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 86

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Welcome to Day 86 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Judges 1, 2, 3; 1 Corinthians 12 (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

Judges 1 Israel fought the remaining Canaanites but didn’t finish the job. And of course, it comes back to bite them…

Judges 2, “Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors,

another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.

11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the LORD’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the LORD gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. 16 Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.”

Summary in two words, disobedience and defeat.

Judges 3, a deceptive assassination and more warring against the Moabites.

1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.”

Obvious answer to that rhetorical question?

No.

vs 11, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

O bservation

So much to chew on today. I find myself very sad as I read from Judges… That the generations that knew the great things that God had done for them, Egypt, the Red Sea, the pillar of smoke, the tabernacle, etc…

Judges 2:10, “another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.”

How is that possible??

As much as I’d like to focus on the body analogy, I’m going to focus on Judges 2…

A pplication

Did you notice? Throughout Joshua, there is very little mentioned about the Tabernacle or the Law. Mostly war and taking the land that God had promised them. Only twice is the Tabernacle mentioned in Joshua. (Chapter 22.)

Keep in mind that Joshua and Caleb were the only men over age 20 to enter the Promised Land.

I know after having raised our four kids (ages 19, 21, 23 and 25) that it really does take dedication and focus living our faith, day in and day out, month after month, year after year. They had to see us living it out over the long haul. As God told Moses in Deuteronomy 6 “These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you,

your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God

as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life…” And it goes on from there… all the promises that God made to Israel, to their children, to their children’s children… if…

My kids are all young adults now. All across the board in terms of where they are at spiritually. They all believe in God. The foundation has been laid. But now it’s up to them.

Will they marry the right person? Will they serve other gods? What will they teach to THEIR children. Remains to be seen.

Having said all that, here’s the reality… It’s MY job to teach my kids. Not the school, at which there is no prayer allowed… Or even a Christian school’s job to teach my kids. It’s their job to support. Same with the church.

The church only has our kids a couple of hours per week… that’s if we show up regularly.

It’s what our kids SEE us living out every day that is etched into their hearts and minds and spirit. When we have a problem… when THEY have a problem, do we apply godly, biblical principles and pray? Or do we handle things the way the world does. Do we grumble and gossip or do we bless those who curse us? If someone asks for our coat, do we give them our cloak also? Go the second mile? Turn the other cheek?

I never wanted to be the father who was a pastor. I wanted to be the father who was a Christian. I don’t want to be known as a pastor in the community, but a man with integrity who happens to be a pastor. I don’t want to stay married to prove it can be done. I want to love my wife as Christ loved the church, thereby doing my part to keep our marriage in tact. I want my wife to WANT to be and stay married to me. I wanted my kids to SEE what how to walk out a life of faith. To see what a marriage can be. Including the warts that go with it.

Have I succeeded? Remains to be seen. The foundation has been laid… The seeds planted, but the harvest takes a time… a lifetime in fact. Not all the seeds we planted were good, I’m sure. We’ve made our mistakes, we have our flaws. I’d say it’s like being a doctor, “practicing” medicine. We’re all just working it out.

We’ll see…

The community of Israel was hundreds of thousands… Their parents all died in the wilderness… for their disobedience. I’m guessing beyond the sacrifices and festivals, they didn’t do a very good job of Deuteronomy 6-ing their faith… Obviously by Judges 2 they had failed miserably. They couldn’t even drive out the Canaanites.

P rayer

Lord, I pray that my kids… our kids would know you… More than your laws… your ways.

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4 thoughts on “Day 86

  1. Cathy Guerrant on said:

    Gifts of the Spirit –
    We all have gifts, given to us by the Spirit – some gifts are seen as more important (like a Pastor) than others (teaching two year olds), but they are not. The same as certain parts of the body are not more important than others.

    God gives you gifts to forward His Kingdom, so what are you doing? If you feel you have a gift in one area, meet with a pastor over that area and find out how you can help – it will be rewarding – both to you and to those you serve. And it’s why God placed you here!

    God, please let me know firmly of the plans you have for me and how I can be of service to those in my church family as well as in the world. Please help the pastors that I speak to regarding my gifts to be sensitive to my calling and to help me to help serve others.

  2. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the LORD’s commands. Judges 2:17

    Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. Judges 2:20-21

    It took less than a generation for them to turn away from God’s commands. It takes less than 10 minutes sometimes for us to turn away. We are instructed to love those who hate us and to reconcile our differences to anyone who holds something against us. Do we ever take an inventory of the people who have been in our lives and evaluate where there is need for reconciliation? Forgiving someone is hard because some people really don’t deserve forgiveness. But then again, we don’t either. We need to do this in order to be a unified body as described in 1 Corinthians 12.

    When it comes to spiritual gifts, there are two keys for me. One is that gifts are given for the common good, not for personal gratification. We need to focus on He who gives the gifts, not the gifts themselves. Also the gifts are distributed as He determines, not as we want or need. His ways are than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23 NIV

    We need to follow the will of God, not our own desires concerning the use of these gifts.

    Lord, may we know Your will by spending time in Your word and in Your presence. We quickly turn from Your instructions to follow our own worldly desires. Thank you for the gifts you have given us. May we combine them for the benefit of everyone, not just for ourselves and those close to us. Let us clearly hear Your voice and instructions.

  3. Scott, your observations are so helpful today…as are the others. Lots of revelations that are relevant today for me. Thank you all!

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