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 180

Friday, June 29, 2012

Welcome to Day 180 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Amos 4; Amos 5; Amos 6; Psalms 86; Titus 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

Amos 4, through the prophet Amos, God prosecutes a second lawsuit against Israel for having turned away from him. v 6, “yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.”

Amos 5 and 6 the prophet brings a word concerning Israel’s sin of moral and ethical decay.

5:14, “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.”

6:4, “You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. 5 You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. 6 You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. 7 Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.”

Psalm 86, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

Titus 1:15, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”

O bservation

Judgement… not a good thing.

A pplication

I love quoting Titus 1:125, “To the pure, all things are pure.”

Sometimes people will make an off-color joke or innuendo and look at them with a blank-confused look on my face and say, “What do you mean?” They usually reply, “You know what I mean!” To which I reply, “To the pure, all things are pure.”

There are actually a few people out there who may have no clue when someone does that. I’m not one of them.

I’m not the most street-smart guy on the planet, but I’m not completely clueless, either. I know more than I wish I did… and sometimes that bothers me.

Some of the stuff tucked away in my brain is a mystery, even to me.

I have always been interested in pop culture… and I’m pretty good at putting it to good use in terms of sharing the Gospel with others, or using it to convey spiritual truths. Mainly through movie and music references.

When I was in high school I was voted “Most into fads.” Great. Not best looking, not most likely to succeed. Most into fads.

(Want to see my pet rock?)

And how do I know the mathematical equation for the “acceptable” age difference for a relationship in Hollywood? (1/2 one’s age + 6 years).

How do I know these things? I honestly have no idea…

A few years ago, someone had a word for me at church. As they prayed for me they said they heard the Rod Stewart song, “Forever Young.” That’s worked pretty good for me… (except for my ever-graying hair.)

Been really interesting hanging the past several days. Staying with two teenagers and two twentysomethings. Listening to them talk about bands and fashion and… hair?

I’ve realized I’m not nearly as… young… or as cool or hip as I once thought.

Maybe in terms of for people my own age? But in general, not so much. More often than not, I am the oldest guy in the room these days. Very true at this conference. I’m just trying to be myself. And not look stupid along the way.

Purity is a funny thing.

A while back, during a message Doug picked up a bottle of water and (in so many words) said, “Would you drink this if I put even just one drop of sewage in it?

We’ll never be “pure” in our own right. Paul told Timothy things to avoid and to set an example “in life, in faith, in speech and in… purity.”

That’s how we live. Our behavior. Our actions. How we treat others. The decisions we make.

Only Jesus makes us “white as snow.” Only he washes away all our sin.

Beyond the work of Christ, purity is a choice. Thinking about what I say… Choosing to gossip or not. What I participate in…

In Galatians 5 Paul referred to “the works of the flesh” as compared to “the fruit of the Spirit.” A list of dos and don’ts, in pretty blunt fashion, I might add…

I know I’ll never be 100% pure on my own, but thanks to Jesus, he has made me pure.

P rayer

Thank you Jesus!

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3 thoughts on “Day 180

  1. marcia Z. on said:

    Sometimes I find that people seem to paint the Lord as this Casper Milktoast man. So sweet and so gentle. He is loving and compassionate, but lately I seem to more need the Lord who rides on the white horse with a sword in his mouth. I especially loved Amos 4:12-13 in todays reading. “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals His thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth–The Lord God Almighty is His name. Lord thank you that you reveal yourself to mankind. Help me to run hard after You.

  2. Martha on said:

    Last night I was doing research on “harsh parenting” because of the immobilizing guilt I feel when I speak to my children about their negative behavior. I came across the work of Amy Chua who wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” I listened to her talk for an hour about her first book “World on Fire” which bluntly stated that market economies in many developing countries have made ethnic minorities rich and when democracy comes and empowers the poor majority, the first leader they elect is often carrying the banner “death to the rich minority.” Saying what our optimistic and PC ears do not want to hear – but also saying what was obviously right before us. Then I listened to her talk for an hour about her parenting experience, how she bluntly tells her children No and that they are not trying hard enough, and the harsh threats she has used in the past to “motivate” them.
    This morning as I am reading Amos and doing my customary wincing and wondering which part of this message is for me, I realized God is a “Tiger” Father. As Amy says she approaches her children from the point of view of strength not fragility. Where western parents may tiptoe and handwring worrying they might hurt their children’s feelings, the tiger parent will say “you are fat, you are lazy, you are spoiled.”
    There is a whole lot of the prophets who speak this way. I guess I need to strip away some cultural conditioning that says if my heavenly parent speaks that way it means He does not love me. If I was a therapist in counseling with this harsh voice I would acknowledge how frustrated and angry He was that His children have ignored Him and that nothing He does to get their attention seems to be working – exactly how I can feel as a parent most days.
    I think I will really have to try to stand before my Father without hiding or cringing and really listen to what He is saying. Maybe if I can relax about His harsh assessment of me sometimes and hear the message underneath I will feel empowered to be the strong and capable person He knows I can be. Maybe this will help me feel less conflicted about my own parenting – that sense of “not doing it right” because I am not smiling and fun all the time, adds tension to the dynamic and makes it all more negative.
    Thanks Amy for fleshing out a real life sermon illustration, and thanks Amos for bringing me a letter from my Dad – I know He is only saying all this for my own good.

  3. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Psalms 86:10-11
    “You are mighty and do wonderful things;
    you alone are God.
    Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do,
    and I will obey you faithfully;
    teach me to serve you with complete devotion.”

    Psalms 86:15
    “But you, O Lord, are a merciful and loving God,
    always patient, always kind and faithful.”

    Titus 1:16
    “They claim that they know God, but their actions deny it.
    They are hateful and disobedient, not fit to do anything good.”

    Psalm 86:11 is my prayer. Lord, please teach me what you want me to do. Teach me to serve you with complete devotion. For you are always patient, always kind and faithful. May my actions show that I know you. May your love shine through me.

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