Seeds to Sow

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
October 01, 2022: SOAP #4685: Zechariah 10-12; Psalm 126; Luke 14

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm (NIV) 126:4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

OBSERVATION:  Seeds are small and often appear insignificant, but they contain a promise for the future. They contain resurrection power as they must first die/be planted before the new life springs forth. 

God has provided seeds to eat and seeds to sow.  Our future will be affected by what we do with the “seeds to sow.”

Eating the “seeds to sow” brings an end to the blessing they contain.  Planting them will result in future reaping with songs of joy. 

APPLICATION: Today I need to keep my eyes open to opportunity of sowing seeds.  I need to be faithful in the little things, lending a helping hand, speaking a comforting word, giving money or something I possess.  It is not the size of the seed; it is the power of the life in the seed.  I must serve and give “in Jesus name.”

I must be generous sowing seeds of faith, confidence, and encouragement in the lives of my family, especially my spouse and children. 

PRAYER:   Lord, you have given me the SOAPs, like small “seeds to sow.”  Holy Spirit, plant them in the fertile ground of some reader’s life.   Amen.

Pastor Leon
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HIS Expectations

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 30, 2022: SOAP #4684: Zechariah 7-9; Luke 13

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 13:6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig-tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.

OBSERVATION:  The tree had been planted with purpose.  The owner had expectations.  He expected fruit from his tree.  He did not expect miracles from his tree.  He only expected what was natural for the tree.  He expected the nature of the tree to express itself in fruit. 

APPLICATION: I am God’s tree.  He has placed me here with purpose.  He has expectations from me.  He is not expecting miracles from me.  He does expect me to give way to the Holy Spirit that He has placed in me.  God expects the presence of the Holy Spirit in me to be expressed in a fruitful life. 

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, you have a plan for me.  You desire that the Holy Spirit express your character through me.  May the fruit of my life bring you joy and honor. May your expectations for me be fulfilled.  Amen

Pastor Leon
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BECAUSE

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 29, 2022: SOAP #4683: Zechariah 4-6; Luke 12

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 12:31 But seek his kingdom, and these things [what you wear, what you eat and drink] will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

OBSERVATION:  Why do I give to my church?  Why give to missions?  Why do people in Sierra Leone give to provide computers and printers, paper and ink for the SOAPs?  BECAUSE:  giving is a way to participate in God’s work.  Giving is pleasing to God!  Giving is how we sow to reap a harvest.   Giving is a way to express love.   Giving on earth will be rewarded in heaven!

APPLICATION:  A major way one prepares for retirement is to save.  A major way one prepares for eternity is to give.  God allows me to store up rewards in heaven by giving.  God allows me to participate in His work by giving.

PRAYER:   Lord, you have given so much for me, and to me.  May I follow your example and become generous in my giving.   Amen.

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!   
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What A Gift!!!

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 28, 2022: SOAP #4682: Zechariah 1-3; Luke 11

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

OBSERVATION:  Parents of small children are the best givers. Parents know what a child needs.  They know what the child likes.  They can wrap it in the child’s favorite colors.  As they understand their child better than anyone else, they know best how to present the gift.  And along with the gift, comes the gift of themselves.  They give it with love and enjoy seeing the delight in their child’s eyes.  Parents enjoy watching their child mature and ask for gifts more appropriate for their age. Of all the ways parents “know how to give good gifts to their children,” this verse tells us that even more our heavenly Father enjoys giving the Holy Spirit to those who ask. 

The Holy Spirit is a gift from the Creator.  He made us.  He knows our limitations.  When we succeed, it makes Him look good, makes Him feel good.  He created us to live victoriously in this world.  He knows what we need.  He gives a gift to help us succeed. 

APPLICATION: NOTE to Leon:  Make the Holy Spirit your friend.   If my heavenly Father enjoys giving me the Holy Spirit, how much more does He enjoy watching me learn how to recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice and then follow His directions.

PRAYER:   Holy Spirit, today I want to hear you speak to and through me.  I want to recognize your Presence in my life and recognize when you want to reach out through me to help someone else.  Amen.

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!   
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Whose Team?

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 27, 2022: SOAP #4681: Haggai 1-2; Psalm 129; Luke 10    

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. …

16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

OBSERVATION:  Jesus was speaking to His disciples.  He was sending them out as an advanced ministry into the places He would be going.  He wanted them to know that they had His backing, also the backing of the Heavenly Father who had sent Jesus into the world. 

APPLICATION: Sometimes I am not consciously aware of the great power that stands with me and behind me.  I act like I am out on my own.  I act like it all depends on me.  I let lack of results discourage me.  BUT if I can hear Jesus speaking the above truth to me, and if I know that the Holy Spirit is living in me, there should be nothing able to discourage or distract me from His mission.   My Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and me!  — what a team‼! 

My lack, my inability, my inexperience, my weaknesses are easily overcome when I allow the other members of the team to take the lead.  My perspective must change: they are not with me; I am with them!   They are not on my team; I am on their team! 

PRAYER:  Lord, my one goal is to please you.  Your approval is my reward.  Rejection or failure means nothing when I have your presence and I know that I am a part of Your team!  Holy Spirit, keep this truth fresh in my thoughts.  Amen

Pastor Leon
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Valuing what God values!

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 26, 2022: SOAP #4680: Ezra 4; Psalm 113, 127; Luke 9     

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm (NIV) 113:5 Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, 6 who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? 7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; 8 he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people.

OBSERVATION:  There is no one like the LORD our God!  He is enthroned on the highest throne.  There is no throne higher than His throne.  He is above all.  He is so high that he must stoop down to look at the heavens.  He humbles Himself to consider the heavens and even this tiny planet in a tiny solar system!   Not only does He stoop to consider the earth, the Psalmist says he takes interest in the poor and needy, the lowly on earth. 

But the Psalmist did not know even the half of how God, the SON, left His glory in heaven to be born and live as a man.  He, who knew no sin, died as a criminal for the sins of created people!   His resurrection life makes me not only a prince, but also a child of the One enthroned on high!    

He Who is most exalted is also most humble!

APPLICATION: God is attracted to people who are humble and quickly associate with those of little or no social status.  By their life, they show that they value what God values. 

We, who are called Christians, who have invited Jesus to live in our lives, should be quick to acknowledge the poor and needy living among us.  We should expect the Holy Spirit to show us how we can be used to help. 

PRAYER:   Lord, use me to raise someone vision to start living, not only as a prince, but as a child of the Most High God!  Amen

Pastor Leon
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The SOAP Ministry

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 25, 2022: SOAP #4679: Ezra 2-3; Luke 8     

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 8:1 After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

OBSERVATION:  We never read of Jesus having a drive to raise money for His ministry, however we never see Him lacking for money. Led by the Holy Spirit, He obviously conducted His ministry within the funds available. He never put any pressure on people to give claiming that He would not be able to fulfill His ministry if they did not support Him financially.  

I believe it was the ministry of the Holy Spirit that attracted these ladies to Jesus and gave them the privilege of using their financial resources to support His ministry.  They believed in Jesus; they believed in His ministry.  They had benefited from His ministry.  It is hard to imagine the heavenly rewards that will be theirs!

APPLICATION: There have been times when, like the ladies mentioned above, I have been able to support a ministry in its beginning, or a college student studying for ministry, or someone stepping out in faith.  And there have been times when others, like the ladies mentioned above, supported my ministry.  In following the leading of the Holy Spirit, God allowed me the privilege of both supporting and being supported.

How blest I am to hear of people supporting this SOAP ministry!  They have been blest by the SOAPs and are willing to give to purchase computers, printers, ink, and paper so that others may have the same blessing. 

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, I pray your blessing on those who plant financial seeds into the SOAP ministry.  May their harvest be abundant.  Bless them for having the vision and being a part of what You are doing.  And bless those who pass them on to their friends and family.  Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!   
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God – The Heart Mover!

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 24, 2022: SOAP #4678: Ezra 1; Psalm 84-85; Luke 7        

SCRIPTURE:  Ezra (NIV) 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Anyone of his people among you—may his God be with him and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”
5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.

OBSERVATION:  If God wants something done, He is certainly able to get it done! He can even use a pagan king to build His temple! God has no shortage of resources. He does not need to twist people’s arms to give to His projects. He allows us the privilege of participating in what He is doing, but it is not because He is running short and is relying on us to bring the victory.

In God directing and allowing us to give, God is giving us the privilege of having a part in the task.  Then we have the joy of sharing in the victory.

APPLICATION: If it is my work, then it is my responsibility to raise the necessary provisions. If it is God’s work, then He has the responsibility. My part is to walk in faith and obedience. When people are asking for money and using gimmicks and gifts to motivate people to give, I wonder who has authorized that ministry.  Is it their ministry, or God’s ministry? When it is God’s ministry, I can trust God to move the hearts of His people to give. 

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, sufficiency of Spirit and finances is your stamp of approval that I desire on the things you have given me to do. Amen

Pastor Leon
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Torrent; Building; Foundation

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 23, 2022: SOAP #4677: Daniel 11-12; Luke 6 

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 6:47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed, and its destruction was complete.”

OBSERVATION:  Three strong words are each used twice in this passage.  First is the word “torrent.”   Torrents (storms) come to everyone.  We cannot stop them; we can only be prepared for them. 

The second word is “building” or “built.”  Lives are not placed on a foundation, they are built on a foundation..  There is a process involved.  It does not happen overnight.  

The third word is “foundation.”  There are many foundations on which one can build their life, but only one take the “torrent.”    God’s Word is the only solid foundation because God’s character is trustworthy and true!

APPLICATION: I am building my lifetime one day at a time — one action at a time — one choice at a time.   I am building on God’s Word!   The Lord has provided me a fabulous foundation; it is fit for the greatest mansion that has ever been built.  I do not want to build a shabby house on such a great foundation! Torrents have come and torrents will come.  My house will stand!

PRAYER:   Lord, Your Word is the foundation for my life.  I know I can trust Your Word because it is based on Your Character!  Amen

Pastor Leon
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Seeable Faith

Pastor Leon’s SOAP:  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
September 22, 2022: SOAP #4676: Daniel 9-10; Psalm 123; Luke 5    

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 5:24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

OBSERVATION:  They had indeed seen “remarkable things” that day.  They had seen four friends lowering a paralyzed man through the roof to be placed before Jesus.  They had heard Jesus speak forgiveness of sins, and healing.  They had seen the paralyzed men, stand up, pick up his mat and go home praising God! 

But today, the Spirit draws my attention not to what they saw, but to what Jesus saw! 

SCRIPTURE:  Luke (NIV) 5:18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw THEIR faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

OBSERVATION:  Their faith was seeable!  Their faith caused them to DO SOMETHING!  Not only Jesus, but everyone in the room saw their faith as they lowered their friend to Jesus. 

APPLICATION: It is good for me to consider that my faith could be the key to a friend’s salvation and/or healing.  Like the friends of the paralytic, my faith should be seeable, and my priority should be to get my friends to Jesus.

PRAYER:   Lord, help me bring my friends to you.  May you see my faith and respond in meeting their need.  Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!   
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