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 153

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Welcome to Day 153 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Proverbs 22; Proverbs 23; Proverbs 24; Romans 14 (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

Proverbs 22:11, “One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.”

(Now THAT’S a great verse!)

Proverbs 22:17-24:22, “Thirty Sayings of the Wise.”

Proverbs 22:29, “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”

Proverbs 23:1-3, “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. 3 Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.”

Proverbs 24:2, “Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.

Romans 14, insert whole chapter here!

O bservation

Every time I read Romans 14 I gain more insight into being free from the Law… but more importantly, how to walk it out.

A pplication

I could write volumes about Romans 14 and how I have applied it to my life over the years, and continue to do so.

I call Romans 14 the “gray” chapter, because it gives guidelines for gray areas of life.

Not everything is black and white.

Some things are gray… like what movies one chooses to see. What you eat or drink, or choose to not.

And how it may affect others…

Romans 14:5, “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.”

Paul’s perspective is nothing is unclean…

Specifically, he is referring to sacred days, (observing the Sabbath and Jewish holidays and celebrations) what we eat or drink. Keep in mind, they were still struggling with Judaism, circumcision, and what foods they should or shouldn’t eat…

v 21, “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.”

I can only walk this out for myself and not force my personal convictions on those around me. I take this verse pretty seriously. And, at some point, each person is responsible for their own viewpoint and choices.

And here’s where the wisdom is in these verses, “So

whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.

Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and

everything that does not come from faith is sin.”

It’s easy to distill these verses into only about drinking. This is America.

I went to England where this wasn’t an issue. Pubs were a part of life. Wine with a meal, or a beer at a pub was just… normal. A part of life. Not an issue.

NOT drinking while eating at a pub, people would look at you like, “??”

(They even had Bible study guides with cover photos that had Bibles on a table in a pub next to pints. That spun me!)

But what about the movies we watch or the music we listen to.

Many people have strong convictions about drinking, but seem to have no convictions whatsoever about what they eat. (Or how they treat the waitress?)

I like this verse, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…” v 17.

Obviously there are lines to be drawn based upon personal conviction, even for wisdom-sake. There is plenty in the Bible that “wine is a mocker” and to “not be drunk with wine.”

Again, I’m not talking about black and white issues.

Adultery is wrong. Gossip is wrong (even in the form of a prayer request. Check your heart on that one…)

I am trying to live life in a more proactive way. How is my “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit?” Do I display the fruit of the Spirit? Am I a loving, generous person?

Again, not perfect, but in process. Being led by the Spirit.

I like black and white. I’m more comfortable with it. It’s clear and concise. In-arguable.

But when my personal convictions kick in and I am in disagreement with someone, I remember this one verse: “Whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”

We could disagree because I think something is ok, or I might think it’s not ok… Either way, there could be disagreement.

The question is, can I let you walk out what you believe about certain things, and still have relationship with you without forcing MY personal convictions on you.

I am learning that I don’t have to always give my opinion. I can keep my opinion to myself. It’s actually freeing.

Yes, there are times when I feel obligated to speak up on a matter, but that’s not what I’m talking about.. Or maybe it is? Knowing when to speak and when to keep silent is key.

If you have strong convictions about something that those around you feel differently, don’t compromise your convictions by giving in, and don’t force your convictions on those around you.

v 7, states, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.” We should, however, be mindful of how our actions may affect others, without letting that control us.

That is acting in love…

I love this chapter.

P rayer

Lord, give us all wisdom as we walk out our personal convictions in love.

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5 thoughts on “Day 153

  1. I was touched when I heard the story abt Kathie Lee interviewing Martin Short. When asked abt his lovely wife and wonderful marriage he didn’t skip a beat (live interview) as he spoke tenderly about her and shared the secrets of his 30 year marriage. Little did Kathie Lee know she had passed away two years ago. What Martin Short did was cover her (prov. 24:17) do not gloat when your enemy falls when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice. Martin could have slammed her down on national tv and humilated her because she failed to research him before the interview. But, he covered her mistake. Gently precisely covered her. I think that’s what God wants us to do with each other when someone falls. Father thank you for cushioning me.

  2. Marcia zecchini on said:

    Proverbs 24:23 jumped out to me. Sayings of the wise. . . “To show partiality in judging is not good. Whoever says to the guilty, you are innocent, will be cursed by people’s and denounced by nations. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessings will come on them.”
    “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”
    Reminds me of the verse about speaking the truth in love.
    People with the compassion gift want to avoid confrontation and those with a prophetic gift sometimes know what to say but not how to say it in the kindest way. The truth is that truth hurts sometimes just because it’s truth.
    Lord help me be kind but love other believers well by speaking truth to them.

  3. Jane Herman on said:

    Today is actually my first visit to the life journal, and god apparently wanted me to see it, because not only did it make complete sense to me, it also reminded me of how I need to handle individual’s who don’t necessarily believe there isn’t a god, but they also don’t believe there is a god, just some kind of possible ” higher power”. I am reminded by these verse’s that rather than try to prove someone right or wrong, I need to show by my actions, i.e. praise god out loud while around these individual’s and witness in a positive way, with a smile on my face and thankfulness in my heart, and keep faith that these individuals will come around to see how great our god is. But it’s in their time, not my time. Best way to sum it up. Patience is a virtue.. 🙂

  4. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Romans 14:6-9 (Msg)

    “What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.”

    I answer to God. His opinion of me, being obedient to him-that’s what matters.

    Romans 14:19-21 (Msg)
    “So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? I said it before and I’ll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.”

    Peace & love. Do I need to be right? Or do I want to be a peacemaker?

    Thank you, Jesus, for your presence in my life. Help me please to be full of love, obedient and focused on being a peacemaker.

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