Yesterday we spent time learning how to make OBSERVATIONS while we read Scripture. God gave us wonderful minds and the Holy Spirit uses these minds to guide us to truth about God, about ourselves, and about how we can participate with this flourishing life. Today we will move beyond mere observation and work to APPLY what we are observing. James, the half brother of Jesus, wrote this:
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.James 1:22-25 (NLT)
As the Holy Spirit has guided us, the question we want to answer after making some observations is this: “How will I live my life differently in light of what I read today?”
As we have done previously, grab your journal and a pen and begin our process of S.O.A.P.
- Find a quiet place and take some deep breaths. Read the passage multiple times, slowly, in your head, out loud as you allow God to speak to you through His word.
- Make some observations: What does this passage teach you about God, about yourself, or about how you should think, act, or feel? Also write down any questions you might have
- Answer the question: “How will I live my life differently in light of what I read today?” Write this down. Someone once said, “What isn’t written isn’t real!” Commit to a change of mind, body, and soul today.
As an example, here is a portion of my S.O.A.P from yesterday:
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.1 Peter 1:3-5 (NLT)
God says that because we have been born again we can live with “great expectation”. Sometimes life is really hard and it’s hard to have great expectations. But God says that through Jesus, we have something to look forward to beyond our circumstances, an “inheritance.”
“How will I live my life differently in light of what I read today?”
God calls me to be a person of Hope! Today, even if the news or circumstance tells me otherwise, I will remember that I can have great expectations for God’s Kingdom to advance in me and around me because it has been initiated through Jesus! I will also encourage others with this reality.
Now it’s your turn!
Here is today’s passage:
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)
Tomorrow we will learn about the importance of prayer. While we may have great plans for change, ultimately we are empowered and changed by the Holy Spirit. We’ll see you tomorrow!