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 6:12-14, “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (NLT)
Romans 6:16, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” (NLT)
Try as we might we live in a world that has rules. We may walk around with our head in the clouds, but gravity’s grip keeps us down to earth. Parents give us curfews. The government requires taxes. We fight and struggle. We plot and connive to get away with as much as possible. We push the limits of the law and try to use every rule to our greatest advantage. Sometimes we find loopholes. Sometimes we ignore the written rule and hope no one will notice. I know the speed limit is 65, but they won’t pull me over if I cruise around 70. We walk the line.
These verses remind me of Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
You would think my choice is to either live by the rules or spend my life trying to find a way around them. But God offers a third option. A better option. There is a way to live without rules. It can be summed up in two words, “Follow me.”
Go where He goes. Do what He does. Say what He said. Instead of your every choice being used as an instrument of sin, an instrument that causes pain, grief, sorrow and guilt your life can be something different. You can choose to obey God which leads to life. In other words, you don’t have to live by the worlds rules anymore.
As a Believer in Jesus Christ I’ve been set free from the Law of Sin and Death. I now live under the Law of Liberty which says, “I’m free…so I can.” I’m free, so I can experience real love and give real love. I’m free to find joy. I’m free know peace. I’m free from the anxiety of needing resolution to every minor challenge right now, that’s patience – and the list goes on.
Today, I will try to recognize that I don’t have to live by the world’s rules anymore. It’s not that I’m above the rules. It’s that when I follow God the rules aren’t an issue.
There’s no way I could ever live up to the rules. I’ve broken most of them either accidentally or on purpose. Those I haven’t willfully broken through my choices I’ve dreamed of breaking in my heart. I’m guilty. Thank you for the forgiveness you’ve given me through your son. Thank you for restoring our relationship and making things right. Thank you that I don’t have to live by the world’s rules anymore. Give me the wisdom and insight to follow you. Help me to know your will, follow your way and live my life as an instrument of grace.
I love you, in Jesus name –
There’s so much more in this chapter…what did God speak to you?