Saturday, March 24, 2012
Welcome to Day 83 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
Joshua 18-19, Final allotments of land being distributed to the remaining tribes…
The tent of meeting was set up again. (Wondering how much time has passed since they crossed the Jordan? Days? Maybe weeks?)
Joshua 20, the cities of refuge are established. (Good to know God is looking out for people who have accidentally killed someone so they are safe as they await trial…)
1 Corinthians 9, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.
I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
I like when the Old Testament readings make it easy for me to focus on the New Testament reading for the day. I love the letters Paul wrote to the Christians/churches in all the different cities…
For some reason, Paul felt the need to defend his “Apostleship.” At one point, he even used the term “super Apostles” (2 Corinthians 11 and 12) to refer to the other Apostles… haha. So he gave his resume over and over about the work he has done, the hardships he has endured and finally, in this chapter, he exclaims, “Have I not seen our Lord, Jesus?” (One of the marks of the early Apostles.) He even quotes “Don’t muzzle the ox when it’s treading the corn” in Deuteronomy 25:4, to justify his receiving support to continue his missionary work.
Paul was a straight shooter. But I love his approach to reaching people of all kinds. Remember in Athens in Acts when he saw the altar to the unknown god… he used that as a point of ministry. “This unknown god is the God I proclaim to you on this day! Jesus.”
Paul was willing to do whatever it took to preach the gospel. “Gospel” means “good news.” It’s always good news.
I don’t like preaching doom and gloom. I don’t like talking about Hell. I would much rather tell the good news of how Jesus changed my life! I’d much rather talk about how much God loves us.
Paul was focused and used two analogies to describe that focus. A runner and a boxer. He said, “Run the race to win.” And, no shadow boxing. Be focused. Work hard. He told Timothy to work hard like a farmer, expecting a crop for your hard work.
He said, “I beat my body into submission.” That’s determination…
As believers, sometimes we have to do that… for the sake of the Gospel.
Lord, give me THAT kind of determination. THAT kind of focus. THAT ability to connect with all kinds of people… that I might win some.
P.S. Someone told me last night that I am an “overachiever” in regards to my Life Journal… haha. I just want you to know that it’s easy to be an overacheiver when you have a few hundred people looking on every day.
This has been a great journey for me thus far. I am getting so much out of this trip through the Bible… and I’m so thankful to have you all on this journey with me… I believe this is going to have a huge impact on our church now, and in the future.
I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment to this blog! It keeps me running… yea, it keeps me running. (Doobie Brothers reference there! haha)