Saturday, January 28, 2012
Welcome to Day 28 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
Exodus 21 and 22, laws about Hebrew servants, personal injuries, protection of property and social responsibility.
Exodus 22:22-27, “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless. 25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.”
Psalm 12:5, “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
One of my favorite passages in the entire Bible, Acts 4:12-13, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
4:31, “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
4:32 reiterates 2:42, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”
Funny that all these laws were given immediately after the ten commandments were given… Easy to see where “an eye for an eye” came from. It’s right there. The Israelites observed these laws for 1,500 years. No wonder when Jesus came and picked grain on the Sabbath they got upset. But they missed the point. The Sabbath was given for man, not man for the Sabbath.
God’s heart has always been for the fatherless and the widows and the poor…
After the healing of the lame man, another 2,000 believers were added. Funny how the resurrection has always been the trigger for debate. The Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection, so when Peter spoke of it, they threw them into prison.
Acts 2 and 4 both paint a picture of the early church and is a good target for what church could be or should be.
Exodus passages speak to restitution… reconciliation. Making things right. Taking responsibility for one’s actions in any given situation. I think I’m pretty good at this… I always try to own what’s mine, even if it’s just my 1%. I know I can always handle situations better, say something in a more gentle way, etc. Blame is never a good strategy.
Lord help me to always be mindful of others around me. Give me eyes to see others’ needs… to be one who makes things right. To be a man of integrity… To be one who is filled with the Holy Spirit and power.