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 “May, 2012”

Day 141

Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome to Day 141 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 4; Psalm 98; Romans 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

1 Kings 7, “It took Solomon thirteen years,

however…

to complete the construction of his palace.”

2 Chronicles 4 describes the temple furnishings, also described in 1 Kings 7.

Psalm 98 is considered a “royal” psalm. The theme is deliverance, past, present and future!

Romans 2 addresses the value of circumcision and what makes a Jew a Jew. v 28 “A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.”

Always an interesting discussion when the topic of judging others comes up…

O bservation

Only took seven years to construct the temple… but it took thirteen years to build his own palace? Sounds like Solomon finished his palace in similar fashion as the temple with high-quality stone and cedar…

A pplication

Wondering if this was ok with God. What God’s perspective on this will be, if it’s ever made known? Is it just… the way it is? Does it even (really) matter that Solomon’s palace is considerably larger than the temple he built?

God gave him all that wealth, other than what he inherited from his father David… So maybe it just isn’t an issue at all?

It just surprises me.

I wonder how often I put myself first. My wants, my needs, my palace.

P rayer

Lord, may the palace I build for myself never be bigger than the temple I build for you…


Day 140

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Welcome to Day 140 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 3; Psalm 97; Romans 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

1 Kings 6:1, “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.”

37 “The foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. 38 n the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.”

2 Chronicles 3 gives a less detailed account of the building of the temple, than is recorded in 1 Kings.

Psalm 97:5 “The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory.”

Romans 1:11, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”

16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”

18-28 speaks of God’s wrath against sinful humanity… in no uncertain terms. Clear, concise.

O bservation

What I see in today’s readings, all of them, is God’s presence…

In 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles 3 the temple is being built for his presence, so to speak.

Psalm 97 speaks of the mountains melting like wax in his presence.

In Romans 1, that mankind “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” Thereby reducing him to a lifeless idol, instead of worshiping in his presence.

A pplication

At the end of the day, his presence is what it’s all about.

His presence is what sets us apart.

In Exodus 33, “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you.”

Moses didn’t want to go anywhere unless the Lord’s Presence was with him.

The term “His Presence” can be a little tricky…

When we read that “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) or “Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) it would appear that God’s presence is always with us.

That’s true.

It’s equally as true, that there are times when his glory appears. Not necessarily in a visible way, but it’s evident that he is with us.

I know people who have actually seen a “glory cloud.” I haven’t but I have seen video footage.

But his presence can be there when there is no cloud. You can just tell he is among us.

Even as I’m writing this, I feel a bit like I am splitting hairs, but his “manifest presence” is what I am referring to. Think of “Where two or more are gathered, there I am in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). That is a promise… and it’s worth noting that something happens when there’s more than one person… “two or more.” I can be in his presence in my living room, and I often am… but something happens when we gather to worship him. Together…

What we try to do make room for him to come. To allow his presence to come. To fling wide the heavenly gates. To create an atmosphere that “welcomes” his presence.

It’s not the songs or the instrumentation or even the length of time that makes it happen. You can’t “make” it happen. (Although all of those are factors…)

I think it’s our level of faith and expectation and participation that is inviting to him.

The danger is trying to create a formula to make it happen… That’s a little scary…

But at the same time, that’s why we do conferences and Stirring the Waters, to set aside a focused time to worship, to make room for him. As Steve Bowen would say, we are creating “God space.”

My friends who have seen a glory cloud say it always happens after 11:00 PM on Friday nights.

But it doesn’t always happen. And it’s only happened a few times.

And just to see or make a glory cloud appear is a hugely wrong motivation anyway, right?

(But I do keep an open eye every time we are gathered in worship… I am anticipating a glory cloud at any moment.)

I can’t make it happen, and it’s not the goal. But I believe that God is pleased with where we are headed in our times of worship. His presence is with us. And, at some point, I hope he lets us see his glory.

Just to be clear, worshiping him, that’s the goal. Period.

Whether we ever actually see a glory cloud or not. : )

P rayer

I love, I love… I love your presence.

Day 139

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Welcome to Day 139 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 4; 1 Kings 5; 2 Chronicles 2; Psalm 101; 2 Thessalonians 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

1 Kings 4, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol.”

1 Kings 5, preparations are being made for building the temple.

2 Chronicles 2, imagine a building project so large in scope so as to have nearly 160,000 workers dedicated to it!

Psalm 101, “In this psalm the king promises to live a life of obedience, pursuing holiness in his own life and seeking to root out evil from his kingdom. David could not live up to his own ideals. He failed time after time, though he lived a life of repentance. Many believe that Psalm 101 was written by David and later used as a coronation psalm, beginning with Solomon. If so, high ideals at the beginning of his reign degenerated into disobedience and, in the case of Solomon, open apostasy. Christ alone could offer perfect obedience in the flesh.” Reformation Study Bible

2 Thessalonians “We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.”

O bservation

What I want to know is who is Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol?? That they are the ones considered to be so wise and insightful that Solomon is compared to them! They must have been considered the thought leaders, the wise men of their day! They are forever on this short list of very wise, insightful men of their day.

A pplication

While there is so much in these passages, I am struck by the short list of wise men. At the end of David’s reign, there were 1,300,00 in his army alone. So there were easily over 2,000,00 people. Probably closer to 3,000,000 total. And these four guys were on the list of the wisest of the wise.

This really speaks to me about reputation.

I once did an ad for Huntington Bank in Columbus. The headline was, “Wealth, like a good reputation, is more easily made, than kept.”

How true.

Proverbs 22:1 states, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

Or that verse from 2 Thessalonians 3 today, “We hear that some among you are…”

And it’s funny how quickly one’s reputation can change. In an instant. One loose comment… One scandal…

Makes me think of Bernie Madoff who crafted a hedge fund ponzi scheme and “made off” with 50 BILLION dollars of other people’s money! One day he was considered one of the top guys to give your money to, the next day he lands in jail, humiliated.

The scandal list is long and distinguished. From politicians to sports figures to talk show hosts to (gulp…) highly visible pastors who made an outrageous comment that got them into hot water or led a double life and got caught.

Their reputations ruined.

How about this for a reputation, “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” Titus 1:12

Or this one in Acts 9, “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.”

How about that for a reputation?

We craft our own reputation, day in and day out, over the long haul…

It’s the same concept as it takes months, even years to build a building and most can be brought down in a moment.

Our staff once did an exercise as part of a Franklin-Covey training. Each had to consider seven different roles we play in life. (I’m a husband, father, pastor, neighbor… you get the idea.) Then we had to write a paragraph as though one person from each category were going to pay tribute to us at the end of our life.

Then, you work toward that. I can never fully live up to what I wrote… but at least it’s a target at which to shoot.

And I just keep shooting at that same target, day in and day out.

Oh to be on that short list…

P rayer

(Insert very long prayer here, crying out to God, asking for wisdom and understanding… all the fruit of the Spirit, all the gifts of the Spirit and the character to back it up.)

 

 

Day 138

Friday, May 18, 2012

Welcome to Day 138 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 3; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 78; 2 Thessalonians 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

1 Kings 3, insert ALL of 1 Kings 3 here.

2 Chronicles 1, ditto.

Psalm 78 is a “Maschil”a psalm that gives instruction. It gives an overview of Israel’s long history of turning away from God and His display of mercy and faithfulness. It culminates with David’s rule as shepherd of Israel.

2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

O bservation

What incredible passages we are reading today. Solomon’s humility and wisdom is on display for all to see. Asking only for wisdom to rule Israel. 1 Kings 3:9, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?””

A pplication

This makes me wonder what I would ask for if God appeared to me in a dream…

(Of course, we have the benefit of knowing Solomon’s request and God’s response to that request, so it’s really not possible to answer that, no matter how honest I am with myself…)

Also makes me wonder if Adonijah had become king, and God appeared to him in a dream, what would he have asked for?

But we also have the benefit of knowing the outcome of Solomon’s life… that he ended up cynical, disobedient and well, his heart had turned away from God. (See 1 Kings 11.)

I am curious over the next week or so to see Solomon’s life as king unfold before us…

(I really wish I could read this for the very first time again… not knowing any of the outcome.)

But for today, Solomon is at the very top of his game. Full of humility and wisdom. He has a great reputation and wealth beyond his wildest dreams…

His decision in regards to the two women and the baby is a huge part of his legacy, in addition to having built the temple and for uttering the famous words in Ecclesiastes 1, “The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: 2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

I’m sure his disobedience in marrying foreign women had a little something to do with his attitude and the outcome of his life… with his very first wife being an Egyptian daughter of Pharaoh? Of course, hundreds of years have passed since Moses had led them out of slavery and Egypt, but God had made it abundantly clear that they were to not marry foreign (non-Israelite) women. And he marries a lot of them… and they lead him astray.

I wish I could read this and simply land on, “Wow, Solomon was so wise! Asking only for wisdom and God gave him wisdom and wealth too!” and simply learn the lesson from that. But for me, I end up seeing the cautionary tale within. It’s not that his wealth got the best of him, it was that his heart turns away from God. He realized that wealth and power were meaningless. That is the lesson.

Then, as Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

P rayer

Lord, help me to hold fast to your teachings… to your word. To always stay near to you. To walk in obedience, but more importantly, in eternal encouragement and good hope, being strengthened in every good deed and word!

Day 137

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Welcome to Day 137 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29; Psalm 95; 2 Thessalonians 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

To check out yesterday’s blog post, click HERE.

S cripture

1 Kings 2, “As you know,” he said, “the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the Lord. 16 Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me.” “You may make it,” she said. 17 So he continued, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

1 Chronicles 29:9, “The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.”

Psalm 95:7-8, “Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts…”

2 Thessalonians 1:3, “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.”

O bservation

Adonijah’s presumption continues… The audacity to ask his mom to ask Solomon, the newly appointed king, if he could take as his wife, the virgin who had attended his recently deceased father, King David.

There just aren’t words.

Adonijah seemed to actually believe that he had been the king, albeit self-appointed. “”As you know,” he said, “the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king.”

Not even close to being true… But he must have actually believed it! He felt like he should have been the king!

His plan and his presumption cost him his life.

Note to self.

Bitterness is like poison…

And David’s final words? “Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.” (In reference to Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on him earlier…)

A pplication

I hope my final words aren’t about settling the score with an old adversary…

I’d prefer a scenario more like this one, “Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” Hebrews 11:21.

How often do we not actually deal with a situation with another person?

I wonder what may have happened if Adonijah had, in humility, gone to Solomon, asked for forgiveness, submitted to his leadership… I wonder if Solomon would have let him live… Maybe even at some point he would have granted his request for David’s attendant?

Maybe this family rift ran too deep?

Imagine if, at the end of your life, you could settle the score the way David did?

How many people would be on that list??

P rayer

Lord, may I always keep short accounts with others… that I would release others for any offense, in light of your forgiveness toward me. That my final words would be words of blessing, not bitterness.

Day 136

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome to Day 136 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 1; Chronicles 25; 1 Chronicles 28; Psalm 91; 1 Thessalonians 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

1 Kings 1:5 “Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said,

“I will be king.”

So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. 6(His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.) 7 Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support.”

1 Chronicles 28:9, ““And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

1 Thessalonians 5:28, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

O bservation

Did Adonijah really just appoint himself as king??

A pplicaton

Did you notice that 1 Kings 1:6 reveals something about David and his parenting? “His father had never interfered with him by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?'”

Maybe David wasn’t the best father… perhaps he didn’t spend much time with Adonijah, so at the end of David’s life, Adonijah felt like his father “owed” him? All conjecture, except for v 6 states that David never “interfered” by asking him, “Why do you behave as you do?”

Never “interfered?”

Never.

Makes me wonder what his relationship to Adonijah was like over the course of their lives… And how a little input, a little “fathering” from David might have changed the course of Adonijah’s life?

But let’s not push this all off on David…

I hope that I am never as presumptuous as Adonijah… running around, garnering support from key people, appointing myself as king, then throwing a feast for myself.

Keep in mind the backdrop that David’s son Absalom was killed (by Joab) and Jonathan, Saul’s son (and would-be heir) was killed in battle. Both of them could have been king… David hadn’t announced his successor…

So in the absence of clarity, the door is open for Absalom. He walks through it, then ends up embarrassed and humiliated… not to mention suddenly in fear for his life, once Solomon found out!

Quick rise to power. Quick decent.

Then, all of his friends at his feast abandon him… Some “friends.”

P rayer

Lord may I never walk in presumption… Lord that I would walk in humility all the days of my life.

Day 135

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Welcome to Day 135 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 25; 1 Chronicles 26; 1 Chronicles 27; 1 Thessalonians 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

1 Chronicles 25:1, “David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list…”

1 Chronicles 26:20, “Their fellow Levites were in charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries for the dedicated things…”

1 Chronicles 27:1, “This is the list of the Israelites—heads of families, commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and their officers, who served the king in all that concerned the army divisions that were on duty month by month throughout the year.”

1 Thessalonians 4, living to please God, addresses believers who have died–and the return of Jesus.

O bservation

Taking note today of what it means to be “appointed.” Some were appointed due to their family lineage, and casting lots?

A pplication

However we are called to whatever we are called, we are to live holy lives, set apart (sanctified) for his purposes.

Doesn’t imply full-time ministry… it is a heart issue. 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

I am fortunate to have been a full time minister since 1995 or so. But I never viewed myself as NOT in full-time ministry, even when I was working at an ad agency… because it’s a heart issue. When you have a kingdom mindset, how you earn your living is different has nothing to do with how you view extending the kingdom.

I did much of what I’m doing now before I was ever paid to do it. Same with Doug. He didn’t go full time until we had 300-400 people. Most churches have a full-time pastor at 100 people. I went full time at 700 people, because going “full-time” wasn’t my goal.

I was no less the worship leader being part time than full time.

I often say that I could go to work at Wal-Mart and it would only change the logo on my paycheck. (And obviously the amount of time I would have to commit to day to-day ministry.) But it wouldn’t change who I am, or how God sees me.

If we can grasp that it’s about extending the kingdom… more than “church…” I know that I am no better or more powerful by being full time than any person who is serving in the Children’s Ministry as a volunteer ministry partner! I am no better than our facility team or admin team. I am merely called to different ministry, with different responsibilities.

Remember that body analogy? “The hand cant’ say to the eye, ‘I don’t need you.'”

If we can see the gold in those around us… and strive to bring that gold out… to give others the chance to shine, to make room for that… to bless what God is doing in their lives… to give them space to make mistakes… to equip and release them into their calling? Wow!

To see others as God sees them. As he sees us… as he sees me… Called, anointed, appointed.

Galatians 3:26, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

P rayer

Give me your eyes to see others as you see them! To see others as powerful, full of gold, waiting to be mined!

 

P.S. I love this pic! —->

 

Day 134

Monday, May 14, 2012

Welcome to Day 134 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 22; 1 Chronicles 23; 1 Chronicles 24; 1 Thessalonians 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

1 Chronicles 22:7 “David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God. 8 But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name.”

v 22:2-29:20 This is the longest section about David’s life in the Bible and is found only in Chronicles. The history of how David completed temple preparations begins and ends with descriptions of royal assemblies. (Reformation Study Bible)

1 Chronicles 23:32, “And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord.”

1 Chronicles 24 (More of the same…)

O bservation

Reflecting on yesterday’s post about the famine on the earth (they believed) was caused by offenses of Saul’s house. David was not permitted to build the temple because he was a man of war. His son Solomon was to be a man of peace and rest. David had shed too much blood on the earth.” However literally one might take that, whether “ON the earth” or simply “on the earth” it prevented him from building the temple… even though David was a great worshiper, his warring outweighed his worship in this regard.

A pplication

I am wondering what I may have done over the course of my life that may prevent me from accomplishing a task that might be in my heart? What might one of my children (or someone else) have to finish?

I am quite content, at this point in my life, to see where this journey takes me. I want what God has for me. No more, no less. I have already been used in greater ways than I ever thought possible.

I have had many words given in recent years about having greater impact on our city and extending His kingdom… impacting the nations, etc.

Time will tell.

The key is to not try to “make” it happen. I am more of the “let it happen” mindset at this point in my life.

As Doug prayed many years ago, “Lord, I’ll take the next open door.” (Not that every open door is the Lord opening it…) I have lots of open doors I could walk through… I want the ones HE is opening… for me.

P rayer

My prayer this morning is for you… as Paul prayed in 1 Thessalonians 3:12,

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

Hang in there with me!

Good morning!

I know this is a long journey…

It was difficult for me to post Thursday-Sunday… While I was able to keep up with my reading every morning, getting the blog posted was difficult. Being out of town, traveling, conference schedule, work schedule, not to mention our house is for sale and someone called to see it… on Mother’s Day!

All combined to make keeping up with the blog very difficult.

But I’m all caught up!

Someone recently asked me why I don’t have someone else post for me?

Well… it’s my journal. If the expectation for everyone else is that you are keeping up with your reading and journal, why would it be any different for me? I like doing it. I like the routine. I like knowing it’s done. And I’m getting so much out of it! (Granted, the html aspect is tedious and adds probably 30 minutes to the process…)

I like giving myself the grace and flexibility that if my schedule doesn’t allow me to get to it, I can post it later. I would tell anyone else the same thing. Just catch up when you can… and try to not fall too far behind, because it only makes it harder, and seem more like “work.”

We are at 35,000 views, total… that’s about 250 views per day! That means people are keeping up and continuing to check the blog each day! (We had nearly 300 views twice last week and over 300 on Wednesday!)

Just wanted to say “Thanks” for journeying with me! Your comments are like wind in my sails!

God bless,

Scott

Day 133

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Welcome to Day 133 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21; Psalm 30; 1 Thessalonians 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

1 Chronicles 21:1, “Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel…”

v 7 “God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel. 8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.””

1 Thessalonians 2:10, “You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”

O bservation

David made his share of mistakes… Adultery with Bathsheba, killing Uriah, her husband, now numbering his armies.

A pplication

Wouldn’t it be nice if we would just arrive. Like, at the pinnacle of our walk with the Lord we would just suddenly be declared “holy, righteous and blameless” like Paul proclaimed? (Of course, this was after he had the power to have believers, like Stephen, killed…)

We all make mistakes, David sure made his share. This one seems like a dumb one to me. More of a thoughtless act, than something sinful. An act of lack of trust in the Lord… taking matters into his own hands vs. something like his adulterous act with Bathsheba, followed up by killing her husband.

But it was still wrong. God was displeased to the point of declaring his anger and giving David his choice of punishments, to which David replied to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”

This is the only explanation for David to be termed, “a man after God’s own heart.” Acts 13:22. David understood and experienced God’s heart of mercy. And David displayed that same mercy toward Saul, and his son Mephibosheth. He could have killed Saul several times, but spared his life and refused to lift his hand against God’s anointed. Then, when Saul was dead, he extended mercy to his son, allowing him to eat at his table.

That is God’s heart.

P rayer

May I have that type of heart, Lord…

 

P.S. 2 Samuel 24:22 “David said to him, “Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price.” 23 Araunah said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.” 24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

You have to love that David was unwilling to give an offering that cost him nothing! He understood there was a cost to worship. A sacrifice is called “a sacrifice” for a reason…

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