Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 54

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welcome to Day 54 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Numbers 12, 13; Psalms 90; Mark 2 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

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

S cripture

Numbers 12:1, “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this.

3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)”

Numbers 13, Moses sent some men ahead into Canaan to see what was there… They were to report back about the people, towns, how is the soil, bring back samples of the fruit, etc…

v 30 “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Psalm 90:1, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. v 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.”

Mark 2, Jesus heals, eats with sinners, calls Levi (Matthew) a tax collector, addresses fasting and the Sabbath.

v 27 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

v 13-17, “Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

O bservation

Amazing story of the men Moses sent into Canaan… Most were fearful upon return, but not Caleb.

Caleb knew, as did David, that the battle belongs to the Lord… 1 Samuel 17:47, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (David facing battle with Goliath).

Once again, instead of trusting God, they were trusting in their own ability, strength, numbers… How about this for a fear-filled statement, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes… and we looked the same to them.”

Not only did they see themselves as grasshoppers… they imagined or projected that’s how those in that land saw them. How did they know this? Did someone say this to them while they were there? Even if that were the case, Caleb still said, “We should go up and take possession of the land… for WE CERTAINLY CAN DO IT.”

Every time I read about Jesus spending time with tax collectors and “sinners” my heart is stirred.

How can we be “salt” and “light” if we only spend time with other Christians?

I want to be the one that my friends who don’t know the Lord, call, when they are struggling, or have a question, or are in need of support.

The problem is we, as Christians have the best product with the worst packaging… Granted, some use the “All Christians are hypocrites” excuse to not go to church… but Christians are so fearful of being around “sinners” instead of saying, “These folks will be blessed by my friendship. At some point, they will ask for my opinion on a problem, or ask me to pray for them!”

A pplication

Today, my Application is more of a rant…

Instead of being fearful, instead of seeing ourselves as “grasshoppers” and thinking that everyone around us also sees us the same way… (hopefully we haven’t given them that impression…) or being fearful of “falling into sin” because of hanging out with “sinners,” how about if we intentionally spend time with folks who don’t know Christ? The tax collectors and sinners LIKED being around Jesus… because he wasn’t judgmental… he didn’t look down on them. He viewed them as people in need. “It’s not the well that need a doctor (believers) but the sick (not-yet believers).” The only people who had a problem with him spending time with sinners was the religious crowd… the pious, holier-than-thou who thought it incredible and detestable that Jesus would lower himself, or worse, DEFILE himself by eating with tax collectors and sinners…

Say that with me… “Tax collectors… and SINNERS…” Do you feel the disdain in that statement? He eats with “Tax collectors… and SINNERS…”

Don’t get me wrong… I think it’s wise to not put ourselves in situations that may compromise our character… If you struggle with alcoholism, you don’t meet old friends at Bar Louie or the Wine Loft. You meet them at a place that has less focus on alcohol… Maybe for breakfast or for dinner elsewhere.

But the point is to not isolate ourselves from people who may need us most… More importantly, the need the Lord… and they may meet him through us.

I get invites all the time for events that are at places in which I may feel uncomfortable. But when I get an invite to an event by my friends who aren’t church-goers, I try to attend. With caution…

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 speaks to being wise and careful… ““I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

I love developing friendships with people who aren’t Christians. We are called to BE “ambassadors of Christ.”

How good of an ambassador are you? Who are you reaching out to?

Ambassadors represent their country (in our case, the Kingdom) in a foreign country… I bring light to any situation. I carry the Kingdom of God into every situation. I LOVE that! When someone asks for my opinion (and they do or will) I am giving them KINGDOM perspective. I often quote scripture without anyone knowing it. I was once interviewed by the Dayton Daily News. They printed three verses without even knowing it, because I didn’t point out chapter and verse… By the way, it’s still scripture, even without chapter and verse… justsayin’…

What I’m saying is, let’s take the land… let’s BE salt and light. But not TOO salty… or blind people with our light.

One of my favorite verses, Colossians 4:5, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

P rayer

Lord, help me to never see myself as a grasshopper… to never think less of myself than you think of me. I want to see myself the way YOU see me. As a son… not a slave. That it’s your good pleasure to give me the Kingdom! That when I ask you for bread you won’t give me a stone. Help me to live that out… to walk in your blessing!

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8 thoughts on “Day 54

  1. Scott Sliver on said:

    P.S. Grumbling or gossiping is never a good thing… Just ask Miriam… Note to self.

  2. Numbers 12 – The Lord speaks face to face with Moses. It is noted that Moses is humble, the most humble person on the earth actually. The Lord mentions directly that Moses is faithful “in all of my house”. Conclusion – It is good to be humble and faithful towards God. Conclusion #2: It is bad to speak against God’s people even though (perhaps especially because) we are God’s people. I think jealousy may have been a motivating factor. We should rejoice in the victories and triumphs of others. We seem to have lost sportsmanship, the ability to be happy for our opponent in sports and competitions. As God’s people, we should be congratulatory of our opponents on their success. In times of victory, we need to be gracious to our opponents and never gloat, even if it is well deserved.

    Numbers 13 – Moses sent out scouts to Canaan as instructed by God. They came back to confirm the land is as God promised, flowing with milk and honey (fertile). However, it is established also that the current residents are bigger and stronger. Thought: It’s easy to assume that we would have gone marching in since we know the eventual outcome. Yet even today, we often yield ground to the enemy knowing that he has already been defeated by Christ. Our God is greater. Our God is stronger. He is higher than any other.

    Psalm 90 – “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

    This is a great verse for anyone who struggles with mornings. Every morning we supplied with manna for our soul. That is all we need to sing for joy and be glad in ALL our days.

    Mark 2 – Crowds were gathered in such large numbers to see Jesus… Reminds me of a rock concert or football game today.

    “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” This is still true today. We need to be EMTs and nurses who bring the sick to the doctor. EMTs and nurses still need the doctor themselves.

    Lord, may we learn to be humble and obedient like Moses. May we never slander others but lift them up instead. I pray against envy and jealousy in the name of Jesus. Lord God, you are greater and stronger than all. Satan yields to your name, not by our righteousness or any means of our own, but because of Your love for us. Lord, thank you for filling us anew every morning. Let us sing for joy and be glad in all of our days. May that joyous song of Your salvation be infectious among all the sick and hurting for they are blessed by you Lord Jesus. In your name. Amen.

  3. In reaching out to others, I have noted, after speaking with those I am helping whom I have never met, that the majority of them are Christians. Seems God draws me to minister to them rather than the unsaved. Interesting….perhaps my
    “ministry”, without even being aware of it, is in ministering to other Christians. 🙂

    Great comments on the reading – we should be salt and light no matter where we go, no matter what we say, or what we do.

  4. Numbers 12-13
    4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out.

    CODE BROWN! If God just called me out for bashing my brother and his wife I’m gonna need a wet wipe. I’m not sure how many steps it took to get out of the tent of meeting, but I bet there was an abundance of repenting in each step. There have been a few times in my life where I’ve gotten this kind of wake-up call. Although I didn’t hear the voice of God, I knew He was highlighting an area of my life where I needed correction.

  5. Kelley Flees on said:

    I live a restricted life many would say. I struggle relating to others different than me. My husband says I lack empathy. I want to be salt,but find it quite challenging. I must pray then for wisdom.

  6. Pam Zambenini on said:

    The last two days of reading have spoken to me a great deal. I do my share of grumbling as we continue our seven year stint in trying to manage cancer, and for some time I have been working at giving praise for all the blessings we have. A great and happy marriage, two kids of great character who are believers who married people of great character who are believers, God’s provision financially, jobs, insurance, incredible personal comforts, family and friends, the privilege of worshiping freely.

    In small ways, I try to be salt but today in the chemo treatment room, my sweet husband reminded me of the task. While we are there, I try to help as I can – getting the patients coffee, snacks or warm blankets, cleaning some of the chemo chairs for the nurses or making coffee – but sometimes, there is a patient who is just not nice and today was one of those times. Right off the bat I just had the feeling this patient was not the kind of person I would want to be around. He immediately put in his headphones to listen to Bob and Tom and when he got up to use the bathroom, swore that they were occupied. I avoided him and commented to my hubby about how I felt. John reminded me that those are the people that we should seek out. I have been thinking about a tag line from a favorite pastor of mine, “Bringing a living Jesus to a dying world.”

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