I remember dinnertime when I was a kid. My mom would ask, “Del, did you wash your hands?” Yep! “Did you use soap?” Nope! “Go wash them again and this time, use soap.”
God’s Word is sometimes likened to water. Ephesians 5:26 speaks of his Word washing us like water and cleansing us.
Today, as we continue our discussion on the importance of daily devotions and journaling, I’m going to give you some soap to go along with the water.
I’m talking about an acronym, SOAP. It stands for scripture, observation, application, prayer. It’s a little outline I follow when I journal.
First, write out the Scripture you you are going to journal on. Then, make an Observation about it. What is it in the passage that captured your attention? Now, write the Application. How does the scripture apply to your life? Is it telling you something you need to correct? Is it warning you of a pitfall to avoid? Is it a promise for you to cling to? Finally, write a Prayer. It can be long or short. I’ve written a whole page and I’ve written one line.
The S, O, and A are an opportunity for God to speak to you. The P is your time to respond. And as a parenthetical thought, you’ll see more growth in your Christian walk if you let Him do most of the talking.
So let me share a devotion I wrote in my journal today just to give you the idea.
Scripture: He delivers His people, preserving them from harm; He does great miracles in heaven and earth. Daniel 6:27
Observation: Daniel had just been delivered from the lion’s den. Earlier, King Darius had been tricked into signing a law that forced him to send Daniel, his most trusted advisor, to the den of lions. But God spared Daniel, and upon hearing the good news, the king gave praise and glorified God!
“He delivers His people, preserving them from harm!”
It’s interesting that God did not prevent Daniel from going into the lion’s den, but He protected him while he was there.
Application: Sometimes I feel like I’m in a den of lions. I’m overwhelmed with problems, too big for me to handle. I feel vulnerable, defenseless, like I am about to be swallowed up.
For some reason, I may never understand, God did not prevent me from finding myself in these situations. But today, His Word gives me hope and courage that He will protect me in the midst of them. I need not fear. He is with me.
Prayer: O God, thank you for your Word. It gives me courage and faith to face my toughest trials. I take comfort, knowing you are the same, yesterday, today and forever. What you did for Daniel, you will do for me, as I keep my trust in you. Amen.
Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to keep from getting sidetracked in your daily devotions when you find yourself in some of those difficult to understand passages. Hope to see you then.