’ one drink. It’s ‘just’ one look. I ‘just’ flirted a little. It’s ‘just’ one bill I can’t really afford. I ‘just’ lost my temper once or twice with my kids. ‘JUST’ is a little word that gets us in BIG trouble. We ‘just’ take one step that leads to another and then another. Adam ‘just’ took one bite. We ‘just’ take one step and one day turn around to find we’ve cheated on our spouse, become overwhelmed with debt, ruined our relationship with our kids or wrecked our relationships with friends.
How can we break this cycle of sin?
Jesus Christ gave his life to overcome the infection that’s killing us all. He came to restore our relationship with God. He made one right choice, one right choice after another. Adam’s bad choice, your bad choices, can be forgiven because of what Jesus did for you and me. The question is whether or not you will believe.
This passage is so rich in truth, the depth of God’s love so clearly expressed. His gift is too great, his work too wonderful for me to fully appreciate. I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for the life he has given me. It’s a life that has come with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I am blessed and it all began with one right choice. Not my choice, the choice of Jesus, the choice of Jesus to live his life God’s way and trade his life for mine.
Today, out of gratitude for the life he’s given, I will try to make one right choice, one right choice after another. I won’t try to make right choices in order to earn his favor, but because I already have it. Every time I’m tempted to say, “It’s ‘just’ one…”, I will pause to consider where this one wrong choice will lead and remember the one right choice Christ made for me.
Thank you for sending your son, Jesus. Thank you for loving me in spite of me. Thank you for making a way for our relationship to be restored. Thank you for overcoming the sin nature in me and replacing it with your Spirit. Thank you for giving me the strength and courage to overcome temptation. Today, out of gratitude to you, help me make one right choice after another. Fill me with your Spirit and the fruit of your Spirit. Remove my appetite for sin and replace it with a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
I love you, in Jesus name –
There’s so much more in this chapter…what did God speak to you?