SOAP = scripture, observation, application, and prayer.
S = I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 2:19-21 ESV)
O = Paul talks about sending Timothy, someone he discipled, to them because of his differences from the norm. Paul says that Timothy will be concerned about their welfare instead of his own, because he seeks the will of Christ. I find it interesting in the last few thousand years that the vast majority of people, Christians included, are not adequately concerned with the welfare of others. I’m not saying we are bad people! But I am saying that most of us lack the compassion for others because we are too concerned with our own welfare. We need to be filled with compassion for those who are hurting. Think about the worst time you have ever had in your life, no subtract Jesus from that experience……that’s how they feel.
A = Learn to be more involved with the concern of others and their welfare than you are interested in worrying about your own. God promises us that if we love him and are called according to his purpose that all things will turn out good (Romans 8.28 ESV). But people who are far from God don’t know this! Learn to be the light of Christ by being concerned about other people!
P = God fill our hearts with compassion for those who are hurting around us! Help us trust in you concerning our own problems that all things will work out for good! Allow us to be like Timothy and honestly be concerned about the welfare of those around us. Thank you for your blessings. Amen.