Thursday, January 5, 2012
Welcome to Day 5 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Genesis 12, Abram leaves his homeland and sets out to a place God says, “I will show you.” God said, “I will (bless you, make you a great nation, etc) Go from basically everything you know… to an unknown place.
Genesis 13:8-9 “So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” Abram was kind to Lot, gave him his choice of which direction to go…
Start over at 75 years old… starting over? Are you kidding me?
What about Abram and Sarai’s deception of the Pharaoh? I get that they feared for their lives in a strange land, but what did Sarai go through? They were there for some time because Abram “acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.” That doesn’t happen overnight… I can guess what it means to be in Pharaoh’s household… But there is no mention of it. Really makes me wonder what went on.
Funny, Lot SAW how nicely watered the land was in one direction and took it. Lot ended up settling… near Sodom. Things aren’t always as they appear… aside from their wickedness, there was war in and over that land!
When Lot was captured, Abram went to war for him and got him and all his possessions back! Fought for him! That’s commitment to family. Am I willing to fight for my family in that way?
14:20, “Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” to Melchizedek, the king AND priest… the first tithe. He tithed on everything he had… then gave everything else he had take back to the king of Sodom, just because it was the right thing to do. I Love that.
I know there’s more to this story… trying to read each chapter as though I’ve never read it before… and not journal about what’s going to happen… But we all know what happens in Sodom, then to Sodom… and to Lot’s wife.
Luke 5, you gotta love the story of Jesus asking Peter to borrow his boat to speak from… then he suggests Peter go to deeper water to fish some more. Peter was a pro fisherman… yet he dared to give it a shot… and was blessed for it, and learned a great lesson about Jesus. Then he (and his partners in his fishing business) left EVERYTHING and followed Jesus. I wonder if they asked Jesus to become a partner in their fishing business? Let down the nets one time per day with so many fish?? Peter was at least WILLING for both requests to do what Jesus asked. Imagine if he had said no to letting Jesus use his boat to speak from?
v 16 “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Good advice for all of us…
Story of the paralyzed man… Did he ask his friends to do that for him or did they just do it for him? Jesus saw “their” faith. Must have been a collective effort… What a great story about doing whatever it takes to get near Jesus!
Wow, to prove he had the authority to forgive sins, he healed the man. Love the people’s response, “We have seen remarkable things today.” Love that!
I love that Jesus called Levi (Matthew’s Hebrew name) while he was still “a sinner.” Then Levi invited Jesus over to be with him and his circle of friends, a bunch of other “tax collectors and sinners.” I love spending time with people who aren’t Christians… Keeping in mind that Jesus was the son of God, and had great self-control… He was able to be in that situation… for the rest of us, we need to use caution. We are called to be salt and light, to reach out to “the lost” but I have to use wisdom and be careful. Remember, “sin is crouching at the door” from earlier in Genesis 4?
I see a correlation between these passages, old and new testament… How Abram treated the king of Sodom and how Jesus treated Levi… Both could have said, “Go away from me you sinner!” They may not actually say that… I may not actually say that, but how often do I THINK that and treat people as less-than because they are not a Christian or see the world through my glasses? I need to learn to see people the way God does… to see their potential… who they can become as I am becoming who God wants ME to be. There is so much in these passages each day… how is it possible to boil it down to one verse, one thought, one application?? I can’t do it. Not gonna try. Just gonna roll with it!
Speak Lord, your servant is listening. I want to absorb everything I can from your word… about Abram’s faith and trust and willingness to go and do. I want to be a person who carries his friends into your presence so that they can be healed… I want to be a person who draws others into relationship with you. I want to be a person who is respected in the community for my faith and how I walk it out, not in a judgmental way, but in a way that they would want to invite me over to hang out with them and their friends. Make it so Lord. But I need your help to maintain my character, integrity and values along the way. Thank you for open doors into the community…
P.S. If you made it this far in reading MY journal/SOAP, I just want you to know I really am trying to keep it as MY journal, not A journal for everyone else following along. This is how I process what I am reading. Please don’t feel pressured to make YOUR journal like mine. Make it YOUR journal… and keep sharing your insights with me and others by posting comments… This is going to be a great year of breakthroughs and insights and discovery together!