S O A P

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding a promise for both the present life and the life to come. O-bservation: St. Paul reminded the younger man, Timothy, that “You Should Exercise, BUT” godliness is of value in this present life and the life to come. In other words, the Apostle believed there were more important things than this temporal body we live in. A-pplication: When I read this passage of scripture, I’m always aware of the time in which St. Paul was writing. There was no easy life unless you were part of the royal family or, for some reason, had been born into wealth. The average man and woman walked everywhere they traveled. The idea that the masses of people were overweight and out of shape, much like my country is today, just wasn’t the case. Paul did say that you need to take care of your physical temple, yet to be godly is far more important. To be godly means that we put Jesus first, today and every day. When we do this, it helps us be more successful in this life and the...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Chronicles 20:15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” O-bservation: King Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, was a true man of God, and he was faced with the threat of the Moabites and Ammonites coming against them. The scripture tells us these combined armies were massive. A man of God named Jahaziel experienced the anointing of the Holy Spirit in his life and prophesied to the king for him not to worry because the battle was the Lord’s. A-pplication: Who has come against you in the past few days? Are you a child of God? If you are, “Remember Who Is Fighting For You.” The battle is the Lord’s. Now, if you only occasionally call on the name of the Lord or seek His face, there is a strong possibility that you will be on your own when the enemy attacks you. However, if you remember this story, remember that Jehoshaphat was a real man of God. These combined armies were coming against...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 83:16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord, so that they will seek your name. O-bservation: The true man or woman of God never wants their enemies to go down in defeat and end up in hell. NO! The true believer only cares that everyone might be saved. Here, David asked God to bring shame to his enemies so they would finally turn themselves to God. This is my prayer as well, because “Ultimately I Want My Enemies Saved.” A-pplication: How could a true “Follower of Jesus” ever hope that their enemy, or anyone for that matter, would ever end up in a Christless eternity? Those are the wishes of little children when they get mad at each other, but certainly not for a man or woman of God. People need the Lord. If they didn’t, everyone would be born saved, and life would be so wonderful it would feel as though we were living in a dreamlike state at all times. People aren’t born saved. Instead, they are born rebels waiting to pounce on their next weak prey. But thanks be unto God, who sent His one and only son Jesus to redeem all of us...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Kings 1:8 They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.” O-bservation: King Ahaziah had succeeded his father, Ahab, as king of Israel. He had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. Ahaziah sent his men to consult with the god of Baal-Zebub, who was the false god of Ekron. He told them to ask this god of stone if their king would live. The angel of the Lord had dispatched Elijah to intercept them on the way. He told Ahaziah’s men to go back and tell Ahaziah that he would surely die because he had not acknowledged the God of Israel but had instead accepted a god of stone. Ahaziah’s men went back and told Ahaziah what Elijah had told them. When Ahaziah heard, he asked, “What did this man look like?” They described what Elijah wore, and right away, the king said, “That would be Elijah who told you that!” A-pplication: It wouldn’t have mattered what Elijah wore had he not been able to perform the works of God the Almighty. But because...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Kings 22:5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.” O-bservation: Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, visited the king of Israel, whose name was Ahab. When he arrived, Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join his army so the two of them could go after the king of Aram and take back Ramoth-Gilead, which Ahab claimed was rightfully theirs anyway. Jehoshaphat agreed. However, he told Ahab, “We must First Pray!” A-pplication: In the story, Ahab was not a man of God, and Jehoshaphat certainly was a man of God. Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Of course we should pray, but there’s this one prophet who never tells me good things.” All the prophets agreed that Jehoshaphat and Ahab should attack Aram. But sure enough, this one prophet, Micaiah, warned Ahab that he would be killed if he went into battle. One of the other prophets went over and slapped him in the face. Then Ahab had Micaiah thrown into prison until he returned. However, when Ahab attacked Ramoth-Gilead, he was killed, and Jehoshaphat got out alive. It’s imperative that we put God FIRST in everything we do. The best way to...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Kings 20:28 The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord.’” O-bservation: This story spans a full season of warring nations, where Israel had defeated the Arameans the year before, and now the following year, the same Arameans had regrouped and had a new battle plan. Their plan included a strategic idea that led them to believe the God of the Israelis was a God of the hills but not the God of the valleys.  They determined to attack them in the valleys. A-pplication: Of course, the Arameans were once again routed by the Israelis. The Arameans refused to believe in the all-knowing, all-encompassing, and all-powerful God of the Israelites. To know the God we serve is to love Him. Yet whenever one endeavors to ignore or disbelieve in our God, they are always shocked to find out that He is who He says He is. There is no problem...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Kings 19:19a So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. O-bservation: This is a very revealing passage of scripture. Elijah had just called down fire on the prophets of Baal and had them killed. Ahab, the King of Israel, went and told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done. Jezebel swore she would kill Elijah. When Elijah heard this, he was so scared he ran for his life and hid in a cave. God came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (vs. 9). Elijah told the Lord he was the only one left in Israel who feared the Lord (vs.14). God told him that He had 7,000 folks who had not bowed a knee to Baal. Immediately, Elijah knew he needed help. He found Elisha, and Elisha left what he was doing to be mentored by Elijah, the prophet. A-pplication: Every time I read this passage, I hear the Lord say, “Who Are You Raising Up?” This walk with Jesus is always about reproducing the life of Christ in others, so when you leave this planet, there is someone to take your place for Jesus. The thing that scared...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the whole earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. lol O-bservation: This is the story of the sad ending of Asa, king of Judah. He did lead Judah for 41 years, and God was with him, but he settled for what he thought would be easier than trusting God toward the end. Baasha, the king of Israel, laid a siege on Judah to prepare to destroy them. Asa had always turned to the Lord before, but this time he hired King Ben-Hadad of Aram to join him. Yes, they turned back Baasha, but it angered the Lord, and God sent his seer, Hanani, who told him the “The Eyes Of The Lord” are always looking to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Because he hadn’t done this and had asked for human help instead, he (Asa) would always be at war. That’s exactly what happened. A-pplication: This passage of scripture reminds us that “The Eyes Of The Lord” are always searching the earth for those whose hearts are completely committed to Him. Not somewhat committed or with a half-hearted...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Chronicles 14:11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” O-bservation: Asa was the new king of Judah, and the Bible says he did everything he was supposed to in order to please the Lord. But then, one day, Zerah the Cushite (Ethiopian) came upon Asa with a million soldiers and 300 chariots! Obviously, Asa looked like a little peanut in comparison, but this passage tells us that Asa cried out to God for help before the battle! A-pplication: I love what happens in the verse after Asa prayed. There’s no strategy either side implements; the next verse simply says, “The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled” (vs.12). Every time I read this passage, I think of Indiana Jones when the Arabian soldier wielded an assortment of swords in front of him, threatening to kill him. Indiana watched, somewhat bored,...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Philippians 3:16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained O-bservation: All of us are probably like the people who were part of the young church at Philippi. They wanted more information about how to live this new life of faith, yet they had made tremendous mistakes in living the part they had already learned. So here, St. Paul said, “Let’s, first of all, live up to The Light You Have!” A-pplication: I’ve used this illustration, I’m sure, over the past eight years or so that I’ve been writing these daily devotionals. When Jesus first met the disciples after the resurrection, the scripture tells us that they were scared. He walked in and showed them His hands and feet. When they saw the nail prints, they were glad it was the Lord. But Thomas was not there the first time. The next time they met, Thomas didn’t believe because he hadn’t seen Christ’s witness the first time. So Jesus had to cover old territory before Thomas said, “My Lord and My God!” I often hear people say, “I don’t like my church because the Pastor isn’t deep!” The challenge many times is that the...