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 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NLT)
What do you know? No really. Stop and think about it. What do you really know…for sure…without question, beyond all reasonable doubt, with no variation or shadow of turning, with unswerving confidence, unshakable faith, undeniable certainty?
There’s so much more to this chapter than one simple reading will uncover. What captured my attention today were three little words.
“…I am persuaded…”
Paul was persuaded and so am I. Nothing can separate us from the love God.
When I was kid I played this game with my friends. Who am I kidding? I still play this game with my own kids. Want to play? In a fight, who would win? Batman or Superman? The Incredible Hulk or Thor? Iron Man or Spiderman? Star Wars or Star Trek? This game doesn’t hold a candle to the truth declared in these few simple verses. In the fight you face today who will win death or the love of God; angels or the love of God; principalities and powers or the love of God; things present, things to come or the love of God; height, width, depth, any other created thing or the love of God?
Paul was persuaded and so am I. Love wins.
Today my application is less about what I do and more about what I know. I am persuaded…for sure. I’ll express what I know using the lyrics to a favorite song.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Whatever you face today – love wins.
I love you, in Jesus name –