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 11:9-10, “Likewise, David said,
“Let their bountiful table become a snare,
a trap that makes them think all is well.
Let their blessings cause them to stumble,
and let them get what they deserve.
10 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
and let their backs be bent forever.”” (NLT)
Sometimes I read Scripture and it sounds like today. We live in the most prosperous nation on earth during the most prosperous time in history. The poor of this generation are certainly in a pitiable state, but their poverty does not compare to the poverty of generations past. Common citizens amass wealth greater than ancient kings or civilizations could imagine. In a few short hours I can be on the other side of the world. In a few short seconds I can post a message available for the entire world.
We live in a bountiful time, yet it seems like a snare. I see people with the resources to buy happiness who discover all they can afford is a better class of misery. People don’t pay attention to facts. They choose facts to fit their current worldview. Their backs are bent forever bearing the weight of a fruitless pursuit.
In spite of all this, God is there.
Romans 11:32, “For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone.”
Recognize the prison. Thank God for His mercy. Trust His Word. Follow His plan.
Sacrifice is giving more than you think you can afford and trusting God to provide. It’s giving up something you love for something you love even more. What ‘facts’ do I believe about myself or my world that aren’t really facts at all, but the walls that imprison my thinking and keep me bound to old habits that break my spirit and cause me to stumble? Am I willing to give those ‘facts’ up and trust God to provide or do I love the comfort of what I think I know more than the reality God has revealed for those who believe?
It’s time to examine what you think you know. It’s time to reconsider your standard of success. Romans 11:29, 32 & 36 say it all. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. He has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone. For of him and to him and through him are all things to whom be the glory for every. AMEN.
Get the facts straight and trust him.
Thanks for moving heaven and earth – not simply to save me, but to convince me. Thanks that your gifts and calling are irrevocable. thank you for imprisoning everyone in disobedience so that you could have mercy on everyone – even me. Today, help me examine the ‘facts’ through your word. Give me the wisdom, discernment and understanding to know right from wrong, truth from error. Give me the courage and strength to choose right. I surrender all that I am, all that I have and all I ever will be.
I love you, in Jesus name –