All, S.O.A.P. Bible Study
0

The Purpose of Inconvenience

Let’s SOAP and Grow Together Today with Judges Chapter 2.

Scripture

‘I will no longer drive out the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. I did this to test Israel—to see whether or not they would follow the ways of the Lord as their ancestors did.” That is why the Lord left those nations in place. He did not quickly drive them out or allow Joshua to conquer them all.’ Judges 2:21-23 https://www.bible.com/bible/116/JDG.2.21-23

Observation

What if everything in your life is more spiritually connected than you could ever realize? By that, do I mean that every bad day, rude person, wrong order, or lost set of keys is a demon trying to bring you down? No. I mean, what if you are not a victim waiting on the next bad thing to happen without any chance of turning it to good. What if some of the things in your life were not placed there by God but can be used by God to bring about something good? For instance, some of the enemies of Israel were left in the land in order to test the people. Think about it. They had proven their hearts were easily manipulated and turned from God in the wilderness. Now, after conquest, they still needed to be reminded from time to time that all their hope comes from God. I wonder if we would ever experience trouble if we could more fully turn to God without the need to. However, many of tend to think we are pretty awesome when things go well instead of giving glory to God. Therefore, to keep us coming back to Him, sometimes God will allow a test to come along just to see if we still love Him and remember that all our victory is from Him.

What if some of the things in your life were not placed there by God but can be used by God to bring… Click to Tweet

Application

Today, I will see every distraction, inconvenience, or misunderstanding as a chance for God to work on my character and remind me to turn to Him. He is for me and not against me.

Prayer

Thank you Jesus for loving me enough to keep working on me day after day.

Read More
All, S.O.A.P. Bible Study
0

The Right Mindset Brings Life (SOAP)

The Right Mindset Brings Life

Scripture

“True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/pro.22.4.nlt

Observation

I use to think humility was seeing yourself as less than everyone else. I thought that the only way to be truly humble was to truly think you were no good. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Henry Cloud says that humility is not seeing yourself as less than you are. It is seeing yourself AS you are with both strengths and weaknesses. Humility is simply having an honest view of who you are. The Bible says that having this realistic view of who you are leads to riches, honor, and long life. That makes a lot of sense because when we take an honest look at ourselves, we can find all of the above:
-We have value.
-We are all great at something.
-We are not perfect yet and so need to give grace to others just like us.
-We need other people in our lives. No one can thrive for long as an island.
-Someone things we just are never going to be good at so let others excell in those areas and cheer them on.

Application

Today I will realize I have worth and limitations and both are good to know. Both can be celebrated for their on reasons. We are all a “work-in-progress.”

Prayer

Help me see my life for its possibilities not limitations.

Read More
All, S.O.A.P. Bible Study
0

What If We Are Looking At Trouble All Wrong? (SOAP)

Scripture

“But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭21:12-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Observation

This verse is found doing a discourse by Jesus. He is telling His disciples that even though the Kingdom of God has come and salvation is going to be paid for with His blood, that does not mean that all the trouble in their lives will fade. Actually, because of the Cross, their troubles may increase. He says they will be persecuted, accused, and generally have a succession of bad days simply because they have identified themselves as followers of Christ.
Notice what He says next. He does not apologize for this. He does not say that He’s sorry to ‘cause so much trouble.’ He, rather, talks about the trouble we sometimes face because of our faith as rather a side note to the real goal. The real point of the whole discourse was not to glorify our trouble but to exalt the fact that it gives us a chance to glorify Jesus. It is not always what happens to you but how you respond to trouble that makes the biggest difference. Are you using your issues as a chance to draw closer to God? Are you using your current situation as an opportunity to show those around you how to stand firm in your faith despite outward pressure? What if the current difficulty you are facing is not God failing you but rather because He has faith that you will not be crushed under the pressure? And, while He is working in your life He also working in lives of those watching you. That causes the current problems we may be facing to look a little different in the light of God’s faithful love toward us.

Application

Today, I will look at my pain as a promise that God is doing something bigger in me than I can currently see.  While it is not comfortable and I will continue to pray for a way out, I will do my best to stay faithful because I trust Him to see me through to the other side.

Prayer

God, when I do not always see your Hands working in my life, help me to still trust your character.

Read More
All
0

How To S.O.A.P

What is S.O.A.P.?

S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God’s word. We did not invent it, we just decided to make a website to make it easier to do.

How does it work?

It’s quite simple. When you sit for your daily quiet time read the bible as you normally would with one simple difference. Underline or make note of any verses that jump out at you with special significance. This is the basis for diving deeper and using S.O.A.P.

 ScriptureWrite out the verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading. It is important to either write our type out the verse yourself (if you are on a computer) rather than copy and paste. This gives you a chance to engage with the text even more.

 ObservationWhat did you observe about the scripture that struck you? This can be one sentence or a whole book.

 ApplicationHow can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today?

 PrayerWrite out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.

Thats all there is to it!

What follows after this can only be described as remarkable! As you read the Word of God looking for one verse or thought that you can “SOAP” that day, you will be surprised at what jumps off the page. You will also find that God’s Word is incredibly powerful and relevant to your world.

 

PS- One extra trick that will make the S.O.A.P. Bible study even more helpful. Once you have finished your writing for the day, go back up to the top of the page and give your SOAP a Title. This will help you enormously as you look for God’s Truth in your life in the future.

Happy “SOAPing”!

Read More
Devotions
0

Doing Right Does Not Mean an Easy Road

“He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!” He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”

All who were there, watching and listening, were surprised at how well he spoke. But they also said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son, the one we’ve known since he was a youngster?” He answered, “I suppose you’re going to quote the proverb, ‘Doctor, go heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we heard you did in Capernaum.’ Well, let me tell you something: No prophet is ever welcomed in his hometown. Isn’t it a fact that there were many widows in Israel at the time of Elijah during that three and a half years of drought when famine devastated the land, but the only widow to whom Elijah was sent was in Sarepta in Sidon? And there were many lepers in Israel at the time of the prophet Elisha but the only one cleansed was Naaman the Syrian.”

That set everyone in the meeting place seething with anger. They threw him out, banishing him from the village, then took him to a mountain cliff at the edge of the village to throw him to his doom, but he gave them the slip and was on his way.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:16-30‬ ‭MSG‬‬

http://bible.com/97/luk.4.16-30.msg

Observation

Think about this. Jesus, the Jesus comes to church. You have already heard about some of the amazing things He has been doing. There’s obviously something special about Him. The church is packed with people, more than normal. Jesus gets up and quotes a scripture you know well. It’s a passage about the coming Messiah. You and your community members speak often about the Messiah will come and fulfill the prophecies. Once Jesus is finished, He sits down which was the custom of the time. Then He declares Himself to be the Messiah.

The result is chaos. People are furious. Wait… what?

This is Jesus! Surely the poeple are excited. They were able to hear it first. Nope. They were angry because Jesus was not what they expectated. They expected the Messiah to come chargining in with a crown and conquest in His eyes. They were tired of Roman oppression and wanted war. They did not read all the prophecies that spoke of the Messiah being lowly and a “man of no reputuation.” They did not understand that Jesus did not come to conquer the world, He came to die for it.

Just because you are doing the right thing, being the kind of person, pursuing the right dreams does not mean people will agree with you. We do not see things as they truly are. We see things as we are. They did not see Jesus for who He was. They saw Jesus for what they wanted Him to be. Your job is to follow God with all you heart. Not everyone will understand or support that. If they didn’t support Jesus, you will be misunderstood as well.

Application

Today, do not be quick to become discouraged because others do not understand or support you. Instead, understand it is part of living a life that is making a difference.

What did Jesus do?

1. He told the Truth.

2. He did not retaliate.

3. He did not quit.

Prayer

Today, help me God to see that just because everyone does not approve of my pursuite of you does not mean that I’m going in the wrong direction. Help me to redouble my efforts to follow you with my whole heart.

Read More
All
0

7 Favorite Apps of 2017

The last week of the year is a sort of ‘clean up’ week for me in many ways. I look back over the previous year and assess how things went. It’s important to take time and celebrate, repent, purge, invest, forgive, and ask forgiveness so you can walk into the new year with a fresh start. This overall assessment covers everything from the deep issues of my heart to what apps I have on my cell phone. It is sort of like Spring cleaning in the middle of winter. While going through my phone and deleting old apps, I thought it might be fun to list the top apps that I have enjoyed the most this year. Hope you like it. Here we go in no particular order:

Read More
All
0

Get The Most Out of the Week After Christmas

Is it just me or does it seem like the weeks leading up to Christmas come and go so quickly and then the week after Christmas drags on and on? There is so much expectation for Christmas with people to see, parties to attend, candles to light at Christmas services. Then, the big day comes and many feel the anxiety of now facing a new year.

For the past few years, instead of dreading the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I have come to look forward to it. It has become a time for reflection and preparation. What has been amazing is to find how good years really were after asking the right questions. I have also found myself genuinely excited for New Year’s to come after properly setting up the correct expectations.

So, what is the best way to spend your “low week”? The answer is to rest, reflect, remember, celebration, repent, and prepare to move forward. Below are some questions to journal about throughout the week as you put this year “to bed’ and prepare to “wake up” 2018.

Read More
All, Life Style
0

The Diary of Dogs and Cats (Ideas on Attitudes)

Attitude is so important in almost everything we do. How you approach life makes a big difference on success, failure and how you enjoy the journey. Someone once said that those who think they can and those who think they cannot are both right. Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees a problem in every opportunity. An optimist sees an opportunity in every problem.”

I love the idea of having the right attitude and seeing the silver lining in every dark cloud. This does not mean we deny the dark cloud is there. We are simply saying that is not ALL that is there. Below is an article originally posted here. It is a great contrast of the way you can view your life. Which point of view are you going to have? Are you going to be a dog or a cat? Enjoy…

 

There are dog people and then there are cat people…and, of course, there are people who can appreciate both. I definitely fall into that final category.

Dogs have provided me with hours of endless enjoyment. Their dopey faces, playful attitudes, hilarious expressions always bring great joy to the people who own them. Just ask the owner of this Boston terrier who rides around on a vacuum.

Cats, on the other hand, can sometimes be withholding with their affection. It can take a cat a while to warm up to you, and even then you’re never really sure what they’re thinking. Sometimes, actually, they can even seem downright mean, like this cat who stole a dog’s toy.

These diary entries below perfectly encapsulate what’s going on inside a dog’s and cat’s mind through diary entries. It’s no wonder that they’ve been going viral online — they’re hilarious!

Read More
All
0

10 Mindful Ways to Enjoy the Holiday Season

This time of year can be some of the best and some of the most challenging days you will experience all year. Thinking about this prompted me to share an article I recently read in the Huffington Post that shares 10 ways to enjoy the holiday season. Enjoy.

1. Set an intention for this holiday season. It can be as broad or specific as you wish, but take a moment to consider how you’d like to spend this time and where you want to focus your time and energy. This simple action creates awareness, and will help you prioritize.

2. Acknowledge your entrenched holiday habits. The force of habit (also known as our habit energy) is the momentum that propels us down familiar paths in life. Even when we’ve acknowledged the need to change our habits, it’s easy to stay in autopilot. Change requires a conscious effort. You likely have specific holiday season patterns, such as rushing, over-committing, overspending or over consuming. What else? Without blaming yourself, look at these habits and ask: Do these habits serve me well?

3. Practice compassionate listening with friends and family. In order to truly appreciate the time we have with loved-ones, we must be fully present. The perfect time to practicecompassionate listing is when it’s most difficult to remain present — when we have disagreements with a loved one or strong emotions have built up over time. When we leave our body and disconnect our consciousness from the present moment, we miss valuable lessons, connections and understanding. Remember to observe whatever emotions arise, and to treat yourself with loving compassion too.

4. Take time to do nothing. Even a few restful moments in between activities, or at the end of the night, can reduce stress and improve awareness and mood. Remember: Doing nothing doesn’t mean checking email or chatting on the phone. Need some help winding down? Consult the “Doing Nothing” guide.

5. Just breathe. We put so much on our to-do list that we may be stacking up tasks back to back. We need mini breaks to refresh ourselves. For example, if you are waiting for a slice of bread to come out of the toaster, refrain from doing another task. Take the two minutes to just breathe…

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”

6. Start or renew your meditation practice. Do NOT add meditation to your to-do list. Instead, consider it a tool to enhance your everyday experiences. Meditate while standing in line, while cooking, or while walking down the street. Regular meditation can improve focus, reduce stress and anxiety and offer great joy.

7. Invite deep sleep with a bedtime meditation:

“Breathing in, I am conscious of all that I still have to do
Breathing out, I park them in my ‘to-do’ box until tomorrow to get a good rest”

8. Savor sweets. Treats are some of the best foods to savor as they are so rich in flavor. And if we really enjoy them, we are less likely to mindlessly over-consume them. Eating while full of guilt isn’t helpful. Choose your sweets thoughtfully, and enjoy them fully.

9. Enjoy the splendor of this time! The 2011 holiday season will soon be over. Relish the unique sights, smells and sounds. Do not miss the magical moments!!

An inspirational passage on impermanence from Thich Nhat Hanh:

Nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. Heraclitus said we can never bathe twice in the same river. Confucius, while looking at a stream, said, “It is always flowing, day and night.” The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight.

10. Give thanks. Recent studies show that practicing gratitude improves health, perspective and relationships. Practicing gratitude reminds us that we are part of a beautiful whole, supported and loved. When you begin to feel stressed, alone or anxious, consider the things you are thankful for.

Original post: click here
Read More
All, Life Groups
0

Great White Throne VS The Bema

This Coming Sunday we will be debuting a new series at RLC on Legacy. The opening message contains some theology that is rarely taught in most modern Christian circles. On Sunday morning, I do not have the time to dive into the theology as much as I would like. Therefore, here is a little more explanation for those interested in digger deeper. This article is only one of many you can find if you type into google, “Different between the ‘Great White Throne Judgement’ and the ‘Bema.’”


Question: “What is the Great White Throne Judgment and How Does it Differ From the Judgement Seat of Christ or the Bema?”

Answer: The great white throne judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15 and is the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire. We know from Revelation 20:7-15 that this judgment will take place after the millennium and after Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10). The books that are opened (Revelation 20:12) contain records of everyone’s deeds, whether they are good or evil, because God knows everything that has ever been said, done, or even thought, and He will reward or punish each one accordingly (Psalm 28:462:12Romans 2:6Revelation 2:2318:622:12).

Also at this time, another book is opened, called the “book of life” (Revelation 20:12). It is this book that determines whether a person will inherit eternal life with God or receive everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. Although Christians are held accountable for their actions, they are forgiven in Christ and their names were written in the “book of life from the creation of the world” (Revelation 17:8). We also know from Scripture that it is at this judgment when the dead will be “judged according to what they had done” (Revelation 20:12) and that “anyone’s name” that is not “found written in the book of life” will be “thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

The fact that there is going to be a final judgment for all men, both believers and unbelievers, is clearly confirmed in many passages of Scripture. Every person will one day stand before Christ and be judged for his or her deeds. While it is very clear that the great white throne judgment is the final judgment, Christians disagree on how it relates to the other judgments mentioned in the Bible, specifically, who will be judged at the great white throne judgment.

Some Christians believe that the Scriptures reveal three different judgments to come. The first is the judgment of the sheep and the goats or a judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-36). This takes place after the tribulation period but prior to the millennium; its purpose is to determine who will enter the millennial kingdom. The second is a judgment of believers’ works, often referred to as the “judgment seat [bema] of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). At this judgment, Christians will receive degrees of reward for their works or service to God. The third is the great white throne judgment at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:11-15). This is the judgment of unbelievers in which they are judged according to their works and sentenced to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.

Other Christians believe that all three of these judgments speak of the same final judgment, not of three separate judgments. In other words, the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15 will be the time that believers and unbelievers alike are judged. Those whose names are found in the book of life will be judged for their deeds in order to determine the rewards they will receive or lose. Those whose names are not in the book of life will be judged according to their deeds to determine the degree of punishment they will receive in the lake of fire. Those who hold this view believe that Matthew 25:31-46 is another description of what takes place at the great white throne judgment. They point to the fact that the result of this judgment is the same as what is seen after the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. The sheep (believers) enter into eternal life, while the goats (unbelievers) are cast into “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46).

Whichever view one holds of the great white throne judgment, it is important to never lose sight of the facts concerning the coming judgment(s). First, Jesus Christ will be the judge, all unbelievers will be judged by Christ, and they will be punished according to the works they have done. The Bible is very clear that unbelievers are storing up wrath against themselves (Romans 2:5) and that God will “give to each person according to what he has done” (Romans 2:6). Believers will also be judged by Christ, but since Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to us and our names are written in the book of life, we will be rewarded, but not punished, according to our deeds. Romans 14:10-12 says that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and that each one of us will give an account to God.

Article first appeared on: www.gotquestions.org

Other recommended reading: Heaven by Randy Alcorn

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: Simple Church 

Author: Tom Rainer
Link: https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Church-Thom-S-Rainer-ebook/dp/B004HO5J92/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498945784&sr=8-1&keywords=Simple+church
Genre:  non-fiction
Rating: Must Read

Publisher Bio

The simple revolution is here. From the iPod design to Google’s uncluttered homepage, simple ideas are changing the world.
Multi-awarded #1 national bestseller Simple Church guides Christians back to the simple gospel-sharing methods of Jesus. No bells or whistles required. Based on case studies of 400 American churches, Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger prove the disciple-making process is often too complex. Simple churches thrive by taking four ideas to heart: Clarity. Movement. Alignment. Focus.
Simple Church Examines each idea, clearly showing why it is time to simplify.

My Observation

This book is the playbook for success. So much easier to do if you are a young church though.

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: Cracking Your Churches Culture Code 

Author: Sam Chand
Link: https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Your-Churchs-Culture-Code/dp/0470627816/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498945761&sr=8-1&keywords=Cracking+Your+Churches+Culture+Code
Genre:  non-fiction
Rating: Must Read

Publisher Bio

Strategies for transforming a toxic church culture Why is it that the best strategic plans and good leadership often are not able to move churches in the desired direction? Sam Chand contends that toxic culture is to blame. Quite often, leaders don’t sense the toxicity, but it poisons their relationships and derails their vision. This work describes five easily identifiable categories of church culture (inspiring-accepting-stagnant-discouraging-toxic), with diagnostic descriptions in the book and a separate online assessment tool. The reader will be able to identify strengths and needs of their church’s culture, and then apply practical strategies (communication, control and authority, selection and placement of personnel, etc.) to make their church’s culture more positive.

Discusses how to diagnose the state of a church’s culture Reveals what it takes to put in place effective strategies for creating a more positive church culture Author served on the board of EQUIP (Dr. John Maxwell’s Ministry), equipping five million leaders world-wide. This important book offers a clear guide for understanding and recreating a healthy church culture.

My Observation

Just finished reading this with staff. Good book. So important. My favorite quote is, “Culture is more important than vision.” This is so true. You can have the best vision in the world but unless it is planted in the right culture, it will not yield any harvest.

Read More
1 2 3 35
Get my posts in your inbox!
Subscribe