Monday, September 24, 2012
Welcome to Day 267 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
Ezra historically reports the first two of three post-Exilic returns to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. The first return (chapters 1–6) was under Zerubbabel and the second (chapters 7–10) was led by Ezra himself. gty.org.
Ezra 1:5, “Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.”
Psalm 84:1, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.”
(One of the great worship songs of our time comes straight from these verses! “Better is One Day.” I like the Kutless version a lot… Give it a listen!)
12 O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
Psalm 85:12, “The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.”
Luke 7:12, “As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”
Are you kidding me?? He raised a child back to life in the middle of a funeral procession? I bet that caused quite a stir! Can you imagine being there for that?
Jesus being anointed by the sinful woman certainly requires an honorable mention… What a great story…
It’s funny how we can get so caught up in the dramatic events that Jesus did. Bill Johnson refers to some things as “signs that make you wonder.”
Obviously raising the dead is pretty cool. I hear stories of it happening in our day. Often in Africa, occasionally in the U.S. It’s easy to make that the goal. The mark of a truly powerful believer or ministry…
Just for the record, Jesus had the power to raise every person back to life. But he didn’t.
He did what he saw the Father doing… then occasionally, as in this instance, Jesus’ heart just went out to this mom who had lost her son. A grieving mom is a powerful image.
Leading people to Christ is another impressive benchmark often used to evaluate the fruit of a person’s life or ministry. They have led “thousands!” to the Lord. Billy Graham for instance.
And it is a great indicator.
But what about the faithful believer who goes to work every day. Or the mom who stays at home with the kids. Working hard. Praying for others quietly in secret. Loving their family. Known for their kindness. No fanfare. Not many “notches on their Bible.” Certainly they have never raised the dead!
But God sees them…
Give me a church full of people like that.
The fruit will come…
I do a lot of funerals, and I can tell you I pray for every person in a casket at some point… quietly, inviting them to come back to life. You never know!
(Did you know that more people came back to life at the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross, than he actually prayed for and raised from the dead??)
Matthew 27:50, “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
You never know…
Lord thank you that with you, all things are possible!