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 187

Friday, July 6, 2012

Welcome to Day 187 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Hosea 6; Hosea 7; Hosea 8; Hosea 9; Hebrews 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

Hosea 6-9, more of the prophet’s concern over Israel.

6:4, “What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.”

7:14, “They slash themselves, appealing to their gods for grain and new wine, but they turn away from me.”

8:7, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”

9:10, “When they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved.”

9:17, “My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations.”

Hebrews 3, “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.”

O bservation

The passage in Hosea 9:10 hit me hard this morning… “they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol

and became as vile as the thing they loved.”

A pplication

Consecrate: to dedicate, consecrate, separate.

Israel dedicated themselves to shameful idols… and became as vile as the thing they loved.

Made me ask myself, what do I love? What am I working toward and for? To what have I consecrated (dedicated) myself?

Today is my last day in Redding, California. I have been at the Bethel School of Worship. Long sessions of worship every day. Practical teaching. Ministry. Passion.

What am I passionate for? One could easily say, “Oh, Scott… I love your heart for the Lord!”

I have been following after God now for more than 25 years. Having helped plant our church for the past 22. I have led worship for more than half of that time. Logged countless hours in worship…

But where the rubber meets the road is in our secret place. At home. In the shower. In the car.

If Israel dedicated themselves to shameful idols… and became as vile as the thing they loved… would that be true in the opposite? If we dedicate ourselves to Him… could we become as holy as He? Righteous? Just? Kind? Loving?

I think that’s exactly how it works.

It’s about my affection. On what is my heart focusing? In what direction is my affection?

It goes beyond my public worship. Beyond my good works. Beyond my tithe. Beyond what everyone sees to what only God really sees.

My heart.

Does my heart burn for Him. Do I fully give myself to worshiping Him…

I love when my kids’ affection is in my direction. I love the organic… when they call just because they were thinking about me and they want to express their love for me.

When they are calling just to say hi… and they don’t want or need anything. Just because I am their father…

Worship is our coming to the Father out of love. Not duty. Not because it’s Sunday and it’s time to worship.

It’s more than singing songs…

It’s living our life as a sacrifice.

P rayer

Lord, that’s how I want to live my life, as a sacrifice to you. Not because I’m on staff… not because I’m a pastor. Not because it looks good, but simply because I love you, and you are my father.

Turn up the volume of the passion in my heart.

 

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5 thoughts on “Day 187

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Hosea 6:6
    “I want your constant love…”-God

    To know that God desires a relationship with us…what a beautiful, beautiful thing.

    Hosea 7:7
    “…but no one prays to me for help.”-God

    I just need to call on him. He is there waiting. Just call to him…

    Hosea 8:4
    “My people chose kings, but they did it on their own. They appointed leaders, but without my approval.”-God

    I need to keep God involved in the details of my life. He care, he wants input.

    Hosea 8:9
    “…they have gone off to seek help from Assyria and have paid other nations to protect them.”-God

    God is jealous. He gets angry when we seek others to give us direction without seeking him first. Or we look for protection elsewhere.

    Hosea 8:14
    “The people of Israel have built palaces, but they have forgotten their own Maker.”

    God completes us. No one else. People are not going to be who we need them to be, but Jesus never fails us. If we stay close to God, we find peace, contentment and joy. Our life is complete in his presence. He wants to be close to me, I just need to draw close to him.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus, for who you are. You complete me. You are all that I need. I can rest in you and I praise you for that. Help me to seek you first, before I look to anyone else for my needs.

  2. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Thank you, Scott, for this post today.
    So much to think about…

  3. Reading through Hosea, it just seems so clear how much God loves us. What kind of ruler or leader would have not dealt with such mutiny as Israel committed by wiping them all out and starting over. He created the universe and could easily destroy planet earth and all inhabitants and start over. But He doesn’t…

    Reading about God being upset is tough, especially when we know that we do things that upset Him. Even though Israels offenses ranged from disregarding or taking Him for granted to outright worshiping idols, he sends messengers to call them back. Even though we still live in sin today, He gave His son to die so that we could have relationship with Him. It’s not that He needs this. He wants it for us. He wants the best for us.

    Lord, if I am rejected, let it be by men, not You. I want to know You, to enter into Your rest.

  4. Martha on said:

    I think I hate the word “IF”, it’s such a source of self-doubt and self-hatred for me – I can hear the wicked step-mother in Cinderella telling her that she could go to the ball and Cinderella heard it as a hopeful promise. The step-sisters are aghast and ask, “Mother! Do you know what you just said?!” She replies with a wry smile, “I said, IF.” Then they all laugh knowing they will succeed in their efforts to sabotage her.
    Hebrews 6:6b has this sort of conditional if: “And we are His house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” and again in verse 14 we hear another example: “We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.”
    I can feel the despair sinking in all ready – I know myself and who I’ve been too well to think that there is anything on the other side of a conditional IF that I will be able to remain consistent in to the bitter end. If there is one thing that is a consistent in my life, it is that I am inconsistent. On a good day I can see this as a part of my curiosity and creativity – I question everything, looking at it all from new angles – this is a great asset to me on an intellectual level, allowing me to think critically for myself and not to be suckered into someone else’s logic. I go exploring until I hear that ring of truth and feel that resonance in my heart and belly. I also experiment, trying new things seeing if there is something that works better – this has made me a better teacher, more agile and nimble as I add new strategies to my repertoire.
    When this doesn’t work is when I compare myself to others – and any condition IF is a call to comparison – I heard about a marriage the other day where they set an intention for their family in the first days of their relationship and here they are 25 years later still doing it. The people who’ve never switched jobs, are consistent with their exercise routine, who’ve had the same friends since grade school, who stay at the same jobs, who always have dinner on the table at the same time, and get their kids to bed on time too, who always seem to be having a good hair day when I still don’t know what to do with mine. If that is the standard of having my act together I can’t do it.
    The scripture Paul is quoting has an IF but it is not conditional “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
    This if can be replaced by “when” and the verse is essentially unaltered. The conditional if statements tend to produce a rigidity, a check-list, a striving towards the goal. This other “if” statement calls for an openness, a receptivity a willingness to set aside the conventional, the routine, the security of the known so that we can follow, turning in an instant to go in the direction God leads.
    This following the Spirit is more like how I have lived. I am trying to trust that and feel comfortable with that free flowing but I keep running into this voice of doubt that questions whether I will ultimately end up safe and loved with God.
    Is changing synonymous falling away? Do I really need to stick to my first convictions, those barely informed, untested early attempts – or do I need to stick with the process and allow God to change, mold and grow me?
    Father, You know my struggle to conform my life to a standard and to follow You. Speak to me and help me put this debate to rest in my heart. It robs me of my energy and joy, and makes me doubt Your unconditional love.
    My heart is not hardened, speak to me and I will listen and follow.
    In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    • Martha on said:

      (Just found this quote – ahhhh God is good)
      I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On twenty-six occasions I have been entrusted to take the game’s winning shot …and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

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