Nothing New Here!

What happens when you sit down to read your Bible and nothing new or fresh stands out on which to SOAP journal?  This happens to me more days than not.  When that happens I have learned to pick a verse or passage anyway and journal on it.  Even when there is nothing new, it is still good to rehearse what I believe with words.  For example, I know that the Lord is worthy of my worship – this is not new to me.  Yet, one day my SOAP journal was on Psalm 29:1-2.  It was good to engage these verses and spend some time thinking on how worthy my God is of my worship.

If I had closed my Bible that day and said to myself, “Well, I guess there was nothing new for me today from God’s word,” I would have missed out on what turned out to be a good day of ascribing to God the glory due his name.  By writing out my thoughts on this passage I was forced to engage the meaning of their content, causing a calibration of my heart.

How do you keep your devotional life fresh?

2 Ways to Devotional Consistency

Here are two great ways to bring some accountability into your devotional life:

  1. Find a couple  people of the same gender and meet once a week for an hour to share devotional thoughts.  When you come together over lunch or coffee, each of you read a SOAP journal entry from the previous week to each other.  This is a wonderful way to learn what God is doing in the lives of your friends.  It only takes about 15-20 minutes for everyone to share their thoughts and then you have the rest of your hour to dig deeper, pray or just visit.
  2. Come together with a small group of people once a week and do your SOAP journaling together.  Here is how that works:
  • Each person on their own reads the Scripture passage privately and records their journal entry. This works best if everyone is reading the same passage. (20 minutes)
  • Come back together as a group. Each person shares what they wrote in their journal. Talk about your discoveries. (20 minutes)
  • Pray for each other. (20 minutes)

Both of these are great ways to disciple others. Find a couple of friends and give one or both a try.

Holy Hands

Scripture

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (1 Timothy 2:8)

Observation

Paul’s point here is not so much that hands should be raised in prayer, but that when hands are raised they should be holy.  They will be holy when there is no anger or disputing going on between them.  It reminds me of Jesus’ teaching to leave your offering and go be reconciled first before coming back to offer worship to God (Matt. 5:23-24).

Application

My worship of God is hindered every time there is an unresolved dispute or tension between me and others.  I need to always be taking an inventory of my relationship to be sure they are reconciled.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to live in reconciled relationships with all others.  Do not let me hold anger or disputing in my heart.

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