Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Welcome to Day 332 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Matthew 28; 1 Thessalonians 1; 1 Thessalonians 2; 1 Thessalonians 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
Matthew 28: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
1 Thessalonians 1:8, “The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.”
1 Thessalonians 2:11, “You know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”
1 Thessalonians 3:6, “Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love.”
Our lives send a message…
I wonder what my life-message is?
I know what I want it to be… I know what I think it should be, but is that I message I send?
If Timothy visited with me and reported back to Paul, what would he tell him? Would he bring Paul good news about my faith and love?
Jesus was pretty clear with the Pharisees, Sadducees and teachers of the Law… Their life-message was different from what they taught. How they lived and what they taught didn’t match.
Jesus called them hypocrites… whitewashed tombs. That they looked good but were “full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:27.
That’s quite an indictment, isn’t it…
Has my faith in God been made known everywhere? Not just because I put it on Facebook… but when people read my life. What they see… what others say about me. What is my reputation. Is it a reputation of faith and love?
What Jesus had against the religious leaders was that they loved to pray for a show. Jesus said they would “tithe of their mint, dill and cumin.” They looked the part. They even did some good things… But they neglected “the weightier matters of the Law. Mercy, justice and faithfulness.” Note to self.
Remember when Jesus was teaching about the Good Samaritan? The priest and the Levite walked right past the man in need. It was the Samaritan who stopped to help. (Keep in mind, the Jews loathed the Samaritans. They were kind of Jewish “wannabes.” But the Jews wouldn’t even speak to them.)
In John 4, when Jesus was speaking to the woman at the well, she was, you guessed it, a Samaritan. In John 4:27 the disciples were surprised that Jesus was talking with her.
When I am doing my SOAP exercise, especially the Application portion, I am always asking myself the question, “What does this mean to me today? How does this apply to my life?” When I am teaching, I try to answer the most basic question I think people ask…
What does David killing Goliath have to do with me?
What does Peter walking on water have to do with me?
What does Jesus’ death have to do with me?
Why does any of this matter to us today?
That’s what application is all about. Finding the timeless principle within any passage and applying that to my life.
I often see the glaring what NOT-to-dos… I often make a “Note to self.”
Note to self… Don’t do that. Do this instead.
Learn from the mistakes of the Pharisees, Sadducees and teachers of the Law.
Learn from what people were commended… like when Timothy reported back about the faith and love of the Macedonians. How they “became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”
You get the point.
That’s a pretty good goal… to “become a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”
Lord help me to become a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia… and Dayton.