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 109

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Welcome to Day 109 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Samuel 22; Psalm 17, 35; Matthew 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

1 Samuel 22:18, “The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.”

Psalm 17, a psalm of refuge. v 7 “Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.”

Psalm 35, a psalm of lament as David’s life is threatened… v 17 “How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.”

Matthew 6 covers giving to the needy, prayer, fasting, storing up treasures in heaven, and not worrying.

The Lord’s Prayer v 9

“This, then, is how you should pray…

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts [trespasses], as we forgive our debtors [those who trespass against us]. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)

O bservation

Saul continues his downward spiral… the pinnacle of his desperation being having 85 priests killed in retaliation for only one of them helping David. Sad… David has gone into hiding. This is quite a story…

David puts his pain to good use by penning some great psalms along the way, very honestly pouring out his heart to God, lamenting his situation, finding refuge in the Lord, and expressing his thanksgiving for God’s protection and care.

A pplication

I have always used the Psalms as a model for being honest with God. (Often as I’m driving…) Simply telling him where I’m at emotionally, spiritually… He already knows… might as well be honest.

But to say, “I’m really angry or hurt by this person,” or “This situation is putting a knot in my stomach” and then to not deal with it, is not trusting God, it’s letting a situation fester. Jesus said, “If your brother has something against you, go to him.” Shouldn’t it be the other way around?? Why do I have to go to HIM?

Jesus said I should. Doesn’t say exactly when… but it does say before I give my offering. Maybe not literally, but more figuratively, “Do it soon.” Paul said “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.”

Point taken. Deal with stuff… I get it.

But life is not that simple, is it… Some situations can’t be fixed. Abuse is often left unreported. Hurts that are decades old, that have never been dealt with probably won’t be fixed in one meeting or by sending one greeting card. And it can only be “fixed” if both parties are willing.

The point is, often times when I am pouring out my heart to God about something, he’ll give me an assignment (I just know in my heart) and I have some work to do. More often than not, it’s not fun. Often times difficult and with no resolve.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. I keep in mind that “obedience is better than sacrifice” right? So my obedience to working on stuff is more important than my offering. I think that’s why Jesus said to go work things out (as best as we can) THEN give our offering.

The problem is, sometimes I like things the way they are. They don’t talk to me. I don’t talk to them. They don’t seem to care, and neither do I. I don’t want to work on it, or go to them. Let sleeping dogs lie, right?

Ummm, no.

Sigh…

P rayer

Lord, help me to deal with the things in my heart that require attention. To not just let sleeping dogs lie… But to take your word to heart and work things out. To keep short accounts. To be quick to forgive.

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4 thoughts on “Day 109

  1. The past couple days I’ve noticed some new things in the “sermon on the mount” in Matt. 5 & 6. Never noticed that the “Beatitudes” are bookended with “for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” – the attributes are “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” and “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.” Both of those receive the Kingdom. Both are a posture of abject surrender and submission. Totally sold out in heart and soul, mind and spirit. Then Jesus goes on to select particular aspects of the Law and push past outward observance to radical heart sold-outness (new word – ha!). Matt 5:17-6:24 is all about our hearts – the attitude and posture of our heart. Even the Lord’s Prayer is a simple (that’s the point) prayer of posturing the heart. Then the comforting words about worry in Matt 6:25-33 – those verses are like the crescendo, the epic climax of the whole sermon! Once I’m radically sold out and surrendered – completely poor in spirit – then I’m freed from worry because I’m seeking first the Kingdom and His righteousness (and His righteousness is not about outward observance, it’s about inward submission). This is so cool! I knew all of these things but had never noticed before how brilliantly and simply the Sermon on the Mt is constructed.

    Thanks, God, that you really do make it simple. I’m the one who makes it complicated and difficult. Lord, I surrender completely to You. God, make me poor in spirit. Hallelujah! Amen.

  2. Yes, when people in the older testament brought their sacrifices but it wasn’t from their heart, God said he didn’t want (their) sacrifices, but was pleased with their sacrifices when their hearts were right. 🙂

  3. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Matthew 6:24:34 (Msg)
    vs. 24 “You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one God, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.”

    God or money? Adore one, you get contempt for the other.

    vs 25-26 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds”

    If we choose God, then we don’t worry. We don’t worry about material things-food, clothes, etc. I have never been a bird person. But I have thought about birds lately. And this analogy is beautiful-whether you think of birds, coyotes, bees or bears. God takes care of them. They have no worries, no cares-they move through life knowing what they have to do. And God takes care of their every need-shelter, food, etc.

    How much more does God love us? Why do we worry? We as Christians have got to get this. So many people are overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, worry and depression over things they have no control over. I used to be this way. Living in fear of the future. How would my needs get met? What if…? How will we…? I realize now that God is in control. That I need to live in today-being obedient, trusting him and serving others. God will take care of me.

    vs. 31 -34 “…What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

    People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things. I know how he works and who he is, so I don’t fuss over these things. My focus is Christ and others-not things. We, as Christians, need to look different than non-believers. People should be able to tell us apart from others-by the way we live, our attitudes, how we spend our time, what we spend our money on, etc.

    Lord, remind me of who you are. Please keep me focused on you. Thank you for taking care of me. Thank you for meeting all of my needs. Thank you that I don’t have to worry about anything. That you are my everything.

  4. Thoughts on Matthew 6

    “When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively.”

    It’s impossible to do anything quietly these days. Organizations that help people in need have to raise awareness, recruit volunteers, raise money, etc. Volunteers themselves are usually bursting at the seams with so much joy that they want to shout it to the world. This is what happens when the kingdom of God invades our lives. Unspeakable joy… I don’t think that is what Jesus is talking condemning here. The question is whether we are exalting ourselves or God the father in Christ’s name. When we write a check to help the poor, are we doing it out of obligation or for a tax write off, or do we care about helping others? Jesus doesn’t want or need our money, He wants our hearts.

    As we do good works we should always check our motives. Are we doing it to look good, or because we earnestly want to help? I have some pagan friends who are good decent people. They are kind and generous and help others without expecting to be patted on the back. We should do what we do out of concern for others and not just to appear to be a good Christian. What we have to offer that the pagans don’t is a kingdom of God experience through prayer. After we serve people, they shouldn’t say, “Those were nice people.” They should say, “How awesome is God to stir them to such faith. Thank you Jesus!”

    Lord, may I glorify you in all that I do. You know my heart. I can’t hide my motives from you. Show me where they are not right.

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