S O A P

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Romans 13:5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. O-bservation: From the first verse of this chapter, Paul lays down the natural response for a Christian living in any country. He states that God has granted ALL authority and that should we rebel, we are rebelling against the Lord who placed them there. He says it’s not only the right thing to do; it’s what our conscience mandates we do. A-pplication: This is difficult for some “Followers Of Christ” to swallow. Remember that Jesus and all of the major Christian leaders of the New Testament were living and serving under legal regimes that detested the Christian faith. Because Rome ruled the world at that time, they were all under Roman rule. Then they had come from Jewish faith and tradition to form this new Christian fellowship of believers. So they were not free from people disagreeing with them. Paul says authority is from the Lord and to obey it. But the only way they could establish the Christian faith was as quiet as they knew how. They had to “Work Through Authority.”...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. O-bservation: King Solomon presents “The Challenge For My Country.” I’m sure he didn’t know he was presenting The Challenge For My Country, but he speaks about words and how they are presented. When words are spoken gently, they calm the potential for fighting and anger and wrath. But when they are presented in a mean, vindictive, and harsh way, they stir up anger. A-pplication: Surely you must know that I am speaking contextually in this short devotional. I don’t know the tone of the great speakers in the early part of my nation’s origin. Yes, I understand that writers can produce information about history they personally choose to promote. But since none of us were there, and the history of that day is sketchy, to say the least, we really don’t know about the ways men and women spoke to each other then. However, because of the overwhelming information of our present-day, America we know what is being said within seconds and minutes of it actually being said a thousand miles away! This verse now comes to LIGHT because of our present...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Proverbs 8:35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. O-bservation: In this chapter, Solomon speaks for wisdom as if wisdom had its own voice. Here wisdom says, “When You Discover Wisdom, you will find LIFE and receive FAVOR FROM THE LORD.” A-pplication: Life has always been the language of heaven, death the discourse of hell. It’s one thing to be born. It’s entirely another thing to really discover life in all of its fullness. Men and women often have searched for life in all the wrong places. If you’re looking for life in dark places and spaces, you’ve missed it already. Life is out in front. It’s bright. It’s full of hope and always on display in the safest of places. Even more than abundant life, all people look for God’s approval every day, even when they don’t believe there is a God. He is that deep empty heart-hole so many try to fill. And yet, they can’t figure out how to make that happen. St. Paul said the difference between being wise and foolish is to know the will of the Lord (Eph. 5:15-20). Jeremiah said if you seek the...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Proverbs 5:15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. O-bservation: In this chapter, the wise man Solomon warns against the ills of adultery. I know the verbiage is strictly Old Testament sounding. But as much as the translators tried, they are hiding the fact that this is all about sex and staying faithful to the wife or husband of one’s youth. Adultery and any form of wild debauchery have no place in “Holy Marriage.” A-pplication: Let’s apply this discussion by first stating that GOD WILL FORGIVE ANY MAN OR WOMAN WHO CALLS ON HIS NAME. That being said, adultery breaks the marriage vows and leaves something that can never again be retrieved. That would be the ability to FORGET. Yes, we can forgive and are commanded by God to forgive one another for anything. Yet, nowhere in scripture does God command us to forget our sins or the sins of a partner. Only God is capable of FORGETTING. Here’s the good news. Once forgiveness is given, we all have the chance to put DAYS between sin and the rest of our lives. And YES, once again, we can be a part of...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. O-bservation: Solomon was advising his son in these opening chapters of the book of Proverbs. Just ten verses in, he gives a major directive. He said if SINFUL MEN (people) try to entice you to sin, ”Don’t Do It!” A-pplication: I love this Bible verse so much! When I was a young man, I’d use this passage all over the world speaking to young people. I’d tell them just like Solomon told his son, “If your friends want to drag you down to their level and turn their backs on God, Don’t Do It!” The challenge with this verse is that the one giving the command has to follow through and show his son or daughter or people they serve what it means to practice what you preach. Because Solomon couldn’t do what he told his son to do. He failed miserably in being a man of God. What happened? Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was so FOOLISH that it’s hard to believe his father was the great wisdom giver. But even if Solomon couldn’t live up to his own advice, you still can....

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Romans 6:14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. O-bservation: In writing to the Christians at Rome, St. Paul let them know that sin would no longer have power over the people of God. Once they were under the law established at the first Pentecost at Mt. Sinai, but because of a second unique work of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, we are now “UNDER GRACE” by the power of the Holy Spirit. A-pplication: Through the years, I’ve always been asked who I’m UNDER? That meant who has authority over me. Well, as a little boy, I would say, “I’m under my daddy.” Then I lived with my Grandma while my parents were finishing a tour of missionary service in the Caribbean. I told people, “I’m under my Grandma.” Then I told folks I was under a certain teacher in elementary and then high school as well. When I played high school sports, I was under Coach so and so. I have always been under someone or something. Mostly I’ve been under the laws of the land. Some folks are...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever. O-bservation: King David dedicates this chapter to giving thanks to God. Over and over, David reminds us of all the wonderful and great things our God has done. At the end of each verse, he concludes by saying, “His love endures forever.” He finishes by simply saying, “Thank You, God.” A-pplication: As I reflect on my life, I have so much to give thanks to the Lord for. First of all, I thank Him for saving me and giving me life eternal. Second, I thank Him for my wonderful wife of nearly fifty years and my four sons and three daughters-in-love, and eight grandchildren (so far). I thank the Lord for the opportunity to travel the world over 3 million air miles to deliver the Good News of Jesus in so many different countries. I also thank God for leading us to the city of Miami, Florida, in 1998 and finding favor with the best people in the world. I could go on and on, but what are you thankful for this AM? And when you answer, all you and I can really do...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Romans 4:3 What does scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. O-bservation: Paul the Apostle makes it clear once and for all that it was Abraham’s FAITH, not his WORKS, that caused him to be “Justified By Faith” in God’s eyes. Believing has always been God’s crucible for entry into the kingdom of heaven. A-pplication: How do you become healed from sickness and disease? How is a broken relationship between two people mended? How can a person who has a history of addiction finally be freed from that addiction? How can a hopeless indebtedness finally be paid off? Each one of these questions, I believe, can be solved by having FAITH in God that He will work on one’s behalf to see the problem turn around. Of course, we each have a part in the solution, and there’s little doubt about that. However, FAITH in God is what makes it happen. How can one finally be free of sin and righteous in God’s eyes? FAITH! That’s always the test. You can WORK until you’re absolutely worn out, and there will be little change, but when FAITH enters the equation, victory occurs....

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Kings 8:4 The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.” O-bservation: Elisha, the man of God, successfully prophesied the famine over Samaria, which had happened, and then he prophesied how it would end. That too happened. So there was a sense of joy at this time. Then, out of nowhere, the king spoke to Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, and he asked him to tell him all the great things Elisha had done. A-pplication: While Gehazi was telling the king of one of Elisha’s miracles, a woman whose son had been brought back to life came to ask the king for his help. He gave it to her, and in so doing, another prophecy of Elisha came to pass. As I read of the king asking Gehazi to tell him miracle stories of the man of God, I thought to myself, that is “Like It Should Be.” In other words, there should be so many miracles worked by the hands of God’s men and women in the land that the evening news would be overwhelmed with good news. I, for...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Chronicles 4:2 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. O-bservation: These are the dimensions that detailed the size of what was known as the Sea of Molten. The brazen laver is what the priests washed their hands and feet in before they entered the Holy of Holies. It was small compared to the Sea of Molten, a giant version of the brazen laver that Solomon had built within the temple. The size was amazing. Consider that it was 8 feet tall, 16 feet across, 48 ft around, and could hold 3,000 baths. A bath was 8 1/2 gallons of water. That means that it was about seven and a half feet deep. It was set upon cast iron bulls, twelve of them to be exact. They stood upon a bronze altar 33 feet by 33 feet!! Just huge! It is believed that since the priests couldn’t get in it, the water would overflow the basin and rain down upon the priests who wanted a complete cleansing head to toe. A-pplication: When...