Saturday, March 3, 2012
Welcome to Day 62 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
Numbers 32, The tribes of Reuben and Gad, possessors of much livestock, requested permission to settle in the region east of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, already conquered. Because all of Israel was to participate in the conquest and because their departure would dishearten the other tribes, Moses sternly warned them against the sin of the Exodus generation. His admonition includes a classic recognition of God’s sovereign dominion as judge: “be sure your sin will find you out” (v. 23). (Excerpts taken from Reformation Study Bible.)
Numbers 33 recounts their journey’s itinerary… looking back, then instructions for moving forward. They were to drive out the inhabitants of the land… v 55-56 “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.”
Mark 10, In this chapter, we have,
1. Christ’s dispute with the Pharisees concerning divorce.
2. The kind entertainment he gave to the little children that were brought to him to be blessed.
3. His trial of the rich man that enquired what he must do to get to heaven.
4. His discourse with his disciples, upon that occasion, concerning the peril of riches and the advantage of being impoverished for his sake.
5. The repeated notice he gave his disciples of his sufferings and death approaching.
6. The counsel he gave to James and John, to think of suffering with him, rather than of reigning with him.
7. The cure of Bartimeus, a poor blind man.
Lots to choose from in Mark 10…
Could focus on divorce, healing, the importance of children or the benefit of suffering for his sake…
But what stands out to me is Jesus’ advice to the rich man in Mark 10:21-23,
“Jesus looked at him and loved him…
“One thing you lack,” he said…
“Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven…
Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
There are so many distractions in life… “Weeds” as described in the parable of the sower and the seed in Mark 4.
“The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” The problem is never the object of our heart’s desire, but our heart itself.
Money and the desire for “other things” is never the problem. The problem is what we value, what we see as important. The problem wasn’t this man having money. Money wasn’t the issue. His attitude toward his money is the problem.
Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (The King James uses the phrase, “desperately wicked” in place of “beyond cure.”)
1 Timothy 6:10 states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
MONEY is not the root of all kinds of evil… the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
It’s about our heart attitude toward what we have… and following God.
“Sell everything you have and give to the poor. Then, come follow me.” v 21.
The trick is to not think that we are made right by our giving to the poor… that somehow we earn a better standing before the Lord. Give because it’s the right thing to do, not because I think it makes me any holier.
It does keep my heart in check…
As long as I don’t have an attitude toward the poor… that they should just go out and get a job, or whatever.
My rant for today… Drives me crazy when people ask, “How do you know if they are REALLY in need?”
Seriously? I’m pretty sure people who have plenty are not going to show up early on a Saturday morning, wait in line for a couple of hours for some groceries and meat if they are not in need.
Besides, their reason for being there is their problem.
My heart toward them is my problem.
The heart is deceitful above all things… True for all of us.
I wrote a song years ago… Came to mind as I was typing the word, Prayer…
Lord… make me pure. Make me holy… and secure. Teach me… to obey. I give my life again today. And let your love… flow over me. By the power of your love, you have set… me… free…
That is still my prayer Lord…