S O A P

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. O-bservation: Jesus had just healed a blind and mute man and cast a demon out of him. The people watching were amazed and claimed Jesus as the son of David. Quickly the Pharisees said it’s by the name of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that He can drive out demons. But Jesus said, “Why would the devil cast himself out of someone? Any kingdom or government or family that is divided will not endure.” A-pplication: The person who divides is not your friend. Only when people agree is there a potential for victory. Unity is best observed when there is a common cause that demands a forward movement on the part of many. Kind David said, “How good and how pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” King Solomon said, “Two are better than one.” St. Paul said, “Mark those who cause division among you.” He didn’t say mark the fornicator, or the liar, or the thief. NO! He said, “Mark the one who causes...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Samuel 29:6 So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the LORD lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you. O-bservation: In the twenty-seventh chapter of this book, David became weary of running for his life from his own king, Saul. He decided to take his men and move into Ziklag. The king of the Gath Philistine territory was Achish. They became friends and lived for a year and four months. During that time, David’s men would raid Bedouin tribes, those who would be considered Arab today. They would slaughter every human, including children, then take all the livestock and whatever else of value. When he would get back to Ziklag, King Achish would ask him who he had killed, and he would lie and tell him he had killed some Israeli tribe, and Achish believed him. Here it was time for the Philistines to go to war again with the Israelites. It would be Saul’s last...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 10:16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. O-bservation: For most of my life living here in the west, this passage of scripture seemed like Jesus had said it for His disciples only. Or perhaps for people living in a country that forbade Christianity. However, “It Makes More Sense Now.”  Jesus promoted the fact that because of one’s Christian faith, he or she could be canceled at any time. Presently, you and I are the sheep Jesus spoke of, living and operating among a host of wolves ready for lunch. A-pplication: Knowing what we know now, how are we to operate in such frightening times? Jesus answered that with an analogy. He said we are to be as shrewd as snakes and as harmless as doves. The word shrewd is defined as being astute or sharp in practical matters. So we believers aren’t called always to show our true colors when our lives are on the line. Yet, we may be the person holding an entire city together. Harmless as doves mean we have nothing in us that wants revenge. Nor do we...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. O-bservation: Early in Jesus’ ministry, Matthew, His disciple, reported that it was Jesus’ custom to GO, TELL, and HEAL everywhere He went. In other words, Jesus went everywhere in those days that He could walk and still be close to home. Everywhere He went, He told people about the good news of the Kingdom. Then He healed people of every disease and sickness they were carrying. His mission here on earth was to GO, TELL, and HEAL. A-pplication: In the very next chapter of Matthew, Jesus rallied His newly formed disciples together and commissioned them to do the same thing. When we come to faith in Jesus, it’s called being SAVED. But we’re not SAVED to SIT. Everything about loving Jesus is a commitment to action. We weren’t saved to DO, but once saved, we can’t sit. One of the things we were saved from was sitting. The true follower of Jesus is never comfortable sitting on the sidelines. This is a mission that requires all true believers to get...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Chronicles 8:40 The sons of Ulam were brave warriors who could handle the bow. They had many sons and grandsons—150 in all. O-bservation: This chapter lists the genealogy of the Old Testament patriarch Jacob and his wife Rachel’s youngest son Benjamin. It ends with the offspring of the last major tribal leader Ulam. It says Ulam had raised up 150 male offspring, including sons and grandsons. They were brave warriors who could handle the bow. It begs the question, “Who Are You Raising Up?” A-pplication: This story of Ulam’s descendants happens, it is believed, sometime around 600 BC. Many generations of Israelis had heard that their fellow tribesmen of Benjamin had committed such a heinous crime that the rest of Israel had turned on them and all but destroyed the entire tribe. Now, hundreds of years later, the tribe of Benjamin was again prospering, and here at the last of the tribe of Benjamin. One man, Ulam, had raised up 150 sons and grandsons who were skilled warriors. Before you go saying, “But I’m a single older woman” or “I’ve never married I and have no offspring,” let me tell you, neither did Mother Teresa. Neither...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. O-bservation: These are the words of Jesus given during his famous “Sermon On The Mount.” It was a simple acrostic He gave that featured three letters, each of which stands for a word: A.S.K. The letters stand for Ask, Seek, and Knock. This is a holy acrostic because it holds the secret to answered prayer. A-pplication: Through the years, I’ve leaned on this simple formula for answered prayer. I always remember the word A.S.K. As a little boy, when I needed something that only my earthly father could give me, I would first state my need with an ask. Then I would seek him to answer me day in and day out, with the same ask. Finally, I would begin to knock on his office door or his bedroom door with the same ask. When my father knew my heart was right, and it was something that would bring me fulfillment and joy. he would give it to me. That is not unlike our Heavenly Father. He hears us ask. Yet, he is...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings. O-bservation: When you read this entire chapter, once again, David is in trouble. Evidently, he had run out of anyone who could really help him. When someone such as this great leader runs out of earthly people to help, one really only has the Lord to turn to. Like a little boy, this powerful man says to the Lord, “Please keep ME as THE apple of your eye. Also, hide me in the shadow of your wings.” A-pplication: The world as we know it today is far larger than anything David could have imagined. Yet even in David’s time, he’s asking a lot. He’s asking that the God of the universe keep HIM, DAVID, as THE apple of God’s eye! Wow! That’s a tall order. But let me ask you a question. Have you ever been in such a mess, or such a challenge, or in such trouble that you had the courage to demand of God that He get SMALL and make you and you alone THE apple of His eye? I have. That’s what we little humans...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 3:5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordon. O-bservation: John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy given by Isaiah hundreds of years earlier. He was a different kind of religious figure. He dressed in camel hair and wore a leather belt. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. He evidently lived in the wilderness of Judea because that’s where he preached on a regular basis. It meant that the people had to go to where he was to hear his messages. A-pplication: You’d have to say that what John the Baptist accomplished in a relatively short period of time was what we commonly refer to today as REVIVAL! Can you imagine someone as different as him, who had to rely on a camel to die to be clothed and ate bugs and honey as a steady diet would be appealing in any way? Just like Jeremiah, who had been called from his mother’s womb to be a prophet to the nations, John too had been anointed and called from his mother’s womb to be the forerunner to Jesus Christ, God’s Son....

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Samuel 17:26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should define the armies of the living God?” O-bservation: Young David had brought supplies to feed his brothers, who were supposedly fighting in King Saul’s army to defeat the Philistines. When he arrived at the battle, no one was fighting because a giant named Goliath had challenged Israel to send out a man who would fight him. Men told David that whoever won would not have to pay taxes again, and he would also be given the king’s daughter to marry. Immediately David had the courage to fight the giant. A-pplication: It’s a fact that David could hit a bird in flight at two hundred yards with his slingshot. He is what was referred to in that day as a SLINGER. Armies would have men who were part of the cavalry, men who were foot soldiers, and men who were SLINGERS. When David saw what was happening and that everyone was afraid of Goliath, and probably because he was naive and didn’t know...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Matthew 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said to the prophet. O-bservation: In Isaiah 7:14, God promised through the prophet Isaiah that one day Jesus would come. Some 700 years later, Jesus was born. In the year in which I’m writing this post, 700 years ago puts us at 1321 AD, which pre-dates Columbus discovering America by 171 years! You must believe with all of your heart that our beloved Lord truly is “THE Promise Keeper!” A-pplication: I was on the phone with a good friend last night for quite a while. It’s one of those friendships that go way back. We were reminiscing about the decades of ministry the two of us have shared and how good the Lord has been to us. Then out of nowhere, he reminded me of the time I had broken a promise to him. He laughed about it, and truly it was a small thing. But he remembered it. When he reminded me, I remembered. After I hung up, I felt terrible because my promise was my word. When I broke my promise, it meant that maybe I couldn’t be trusted. I had a hard...