As of Friday, December 12, 2014
I would like to share some insights using the SOAP method of Bible study and journaling. I learned this tool from the writings of pastor and author Wayne Cordeiro and his Life Journal method of devotions. Here is a short explanation of SOAP.
S stands for Scripture- Write out the verse or verses you choose from your daily Bible reading.
O stands for Observations- Write what you see in the scripture. Commands? Promises? Comfort? Correction?
A stands for Application- Write how you will be different today because of what you just read.
P stands for Prayer- Write out your prayer of response to God.
Scripture - Luke 1:46-49 (New International Version)
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.”
Observations - When the angel spoke to Mary and revealed her role in the miracle of the incarnation, he told her that her close relative Elizabeth was also pregnant. (Luke 1:36)
Elizabeth was carrying the child who would be the Forerunner of the Messiah - John the Baptizer.
Mary went to visit Elizabeth shortly after the angel’s visitation. When Elizabeth saw Mary, the child within her stirred and, prompted by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth spoke a prophetic blessing to Mary.
Mary responded to Elizabeth’s prophetic blessing, with a prophesy of her own - a poetic song called “The Magnificat.”
It consisted of many quotes from Old Testament scripture. The first phrase consists of quotes from the Psalms and the Hebrew parallelism is evident. Mary states that her praise of God comes from deep in her inner person, then the second line parallels the first and gives further meaning.
‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior’
Mary glorified God by acknowledging Him as Lord; and she rejoiced in God by celebrating the salvation that was coming alive within her. Mary stands in awe of the fact that Almighty God would notice a humble servant like her; yet that humility is what positioned Mary to be the servant God would use as the vessel for the incarnation.
Mary realized that the great work God was doing in and through her would bring her great acclaim throughout history. She fully grasped the magnitude of what God was doing in her life and her response was to worship.
Application - God deserves my praise because of who He is - for His essence and His character.
He is all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign. He is the only true God and deserves all glory and honor.
I also celebrate because of what God has done. He created. He revealed Himself. He saved. He keeps.
I celebrate how Almighty God had been mindful of someone like me. Worship involves both praise and celebration. I praise God for who He is and I celebrate what God has done. The Mighty One truly “has done great things for me.” Holy is his name!
Prayer - Abba, you are awesome in power, you are holy in purity, and you are complete in your personality. I adore you!
Abba, I rejoice because you did not leave me in darkness - you made yourself known through what you made, through your word, and through your One and Only Son Jesus.
I rejoice because you extended your mercy and grace by providing the way of salvation through Jesus. I celebrate your marvelous plan to redeem and make reconciliation possible. Jesus, I rejoice that you humbled yourself and became flesh so that you could die as the substitute and the sacrifice. I celebrate the way you keep me as your own. How magnificent is your name and your sovereign plan! I praise you and I rejoice in you - the Mighty One has done great things for me.
(I am posting a Christmas SOAP blog every day during the season of Advent. You will find them at fbcsunnyside.org. May God bless you as you celebrate the birth of Jesus - the true Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas!)