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 118

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Welcome to Day 118 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 2 Samuel 3; 1 Chronicles 12; Matthew 15 (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

2 Samuel 3, (Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.) 31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and walk in mourning in front of Abner.” King David himself walked behind the bier. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb.

All the people wept also.

33 The king sang this lament for Abner: “Should Abner have died as the lawless die? 34 Your hands were not bound, your feet were not fettered. You fell as one falls before wicked men.”

And all the people wept over him again.

35 Then they all came and urged David to eat something while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!”

36 All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them.

1 Chronicles 12 David is rallying support, gaining momentum toward his kingship. David waited patiently to take the throne. It didn’t happen overnight, even after the death of Saul… Saul’s youngest son sat on the throne for two years. Many battles will have been hard-fought for David to take his rightful place.

Matthew 15, Jesus clarifies what makes a man unclean, the faith of the Canaanite woman, they again feed the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes.

v 10, “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’” For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”

O bservation

I love how honoring David was… even toward the commander of Saul’s army when he was killed. He died an unfortunate death by being murdered by they brothers of one he had killed in battle, but not while on the battlefield.

David recognized this. Even though Saul had hunted David, trying to kill him, David was honoring toward Saul in the end, and toward his commander. No gloating. He fasted for him. Note to self.

A pplication

In moments like those, we learn what we are really made of. What’s inside ultimately leaks out. Whatever is in the tube comes out eventually. If David were itching to sit on that throne, it never showed. He had ample opportunity to kill Saul himself but he didn’t. He was determined that Saul was still God’s anointed and would not lay a hand on him.

I think this is what Jesus was talking about when he talked about what makes one “unclean.” It wasn’t about ceremonially washing of hands before one east. Eating with unwashed hands does not make one unclean.

What come out of our mouth makes us unclean… because it comes from our heart. THAT is what makes us unclean…

Evil thoughts are right next to murder. Slander in the same list as adultery. All of it makes us unclean before God.

That’s why I’m uncomfortable whenever someone says, “Oh, Scott… I just love your heart for the Lord.” I squirm a little bit. I know what they’re saying… they appreciate what I do. They have been touched by God’s presence when I led worship, etc… but I know what goes through my head at times.

None of us are perfect… and simply thinking thoughts is not sinful in and of itself. Thinking slanderous thoughts and speaking slanderous words are two very different things.

But if I try to justify myself…

I’ve never committed adultery. I’ve been faithful to my wife for nearly 26 years now.

But if I begin to believe that somehow makes me better than someone else, and I begin to believe my own press, Jesus would say, “But Scott… Have you ever looked at a woman with lust in your heart?”

Hmmm… You see, that’s where the rubber meets the road in all of our lives.

It’s not about perfection. It’s about how we try to justify ourselves and try to make ourselves look better than we really are.

Is there a difference between looking and actually having actually committed adultery? Obviously, yes!

But when we try to justify ourselves like the rich young ruler, “I’ve kept all these from my youth! What do I lack?”

Jesus will always have an answer…

P rayer

Lord, help me to always be real… help me to clean the inside of the cup, not just the outside.

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5 thoughts on “Day 118

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Matthew 15:8
    “These people, says God, honor me with their words,
    but their heart is really far away from me.”

    Matthew 15:10 “Listen and understand! It is not what goes into your mouth that makes you ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes you unclean.”

    Matthew 15:19 “For from your heart comes evil ideas which lead you to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others.”

    My heart needs scrubbed by God on a daily basis. It takes a lot of time in the word, talking with Jesus and listening for the Spirit to get my heart closer to God’s.

    I pray Psalm 51:10- “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me.” Loyal only to you, father, and your ways. Keep my thoughts focused on you. Please forgive me for the sinful thoughts that I have. Remind me to use my words to encourage and bring glory to you. Guide me on the narrow path. I’m following you. I want to be obedient. I want to stay close to you.

  2. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

    Whether warring over land or squabbling over religion, God wants his people to be united. To often, we focus on our minor differences instead of our similarities. It is not God who separates us. Going back a few days, Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”

    Seek to be reconciled with everyone and maintain honest relationships with everyone. Recognize the enemy’s snares and traps and sidestep them.

    Lord, help me see the devil’s traps. Help me remain focused on Your purposes.

  3. Where I work, we relay whatever we’re told to including foul language. At first, I thought this would make me accidentally use foul language outside of work. That has not been the case.
    It still is what you think that causes you to speak ‘unclean.’. Words I relay are not my thoughts, what I think on my own are. Just an example that shows the truth of today’s reading!

  4. Forgiveness of enemies. What a great leadership lesson for me today.

  5. I loved the honor David showed towards Abner and ironically reading in Matt. about “clean and unclean.” Davids heart and hands were definitely clean. He exhibited that at every turn.
    I wasn’t clear about Matt 15:25-28 regarding the woman’s faith and the crumbs. I have read several times so forgive my ignorance. Father, thank you for showing me how important my words are. I’m more careful that I used to be. Thank you for your guidance.

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