SOAP = scripture, observation, application, and prayer.
S : Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13, 14 ESV)
O : Paul counter culturally looks at salvation as the beginning of work. He views it as punching in. Why? Because he wasn’t looking to salvation as a get out of hell free card. The experience was so astounding that he immediately wanted to share it with as many people as possible.
One way in which Paul was able to stay so focused on the future was due to his ability to forget the past. Think about it! So many Christians find themselves paralyzed by the thought of talking to someone about Jesus who they knew before they met Jesus. Why? Because of the potential for that person to remember who they were before they submitted their life to Christ. No one wants to look like a hypocrite! But here is the thing, we don’t want people to look at us, we want people to look at Jesus!
If Paul focused his ministry on telling people about how he persecuted Christians rather than telling them about God’s grace and love his ministry wouldn’t have made it very far.
A : strive for the goal of knowing that when your last days come you have shared Jesus with as many people as you could have, using words when necessary.
P : God help me get over my past and focus on the future you require of me. Give me the strength and humility to share your love with as many people as I can. Thank you for your blessings! Amen