A Call to God’s Word

Word of the Day. An encouraging word from God's Word. SmellingCoffee.com
Twenty years ago today will always be a special “Spiritual Marker” kind of day with Jesus and me. I remember it so well because it was my 27th birthday, and the Lord awoke me that morning with a strong call to come away with Him and spend the majority of my day soaking in His Word. It was August 18, 1995. James and I had been married for just a few short years, and we living across the street from where we served in our first full time ministry church, Stithton Baptist Church in Radcliff, KY (right outside of Ft. Knox, KY). At that time we had no children, and I was quite ill.

I remember exactly where I sat and can still recall the feel of my journal paper under my hand as I wrote and wrote that day. God would speak through His Word, and I would record what He said, respond in written prayer, then read more, record more, respond more… and on and on we went. We broke for lunch, and then around 3 PM we had to wrap it up so I could get ready for a birthday dinner.

As I was packing up the nest of papers and books and Bibles (remember – there was no Biblegateway.com and Biblos.com back then – haha!) that I had made that day, I sensed the Lord say in my spirit something like this:

Every chance you get, come to me. Soon your life will have very few days where you will have the luxury of spending full days like this immersed in my Word just for fun, and you will have to live for years to come on what we are building together right now. Come to Me every spare moment you have over the next year, and I will fill and prepare you for the busy days ahead.

That was 20 years ago today. And that’s exactly what I did. I spent as much time as I could soaking in Jesus and His Word. At the time, I had what I can now see was a gift – a debilitating illness that often kept me home-bound, couch-bound, or sometimes bed-bound. That illness gifted me with time in God’s Word… and as usual, He was right!

By the next August 18, even though I was still sick, I was great with child (Nathan), six weeks away from my due date, and already my life had sped up too much for me to spend the full day soaking in God’s Word.

In fact, I’ve not had a full day in God’s Word “just for fun” {without seeking Him for a certain purpose or study reason} like that 1995 birthday since. It was one of the most special birthdays of my life.

{Now, I can imagine that by now, I’m about to lose some of you, if I haven’t already. “Who has all day to read the Bible?” “I wish I had all day to stay home and study God’s Word!” etc. I get it. I totally do… but please read on!!}

What I learned that day twenty years ago is that It isn’t the amount of time that you have to give to fellowship with Jesus through God’s Word – it’s that you give Him the time you DO have.

In that 1995-96 year I had extra empty time… no children, too sick to work outside the home… lots of down time in the bed or on the couch… God asked for whatever time I had, and I gave it to Him, and He built something in me that He’s been adding to and using to sustain me for the past 20 years.

Fast forward to 2000/2001. Two preschoolers, a healed and active body (PTL!!), a husband whose job takes him around the country teaching and helping other churches (bringing some part time single parenting into the mix) while actively serving in our church, writing, and traveling/speaking once a month.

All of this = No. Extra. Time. No day to spend “just for fun” with Jesus as I gently basked in His Word with my cup of coffee and little else to occupy my mind. In fact, for many of these preschool days, my extra time with Jesus was stolen time I would find while my children were occupied and I would run hide UNDER MY BED with a Bible and notebook!  Not joking!

It isn’t the amount of time that you have to give to fellowship with Jesus through God’s Word – it’s that you give Him the time you DO have.

It had become a blessed habit early on to begin my day with Jesus, acknowledging His presence and supremacy over my life, bowing myself before Him, putting on my armor, thanking God for specific blessings, confessing my sins, eating a bite of His Word, and praying it over my loved ones… but this is like eating a bite of peanut butter first thing in the morning in lieu of a full and healthy breakfast. It will sustain, but sometimes the body needs more. So does the soul.

As I’ve moved through each season of these past 20 years, I’ve realized that the message God impressed upon my soul so long ago was both a gift and a warning. Time is fleeting. And we need Jesus. And we need God’s Word.

Whether we are in a fast-paced season of life or a slower one, there are a gazillion options pulling at our “extra time” – but only one of these options is divinely created to fill us and re-energize us for everything else we do. That is the offer and the pleading of the Father to come and eat of God’s Word.

It isn’t the amount of time that you have to give to fellowship with Jesus through God’s Word – it’s that you give Him the time you DO have.

Twenty years later, I can testify to the sustaining energy and life joy that can come ONLY through this time in God’s Word. Among multiple other gifts and blessings, God sends forth His Word and heals our hearts and minds (Psalm 107:20), counsels us (Ps. 119:24), revives and stimulates us (Ps. 119:25), raises us up and strengthens us (Ps. 119:28), gives us hope (Ps. 119:43), helps us walk in freedom (Ps. 119:45), gives life (Ps. 119:50), comforts us (Ps. 119:52), teaches us (Ps. 119:66), makes us wise (Ps. 119:98), and brings us Peace (Ps. 119:165).

Who doesn’t need this?

It isn’t the amount of time that you have to give to fellowship with Jesus through God’s Word – it’s that you give Him the time you DO have.

Remember, Jesus is the One who took five rolls and two little fishes and fed the five thousand with them… It’s not your TIME that He needs in order to feed you through His Word. He simply wants you to come, sit down with Him and His Word for a minute or two… and share a Meal (more sustaining than physical food) with Him each day.

It isn’t the amount of time that you have to give to fellowship with Jesus through God’s Word – it’s that you give Him the time you DO have.

This is His calling upon my life – to beg others – to beg you, my dear friends – to join Jesus at His table and to eat of His Word, so that YOU can walk with Jesus intimately, enjoying the blessings of the Father’s passionate love for you, and the freedom to wholly trust Him with every big and little thing in and around your life.

It IS possible, if we will simply come.

It isn’t the amount of time that you have to give to fellowship with Jesus through God’s Word – it’s that you give Him the time you DO have.

Below is a simple method I often use when reading through passages of Scripture. SOAPping the Scriptures brings them alive where they become an applicable part of every day life.

I like to start in a book of the Bible and “SOAP” my way through it, a few verses at a time. You can do this according to how much time you have to read the Word – but don’t rush through your reading just to get to a certain point. I read until the topic changes (or where I would imagine a paragraph change, since my Bible isn’t laid out that way), or where I sense the Lord lead me to stop.

A good place to start would be Psalm 119. Just soaking in some wonderful truths about God’s Word and applying them to your life would be a super way to jump-start this process.

After that, the books of John, James, Philippians, Psalms or Proverbs would be good choices to SOAP your way through. {I’m in the book of Acts right now and am learning SO much that applies to today… and leave my time in the Word energized and feeling less hopeless about our world and more ready than ever to see and be a part of the Kingdom of God coming on this earth as it is in Heaven!}

That’s the “S” part, then I go through these “OAP” steps, recording them in my journal. (How much you record is totally up to you – however, I would encourage you to write down at least the S and the A – just one sentence so you’ll have a running list of where you are and what God is teaching you through His Word.)

The SOAP method is below this post.

It isn’t the amount of time that you have to give to fellowship with Jesus through God’s Word – it’s that you give Him the time you DO have.

This post is long, and I apologize for that, but it will probably be silent for another stretch of days – so come back and read as you can. We are packing Nathan and taking him to college on Saturday. I’ve put off a lot of things until this week is completed, including lots of blog posts! 😉 But you’ve been often on my mind.

Oh my sweet friends… if there was one thing I could give you on this day, it would be the heart of obedience to always respond with a “YES” answer to come when God calls you to steal away with Him for a few minutes in His Word. I’m still learning this consistent, non-delayed obedience myself. Oh what a difference it would make in our lives if we would give Him what little time we do have and come away with Him when He calls!

I’m praying for all of us to love God AND His WORD more and more as each day passes. I sure do love you and thank God for a group of readers who keep coming back to SmellingCoffee.com on a consistent basis.

“Your words were found, and I ate them;
and Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart,
for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”
Jeremiah 15:16 (AMP)

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What is S.O.A.P.?

S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God’s word. We did not invent it, we just decided to make a website to make it easier to do. {Jennifer here: You can do this on your computer with this website, or on a plain piece of paper you keep folded up in your Bible.  Something for everyone.  The method will work beautifully both ways!}

How does it work?
It’s quite simple. When you sit for your daily quiet time read the bible as you normally would with one simple difference. Underline or make note of any verses that jump out at you with special significance. This is the basis for diving deeper and using S.O.A.P.

Now comes the cool part. Login and create a new SOAP entry. There are four fields to fill in and I bet you can guess what they are:

Scripture
Type in the verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading. You can show the verses and even have them read to you with the click of a button. No copying and pasting blocks of text.

Observation
What did you observe about the scripture that struck you. This can be one sentence or a whole book.

Application
How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today.

Prayer
Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.

Thats all there is to it!
(From SOAPstudy.com – they didn’t invent this method, but made a website about it and have a mobile app making it easy to use this method on your phone.)

 

 
About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

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