SOAP Study - August 4, 2020
22 In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places.
23 But now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you. 24 I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey.
25 But before I come, I must go to Jerusalem to take a gift to the believers[a] there. 26 For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia[b] have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 27 They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially. 28 As soon as I have delivered this money and completed this good deed of theirs, I will come to see you on my way to Spain. 29 And I am sure that when I come, Christ will richly bless our time together.
PERSONAL SOAP STUDY
- What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
- What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
- How should this information impact your life?
- What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
- Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.
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STAFF SOAP STUDY
One of Paul’s passions and priorities throughout his ministry and missionary journeys was to raise money for the poor, particularly for the church in Jerusalem. The church in Jerusalem made a lot of sacrifices and endured a lot of persecution at the church’s beginning, so much so that it placed many in poverty. In Galatians 2:9-10, Paul tells the story when he was commissioned by the apostles for ministry and their mandate to preach the Gospel and focus on helping the poor. We later find out in Acts 24:17 that Paul places himself in a dangerous situation, where he eventually gets arrested, in order to be faithful to this commitment and take this offering he raised to the church in Jerusalem. Paul’s commitment is so strong to the mission of the church, to the need to help those in poverty, and to his promise to help others, that despite the danger, he remains focused and faithful.
I’m always mesmerized and challenged when I hear stories who risk their lives to help others and who risk their lives to remain faithful to a commitment they’ve made to others. Stories like Paul’s force me to look at my life and ask myself if I’m taking enough risks to help others and meet needs of people who are in need. It forces me to look at my own commitments and promises and ask myself if I’m being faithful, no matter the cost. If I’m honest, I often fall short on where I would like to be in answering these questions. There are so many times I realize I’m not taking enough risks to help others. There are so many times I realize, I’m failing to honor my commitments. What about you?
Jesus, I’m thankful for the women and men you have called and who have taken great risks, even risking their lives, to serve others in great need and poverty. I’m thankful for the people that you’ve given the faith, the strength, and the courage to be faithful to their commitments, even when those commitments were difficult and risky. Forgive me when I don’t have the courage to take risks and be faithful. Give me clarity on what risks to take and the courage to always say yes.