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 10:1-4, “Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.” (NLT)
Paul expresses the same heart for the people of his nation that I have for the people of mine. I wish they would ‘get it’. I’m surrounded by passionate, committed and capable people. Our nation is filled with smart people, many who try daily to live a good life. They actively try to create more value than they consume. They are enthusiastic but with misdirected zeal. They misunderstand God’s way of making people right with himself. They refuse to accept God’s way. They cling to their own good and reject the work Christ has already accomplished for them.
What do people see of the work of Christ in me? Do the people around me hear my good intentions, see my good works, experience my good deeds and assume all this happens because I’m a good guy? Or do they understand there’s more to me than meets the eye? How will they know. It’s good to be good. Everyone wants to be liked and feel good about the choices they make. Good is good.
Through the power of Christ we can be so much more. We can be godly.
Good is not enough. Good is average. It’s normal. It’s mundane. Is that what you really want? It’s really worse than that. Good is satisfying. It’s anesthetizing. It makes you feel like you’re all right. Until things get so bad you realize things aren’t really all right. Then you’re left wondering what went wrong. We were good. It was good. But it never moved beyond that.
Good is not enough.
God wants to do something in you and through you that can’t be explained because of you. It’s bigger than that – God want’s to do something in you and through you that you will NEVER be able to accomplish on your own. He wants to move you past good to make you godly.
Sincerity won’t get you there. Practice won’t help you overcome. All the education, information and inspiration in the world could double every second and still we’ll never go beyond good on our own. That takes something more. It takes the power of Christ in us.
This statement affects our life and our afterlife. It’s not just about heaven. It’s about the hear and now. Stop trying so hard to be good. Don’t settle for average. Trust Christ, follow him and discover the grace, mercy and power of life the way God intended.
Thanks for surrounding me with good people. Thanks for allowing me to do good things. But I pray that we would go beyond that. Show us what it means to be godly. Give me the wisdom, courage, and strength to trust and obey you. I pray that my life would be unexplainable apart from you. I pray that my life would encourage others to be dissatisfied with good. Give me and those I influence a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Help me show people the value and reality of faith in Jesus Christ. Deepen the faith of our nation. Thank you for already completing, through Jesus, everything we need for life and godliness. Do something in me and through me that can’t be explained because of me.
I love you, in Jesus name –