Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SOAP Study - 6/25/08 (1 Thess 1:1-3)

Well, I challenged the teens to do SOAP studies this week, and I got to thinking "Maybe I better set the example and do it myself." So I have decided to do a SOAP study Monday through Thursday. I am going to start with 1 Thessalonians. So here goes.


1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

Verses that caught my eye.

vs. 1 "We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers."
vs. 3 "We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."


There are actually two parts to this verse. Today I want to focus on three important things we need to do. Tomorrow I want to focus on the three motivations.


"You are continually on our mind when we pray, and we thank God for you and what you do. When we pray for you we constantly remember how your faith is evidenced through the things you do, how you go out of your way to do things for others because you love them, and how you continually endure hardships because you have a confident expectation of the future found in Christ."

What is God saying?

1. It is important to periodically think about each other.
2. It is important to continually pray for one another.
3. It is important to be encouraged by what others do.

What is God saying to me?

I don't think about my brothers and sisters as often as I should. I probably spend more time thinking selfishly which often leads into trouble. Can you imagine what our thoughts would be like if we concentrated on others? When I say concentrating on others I am not talking about looking for all the wrong things they are doing but looking for all the good things they are doing and being encouraged by it. By doing this is takes my mind off of my selfish desires, encourages me to continue becoming more like Christ and gives me ideas on how I can help my brothers and sisters in Christ do what God is calling them to do. I need to think about them more often.

Here's a cool thing. Notice that when Paul prays for others he is led to think about them. By making it a habit to pray for others we will be led to think about them. If we really want to lift them up in prayer we have to identify the great things they are doing, the struggles they face and where they need help. I become more aware of God actually working in the lives of others and it encourages me to see such great things being done.


I definitely see this time as being a time of correction. I confess, I don't think about others the way I should. I really need to get over myself and "love my neighbor as [myself].

I am going to start praying regularly for the teens in the youth group, for their parents and for people in this church by developing a list of names that I will pray for each day. I also want to encourage my youth leaders to do the same for their small groups.


Father God, I want to confess to you that I think about myself to much and not about others often enough. I want to be like you who's thoughts are constantly on us and not on yourself. Please help me to stick to my commitment in praying for the people in my ministry and of the church. Thank you for being who you are. God, I appreciate you.


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