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 101

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome to Day 101 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Samuel 11,12; 1 Chronicles 1; 2 Corinthians 11 (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

Harmony of Kings, Samuel and Chronicles

S cripture

1 Samuel 11 “When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger.”

1 Samuel 12 “Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. 2 Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. 3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the LORD and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.” 4 “You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.”

v 19 “The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.” 20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”

In 1 Chronicles 1-9 the writer (possibly Ezra) recounts of the people of God from the beginning of history until the return of Judah from the Babylonian exile.

2 Corinthians “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.”

O bservation

Today I noted the similarities in Samuel’s and Paul’s dissertations about their own character.

Character is a funny thing. We are all flawed, and make our mistakes.

It’s obvious Paul had his critics. Samuel’s sons were out of control. Because of that, they rendered themselves incapable of leading Israel. Yet Samuel was able to separate himself from their behavior and stand on how he lived his life over the long haul.

I love that Paul said, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” He could compare resumes with the so-called “super-apostles” and frequently did! Yet he spoke often of the humility of Christ, even poking fun of himself along the way, “I must be out of my mind talking like this!”

Reading through the Old Testament has been an emotional roller coaster for me… It’s like watching someone blow their life apart by making one bad decision after another and being completely powerless to stop it. And today is no different. In a historic turn of events, Israel rejects the LORD as their king and chooses Saul. In yesterday’s reading it stated, “They have not rejected you, they have rejected me.” (The LORD, that is…) 1 Samuel 8:6-8.

A pplication

For sure, God does not expect any of us to be perfect. That’s not possible… But he also does expect us to trust him and worship him only. To not turn away from him to other gods. To not take advantage of others. To be generous and kind…

Saul is about to make a critical mistake that will cost him dearly… He offers a burnt offering due to impatience… and possibly arrogance? (Only the Levite priests were to offer sacrifices…)

More on that tomorrow.

I am constantly amazed by the number of fallen heroes. By that I mean people who make one or two critical mistakes that cost them their reputation, their ministry, their family, their job.

Every day I remind myself, “This is a marathon.” One step at a time. One day at a time. Be faithful. Be dependable. Be honest. Be trustworthy. Do the right thing…

I have always viewed God’s word as guard rails for our lives. It may be a three-lane highway we are on… just don’t take the exit that leads away from God’s will for our lives.

And I believe God’s will for our lives is pretty universal. How we express it, perhaps the minute details (who we marry, where we are to live, etc) may all look different, but the major parts apply to all of us.

To be conformed into the image of Christ.

To do good. How? That’s up to you…

To participate in the Great Commission of going into all the world, making disciples, baptizing and teaching to obey.

To live out the Great Command of loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Basically living out Galatians 5. (Long list of “works of the flesh” to avoid… and a long list of the “fruit of the Spirit” that will be evident as we live a life of faith…)

I am not trying to be perfect. Nor am I trying to be THE example of what it means to be the perfect Christian. I’m just a guy trying to walk it out. To do the things that I believe God has called ME to. To try to be able to say, as Paul did, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1.

To not make the major mistakes as so many have…

(The problem is, it seems few finish really well.)

I’m hoping to be one of them, by God’s grace…

Not perfect, but in process…

P rayer

Lord, it’s only by your grace that any of us stand… Thank you for your goodness and your mercy as we walk this out, and as Paul said, “run the race to win.”

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6 thoughts on “Day 101

  1. Am I sounding like a broken record? Seriously?

    • Nicole Marvin on said:

      Scott-I need the reminders, daily. So I appreciate your notes.

      It is a marathon, a long journey. We need to be focused and on guard.

    • I love the analogy of the three lane highway with guardrails. At times I feel like I’m racing in the fast lane and other times cruising in the right lane or even pausing in a designated rest area for a bit. I need to do better at pulling over and helping stranded motorists get back on the road.

  2. Been thinking about love more specific our love for Jesus. Paul’s warning is important… But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

    Sincere and pure devotion to Christ. That is a high calling.

    Mike Bickle stated, “God’s passion for us awakens passion in us.”

    1 John states we love because He first loved us.

    a couple of weeks ago a passage grabbed my attention as I was reading LifeJournal.

    But
    whoever loves God…
    is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 NIV)

    I thought to myself I want to be known by God, not for all my serving, tasks, speaking, writing etc. but for loving Jesus. As Paul puts it Sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

    Pour out your unfailing love on those who love
    you; give justice to those with honest hearts.
    (Psalm 36:10 NLT)

    We know how much God loves us, and we have
    put our trust in his love.
    God is love, and all who live in love live in
    God, and God lives in them.
    (1 John 4:16 NLT)

    In the midst of all that God is doing at the Vineyard I think what keeps me on track is to set my mind on Him. I do this by pondering, listening to music, observing life as it unfolds, enjoying nature and seeking to be a worshipper that He seeks.

    At the end it is all unmerited favor that draws me. I’m realizing I have litterally no power within my self to do anything when it comes to loving God through Jesus Christ. It really does take God to love God.

    Father draw me after you. Help my heart awaken to your love that you have for me every day.

  3. Marcia on said:

    I’m a little weary today. Scott, your comments helped me glean so much more from these scriptures today than I was able to get for myself. Thank you so much.

  4. Nahash said, “I’ll make a treaty with you on one condition: that every right eye among you be gouged out! I’ll humiliate every last man and woman in Israel before I’m done!”
    The town leaders of Jabesh said, “Give us time to send messengers around Israel—seven days should do it. If no one shows up to help us, we’ll accept your terms.” 1 Samuel 11:2-3 (MSG)

    I am always taken aback by the brutality of this age, and yet Nahash allows them to take 7 days to search for reinforcements. ???

    Saul instructed the messengers, “Tell this to the folk in Jabesh Gilead: ‘Help is on the way. Expect it by noon tomorrow.'”
    The messengers set straight off and delivered their message. Elated, the people of Jabesh Gilead sent word to Nahash: “Tomorrow we’ll give ourselves up. You can deal with us on your terms.” Long before dawn the next day, Saul had strategically placed his army in three groups. At first light they broke into the enemy camp and slaughtered Ammonites until noon. Those who were left ran for their lives, scattering every which way. 1 Samuel 11:9-11 (MSG)

    This struck me as a lie? Is it technically not a lie since the people of Jabesh Gilead offered surrender and Saul’s people were the ones who attacked before the negotiated time of surrender? I notice how the people, emboldened by the victory, want to take it to the people who were not supportive of Saul. Reminds me of how opportunistic people are in this country with our politicians.

    Samuel said to them, “Don’t be fearful. It’s true that you have done something very wrong. All the same, don’t turn your back on GOD. Worship and serve him heart and soul! Don’t chase after ghost-gods. There’s nothing to them. They can’t help you. They’re nothing but ghost-gods! GOD, simply because of who he is, is not going to walk off and leave his people. GOD took delight in making you into his very own people. 1 Samuel 12:20-22 (MSG)

    Eternal words from God extended to us all through Christ. Alleluia!

    But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (NLT)

    Without going into detail, I am concerned about a certain practice in charismatic Christianity, not because it looks silly, but because it isn’t supported by scripture. As a matter of fact, scripture indicates the opposite as truth (IMHO-In My Humble Opinion). Supporters of this seem to twist God’s word which was satan’s first deception against us. I don’t mind going into detail, but my point is that we always need to use discernment and weigh everything through scripture. As mentioned, satan masquerades as an angel of light, so we need to be on guard and know the heart and will of God through studying scripture and spending time in His presence.

    Lord, we are thankful that You don’t walk off and leave us. We are also thankful that we Gentiles get to call you Abba Father through Christ Jesus. I pray for discernment through the Holy Spirit in these turbulent times. It is all meaningless without You. Let us hear Your voice and know your heart. In Jesus name.

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