For those of you that read my latest blog “Resolutions 2012” you will see that as part of those resolutions, I will be following a chronological reading plan to read the Bible in a year. I’m happy to report that week 1 has been so far so good! I’ve also decided, in addition to the daily reading, that I would keep a “SOAP Journal” to enhance and help fortify within me God’s word and how He is speaking to me through His word. Below is week 1. I hope you’ll give it a read and receive a blessing from Him.
Read the Bible in a Year, Chronologically
Deanna Clardy’s SOAP Journal
S – Scripture – List the scripture that spoke to you.
O – Observation – Outline the details as to how the scripture spoke to you.
A – Application – Detail as to how the scripture, and your observations, can be applied to your life and your walk with Christ.
P – Prayer – Compose a prayer, submitting your desires to the Lord regarding what you have learned through the scripture, your observation of it, and for His help in applying it according to His will in your life.
January 1, 2012 Genesis 1 – 3
S – “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Gen. 1:29.
O – God is all that we need. He has given us everything that will sustain our life, right down to the food that He intended for us to eat. We were made to eat healthy and natural things, not fried foods filled with preservatives and fat latent meats. We are to honor Him and His holy temple (our bodies) by taking care of them and eating as He has instructed. He made us, He knows exactly how we should eat in order to benefit our health and our lives.
A – I need to get back to eating how God intended for me to eat. Low fat, non-preservative, no fried foods and fat latent meats.
P – Father God, I come to You and ask for Your help in my eating habits. Please help me to make better choices with regard to the foods that I put in my mouth and how I fuel my body. Help me to choose only foods that will benefit me and bring me true nourishment. May all other unhealthy choices become displeasing in my sight and all unhealthy cravings be removed. Thank You Father for loving me so much that You placed in Your word all that we ever need to know regarding how we should eat and live. In Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.
January 2, 2012 Genesis 4 – 7
S – “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to the by sevens, the male and his female; and of beast that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.” Genesis 7:2-3
O – I never realized until approximately 4 years ago that God actually told Noah to take 7 pairs of clean animals and 2 pairs of non-clean animals into the ark before the flood. I think back to all the times that this story has been told to me over my lifetime, as a child and even as an adult, and how I was told that the animals taken into the ark were 2 of every animal on earth. This just goes to confirm to me and support what I know to be true….we are each called to be in the word of God. To seek Him and His truth and not be dependent upon what someone else tells us. We are not to be lazy in our studies and just be hearers of the word. We are to read His word, seek His truth, and it WILL be revealed to us. To think how long I believed a “half truth” on a fact from the Bible saddens me. Not only because I didn’t ever take it upon myself to find out if what I was being told was actually true, but also that the Bible is so very clear in what God told Noah to do, yet the story just keeps being half told, misleading more and more people.
A – How I can apply this in my life is by remaining in His word and seeking His truth, every day. Not only being a hearer of the word, but also a seeker and a doer. Not to only allow what others tell me to be complete and sufficient teaching, but to back everything up with the teaching from God in His word. Just because some person behind a pulpit says it to be true, doesn’t make it so. I know and trust that they are doing the best that they can to spread the word of God as accurately and honestly as they possibly can, but ultimately it is up to me to be in His word and allow Him to talk to me, to guide me, to teach me and to counsel me. And even then, if I become confused as to what I’m reading, I am to seek godly counsel and pray over the truth and the answers to be revealed to me. God WILL answer.
P – Father God, please forgive me for not being the seeker of the word as You have called me to be in my life. Thank You for opening my eyes to this truth four years ago when so much was laid before me and Your truth pierced my heart and soul regarding being proactive in searching Your word. Thank You for godly counsel through my pastor, mentors and believers in Christ, and thank You for the ability, sense and passion to actively pursue You, Your truth and to not just settle with everything that I hear. I pray that You would continually guide me in the way that I should go, and that You and You alone would be the only One I hear. Take me by the hand, as I want to walk with You forever. In Your Son’s precious Name I pray. Amen.
January 3, 2012 Genesis 8 – 11
S – “Let’s go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” Genesis 11:7
O – People were so self-absorbed, worshiping idols and making towers to show their abilities, powers and talents, that God was completely taken out of the equation in their attempt to “reach heaven.” It became all about them, their own strength and prideful ambitions. I see that today as well. Even in one’s native tongue, two people can speak, yet never understand a word that comes out of their mouths. They are too focused on their own wants, desires and what THEY want to say, to be able to listen, much less understand what the other person is saying or trying to express, therefore, even English becomes Babel.
A – To bridle my tongue; truly listen to the words being spoken to me and not focus on my response. Should another choose to continue in his babbling, babble on…or should I say “Babylon.” The fall of the prideful will always follow.
P – Dear Lord, Oh how I need Your help in bridling my tongue. I do not want to be like those of Babel or to fall like Babylon. Rid me of my foolish pride, my desire to backlash at someone who has, and continues, to repeatedly harm me, and strip away from me my intense need to be heard. May I be humbled in the chaos, tuning in to Your voice alone to calm me, and may Your words flow from my mouth as my response. I’m so tired Lord of expecting a different outcome from those that attack me. It’s time that I truly realize that the ONLY change that will come is from me. Change me God…Please….Change ME. In Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.
January 4, 2012 Job 1 – 5
S – “Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple. 6 For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. 7 Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. 8 “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before Him. 9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. 10 He provides rain for the earth; He sends water on the countryside. 11 The lowly He sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. 12 He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. 13 He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. 15 He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; He saves them from the clutches of the powerful. 16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth. 17 “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.[a]18 For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal.” Job 5: 2, 6-13, 15-18
O – If you are alive and breathing here on this earth, there is no getting away from hurt, pain, despair and problems. We are born into sin…the sin of a fallen world. From the moment of conception, each and every one of us are of, and are in, sin. BUT GOD….oh how I love those two words put together! But God is our Redeemer! Christ has paid the ultimate sacrifice and penalty of sin! We are made whole in Him and there is nothing that can stand between us and Him and His love for us. If we “appeal to God” and “lay my cause before Him,” He will perform “wonders that cannot be fathomed” and “miracles that cannot be counted.” Even when the storms and trials of this life try to drown us and leave us broken and bruised, He is right there by our side, holding us by His righteous right hand. He loves us enough to discipline us. “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal.” If trials and storms are what it takes to praise You…..Jesus bring the rain. We shall dance together through each and every puddle, and I’ll do my best to let you lead.
A – When times of “woe is me” come knocking; remember Whose you are. When the storms of life come raging; look to the Son and behold the covenant rainbow He has given. When the enemy creeps in the lowly shadows, relentlessly bearing down on you in your weakest moments; say out loud with boldness and vigor ” He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.” When calamity steals the calm, and chaos kills your core; stand tall! You are a child of God and He’s about to perform some miracles that you can’t even fathom!
P – Dear Lord God Almighty; Maker of Heaven and of Earth. Oh, how I love You! How I treasure You! How I adore You! I shudder at the thought of where I would be without You! Thank You for loving me so much that You correct me and discipline me. Thank You for straightening my path and reeling me back in when I’ve strayed. I know there is nothing that will ever be too difficult for me in my life, even though it may not seem like it at the time. You are all I need and I know You are always with me. I know there is nothing that You will bring me to, that you won’t bring me through. I know that all things must first pass through Your precious hands before they ever enter my life, and I know that You have gone ahead of me and prepared my way. I put my trust in You. I trust You Jesus. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
January 5, 2012 Job 6 – 9
S – “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! But what doth your arguing reprove?” Job 6:24-25
O – Is it just me, or does this “tongue” thing keep popping up at every turn?! Yes Lord, I’m listening….and I know I need to listen more and talk less during the “opportunity to grow” times of my life. Words are important. They build up, and they tear down. They approve, and they condemn. They can kill, and they can heal. They can turn away wrath, or they can heat the pot to boiling over. Out of the mouth comes life or death, to your own life or to someone else’s. In the above passage, Job is crying out to God for Him to hold his tongue, and at the same time, bring him understanding. He is fearful of saying the wrong words and causing more pain and despair into his life and rebuking God. He is completely aware that the “right” words are key in this moment to bring healing, and that arguing only worsens any situation. Job was a faithful servant of God, and even during the middle of all his pain, his loss, and his complete brokenness, He calls out to God asking for His words to be put in His mouth and not his own disgruntled and argumentative babbling. Job served the Lord with his whole heart. The purpose of God allowing all the trials in Job’s life was to purify and strengthen his faith and trust in Him. God knows how we will react during all trials and storms in our lives. These are not times that we have to prove to Him where we stand in our faith….it’s a time that we reveal to ourselves where, and within whom, our faith lies.
A – When the going gets tough, the faithful bend their knees. I must stop working in my own strength and in my own will to try to control my circumstances. At every turn, I must seek God and His understanding. I haven’t the power to bridle my tongue in my own strength, and arguing only causes more damage. I must surrender, daily to the Lord, not only my mouth, but also my emotions, and relinquish full reign over to Him. I have repeatedly proven that such a responsibility as “tongue bridling” is worthless in my hands, and I know full well that I control nothing.
P – My Sovereign Lord, how magnificent are Your ways! I surrender my life, my desires, my all in all, into Your mighty hands. I submit to You the reigns, the bit and the bridle and ask that You place them upon my mouth, and lead me. Cause me to understand where I have erred, and have Your words flow from my tongue in each and every circumstance in my life. Create in me the patience of Job, purifying and strengthening my faith and trust in You, especially when I hear You say “Have you considered my servant, Deanna?” In Your Son’s strong and mighty Name I pray. Amen.
January 6, 2012 Job 10 – 13
S – “I should have been as though I had not been. I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.” Job 10:19
O – Have you ever been so weary that you wondered why you were even born? Have you ever been so beaten down and so hard pressed, face down in the miry clay, that you just wanted to say forget it, I give up! Have the circumstances surrounding your life left you believing that there is no possible way that God could ever use you, need you, love you or save you? Well, I know without a doubt exactly what that feels like. I have been there. I used to live there. This is where Job is in the above scripture. He feels completely useless, worthless, pointless and feels that he would be better off dead. My afflictions haven’t compared to what Job had to endure, but the feelings and emotions raged within me as if I had, and I can relate to exactly how Job is feeling. If this is where you are today, I have GREAT news! You don’t have to live there! You don’t have to allow your emotions to control you! Your circumstances do NOT define you or your life! God CHOSE to create you and you have great purpose for His kingdom! You are His child and He loves you more than you could even comprehend! He laid down His life, just for you and He will see you through anything this world can throw your way, and you will arise victorious! Know it, believe it, accept it and receive it!! He’s all you could ever need! Have faith and trust in Him. Surrender every emotion, every pain, every disappointment, every void and every thing to Him! He’s waiting….
A – I don’t ever want to be where I’ve allowed my mind, my emotions and the enemy’s crafty tricks and lies to take me. I don’t ever want to feel the sorrow, the abandonment and the complete numbness to life, ever again. This is an ugly place, filled with hate, death, regret, shame and guilt and goes against EVERYTHING that the Lord has given to me, and for me. He has pulled me from the depths of despair and has shown me to Whom I belong to. No one can EVER take that away!! I know it, I believe it, I accept it and I receive it! I am a child of the King! There is nothing this world can throw at me that can ever change the awesome fact! And He WILL reign victorious in my life and in all things! Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is King! So when feelings of angst, wrath, sin and shame wage war against your soul, STAND UP and claim your victory in Christ! For He has risen and when you call out for Him, have faith in Him, give your life to Him, He WILL rise up in your life and I promise you, He WILL be victorious!
P – My loving, precious Redeemer! I am forever in Your debt! You have saved me from all my sin, shame, and guilt! You have washed my crimson life and made it white as snow! You have never abandoned me, rebuked me, forsaken me or shamed me, even when I’ve done the same to You. How could I ever thank You enough?! I do only as I know to do, and as Your word instructs me to do…I give You my life, a living sacrifice, and I surrender my all unto You and Your will. Protect my mind and emotions, never allowing those deep, dark, recessed places of a past life to rise up against me and wage war against my soul. Keep every conflicted thought, every ounce of self-pity, and every last disappointment and grief locked away under Your sole control. Let Your comfort, peace, joy, wisdom and grace freely flow within my veins, through my heart and through all that I am and give. Thank You for saving my life, when You gave Yours. Thank You for being the bridge of love that leads me to God, and thank You for taking up residency within my body, Your holy temple, leading me heavenward. I am forever in Your debt. In Christ’s saving Name I pray. Amen.
January 7, 2012 Job 14 – 16
S – “I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. ” Job 16:4-5
O – With condemning accusation we speak to people, including our so-called friends. We do our best to portray sincerity, as we try to convince ourselves of the same, by offering advice wrapped up in a nice little package of compassion and sympathy. Reality is, we sometimes do a really bad job relating to them and their needs because of our own judgmental and indignant thoughts, thereby offending and being critical. Job was looking to his “friends” for compassion and comfort during his time of complete despair. They were too busy being judgmental of him to offer him anything but criticism. They assumed Job’s demise was punishment from God because he had sinned greatly. What they were unaware of was that God was permitting this affliction in Job’s life for a reason and purpose, other than man’s sinful nature, namely the purifying and strengthening of Job’s faith.
A – When offering advice, do so with a prayerful heart. Seek God’s guidance as to how to proceed and ask that His words speak through you to the downcast soul. Leave the judgment to God and love the afflicted like Jesus would, regardless of what others may be saying or doing.
P – Father God, Please forgive me for those times that I have let my own thoughts and judgments interfere and neglect the needs of others. Forgive me for not loving them like You love them. Forgive me for not allowing the comfort and compassion that You have given to me to be extended to those in search of the same. Help me to love like Jesus. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Fill me to overflowing with compassion for others that comes only from You. In Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.
January 8, 2012 Job 17 – 20
S – “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” Job 19:25-26
O – Praise God, Hallelujah! My Redeemer lives!! AMEN! This very pretty much sums it up for me! There is nothing in this world that can change this fact! No amount of pain, suffering, hatred, or loss placed upon me in this world could ever change the reality that my Redeemer lives and that one day, and very SOON, He’s coming back to take His children to live for eternity with Him! An eternity of no more pain, heartache, loss, disease, murder, disgust, hatred, jealousy, filth, evil and sin!! Every tear He will wipe from our faces and restore what was lost, filling us with His abundance!
A – This is not all there is. This is not our home. This is only temporary and we are but a vapor here on this planet. When times are rough, when there seems to be no end in sight from the pain and suffering…remember, this is for but a moment. His mercies are new every morning and that great day of His return is just around the corner. We must be ready for Him! Endure just a bit longer, our Redeemer is coming and He’s bringing His reward! Never grow weary of doing good, fight the good fight, be bold in Christ, seek Him when you are weary and heavily burdened and He will give you rest. Keep your hope in the Lord and He will renew your strength. You will soar on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary, you will walk and not be faint.
P – Dear Precious Redeemer, I stand in awe of You! I can’t even begin to comprehend in my fleshly, human mind all the wondrous and mighty things You have prepared, and are still preparing, for Your children! What an awesome God You are! I know that You are coming back for me to take me to be with You for eternity in Heaven and I want to be ready for that great and majestic day! How I long to hear You say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” No sweeter words will my ears ever hear! Prepare me Lord…through and through…prepare me. In Your Name I pray. Amen.