S O A P

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. O-bservation: In writing to the church at Thessaloniki, St. Paul reminded them that whether we are awake or asleep, we are living together with Jesus because He had died and risen from the grave. Because of this, we have great hope, and we are to “Be An Encourager” to everyone we meet at all times. A-pplication: This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, and I’m not bragging, I promise. Because of my father, it’s easy for me to encourage other people. That’s the way dad was. He was an encourager to everyone he met. Because of that, he always had people around him. People were drawn to dad because he saw the best in them, and as a young man, I determined I wanted to be that way. I know others haven’t had the upbringing I had, so that’s why it’s easy for me to encourage others. Yet, I have found that when I encourage others, like my father, they are drawn to me as well. Maybe today you could make a change. Why not,...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Samuel 24:24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” O-bservation: King David had sinned greatly by insisting that the fighting men of Israel be numbered. This was a sin in the eyes of God. When it was over, David himself knew he had done wrong and felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit for his sin. In the end, God sent an angel and killed seventy thousand Israeli people, from Dan to Beersheba! Finally, the Lord’s hand relented, and David went to buy the threshing floor from Araunah. Araunah said he would give it to the king as a gift. David said, “This land I’m buying from you to build an altar to sacrifice to the Lord for my sin will not suffice Unless It Costs Me Something!” A-pplication: My wife and I have learned something in the past twenty-three years as the Pastors of Trinity Church here in Miami. We’ve learned that when people have to pay something for an event, they are more likely to show up at the event. People never...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Samuel 21:15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. O-bservation: David was up in years, and yet he still insisted on fighting with his men. This was the very first time there appeared to be a weakening in King David’s physical body. He was the leader of Israel. He had covered the full gamut of leadership, from winning to losing, from running to standing, from joy to sorrow, from sin to righteous living, from despair to hope, and on it goes. But finally, there came a weakening of the physical body and one of David’s men stepped in to save the day. After this event, the men of Israel told their king he would never again go into battle with them in case the light might go out in Israel. A-pplication: This story is simply an illustration of “The Wear And Tear Of Leadership.” Unlike a third or fourth or tenth king in a succession of kings kind of leadership role in a country led by a Sovereign, David was the founder of the family of King...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 27:66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. O-bservation: The day after Jesus was crucified and laid in Joseph’s tomb with a big rock stationed in front of the tomb, the chief priest and some Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him about Jesus’ declaration that He would rise from the dead after three days in the tomb. Pilate said, “Go make the tomb as secure as you can and place a guard there.” So that’s what they did. A-pplication: These were Jewish people who worried that Jesus might actually resurrect from the dead. They had access to all of the stories of their God Jehovah throughout their Jewish history. Their God had destroyed the earth by flood. Their God had delivered the Jewish people from over 400 years of bondage to the Egyptians in one night with the  Passover angel. Their God had opened the Red Sea for Moses. He had killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrian soldiers by the hand of one angel. Unfortunately for Pilate and the Jewish chief priest and Pharisees, they believed that one guard and their...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 32:2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. O-bservation: King David writes these words as one who had been forgiven by the Lord and was clean before his Maker. As the leader of his nation, he knew people would stand before him saying one thing, yet with a hidden agenda not mentioned. David believed that when the Lord has forgiven one’s sin, it is best to never come before Him with something hidden. A-pplication: As a servant leader, I often have people come to me saying one thing while I’m quick to discern they actually have a hidden agenda. They know that if they can slip this request through me, it will open the door for them to get what they really want. I’m sure, through the years, I’ve been naive enough to be fooled by many people. However, when it comes to the living God, some people believe they can actually hide their real “WANT”  from Him. How foolish. David knew that doesn’t work with the Almighty. That’s why he believed that the most important part of one’s relationship with the Lord...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 24:4 Jesus answered, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” O-bservation: Two days before Jesus was crucified, He was on the Mount of Olives, and His disciples asked Him, “Lord, what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” Before you answer that, “What’s The First Thing,” Jesus said? Here it is, the number one sign of the end of the age and the coming of the Lord will be that deception will track people down. Because the first thing Jesus said was, “Watch out that no one deceives you!” A-pplication: I believe we are at that age right now. I believe the Lord could come at any moment. Now that’s coming from an aged preacher who has lost all of my youthful naïveté. Almost all of my youthful idealism is gone. But that does not change the fact that I believe Jesus could come in a minute, just like I did when I was a kid. Many believers during this pandemic have been outright deceived. They put government and politics above the king of kings. They said things out loud on social media that are so far removed from the...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 51:3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. O-bservation: This fifty-first chapter of the book of Psalms is King David’s repentance prayer for his sin with Bathsheba. In it, he speaks of his regrets and the wretchedness of his sin. It didn’t involve only adultery but also a planned murder of the woman’s husband to cover what he had done. The average Israeli would have been executed for what the king was guilty of. But here, in his brokenness, he tells the Lord, “My sin is always before me!” A-pplication: Through my many years of ministry, both as a traveling evangelist and a pastor, I’ve had people come to me as if I was their priestly confessor and tell me of sins they had committed. On just about every occasion, like King David and with tears, they’ve said to me, “My sin is ALWAYS before me.” Repentance before the Lord, and in some cases restitution, are the action steps I believe are required to start on the healing pathway. The goal in all of it is to get the FAILURE (sin) from being in front of you at all times. You...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Samuel 10:12 “Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” O-bservation: Joab was the leader of King David’s army for the entirety of David’s rule. Yes, he made many mistakes, which he paid for after David died. But during David’s lifetime, he remained faithful to God’s man. Here he responded to David’s command to assemble the troops of Israel for battle against the Ammonites. He told the army to be strong. They were fighting for their people and the cities of their God. Then he said, “The Lord Will Do What Is Good In His Sight!” A-pplication: When you examine the words of General Joab, you find no fear in his words. The WHY he gives for fighting is so defined that you feel in your heart that the general gave “A Good Approach For Winning.” They were fighting for their people. They were fighting for their people, and they were fighting to keep the cities of their God, Jehovah, intact. Anytime you’re taking territory for the Lord or holding the territory that’s already been taken for the...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Chronicles 18:17b And David’s sons were chief officials at the king’s side. O-bservation: In the Old Testament Jewish tradition, sons were connected to their fathers in ministry, in tribal leadership, in business, and even government leadership. We are told that David’s sons, though not mentioned in this passage, were chief officials at the king’s side. A-pplication: I know that the king’s offspring (i.e., Absalom) hurt the family’s reputation in some cases. Yet Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob built a nation from their descendants. In the New Testament, the gospel and many parts of Jewish culture broke out beyond the Jewish nation and into the world of the Gentiles. For the most part, Gentile people had not built a legacy by bringing their children into business or ministry with them. The practice became more common with the spread of the Church. When the Catholic popes came to power in the Middle Ages, and as late as the 17th century, they gave top government jobs to nephews and other relatives as they could have no children of their own. This practice became known as Nepotism, and the term comes from a Latin word meaning nephew. Because of misuses of...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 2:12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. O-bservation: Theologians have a mixed review of this passage related to the word “Kiss” and “Son.” The word kiss is really an oriental word in this original rendering, which would mean to pay homage or honor. The word Son, I believe, is the literal “Son of God” in this passage. In other words, “Pay Honor To Jesus.” I do like the term “Kissing Jesus” better. A-pplication: This one verse could be easily discussed for about an hour, but instead of getting into the middle portion of this passage, let’s look only at the beginning and the end of verse 12. The Psalmist David says that when we pay honor to Jesus, the Son of God, we are blessed beyond measure. That last line says that ALL who take refuge in Jesus will be blessed. In the context we now live in, the growing gap between the haves and the have nots could be greatly healed if people the world over would turn...