SOAP is a way to study the Bible. S=Scripture. O=observation. A=application. P=prayer. The Bridge Bible Church in Bakersfield has been studying the Word this way for over a year and a half that I know of. In the bulletin you get where to read. We read a chapter from the old testament and then a chapter of the new. Example, yesterday I read Isaiah 15 and 1 Corinthians 12. Today I read in Isaiah 16 and 1 Corinthians 13. Here is what I found.
S:”Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
O: I’ve read 1 Corinthians 13 before, but in the NIV. Today might have been the first time I read it in NJKV. Something hit me about what love is. In the NIV it says first that love is patient. Love takes on a whole new meaning when it is described as suffers long. You can be patient with a stop light, but you aren’t suffering to be there for a minute. You can be patient while continuing to help a child learn to tie her shoes, but the two minutes it takes each time doesn’t cause tremendous grief in your life. Love suffers long. When a relationship is broken and you have anger, bitterness, and you don’t even want to be polite; that is where this kind of love comes in. When your spouse, parent, best friend, or coworker betrays your trust; that’s when this kind of love comes. This love is God, because humanly we want to throw in the towel and be done forever with the person who hurts us. However, when you let God help you to forgive that person, and you finally see that it is only through God’s love that you can heal; you begin to understand why you have to suffer long. Broken relationships don’t heal over night, and the other person might not even be seeking God. But as a believer, others know we are Christians because despite the brokenness God teaches us to love and forgive. Truly, it isn’t in us to do it. But, remember what Christ did. He was beaten, whipped, cursed at, and tortured to the point of not being recognizable and what did have to say about it. While on the cross dying for our sins, not his, he said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Jesus chose to forgive, and He calls us to be like Him. To be willing to suffer long as an act of love.
Please work on my heart as I learn to understand your Word. Please be with the people that read this. May they seek your face and chose to live a life that glorifies you.
In Jesus’ Name,
Checkout the bookmark to keep up with the chapter readings at http://www.thebiblechurch.com/ . Look for the orange journal on the side that says Life Journal. Click on it to see the bookmark that you can print.