Grateful Reflections

I glance at my dear husband reading his Bible as we sit comfortably in our cozy living room. The peaceful ambiance is compliments of soft praise music, flickering fireplace flames and the Holy Spirit.

What brought us to this place? Certainly the season of our lives contributes to it, but, as I remember where we came from and what we have been through – I am forever reminded of God’s amazing Grace, His forgiveness, and His power to transform our lives.

Although years of maturity have changed us physically, there is a depth to our love far beyond the love we experienced before wrinkles, grey hair and arthritic joints.

Our grown sons shower us with respect, provide us with wives that honour us, and grandchildren that bless us. In this life, what more could we ask for?

As I quietly study Dave as he reads, my eyes fill with tears of joy and gratefulness for God’s loving kindness to me. Although it was decades ago, I remember like yesterday the pain and the shame of my infidelity. The accuser never gives up. But God’s grace and forgiveness gives us hope.

In recent years, God has placed in our hearts a desire to truly know HIM and as we expend effort to that end – our love for each other has increased beyond words. We found the secret to a happy love life… Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul and mind. And – Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. Bottom line, you cannot love the Lord, desire His Word, walk in His truths, practice obedience, and continue to pray to become like Him…without it having a positive affect on your relationship.

Arlene

 

S.O.A.P.ing

Planting God’s Word Deep Within

Here is a method you can employ to get personal direction from God Himself.  If you meet with Him every day for a short time the Holy Spirit will give you “nuggets” meant just for you.

This is very personal and powerful.  We can’t expect anything in our lives to change doing the same old things in our own power.

S for Scripture; O for Observation; A for Application; P for Prayer

Materials:

Bible
Notebook
Pen or Pencil
Bible Reading Plan
Post-It-Note© Pad or Daily Planner
Here is what you do:

*Note:  Leave the first few pages of your journal for a Table of Contents.  You will be numbering the pages as you progress as well as titling your page.

S ~ For Scripture

Open your Bible according to the reading plan you may be using.  Take time reading and allow God to speak to you.  When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.

O ~ For Observation

What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture?  Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you.  Paraphrase and write this Scripture down in your own words in your journal.

A ~ For Application

Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.  Write how this Scripture can apply to you today.

P ~ For Prayer

This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you.  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say!  Now, write it out.

Finally, number and title your day’s journaling and record it in the Table of Contents

Try to keep distractions down and if something unrelated pops into your thoughts, if it needs attention, jot it down on the Post-It-Note© Pad or in  your planner so you can remember to do it later, then go right back to your time with God.

If you’re a morning person, SOAP first thing so you can meditate on it throughout the day.  If you can’t do it in the morning – that’s OK.  Do it later.  Just try to do it each day.  You’ll be blessed beyond measure if you do.  The Holy Spirit will speak to you if you seek Him.

Sample of a Soaping entitled  ~ I Need Help ~

SCRIPTURE

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

OBSERVATION

God’s word is full of promises that help us to be able hold on the hope that whatever our situation may be, God’s Mercy and Comfort is there for us. It is promises like these that remind us that we don’t have to do it alone, or to depend on others to be there to comfort us.

APPLICATION

As much as this verse is a promise from the Lord, when I look back in my life it took me awhile till I actually went to the Lord for the comfort that I needed. I was looking for comfort from people and things to fill that void. What was worse, I would find people going through the same afflictions, and we would corrupt each other looking for the things in the world to comfort us. It led to an even emptier life in which I ended up hurting more people. I was finally so broken that I turned to the God of all Comfort, and allowed Him to take the wheel of my life. It is then I learned to go where He wanted me to go, to do the things He wanted me to do, and to say the things that he wanted me to say. Today, the same comfort that I received from the God of all Comfort, I share with many, and depend on Him more than ever to comfort me in my afflictions.

PRAYER

Thank you Lord for Promises like this that strengthened me to be able to share what you have done for me to others.