Friday, September 21, 2012
Welcome to Day 264 of our Life Journal!
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
Daniel 7: 15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me.”
Here is a pretty incredible analysis and interpretation of this chapter on Bible.org. CLICK HERE.
Daniel 8:1, “In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. 27 “I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.”
Interesting side note… Daniel resumed writing in Hebrew for the last five chapters. He used Aramaic in 2:4 to 7:28.
Pretty cool that Daniel sees the vision, then is given the interpretation… so we are not left wondering.
Psalms 137:1. “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.
Notice the direct correlation between the exile to Babylon and this Psalm?
Luke 4:3, “The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.'”
Funny, the devil knew he was the Son of God, yet he still questioned Jesus…
Some prophetic visions or words seem to leave us wondering, and some answer questions.
“Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
Jesus said, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.”
Brings to mind the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”
Even with all the miracles. Even with His amazing teaching… the drove him out of town.
Why would it be any different for any of us? For you or me?
Our families may not be supportive of our relationship with Christ. They may even belittle you for attempting to do something big for God. For even wanting to pray over a meal.
In my case, many years ago one of my family members asked, “What business do you have starting a church?”
My response? I never claimed I had any business starting a church…
I had no formal eduction to support it.
And my past, which wasn’t all that great, wasn’t that far in the past… just a few short years.
My family knew it. My friends knew it. I knew it.
It’s funny though… now looking back, none of that matters much.
Jesus said, “You know a tree by its fruit.”
We didn’t need hundreds of people to feel validated or to prove anything to anyone. We were just trying to be faithful to what we felt God was calling us to do. Or maybe more accurately in my case, be faithful to what I had agreed to do.
We had under 100 people for the first five years, yet it didn’t really matter. We were extending the Kingdom, feeding the hungry, reaching out to the community. Offering practical, life application Bible teaching, a meaningful worship experience…
Pretty much what we are still doing today.
Gathering 2,000 people doesn’t really validate our work any more than the first 100.
But what it does do, is gives us more resources to do more good in our city. To extend the Kingdom that much more.
I am so thankful for all that we have gotten to do and be a part of. I am thankful every day, and I have never forgotten those early days, or the people who were there with us.
I remember one guy, “Joe” whose father had passed away. He inherited a coin collection, mostly silver dollars worth face value. He gave it as an offering to “help build the temple.”
I took it to a coin shop and cashed it all in for a few hundred dollars… and bought… worship equipment with the proceeds. Because in the end, God is seeking worshipers (John 4).
I remember all the staff who have come and gone. All the people… all the faces in the crowd. The countless people I have prayed for, had coffee with, led in worship or with whom I have shared the good news. Hundreds married… and buried. The tears of joy… and sadness.
I have learned a lot along the way…
Perhaps the biggest thing… It’s all because of His goodness and He gets all the glory for whatever perceived “success” we have enjoyed.
Paul had it right when he said, “Who is Paul? And who is Apollos?”
Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to us over the years. You are so good!