John 6:15-59 SOAP

Scripture: John 6:15-59

Observation

  • The disciples set out to look for Jesus in Capernaum after He fed 5 thousand people. 
  • Jesus response of the disciples seeking Him - Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. 
  • Disciples response - what must we do, to be doing the works of God?
  • Jesus response - This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. 

Application: As I set out to seek Jesus today, I don't want to seek Him for the purpose of being filled with the things that will perish. I want to seek Him with a heart of belief that He will provide for me as I step into the mission He has sent me into today. 

Prayer - Father, you have a plan for my life today. I believe in you and I trust you. I love you and worship you today, in Jesus name - Amen. 

John 5:31-6:14 SOAP

Scripture: John 5:31-6:14

Observation

  • Knowing what the Bible says is not a substitute for eternal life. Eternal life happens through an encounter of the person Jesus Christ by coming, asking and making Him my Lord and Savior. Vs 39-40

Application: Knowing the "Sunday School" answer does not possess the potential of having abundant life. Abundant life happens when I "Do the book". Jesus wants to be engaged and encountered but sadly there have been days where I have refused in my pride and selfishness by doing things on my own. 

Prayer: Father, with a heart of gratitude I am stepping into your Word with full anticipation to engage and encounter you today. Thank you for the opportunity to walk with You in my life. I love you and praise you in Jesus name - Amen. 

John 3:22-36 SOAP

Scripture: John 3:22-36 

Observation

  • Vs 36 - two words stand out to me - believe and obey. 
  • Vs 30 John said I must decrease so that Jesus can increase in my life. 

Application: The devil believes in God. The devils followers believe in God but they do not obey God. I have the potential to step into life today with that same thought. I do believe in God, I believe who He say's He is, I believe He can do what He says He can do... But the game changer for my life is obeying the Creator of life. So I will chose to decrease to control my life and let Jesus increase in my life so that I can receive the promise that's on the table today - Abundant Life. 

Prayer - Father, I believe in you but I don't want our relationship to stop with a belief. I want to be obedient to the plans you have over my life today. I surrender so that you can increase your presence in my life. I love and trust you in Jesus name I pray - Amen. 

John 3:1-21 SOAP

Scripture: John 3:1-21

Observation:

  • Vs 19-21 I have the potential and power to step into a journey with Jesus or say, "No thank you, I'll do it the it makes sense to me." 

Application: Vs 21 My life will reflect Jesus today based on how I engage and encounter Him in the pages of His word. I can chose to operate from my own desires and power or I can operate in full confidence through Jesus. 

Prayer: Jesus as I encounter you today from the pages of your Word I open my heart to you so you can fill it with truth. Help me to lead today in confidence that you are guiding me in truth and light. I love you and thank you for loving me back. In your amazing name I pray - Amen. 

John 2:1-25 SOAP

Scripture: John 2:1-25

Observation:

  • Vs 5 A challenge was issued - Do whatever He tells you to do. 
  • Vs 11 The glory of Jesus was manifested because of the obedience of the servants
  • The result - Confidence and faith built in the disciples lives in Jesus. 
  • Vs  24,25. Jesus would not entrust (distant Himself) with man because He knows what really inside of a mans heart. 

Application: Jesus wants reveal things to me that I do not know, His plans are perfect for my life but He also knows what's in my heart. I can fool a lot of people but I can not fool Jesus. I understand there are many followers of Jesus who's confidence in Jesus is still under trial. My obedience to "do whatever He tells me" could effect "Jesus glory to be made manifest and many disciples believing" in Jesus today. 

Prayer: Father, I know you see whats in my heart. Refine my heart today to be solely consumed on you and not on my temptations. I want to be an obedient servant because my life mission is to let your glory be manifested in and through my life. I pray that many disciples confidence in you will grow stronger because of my obedience to you. I love you Jesus and I thank you for allowing me to step into this world today with You. It's in your name I pray and live today - Amen. 

John 1:29-51 SOAP

Scripture: John 1:29-51

Observation:

  • Jesus is the Lamb of God (Vs 29) who was sent to take away my sins.
  • Jesus saw me and my life deficits way before I ever knew about Him. 
  • Because of my sinful nature, there is no way I can be close to a Holy God, yet Jesus took care of that by offering me forgiveness through His death, burial and resurrection. 
  • Jesus comes from heaven to earth to ask me to follow Him. Vs 43-48

Application: Jesus made a decision to enter into my world today and He has come to ask, "Will you follow me?" Vs 43 I will answer Him today by stepping towards Jesus unashamedly in faith by saying, "Yes I will". I want to be like Philip (Vs 46) and invite others to see for themselves of the possibility of encountering Jesus, "The Lamb of God, who takes away our sins" because I to have experience is love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. 

Prayer: Father, thank you for seeking me way before I ever I knew You. Thank you for making it possible for me to follow you by taking way my sins then asking me personally to follow you. I want to live my life today in faith with a song in my heart and mouth that will bring you glory. So bless the Lord oh my soul, I will worship your Holy name! In Jesus name - Amen. 

31 Day Bible Reading John

Remember we are reading through the book of John together as a church for the next 31 days. The Scripture reading is in the bulletin.  I am happy to email you the plan or you can download the 31 day plan at the bottom of this post. The idea is to reboot with God everyday. 
We are using a very simple plan that you can use called SOAP. Today's reading is John 1:1-28. Take your spiritual life to the next level and join the Bible reading with the intent to Engage and Encounter Jesus in the pages of His Word.

You will need a Bible, an accountability partner (I encourage you to share your SOAP with him or her) and you will need a journal. 

I am called as your pastor to Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

This is what my journey and journal looks like as we begin the book of John for the next 31 days.

John 1:1-28 SOAP

Scripture: John 1:1-28

Observation: The creation of God rejects the creator in their lives. Vs 9-11

Application: Jesus is pursuing me today. It would be irresponsible of me to acknowledge the Speaker of the Universe presence and reject His purpose and plans that He has over my life. 

Prayer: Father I want encounter you today from the pages of your word. I don't want any part of my life to be ashamed of you. I want to join John in sharing with others that I have experienced your glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth in and through my life. In Jesus name - Amen. 

Jesus The Center Of The Bible

If you get lost in reading the Bible, just ask -where is Jesus? When you find Jesus you will get back on course again. For years and years astronomy was hopelessly muddled. Astronomy taught, in it’s beginning years, that the earth was the center of the universe. So astronomy found itself in a hopeless muddle. Then a man named Capernicus came along and he said, "No, the earth is not the center of the universe. The sun is the center of the solar system." When he made that discovery and they came to understand that the sun is the center of the solar system and everything revolves around that, then all the pieces of astronomy fell into place.

The same thing is true about the Lord Jesus Christ. When you understand that Jesus Christ is the center of everything, then everything begins to make sense. You get Jesus Christ out of the center of things and nothing makes sense. You don't have Jesus Christ in your life and life doesn't make any sense at all. There is no purpose, no meaning, no reason, no rhyme, no rational to it whatsoever if Christ is not at the center of everything. But when Christ comes into your life and you give Christ the central place in your life, all the pieces of life fit together.

Marriage - A Mess Worth Making

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

So, the fastest way for the devil to hurt a local church is by destroying marriages! He loves to divide husbands and wives apart through unmet needs, hurts and hang-ups which can leave couples vulnerable to satan. Marriage- A Mess Worth Making,  is a series of tools from God's Word that will help couples stand against the devil. I hope that you will join us this Sunday morning and learn how to gain ground that has been taken by the devil. 

Revival

Good morning FMBC family. We are praying for revival for the next 40 days for our city. James 5:16 says The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (are powerful and effective). 


Fervent carries the idea of one who is passionate and determined. Illustratively its more than just an orange flame. It's the white flame from a cutting torch. So our prayers shouldn't be lukewarm but white hot as we pray to God. 


A man named John Knox once prayed for revival, "Give me Scotland or I die" and God gave him Scotland. His prayers were so fervent the Queen of Scots said, "I am more afraid of the prayers of John Knox than all the assembled armies of Europe." 
So make your prayers white hot before God today as you seek His face. Prayer, "Lord, give give us Austin and surrounding.. or we die!" Let's make the government of America afraid when we pray!!

Spiritual Growth Plan

As a Child of God our goal should be to become a better Child of God this year than last year. Our prayer lives should be vibrant and our personal walk with God should be utterly important. So, how can I become a growing Christian striving towards the goal God has laid before us? Through a Spiritual Growth Plan (SGP).

goal-setting.jpg

 Let me give you 3 areas of focus in your Spiritual Growth. This list should be used as a tool to help you begin a SGP in your walk with God.

Abide In Christ

  1. Experience a corporate worship experience weekly derived from your personal worship.  

    1. You might listen to Christian music of your genre preference. 

  2. Set aside 30 minutes a day (specific time and location) for a regular quiet time. 

    1. Your quiet time might look like: Reading the Bible for 20 minutes a day then praying/reflecting for 10 minutes.

  3. Regularly thank God and praise Him in all situations and learn your identity in Jesus.

  4. Make a list of things that hinder your spiritual growth and seek God’s help to remove those hindrances. 

Live In The Word

  1. Memorize one Scripture verse a week. 

  2. Take Sermon Notes from the pastor’s sermon. 

  3. Read one chapter a day from the Bible and evaluate how God wants to apply it to your life and meditate on the character of God as described in the chapter. 

  4. Participate in an ongoing small group (Sunday School or other classes offered). 

Pray in Faith

  1. Pray each day. 

  2. Participate in the prayer ministry of our church. (examples - pray for; spiritual growth in our church, God to move powerfully in our community, for others.) 

  3. Enlist a prayer partner and meet regularly for prayer. 

Finally enlist an accountability partner. This is someone who agrees to hold you accountable to your spiritual growth. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Download a printable Spiritual Growth Plan PDF 

Today Pray For...

Today pray for each student that is involved in a Sunday School class @ Faith Missionary Baptist Churc. 

Father, I pray you will bless ____________, as we study together your Word in our Sunday School class. Open our hearts and minds to hear and receive your instruction and with obedience; live your Word in every part of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Remember, the spiritual effectiveness of FMBC depends on your ability to pray. James 5:16b The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Stoney Ground

Many times Jesus speaks of our lives as a field being cultivated to bring a harvest. In one account Jesus speaks in a parable and says our lives are like a field that was sown with the seed of God’s Word But the seed fell upon a field that was full of rocks and didn’t have much soiled and when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. (Matthew 13:5,6)

Jesus explains this parable by saying in Matthew 13:20,21, As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 

Living in East Texas for many years, I’ve watch farmers and ranchers clean their land, preparing it for livestock or planting. Piles of debris ranging from stones to trees are piled and removed from the land. Clearing the land isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen over night. It takes diligence. 

I wonder how many of us (me included),after reading this parable ,is the man who receives God’s Word joyfully but the fields of our hearts are covered with useless debris that hinder God’s Word from really prospering in all the areas of our life God wants to impact? 

For example, those rocks (and trees in that manner) could represent many things: the root of bitterness that has taken anchor deep in your life, the rocks of resentment, the rocks of idols (anything that takes more of your time i.e. career, family, social media). Those rocks and trees could represent anything. And because of the rocky field in your life you now find yourself wanting God to do great things in your life but somehow you don’t see a way that could happen. But it can!! 

Agree with God with confession. Confess comes from two greek words - homo (same kind of) and logos (word). In other words, agree to say the same thing God is saying. 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. It might sound like this after being still and asking God to reveal the stones and roots in your life. 

“Father, I agree ___________ is a stone in my life that is keeping your word from fully and wholly taking root and prospering in my life. You said that if would draw closer to you, you would draw closer to me. Remove the stone and replace it with the fruit bearing seeds of your wonderful Word. In Jesus name. Amen” 

As you agree with God you find yourself offering a field unto the Heavenly Sower, a field that is rich and ready to take the seed of faith to which it takes root and provides fruit suitable to please God. Matthew 13:23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

 

Can God Use Me?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Can God really use someone like me?” If you’re a Child of God certainly, at some point in your life, you’ve asked yourself this question. However in spite of how we may feel of ourselves, Gods Word says otherwise. Long ago, God specifically designed and prepared "good works" for us to accomplish. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10) In spite of our physical characteristics, personalities, abilities, and temperaments were all fashioned with this purpose in mind, “good works, which God prepared beforehand” We are perfectly made for the tasks God has chosen for us. 

So what are you doing to fulfill your God-given potential? You see, regardless of how we feel, no Christian has the right to sit and soak up all the benefits of the Lord’s gifts of Salvation and never lift a finger. 1 Peter 1:17-19 says that we belong to Him and what’s true for me is true for you and all believers. Maybe you’ve been told you’re worthless and you’ll never amount to much. I want you to know from the eyes of God, this isn’t even remotely close to the truth. You have something valuable to contribute! He’s created you with specific skills and capabilities to bring Him glory. There is a great reason to keep this hope alive! Don’t give up on yourself, no matter your past, because with God there is always a future! 

When God gives you a task, He always supplies His strength to accomplish it. Just think; To the believer, the same God that was with Moses when the Red Sea was parted is the same God that is with you right now! His desire is to continually guide each of your steps. 

So can God use you? Yes! Once you open yourself up to God’s leading. His purpose will become so evident and all God asks for you is to obey and leave all the consequences to Him. 

From our perspective, God uses the most unlikely person. God’s Word if full of unlikely people, but when God grabbed their hearts and the Holy Spirit came to live in within them, they turned the world upside down! 

God’s not looking for the most impressive person. His measuring stick is the heart. Take a second and reflect your availability, humility and purity to God. The LORD  never lets a willing life go unused. If you’ll surrender to Him and commit to the “whatever” or “wherever” He leads, He will open the doors and guide you into the most meaningful and beautiful life possible! I’m not saying that it will be easy, just worth it!

It's High Time

One of the most fascinating things about God’s Word is it’s alive! Hebrews 4:12 says the, Word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and morrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart. 

What an amazing verse! Everything you need to know about life and how to respond to circumstances is revealed in His Word! God’s Word also presents to us hope in a world filled with chaos. Theologians call it, “End Times” or “Bible Prophesy” resulting with the glorious return of Jesus Christ. But before Jesus can come, there are certain events that must “come to pass”. One of those events are beginning to happen right now! The call for Jews to return to Israel. There are many Bible passages that predict the return of Israel to the land of Palestine. Here is one:

Ezekiel 20:34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out.

My friend, Dr. John Melanin, who is a missionary and archeologist to Israel and will be in our services the morning of April 12, 2015, said this: 

“While Sue and I were in Israel we spoke with Jews from at least 19 countries. The Jews are returning to Israel.Today Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited the Jews of Europe to move to Israel due to rising anti-Semitism. Is this the method God will use to re-gather the Jews as described in the Bible?

Here are two articles to reference:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/02/17/jewish-journalist-gets-hate-on-videotape-as-strolls-streets-paris/

http://news.yahoo.com/netanyahu-urges-jews-move-israel-copenhagen-attacks-111012753.html

What an exciting time! And the only response to this is Praise! God’s Word calls this - “High Time” Romans 13:11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 

Let me give you a few things you can do today. 

1- Be a great Witness for others to see Jesus living inside of you. It’s time for Christians to awaken because something awesome is happening among us!

2. Pray! Joel 2:12,13 says to pray for a great return to God with a Spirit of brokenness, fasting, weeping and mourning. 

Let’s stay awake, be a great witness and pray for God’s amazing Spirit to come down! Let’s pray and experience a great revival in the homes and peoples lives across our world, nation and the cities in Greater Austin. 

Father, You are Lord of all the earth and I want to shout your name so it can fill the skies with an endless praise! Let my life be a great witness for you today so this world might see Jesus. We want to experience a great revival while Your Word comes to pass in our very sight. In the wonderful and beautiful name of Jesus I pray, amen.