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 324

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welcome to Day 324 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Matthew 5; Matthew 6; Matthew 7 (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

Matthew 5

The Sermon on the Mount…

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you,

love your enemies

and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

Matthew 6:14, “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Jesus teaches on prayer: The model prayer/the Lord’s prayer)

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Matthew 7:16, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (False prophets).

O bservation

Do not give to the needy, pray or fast to be seen… Motivation is huge.

A pplication

A couple of other verses quickly came to mind as I was pondering about not doing our acts of righteousness to be seen…

Keep in mind, it’s about motivation. WHY am I doing it. Doing things is good. Doing things for the purpose of getting noticed is not good. For that matter, even doing them to be rewarded by God is not a great motivation either.

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.” Proverbs 21:2

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

I do a lot of public ministry. Much of what I do is seen by others. I can’t help that… I know I don’t do it for that reason, and I can’t help what others may think of my own motivations.

But then, is it ok to post pics on facebook and twitter? Have I then lost my reward?

Actually, if you get right down to it, I’m not doing it for any reward!

We did ministry to the poor 20 years ago, in total secrecy. Just Doug and me and a few others… and a few bags of groceries. We had no idea that our 7 bags of groceries would turn into 1,000 bags every month.

In Luke 16 Jesus talked about being faithful in small things and you will be faithful in large things. Matthew 25 records the same concept except the words “small and large” are substituted for “few and many.”

I do what I do for two reasons. One, people need help, and the Bible is clear on caring for the poor. Two, I want to help others learn to serve. And, I guess there is a third reason, because it is good for us to let our light shine before men.

Funny, Jesus said others would see our “light” (good deeds) and glorify our Father in heaven… and yet, we need to be keenly aware of our motivation, to not do things to be seen. A bit of a slippery slope, eh?

Last Friday I took coffee to my friends at WDTN Channel 2. Each year, they partner with the Foodbank, Dayton, to collect canned goods. There are barrels everywhere around Dayton, making it easy for people to contribute.

I sincerely appreciate what they do. That food, once collected, goes to the Foodbank, then some of it (several tons) finds its way onto our truck then into our bags.

To show my appreciation, I contacted Meteorologist Jamie Jarosik and told her I wanted to bring coffee to the morning crew. All of them. Not just the anchors or on-air personalities.

Jamie texted me their order and I stopped at Starbucks at 6:15 AM and purchased drinks for 9 people. I also texted my friend Dan Edwards, who was co-anchoring that morning and told him I didn’t want to go on air. While he still mentioned my act of kindness, as did all of them on twitter and facebook, I didn’t want my generosity to be tainted or seen as manipulation or even marketing.

Certainly I knew he would mention me by name… that’s how they are.

As Mother Theresa said, “Small things, done with great love, will change the world.”

I just wanted them to know they are appreciated for what they do in our community.

And they understand my motivation. I think. lol

CLICK HERE to see the pic Dan Edwards posted to his facebook. I am with him, Karrie Rossmiller and Brooke Moore. Marsha Bonhart and Jamie were unavailable at the time that pic was taken.

Each day I just try to do the right things… with the right motivation… Everyone gets tired. There are days I’d rather just stay home… I am still human.

In the end, though, the Lord weighs my heart, my motivation and will reward accordingly.

I’m ok with that. Because I know that he loves me. He is pleased with my serving. Whether I am speaking, leading worship or distributing food and praying for people, or just having coffee with someone as they pour out their heart to me. I’m not concerned about the reward.

I am concerned about letting my light shine and glorifying our Father in heaven!

P rayer

Lord, help me to always keep my motives in check.

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One thought on “Day 324

  1. 3rd try…I will not be defeated ..I will not be defeated…
    Mt. 5:14 you are the light of the world. A City on a hill cannot be hidden.
    God has been speaking to me about my impatience while driving. That whether I am behind the wheel or holding a sick friends hand I’m exuding who I am.
    So its important to be on track in all that we do not just where WE choose to be “lights in the world.”
    Joyce Meyer said it well when she described being cut off in traffic by someone with a “I love Jesus “sticker in their car
    Father help me to be patient and show others wherever I am that your love for us is perfect. Continue to mold me into what you want me to be.

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