SOAP

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January 29, 2006 by Isaac Hovet

SOAP
::Scripture::
1 Corinthians 1:-3:23
::Observations::

  • Called by God to be his own Holy People – Made holy by the means of Christ Jesus.
  • Thankfulness – Paul is grateful for the generous gifts that he has given them.
  • God will preserve strength even up until the end.
  • Be of one mind – united in thought and purpose
  • The message of the cross is foolishness for those who are the road to destruction.  But for us who are being saved, it is the power of God
  • God along makes it possible for us to be in Christ Jesus
  • Power vs Weakness – Jesus – The first shall be last and the last shall be first
  • Paul has focused on Christ Jesus and his death on the cross.  He did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but gave room for the Holy Spirit to be at work.
  • We who have the Holy Spirit will be able to understand the move of God, but those who do not have the Spirit will not be able to understand.
  • Jealousy and quarreling are the benchmarks of people who do not follow the Lord.
  • Apollos and Paul were only servants.  Each of them was only doing what God had asked them to do.  No more, no less.
  • God is the one who makes the seed grow, it doesn’t matter who planted it.  
  • Jesus Christ is the foundation.  
  • All of us together make up the temple of Godand that the Spirit of God lives in us.  Don’t ruin the temple.  
  • Don’t take pride in following a particular leader.  Everything belongs to you,  

::Application::
I have preached these passages before.  When reading through these passages I realize that humanity doesn’t change much.  We would always like to look at a person, who is eloquent or preferable in speech or appearance, to be our leader.  And then we align ourselves with that person, rather than focusing on the foundation, which is Christ.  Paul makes it very clear in this passage that we are not to focus on what comes from man: persuasive speech, human wisdom or our own strength.  But instead we should focus on what comes from God: the message of hope through Jesus on the cross, his spiritual gifting, the secret mysteries of God, which are revealed through the Spirit and for the glory of God.
This passage would be a good one for the attendees of Evergreen to read.  There is way too much focus on the human in front leading, and not near enough focus on the foundation of Christ.  Obviously Paul dealt with the same direct issue.  I am challenged to preach Christ simply and boldly.  I am becoming more and more aware that it is God who must speak to hearts, by his Holy Spirit.  My words, as good or bad as they might sound, simply must point to Jesus’ saving working on the cross.  In that posture I become, not the foundation, but a steward of the seed that God plants.  Therefore, no glory goes to me.  I am simply a servant, a caretaker, a shepherd.
::Prayer::
Father, I am before you this morning and feel you presence.  I know that you have asked me to take these next days to focus on you.  I love you so much.  I love you so, so much.  You have done great things in my life.  You have rescued me from so many plights, from sin and from my own silliness, foolishness and shame.  You are the lifter of my head and I worship you.  I give you all that I am and ask that you would shape me now and for forever.  I want to be one that radiates you.  I want others to see that I have you as the foundation of my life. I want no glory.  I want no fame.  I simply want to be used by you, so that others can know the grace that I know.  So others can know the hope that I know.  So that others can know the love that I know.  I want you son and his saving work on the cross to be known everywhere that I go.  Make a way for this to happen please.  Shape me into the man that I must be in order for this to happen.  Thank you for the opportunities that I have had to share you with others.  Please bring about more divine appointments.  I pray that I would never cease to see the opportunity and then to walk in obedience to the responsibility that is before me.  I want to know the prompting of the Spirit like never, I want your conviction to run deep within me.  I want you passion to cut though me.  I want your grace to pour out of me.  In all of my relationships I want you to be seen and felt.  I pray for people everywhere to be changed.  O great God of the heavens, who in humility came to be among us, please shine your face upon this servant so that glory and fame may be brought to you.  I pray for Jessamyn, that she would be able to accept your work.  I know that you have been working on her heart for quite a while now but I ask that you would form up within her that which has been stirring for quite some time.  I pray that some of you solid servants in Toronto would be able to minister to her.  And I pray the Brodie would be able to see you for who you really are.  I pray that they together would find you.  
This day is yours, Lord.  Please use me.  Please fill me with your presence, love and grace.  Pleas help me to lead people to you.  I am your servant.  

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