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 169

Monday, June 18, 2012

Welcome to Day 169 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18; 2 Chronicles 19; Colossians 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 Kings 22:6, “So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” “Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” 7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

v 43, “ In everything he followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The high places,

however,

were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.”

2 Chronicles 18 is virtually the same passage as 1 Kings 22… Nearly verbatim account of Micaiah prophesying against Ahab and Ahab’s death.

2 Chronicles 19:9, ““You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.” 11 Act with courage, and may the Lord be with those who do well.”

Colossians 4:5, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

v 17, “Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

O bservation

400 prophets can’t be wrong… right? Seems Jehoshaphat knew something was wrong… “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

A pplication

I really don’t want to spend my time journalling about lying prophets. I just say, “Note to self. Beware of lying prophets.” and move on. I would much rather spend my time focusing on “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

I wish all Christians would land on these verses instead of “speaking the truth in love.” Often times people speak the truth, and say it is in love… but it not “full of grace, seasoned with salt.”

I can say, “I love you enough to tell you the truth…” but the reality can be that I am merely shooting you with a few Bible verses instead of knowing how I should respond to you. Instead of making the effort to connect with you, right where you are.

I learned this the hard way, by the way…

I know what it is to be abrasive, even hurtful in my approach to sharing my faith.

Those verses in Colossians are some of the most potent with wisdom as to how we are to act toward “outsiders.” (Those who have not yet come to faith in Christ.) Many people have a low opinion of Christians for good reason. They feel judged, shamed… they are even made to feel like “outsiders…” not part of the club.

Instead of really loving people right where they are… instead of listening to their problems and caring and praying for them… instead of simply meeting people at their point of need, we can come across as unconcerned and mean-spirited.

I can’t tell you how many servers have told me that as a general rule, Christians are the worst tippers… by leaving a small tip and a track (pamphlet) and think they are doing the server and God a favor. We should be the most generous, kind people on the planet.

I got a call from someone who was contemplating moving in with her boyfriend.

She called me to get my opinion. She said, “I knew you would give me an honest opinion.”

Instead of telling her, “it’s wrong” I asked her a question. “What do you want to model to your kids?” (She has two kids that are pre-teens from her first marriage.) I wanted her to think about it in terms of the impact her decision could have…

She asked me about performing their wedding down the road…

Culturally, people don’t see living together as right or wrong. And they have a dozen reasons as to why they are living together. Testing the waters to see if they could live together long-term. Sharing expenses. They don’t want to make a long-term commitment. Extenuating circumstances… “I would lose my benefits if we get married.”

All good reasons, but none outweighs that it is just not God’s best for us. Do you want God’s blessing? Do you want his best? Do you trust him to provide for your needs? Do you want your kids to do what you are about to do when they have the same opportunity?

I’ve seen far too many women move in with a guy that tells them they love them. Even gives them a ring, but with no real commitment.

We are called to holiness… righteousness… purity. Living together is just geography. You can be not living together and still sin sexually, right? For that matter, you can be married and still sin sexually. (But that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry… In short, lust can impact our life, married or single, right?)

I cited some statistics that second marriages have a higher failure rate than first marriages and that those who live together before they marry have a higher divorce rate than those who don’t live together before marrying.

I don’t know the outcome of the conversation. If I had to guess, I’d say she probably went ahead and moved in with him. It’s just too convenient and seems to make too much sense to not move in with the person…

Living according to God’s word is not easy. It’s definitely swimming upstream, culturally.

At this time, 40% of babies are born to single moms. That’s a staggering statistic. And I’m not suggesting that just because two people created a baby that they should just “go ahead and get married.” That can be disastrous for all parties.

What drives me crazy is that I may be labeled as “old-fashioned” for my views… To which I would respond that people are pretty much the same since the dawn of creation. But so is God. He hasn’t changed… his standard for us is still the same.

Again, I’m not talking about being perfect. I’m talking simply about desiring God’s best for our lives.

But I’m glad she called me to ask the question. I’m glad she values our relationship enough or respects me enough to at least ask the question. She told me she pretty much knew what I would say… But she called me anyway.

Colossians 4:5, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

P rayer

Lord give me wisdom…

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2 thoughts on “Day 169

  1. marcia Z. on said:

    Just as in the example Scott gave of the lady who came to him for input, we must hold up a standard and not give in to worldly thinking. 2Chronicles 19 leaped out at me. “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals, but for the Lord, who is with you wherever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.
    Lord help me fear no man but only fear You.

  2. Kim D on said:

    Thanks Scott for your comments. So well said.
    We cannot merely shoot off ‘the truth in love”
    It shows value to another person when we
    Give them an opportunity to think and examine
    what’s right and it keeps the door open for more
    Seasoned with salt conversations!

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