S O A P

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 37:17 Then King Zedekiah sent for him and had him brought to the palace, where he asked him privately, “Is there any word from the Lord?” O-bservation: Jeremiah was the only prophet that Zedekiah could trust. Even so, he had allowed for him to languish in prison for no good reason save for the grandson of the fake prophet Hananiah, who Jeremiah had called a liar. The grandson’s name was Irijah. Irijah was the captain of the guard at the Benjamin Gate where Jeremiah had gone to claim his property. Irijah wanted revenge because not only had Jeremiah called his fake prophet grandfather a liar, but he also prophesied he’d be dead within a year, and he died in that same year!! So here’s Jeremiah, wasting away in prison because of a grandson’s revenge, and the king was in trouble. So when Jeremiah arrived at the king’s palace, Zedekiah asked him, “Is there any word from the Lord?” A-pplication: Can you imagine allowing this oracle of God to waste away in prison because some low-level captain of a certain guard was revengeful?  But earlier, God had called Zedekiah wicked simply because he was weak. So is...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 34:4-5a Yet hear the Lord’s promise to you, Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully. O-bservation: While King Zedekiah was trying to hold off Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the word of the Lord came to him by way of Jeremiah, the prophet of God. He told him to give up and be taken by Nebuchadnezzar. But, he said, “you will not die by the sword but will die peacefully.” A-pplication: King Zedekiah had the dubious dishonor of letting go of the nation of Judah and watching his beloved Jerusalem be burned to the ground. All this happened at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. But the Lord commanded him to let go of the fight, and if he did, he’d be honored when he did die. As told by both the writer of Chronicles and Jeremiah, Zedekiah was weak because he was driven by fear. In scripture, God equates weakness with wickedness. Thus, weak Zedekiah was wicked. However, because he gave up and laid down his sword so Nebuchadnezzar could lay his wrath upon Jerusalem, God let Zedekiah live out...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” O-bservation: Sometimes things need to get worse before they can get better. I say that because the prophecies of Jeremiah foretelling the soon destruction of the land by the Babylonians were not being received because of the “good time” prophecies, like the prophecies of Hananiah, the lying prophet. That’s why, in this passage, God lets them know that Jeremiah’s prophecies will come to pass. Then He asked the question, “Is anything too hard for me?” A-pplication: First, let me answer the question the Lord has posed to all of us in this scripture and say, “No! Nothing Is Too Hard For The Lord.” But instead of me talking about all of the things our God could destroy, let’s talk about what He’s done for you and me. Our God has, at different times in our lives, saved us from certain destruction and death. For example, our God has provided for us both when we were so low that the idea of making rent was unheard of. Do you remember when you were sick, and the doctor said, “It looks really...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 28:15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies.” O-bservation: Hananiah was a popular prophet in his day. Judah had rarely ever been as far away from the Lord as it was during the season of his prophetic proclamations. Yet Hananiah continued to prophesy a bright future and that the best was yet to come. Here, Jeremiah called him a liar and said that within a year, he would be dead. If you read verse 17 of this chapter, you will see that the liar was dead, and the real prophet was still living and prophesying. A-pplication: How had things gotten so messed up in Judah? It had gotten messed up because of lying, weak prophets like Hananiah. He had never been called or sent of God, yet he continued his “Everything is great” message. The nation was corrupt from the king all the way down to the beggar on the street. Yet from the sacred pulpit, all the nation heard was things are just wonderful, and the best is yet to come. And the truth was...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 27:6 Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. O-bservation: Even before the heathen nations and the people of God, Israel and Judah, who had turned their backs on God, had come under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, God referred to this godless king as His servant. Thus, everything Jeremiah prophesied came to pass. Many years later, Nebuchadnezzar, after being humbled by Almighty God, became a follower of God. This proves that “Even The Ungodly Serve The Purposes Of God!” A-pplication: Have you ever considered that the boss at work who has been making your life a living hell on earth could actually be serving the purposes of God in your life? What about that wayward son who is wreaking havoc in the family? Have you noticed yourself seeking the Lord more than you have in years? For the child of God and even the follower of Jesus who may have lost their way, God will use severe testing to point us in His direction in a greater way. The trials of Judah, under the tremendous suffering of King Nebuchadnezzar,...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 48:47 “Yes I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the Lord. Here ends the judgment on Moab. O-bservation: In verse two of this chapter, Jeremiah prophesied that God was bringing such judgment upon Moab that praises would cease in the capital city of Heshbon. In other words, God’s judgment would completely shut down all pride and arrogance in the great region. A-pplication: History shows us that the Chaldeans destroyed the country of Moab. Moab was the name given to the Lot’s son when he had an incestuous relationship with his daughter. So Moab became the father of the people of Moab. Of course, this group of people was always a pain in the neck to the people of Israel. But because, distantly, they are related, this group often acts as a friend and sometimes mediator between Israel and the rest of the Islam world. Today Moab is located in what is known as western Jordon, and of course, it houses the great modern city, Amman, Jordon. Whenever I’m there, and because of Amman’s modern sophistication, I remember this passage of scripture and think to myself, “Even Judgment Has An End!” P-rayer: Dear Jesus, I’m...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 46:10a But that day belongs to the Lord, the Lord Almighty. O-bservation: This is a prophecy concerning the fact that God not only brought terror and judgment upon Egypt using King Nebuchadnezzar but would continue to do so. No matter how hard the leaders of Egypt tried, they would never be able to outrun the Lord Almighty on that day or any day because “The Day Belongs To The Lord!” A-pplication: I want to, first of all, say, “Good Morning!” The second thing I want to do is ask you a question. What is it that you are troubled about as you read this short devotional? If you’re concerned about the need for funds in your life, or the fact that someone you trusted has turned on you, I want to say, “The Day Belongs To The Lord!” If it’s a sickness, if it’s a debt you can’t cover, or if it’s a marriage you can’t mend, “The Day Belongs To The Lord!” What does that line mean, “The Day Belongs To The Lord?” I believe it means that God will have the final say about every day of your life. Is it an impossible situation that needs...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Jeremiah 23:21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. O-bservation: Jeremiah is voicing the word of God to his spirit by saying that men who called themselves prophets were promoting a message God had not given them to promote. In fact, God says, “I have never given them a word, but they’re still prophesying as though I had sent them.” A-pplication: I don’t know if you’re like me, but there have been times in my life when I heard a minister preach something that had no grounding in the Word of God. As they continued, I was sure they would qualify what they were saying, but they never did. Whenever this has happened in my life, I want to stand up and say, “Who Told You That?” Jeremiah was thrown into prison as a false prophet when he called Hananiah a liar, and Hananiah died. It was Hananiah’s grandson who had Jeremiah thrown into prison. Why? Because God had truly sent Jeremiah, but Hananiah’s gibberish was called prophecy. If we could have caught the entire discussion between Jeremiah and Hananiah, I’m...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Kings 24:9 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father had done. O-bservation: This passage of scripture is speaking about King Jehoiachin of Judah, the son of King Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim was the son of King Josiah, who was one of the holiest kings in the history of Judah. It’s hard to fathom how Jehoiakim could stray so far from the ways and teachings of his godly father, but he sure did. When God had him destroyed, his son Jehoiachin ruled in his place. But he was evil, just like his father. I guess you could say that Jehoiachin was a COPYCAT. A-pplication: This story is puzzling to me. First, because Jehoiachin’s father, Jehoiakim, rebelled so hard against the ways and teachings of his father, Josiah. Josiah literally turned Judah from a wayward, rebellious nation to a God-fearing nation during his rule. Everything, and it appears just about everyone, prospered during his reign, yet his son did a 180 after his father died. Because of his sins, he was destroyed by the Lord, and his son ruled in his place. Yet his son, Jehoiachin, offered nothing new to the people. I believe...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 93:4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty. O-bservation: In this Psalm, the writer describes the greatness and sheer might of our great God! He gives the example of the roaring and pounding ocean sea. First, he speaks of the thunders of the great waters, and then the breakers on the ocean shore, and affirms that God reigns in majesty and “He’s MIGHTIER” than it all. A-pplication: As a young married man, I remember going with my wife and three other couples to Hawaii for the first time. One day we went to the North Shore of Honolulu, where surfers rule. We had no idea what we were doing and just jumped in the surf to ride the waves. At least us four guys did. Before we knew it, the backwash from a giant wave pulled us out to sea about 150 feet and into the deep!  Finally, we caught a huge wave that thrust us onto the beach by simply dropping us from about 15 feet in the air to the beach shore and nearly knocked me out. It felt like the...