May 12, 2020: SOAP #3813: 2Samuel 21-23; 1Thessalonians 1
Scripture: 1Thessalonians (NIV) 1:4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.
Observation: Paul recognized that his ministry in the city of Thessalonica was on target with what God wanted him to do. Not only was God presence with him, the Holy Spirit was active with him in ministry. Paul was faithful in preaching. Paul opened his mouth. Paul used his voice. AND the Holy Spirit demonstrated His power and brought deep conviction. It is the presence and working of the Holy Spirit that validates ministry.
Application: God has called me to this ministry, and the Holy Spirit validates the call by opening a passage in the Bible to give me fresh understanding for each day. I set myself to read the scriptures; in faith I prepare a paper to make notes of what I hear Him emphasizing; in faith I prepare my computer program with the scripture references I will read for the day. Then as I read and meditate on what I read, the Holy Spirit speaks to my mind and heart. Sometimes, like a beautiful flower the passage is open before me. Sometimes, like a flower bud, the pedals of the flower open as I meditate on the passage. Sometimes as I write one thought, a second comes, and then a third.
It may be an encouraging thought, or a corrective thought. It may bring needed direction. It may give understanding. But it is always appropriate for today. It is for me. It is fresh. It is for today. It validates God's call.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, use these SOAPs as an example to others for hearing you speak to them. Oh, Heavenly Father, how you love people. How you love to speak to them. How you love for us to be listening. Amen
Making friends for time and eternity!