Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Welcome to Day 297 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
Job 15:4, “You even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God. 17 Listen to me and I will explain to you…” [Eliphaz to Job]
Acts 19:2, “‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit whenyou believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.'”
34 “They all shouted in unison for about two hours: ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!'”
Acts 20:22, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I [Paul] am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.”
I wonder what it was like for Paul, knowing that prison and hardship faced him everywhere he went.
Comparatively, I live a pretty cushy life… I work some long hours, but I am not facing death or hardship.
People will often say things like, “I could never do your job.”
To which I reply, “It’s not like I’m working a jack hammer.” 🙂
I once heard someone say that giving a 30 minute public presentation is the equivalent to working an 8 hour day. Not sure I buy it, but I can say that both speaking and leading worship can be emotionally and physically exhausting. And amazingly rewarding!
I love what I do. Leading worship, speaking, staff meetings, meeting with new people, hurting people, feeding the hungry, weddings, funerals, conferences… all of it.
Paul was compelled to travel about and share the good news. He was well suited to his calling. Well educated, driven, and he had a personal conversion on the road to Damascus. He understood persecution, because early on, he persecuted the believers himself.
There was so much opposition to Paul’s message… by the Jews, and by those who profited from cranking out idols of Artemis.
Paul’s resume includes:
“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?” 2 Corinthians 11
When I think I have it hard, I read the above paragraph about all that Paul endured for the sake of the Gospel.
It keeps things in proper perspective for me.
Oh, yea… and Job needs to lose his condescending friends who are trying to blame his situation on him!
Thank you Lord for what you have called me to.
2 Timothy 1:12, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”