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.

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Day 81

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Welcome to Day 81 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Joshua 12, 13, 14; 1 Corinthians 7 (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

Joshua 12:7, “Here is a list of the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered on the west side of the Jordan…  24 thirty-one kings in all.”

Joshua 13:1, “When Joshua had grown old, the LORD said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.”

Joshua 14:10, “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So…

Here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.”

1 Corinthians 7:3, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other…”

“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”

O bservation

Sometimes the Lord gives us a task that lasts a lifetime, such as Joshua finishing the job of taking the land the Lord had promised. Other times, we do something that has lifelong effect… Such as Rahab hiding the spies. Her one act is a tribute to an otherwise questionable lifestyle (a prostitute.)

I love that Joshua was 85 years old but wasn’t finished yet. He claimed he was still as vigorous and capable as ever to fight! How cool is that?

The verses in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul gives his take on singleness and marriage and our responsibilities toward our spouse.

Bottom line is sex was never meant to be used as a weapon or a reward, or outside of marriage. The Bible clearly states that we do not have authority over our own bodies. Our spouse does. (Within reason, of course…)

A pplication

Makes me think of Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

It’s easy to apply this, “out there” when interacting with the people around us, the folks at church or work, or the people we are serving while out in the community, but this verse (like most) is best applied to the people closest to us. Makes me think of “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church, a love marked by giving, not getting.”

Paul look at marriage as a distraction to the work he had been called to. He comes very close to putting his own personal belief on those around him. He made provision for marriage, but said one would do better to not marry.

At this point in my life, I could work 24/7. I can relate to Joshua… there is still much land to be taken. I am still excited and vibrant and capable of doing the task to which I have been called. Sometimes my family pays a price for my task. I’m off to war… tired when I return. At times, it takes a toll on me. I can be thinking about the next campaign… focused on what’s out there, versus what is needed at home.

2 Corinthians 11:28, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”

The flip side is I work hard at not working so hard. To take time off. To spend time with family and friend. To be fully present when I’m with someone. There are those who actually think I work 24/7. I don’t. But I could very easily. Last night Bonnie and I went to Red Lobster for dinner. Just the two of us…

They say, “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life.” That’s true for me… most of the time. : )

P rayer

Thank you Lord for giving me the strength to do the things you have called me to!

Day 80

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome to Day 80 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Joshua 9, 10, 11; 1 Corinthians 6 (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

Joshua 9 “The Israelites sampled their provisions but

did not inquire of the LORD.”

(Oops.)

Joshua 10 “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!”

Joshua 10 “So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings.

He left no survivors.

He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. 42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.”

Joshua 11 “So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions.

Then the land had rest from war.”

1 Corinthians 6 “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 were bought at a price. Therefore

honor God with your bodies.”

O bservation

Over and over and over again we see that the Israelites were commanded to completely destroy their enemies. In other words, don’t mess with anything that could lead you astray or tempt you to turn away from the LORD.

Again today, it was clear to me that even though God had “given” the land to Israel, they still had to fight. Just that God was with them, ensuring their victory by his hand. Pretty cool that he allowed the sun to stay shining for a whole day as they fought.

Also, the brutality of their campaign is notable… men, women and children, all completely destroyed. The bodies of the kings hung on poles, then burned. Was that really necessary? Today you would be charged with gross abuse of a corpse. Even if it were the enemy in a war setting. We would never dream of doing something like that.

Recently when some of our military urinated on a corpse, it made national news… Imagine if they then set them on fire. Hard to comprehend some of this… isn’t it?

A pplication

Same application as it has been recently… put to death anything (not literally, just for the record…) that could cause you to turn from the Lord. (Avoid, turn away from…) And, even though God gives you something, you may still have to fight for it…

Sin is destructive. Scripture says we were bought with a price… “Therefor honor God with your bodies.” He owns it all, including our body. Or should…

P rayer

I need your strength to live for you. Give me the strength to fight the fights that need fought, and the wisdom I need to know your strategies… I trust that if the sun ever needs to stand still, you can do whatever needs to be done! You alone are the great and awesome God!

Day 79

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome to Day 79 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Joshua 7, 8; Psalms 69; 1 Corinthians 5 (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

Joshua 7:1 “But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel.”

v 20 “Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

Then all Israel stoned him…

Joshua 8, Israel attacked Ai once more after their failed attempt… They conquered Ai, killing everyone and plundering the city, leaving it in ruins…

Psalm 69:30, “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves.”

1 Corinthians 5, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”

O bservation

We would all love to think that our sin doesn’t affect anyone but ourselves, but that’s often not the case. Achan was disobedient to the command given by Joshua before they attacked Jericho…

Joshua 6:18, “But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.”

Thirty six people died in that battle… a relatively small number in comparison to the 3,000 that fought… the Lord was not with them, because of Achan’s disobedience. He probably thought no one would ever find out he had kept some of the devoted things. God saw. God knew. And he paid for it.

In 1 Corinthians Paul is talking about sin inside the church and sin outside the church. He basically said, “How do you expect people outside the church to act??” Of course they are going to be sexually immoral or whatever… but INSIDE the church, it should be different. People should behave differently. He goes so far to say that you should not associate with a person who claims to be a Christian yet is sexually immoral… or greedy or a drunkard. He said to not even eat with them!

I wonder what Jesus would say about that?

Bottom line is our sin does affect others around us. People love to say “I’m not hurting anyone!” But that’s often not the case. Achan’s disobedience affected all of Israel. And cost 36 people their lives. And his as well.

P rayer

Lord, none of us are perfect… we’re all in process. But we need your help to put our past behind us, to avoid “the sin that so easily entangles us” as it says in Hebrews.

 

 

 

 

Day 78

Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcome to Day 78 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Joshua 3, 4, 5, 6; 1 Corinthians 4 (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

FINALLY! Since Exodus 12 we have been reading about this “Promised Land” of Canaan… a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Today, at last, we finally get to see them cross over!

Joshua 3:5 “Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”

Joshua 4:4 “So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel

forever.”

8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them.”

Joshua 5:9 “Then the LORD said to Joshua…

“Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.”

Joshua 6 “Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.”

1 Corinthians 4:15 “Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.”

O bservation

My glaring observation today is that even though God had “delivered Jericho” into their hands, they still had to fight for it. God made a way for them to obliterate this city, even though it was tightly secured with walls and the city gates shut tightly.

Once they were obedient to the Lord’s command to march around the city for seven days with the Ark of the covenant, then blow the trumpets and shout…

they still had to fight.

The Lord merely gave them access to the city and confidence? that He was with them.

A pplication

What does this mean? That even though the Lord may “deliver something” into our hands, we may still have to fight for it. Or work for it?

It could be easy for one to think, “I have been called into ministry” so it’s going to be an easy ride… Nothing could be farther from the truth. Or, “The Lord gave us this house!” but you still have to make the mortgage payments.

You never know how the Lord may want you to fight a battle… His strategies are a little different from the standard off the shelf, this is how you fight a war, book of strategy and war tactics.

P rayer

Lord, I want your strategies… for whatever war you are calling me to fight. Help me to be obedient and to simply know when to march, when to blow the trumpet, when to shout and when to fight.

 

Day 77

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Welcome to Day 77 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Joshua 1, 2; Psalms 37; 1 Corinthians 3 (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

Joshua 1:2, “Moses my servant is dead. Now then…”

v 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Joshua 2:9, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for

the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (Rahab, a prostitute.)

Psalm 37:3 “Trust in the LORD and do good.”

Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him…”

Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…”

Psalm 37:8 “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret…”

Psalm 37:27  “Turn from evil and do good…”

Psalm 37:34 “Hope in the LORD and keep his way.”

1 Corinthians 3:4 “For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?

Only servants…

through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but…

only God…

who makes things grow.”

O bservation

The verses in 1 Corinthians have so much wisdom… caution us to refrain from following men, but for all of us to keep our eyes on Christ. Back then it was, “I follow Paul!” vs “I follow Apollos!” Today it’s, “I follow Rick Warren!” vs “I follow Bill Johnson!” vs “I follow Bill Hybels!” vs I follow “John Macarthur!” vs “I follow Beth Moore” vs “I follow Joyce Meyer.” You see how it works?

It’s so easy to fall into that trap…

Hebrews 12:2 states, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”

The people of Israel followed Moses. Then they followed Joshua. God chooses men to lead. We need good leaders. We need to follow their example. We can learn from them, and should. But we must always keep it in proper perspective.

A pplication

I want to be not just a good leader, but a great leader. I want to be an example that people would want to follow. I want to be a person that others can look to, but past, to Christ. As Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1.

I believe we all should say that… We are all examples, not just pastors or church staff. All of us as believers should be an example that others could follow. Not perfect, but in process. Growing in grace. Walking in mercy. Serving others more than ourselves. Giving generously.

P rayer

Help me to become an example for others to follow. I know I haven’t arrived… but I’m on the journey. Help me to always walk in humility and point people to you…

Day 76

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Welcome to Day 76 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Deuteronomy 32, 33, 34; 1 Corinthians 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

Deuteronomy 32, Moses writes a song about God’s greatness and faithfulness… and Israel’s shortcomings and all that God had done for them, and would love to do…

“On that same day the LORD told Moses, 49 “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore…

… you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 33, Moses’ final blessing of the tribes of Israel before they were to cross over the Jordan, in Canaan, the Promised Land, the land of their inheritance from the Lord, given them by his promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) and their ancestors.

Deuteronomy 34, “Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” 5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7

Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died…

…yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. 8 The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over.”

9 “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses. 10

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses…

…whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 or no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”

1 Corinthians 2:16, “we have the mind of Christ.”

O bservation

How sad is it that Moses didn’t get to enter the promised land? But how cool is it that he just kinda disappeared on Mount Nebo. Everyone knew he had died, but wasn’t sure where he was buried…

Assumed that he was “caught up” to be with God and didn’t die like everyone else. More like Elijah… who was carried away in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire! (Perhaps that’s why both Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration!) “As they [Elijah and Elisha] were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.” 2 Kings 2:11

A pplication

Even though Moses was a great leader and spoke with God face to face, he had his shortcomings. His frustrations got the best of him and it cost him entering Canaan.

How easy it is to let life, our frustrations, our own brokenness get the best of us.

Need to have an outlook like Paul, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” So, so glad we live under a new covenant. Still sorting out how to live under grace… with laws written on our hearts, vs on stone tablets.

P rayer

Lord, help me to run this race to win. I’m turning 50 this year… Moses lived to be 120 and his frustrations got the best of him at the end of his life… just a year before they were to enter Canaan. Help me to finish well.

Day 75

Friday, March 16, 2012

Welcome to Day 75 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Deuteronomy 30, 31; Psalms 40; 1 Corinthians 1 (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

Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

v 11, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.”

Deuteronomy 31:24 “After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD: 26 “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to testify against them. 29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.”

1 Corinthians 1:4 “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Psalm 40:8

“I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

O bservation

There is quite a contrast between Moses’ proclamation to the Israelites and Paul’s proclamation to the believers in Corinth. Even though God had spoken to Moses and told him that the Israelites would turn away from him and worship other gods…

God already knew the outcome…

Did you catch this one? God promised Joshua that “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you.” in v 8. But in v 17, “And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them…”

Hmmm… How does that work? God knew that Joshua would be faithful to him. He had already demonstrated that… Keep in mind Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of the generation of age 20 and older to cross the Jordan. So, God could make that promise to him…

A pplication

All through these recent chapters we see conditional statements… “If… then…” If you do this, I’ll do that. But if you do THIS, I’ll do THAT…”

Is God’s faithfulness dependent upon my faithfulness? No.

Is God’s blessing upon my life dependent upon my faithfulness? Yes and no.

2 Timothy 2:11, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13

if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Have to keep in mind that none of us are perfectly faithful… If God’s faithfulness depended upon our faithfulness, we would all be in big trouble. None of us would stand a chance.

So, yes, it’s clear that God’s blessing has some conditions… but in the end, he is faithful.

P rayer

Lord I want to be found faithful to you… Thank you that you are faithful to me. You ARE faithful!

 

Day 74

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Welcome to Day 74 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Deuteronomy 28, 29; Galatians 6 (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

Deuteronomy 28:1 “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:

3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. 8 The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. 11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

However… if…”

(Insert L O N G list of curses, if, here…)

Deuteronomy 29, reiteration of various aspects of the Law, again. And a reminder of life in Egypt…

v 29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

Galatians 6:1, “if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person…

gently.”

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit…” v 18

O bservation

What a great list of blessings, if…

Some promises are conditional… I will do this, if you do that. But if you don’t do this, I won’t do that.

A pplication

What do you think it means to “fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands?”

I need to ponder that one for a while… One could THINK I’m “fully obeying” and how would you know if you are (or aren’t?) I THINK I am… people may even agree with me based upon what they see, and that would be good.

But in reality, we perform for an audience of One.

P rayer

Thank you that it’s your heart to bless your people.

Day 73 (Today marks 20% of the way through the Bible!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Welcome to Day 73 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Deuteronomy 25, 26, 27; Galatians 5 (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

Deuteronomy 25, more laws…

v 17-19 “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. 19 When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!

(So much for forgive and forget, right?)

Deuteronomy 26, more on firstfruit offerings and tithes…

Now THESE are classic verses!

v 16-19 “The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws;

carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.

17 You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him. 18 And

the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession

as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. 19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.”

Deuteronomy 27, instructions to build an alter once Israel has crossed over the Jordan River…

And, a whole lotta “cursed is anyone who _________” statements. Amen.

Galatians 5:1,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

v 7, “You were running a good race…”

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

O bservation

Galatian 5 is such a classic chapter, contrasting life by the Spirit and life by the flesh (sinful nature.) Two long lists; the acts of the flesh and, the fruit of the spirit. Not a list of do’s and don’ts as we are accustomed to in our Old Testament readings of late, but evidence, or the bi-product of living either lifestyle.

A pplication

This is not long division… If we live according to “acts of the flesh” we will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Not meaning heaven) but that we will not be walking in the Spirit and extending the kingdom here on earth. However, the evidence of “walking in the Spirit” is that we will produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, thereby allowing us to participate in extending the kingdom.

We are not talking about perfection or a flawless lifestyle here… but the direction and momentum of our lives. What does what our life is producing say about our walk with God?

Am I living according to my flesh… and it’s desires?

Or am I living according to the Spirit… and producing good fruit?

P rayer

Lord, I want to live my life according to your Spirit. I want to produce good fruit in my life for the sake of your kingdom.

Day 72

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Welcome to Day 72 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Deuteronomy 22, 23, 24; Galatians 4 (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

Do not. Must not. Shall not.

Deuteronomy 22:9-11 “Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled. 10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together. 11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.”

v 5 “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.”

v 14 Slander against a virgin wife… If she was found to NOT be a virgin, she was stoned to death. v 22 If a man slept with another man’s wife… BOTH were to be stoned to death.

Deuteronomy 23:3 “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, not even in the tenth generation.”

v 7 “Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country. 8 The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD.”

Deuteronomy 24, “If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die.

You must purge the evil from among you.”

v 16 “Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.” (Whew!)

Galatians 4:28 “Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise.”

O bservation

The Law brought two things… Obedience and death. You could die for just about anything! As a son could be stoned for being stubborn, rebellious, a glutton and a drunkard, a daughter could be stoned for being promiscuous. 2 Corinthians 3 states that the “letter (of the law) kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Romans 8:2 “through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

Thank God!

Wondering if things that were detestable to God in the Old Testament, if he still finds them detestable. I don’t think Jesus changed that… The word detestable appears over 100 times in the Bible.)

John 8, “but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

A pplication

Now we have been set free from the law of sin and death… Free. Now the Law is written on our hearts, not on tablets of stone. Now, instead of being a slave to sin, we are slaves to righteousness.

P rayer

Today, I’m really thankful that I haven’t been stoned to death, and that we are under a new covenant!

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