Sunday, February 5, 2012
Welcome to Day 36 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 39, “Now the tabernacle, it’s furnishings AND all the priestly garments are complete. Ready to be assembled. v 32 “So all the work on the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed… v 42 The Israelites had done all the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 43 Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded.”
Exodus 40:33, “And so Moses finished the work.”
v 34, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
The End. (of the book of Exodus. Up next, Leviticus…)
Psalm 15:1, “LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?”
2 “The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; 3 whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; 4 who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5 who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.”
“Whoever does these things will never be shaken.”
Acts 12, You gotta love this story about Peter in the prison… “The church was earnestly praying for him.” But when Peter shows up at their door, they said, “You’re out of your mind.”
Could focus on the prayer aspect… that they were praying, yet when he showed up, they were in disbelief.
How about just how cool it would be to have an angel show up and escort you out of prison. He was CHAINED to two guards, his cell opened, he walked right past the sentries guarding his cell… right past the guards of the city… AND the gate to the city opened up… by itself.
As great of a story as this is, I am left with several questions, more than answers.
I could say (since my SOAP is out there for all the world to see…) my observation is that God is able to rescue me from ANY situation. Fire. Lions. Prison.
But, in all honesty, I find myself wondering this…
Why God didn’t rescue James, the brother of John?? Was Peter more important? Was it just James’ time? Was the church NOT praying for James? Did they not pray “earnestly” enough for James?
John the Baptist was beheaded too…
Again, the right thing to say is that “God has a plan.” “His ways are higher than my ways…” yadda, yadda, yadda… All of that is true, but it feels more like rationalization… trying to make sense out of things will never make sense. (Unless God showed up and explained it to us…)
As I recall, Jesus told James that he would indeed “drink from the cup that I am going to drink from…” Mark 10:35-41 (speaking of his eminent death.) So Jesus had told James this was how his life would end…
Makes me think of my favorite quote from “Braveheart.” “All men die… not all men really live.” It’s not how we DIE that matters… it’s how we live.
Ok, I’ll move on…
Once again, the passages about the tabernacle and today’s Psalm are well aligned… “LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?” Those who are; Blameless, righteous, truth, no slander, no wrong, no slur, despises what is vile, honors, keeps an oath, lends without interest, no bribes.
Romans 14:8, “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
How I die is FAR LESS IMPORTANT than how I live(d). To be know/remembered as a man “whose whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.”
That is the goal.
I can’t ever hope to do any of this on my own… by my own strength…
Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” that I would not slander or slur others…
Colossians 3:11-13, “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”