Thursday, May 31, 2012
Welcome to Day 151 of our Life Journal!
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
Proverbs 16:2 “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”
Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:6, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”
Gifts mentioned: Prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, showing mercy…
I think it would be possible to do a SOAP on every verse in Proverbs… One about motives, one about a cheerful heart and one about the power of the tongue.
In lieu of that : ) I am pretty much giving honorable mentions to verses that jump out at me. I could easily do a lengthy application for each one…
But I can’t pass on Romans 12.
“In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
After having read all the Law for the first few months of this year, all the sacrifices, all the rules and regulations about those sacrifices, when, where, how, what we are left with today is this…
Jesus, the Lamb of God, paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.
Now, what we do, is present ourselves (our bodies) as LIVING sacrifices.
Do you realize that makes us both the priest AND the sacrifice at the same time??
By my own choice, I choose to follow Christ. To take up my cross daily and follow him. To lay down my life, my rights, my will… for His. Peter talked about “entering into his suffering.”
That doesn’t exactly make my heart “cheerful.”
But what does, is seeing changed lives and walking with others through that process!
I always say, it’s not my job to change people. (That’s the Holy Spirit’s job.) My job is to love people.
“A living sacrifice” means we do whatever needs to be done. (That is, what God is calling us to.) That doesn’t mean we have to say, “Yes” every time the phone rings. It means that we have given up our rights, because we are already dead. We lay ourselves on the altar every day, in essence, saying, “I am yours.”
The sacrifices in the Old Testament had no choice in the matter. They were killed.
We “die to ourselves.”
Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
I have been crucified… with Christ… and I no longer live…
I’m already dead.
Yet I still live!
(Are you getting this??)
One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 6 when Isaiah sees the Lord in the temple and is undone. He confesses his sin, is forgiven, then, when the question is asked, “Who will go for us?” he simply answers, “Here I am. Send me.”
I remember starting the Vineyard… I said to Doug, “Hey, are you going to Dayton to start a Vineyard? I’ll go with you.”
I had no idea what I was saying.
I had no idea what was in store for us, or what the longterm ramifications of that offer would bring. It didn’t matter to me.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28 is, “Go…”
We are all “sent.” Doesn’t matter if you are called to “the nations,” or to Dayton. That’s just geography… (If you’re a believer in China or Russia, Dayton IS the nations! Justsayin’…)
Over the course of the past ten years, I have been to Rwanda, Mozambique, England and Ukraine. I guess you could consider those “the nations” but I am called to Dayton. I am happy to go when invited. I go anywhere and do just about anything God asks me to do… I kind of like the deep end of the pool!
But I am perfectly content right here in Dayton. (Content, not complacent.)
The question God is always asking is, “Who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6.)
Here am I. Send me.
Let your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Not my will, but thy will…