S O A P

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Corinthians 13:1 This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” O-bservation: St. Paul was a follower of Jesus, yet he was also fully Jewish in his ethnicity. He understood the Jewish Torah, and Moses had stipulated this law in Deuteronomy 19:15. So this was not new to St. Paul, but it may have been new to the young, largely Gentile group of Christians Paul was speaking to. He stated he had heard that some were living in sin, and once back in Corinth, he had determined he would hold a trial to see if there were ample witnesses who would affirm some’s actions. This is about “A Matter Of Judgment.” A-pplication: Whenever one speaks of “A Matter Of Judgment,” that person must also be concerned with “A Matter Of Justice.” Judgment must always follow what is just in the eyes of the affirmed law. If something established is not JUST, in time, it must be changed. Paul was looking at this matter of judgment from what he felt was a historic, JUST rule of law that stated before a case can be judged...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Chronicles 3:10a Solomon’s son was Rehoboam. O-bservation: King Solomon of Israel, the son who succeeded his father, King David, had 700 wives and 300 concubines. But the only son of King Solomon mentioned in the Bible was Rehoboam, who succeeded him as king. “Poor Kid!” A-pplication: Certainly, Rehoboam was not a “Poor Kid” financially. In fact, he had to be the wealthiest kid in all of Israel. But he was a “Poor Kid” because I believe he lacked the love of his father. Let’s look at Solomon’s to-do list. First, he was the king. That fact alone kept him busy. Second, he built the Lord’s temple, known as Solomon’s temple, and then he built his own home, which was bigger than the Lord’s house. In both cases, it took the greatest and strongest men in Israel to pull it off. But what truly amazes me is that he had 1,000 women to care for in every way a man is supposed to care for just one woman. Rabbis believe Solomon could have had 100 children because Ecclesiastes is his look at his own life as an aged man. He mentions a man in Ecclesiastes 6:3 as...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Chronicles 1:10 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on earth. O-bservation: Many believe Nimrod was the founder of the Tower of Babel. Before God destroyed the earth and the human race, save for Noah’s family, the earth was suffering from: The “Sons of God” marrying women on this earth (Genesis 6:1:)! The offspring of such unions were giants. This had to do with the 1/3 of heaven’s fallen angels who rebelled with Lucifer (mentioned in Ezekiel 28:12-17 and Revelation 12:4). Then God destroyed the earth with a flood but spared the human race through Noah’s family. NIMROD WAS NOAH’S GRANDSON! A-pplication: People who have a hard time believing that fallen angels could have sex with earthly women have no problem with Mary, the mother of Jesus, being impregnated by God! Both of the Judeo/Christian faiths require FAITH!!! Either way, in this passage Nimrod had been raised by his father, Cush, who was Noah’s son. Evidently, Cush never pushed Nimrod to believe in the one true God. His desire to build the Tower Of Babel, many believe, had to do with his penchant for bringing the Sons of God (fallen angels) to...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Samuel 9:27 As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.” O-bservation: The day before this event, the prophet Samuel heard from the Lord that Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, would be Israel’s first king. Samuel had Saul come for dinner that night. After dinner, Saul spent the night at Samuel’s house. At daybreak, the man of God called Saul to the rooftop, and they spoke awhile. As they headed downstairs, Samuel said to the future king, “Send your servant ahead, but you stay. I have a message from God for you!” A-pplication: I’m sure that Saul was becoming well-known before this event occurred. He was definitely a man among men. Scripture tells us he stood head and shoulders above every other Israeli soldier. Some say Saul could have been seven feet tall! So he had a natural aura about him and was a compelling figure. Whoever his servant was, I’m sure Saul accepted him as more of a friend....

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 72:7 In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more. O-bservation: This was part of King David’s prayer when he asked God to endure his kingdom until there was no more moon shining in the heavens upon the earth. That didn’t happen because Solomon didn’t reign that long, and his son lost the ten northern tribes of Israel. This is not the issue I want to bring. David further stated (vs. 13) that because of this great prosperity God was giving him, he would take care of the weak and needy. The question is, “Which Comes First.” A-pplication: When David took care of the weak and needy, it was after God caused the righteous to flourish and prosperity to abound during his reign. The best way to help the weak and needy in any society is from a position of wealth. At least, that is conventional wisdom. The truth is, what really comes first for a nation or a community to prosper is when the righteous flourish. When the righteous flourish, good things happen in a community or a nation. When greedy leaders, or poor leaders, or lousy leaders...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 1 Samuel 5:11 So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. O-bservation: This is the story of Israel’s sin under the leadership of the priest Eli and his wicked sons. The Israelites were defeated in battle, and Eli’s son Phinehas was killed. Eli heard his son had died, and the Ark of God had been stolen by the Philistines and taken to Ashdod and placed in the temple of Dagon, their god. When he heard this news, Eli fell over backward, broke his neck, and died. A-pplication: The next part of the story is a warning to be applied by all of us at all times. Never put your faith and trust in anyone other than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Why? Here’s the answer. The morning after they placed the ark of the covenant in Dagon’s temple, the people went into the temple to see...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Corinthians 7:2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. O-bservation: In his second letter to the church at Corinth, St. Paul justified himself as their leader in this passage. He had to deal with some really difficult issues of moral impropriety, doctrine, and how a Christian stands against society’s tide and for the Kingdom of our Christ. Because of this, he came under all kinds of condemnation from people within and outside of the church. Here he said, “Listen, say what you want, but we never harmed you, we never corrupted you, and finally, we never exploited any of you.” A-pplication: Spiritual leadership requires that the man or woman of God stands for the Lord no matter what. For many years, I was a traveling evangelist to our nation and other parts of the world. I found it quite easy to speak to hard issues from another leader’s church’s borrowed pulpit. I knew I was leaving in four days. When I became a pastor myself, in one location, I realized that I would take those same stands but not leave at...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 64:1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. O-bservation: Whatever it was that King David was going through at the time, he began by stating that he was about to “COMPLAIN” to the Lord Almighty. When I read this statement by the king, I always think to myself, “At Least He Admitted It!” A-pplication: The idea of confessing, or admitting, or acknowledging that you’re about to do or have done something that isn’t looked upon very highly, is disappearing from our society. Pointing the finger at someone else, or blaming someone else, or lying about it all together is what’s, unfortunately, becoming the norm. That wasn’t the case with King David. When he sinned, he admitted it. He wrote about crying unto the Lord into the midnight hours because of his failures and sins. He also called out people he felt God needed to kill so he could be successful. Here he’s about to complain to God that God hasn’t helped him out of his present troubles soon enough. He was the best “WHY?” complainer in the Bible. I guess that’s why I love King...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old one has gone, the new is here! O-bservation: The Apostle Paul was determined to impress upon the church at Corinth that their decision to follow Jesus was indeed NEW! There was nothing that they had ever tried before that came anywhere near that of being a Jesus Follower. When I read this passage, I always believe that Paul is saying, “Don’t Even Think About Looking Back.” A-pplication: When Jesus is given first place in an individual’s life, He sets a course for that person that is straight ahead. The straight-ahead life God planned for each one of us is filled with new challenges every day. It’s alive. It’s fresh. It’s invigorating to the point that the only thing that can defeat this life in Jesus is when the individual begins looking back to his or her old way of living. That is the devil’s lie each time the temptation comes. “Just go back to the way it used to be,” he says. “Your old friends are waiting for you.” But what’s really being said is failure is waiting there too. That’s...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Judges 19:12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” O-bservation: These are the words of a Levite who had taken his wife from her father’s home in Bethlehem as they began a long journey back to his home in Ephraim’s hill country. As night was approaching, his attendant said to him, “We should spend the night in Jebus,” which was Jerusalem. But Jebus had not been fully taken over by the Israelites, and the Levite said, “No! We won’t stay anywhere but where Israelites control the territory.” So they went to Gibeah, where the tribe of Benjamin lived. An elderly man invited the traveling team of three to stay with him since it was quite late. They did, and while they were enjoying the evening at the older man’s house, evil men from Gibeah came and took the Levite’s wife and raped her until she died!! A-pplication: This is a long story that doesn’t find its conclusion until the end of the next chapter. Yet, there is a point that I want to make that seems appropriate. This Levite, because of the tribe...