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My SOAP Journal

Jun. 23rd, 2011 11:57 pm I've Moved My Blog

See my latest entries at http://hodidaskalos.blogspot.com/

Thanks for reading!

G&P,

     Brad

Current Location: Mom & Dad's
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Switchfoot - the Beautiful Letdown

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Jun. 18th, 2011 06:27 pm Words

SCRIPTURE
Matt. 12:36-37  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."  (ESV)

OBSERVATION
Have you ever said a careless word that you wished you could take back because you knew it would hurt someone?  Have you ever crossed the line of course jesting?  I can't help but picture Jesus at the judgment saying 'remember those words of encouragement you spoke to that struggling single Mom - Well done...'  I'm not saying that we're saved  by the words we speak rather than saved by grace through faith, but I wonder if the words we've spoken could be used as evidence for or against us at the judgment as proof of the true content of our hearts?

APPLICATION 
'Remember those cutting words you spoke against a friend!?!'  Brad, Jesus desires mercy, not sacrifice (12:7).  "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad" (v. 33).  Otherwise the men of Nineveh may rise up in judgment against the church (v. 41).  For whoever does the will of the Father is Jesus brother or sister (v. 50).  Brad, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  Heart check!

PRAYER
Oh God, search my heart, know me.  You know.  Show me the truth, my true motivation.  Holy Spirit change me, from the inside out.  Let the words of my mouth speak kindness, mercy to those who have not experienced justice on the earth.  Oh that I might walk humbly before my God (Mic. 6:8).  Take these hands and these feet, make them agents of mercy.  Transform my heart.  Change my heart O God.  Make it ever new, fresh, hesed.

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Son

Current Location: Mom & Dad's
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Chris Tomlin - I Lift My Hands

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Feb. 25th, 2011 11:58 pm Somebody's Watching You

SCRIPTURE
Phil. 1:27a  Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ... (NKJV)

OBSERVATION
The example of Christ in ch. 2 ("Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" - 2:5) was lived out in the flesh (i.e. He came "in the likeness of men" - 2:7).  To be sure, this was accomplished through the power of the Spirit, but not by some supernatural being - no the divine Son took on a fully human form just like us.  So we too live out the call of the gospel "in the midst of crooked and perverse generation" shining as lights in the world (2:15).

APPLICATION
They're watching our conduct.  They live in a world of darkness - everything has been perverted.  They're looking for any ray of hope, truth, someone with some conviction.  Is the light they see in you for real - emanating from a genuine connection (intimacy) with Christ in you - the hope of glory - or is it artificial - just a battery-powered flashlight (and really you're just filled with darkness like everyone else).  Think of all those who have poured their lives, faith, hope into you (when you appeared hopeless) over the years: Let's see our leaders, mentors, youth Pastors, brothers & sisters rejoice (2:16).  Let's live lives worthy of the call of the gospel of Christ on our lives. You are here for a purpose. Walk in obedience (2:8).

PRAYER
Lord Jesus my King, I submit to You - King of the Universe.  Holy Spirit speak... today.  God, I will follow!

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Son

Current Location: Mom & Dad's
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Vineyard - More Love, More Power: 25 Best Loved Live Worship Classics

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Feb. 23rd, 2011 08:24 pm It's Time - Radical!

SCRIPTURE
Phil 2:8  he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminals death on a cross  (NLT 2.0)

OBSERVATION
I saw this quote from Mark Driscoll on Facebook this morning: "To be a disciple is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and this includes all the way to your own death."  Your Minor Inconvenience Is Not A "Cross to Bear" (Mars Hill Church, February 22, 2011).  I also saw something on Beliefnet featuring "10 Radical Sayings of Jesus" (based on the book "Radical by David Platt)!  Jesus calls us to the most radical kind of discipleship.  Here in Philippians His humble example calls us to obedience even to the point of death!

APPLICATION
There really is no place for half-hearted Christianity in the New Testament church.  Yes, I know we've all done it.  And yes, of course, there's grace for those who don't quite get the full implication of the call of the gospel on our lives (1:27).  Brad, you are being called to be a fully formed disciple of Jesus Christ.  Will you be a Radical for Jesus?

PRAYER
Oh God, that I might "Hold firmly to the word of life" (v. 16), obeying You "with deep reverence and fear" (v. 12).  For You are working in me giving me "the desire and the power to do what pleases" You (v. 13).  Come Lord Jesus.  Come Holy Spirit.  I surrender all!

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Abiding son

Current Location: Homestead
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Ross Parsley - Breathe

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Nov. 12th, 2010 03:23 pm Let Hope Rise

SCRIPTURE
2 Kings 25:29-30  So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments.  And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king's table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived.  (ESV)

OBSERVATION
So the rightful king of Judah is set free from prison by the king of Babylon.  Although the kingdom is not restored at this time, Jehoiachin is treated with grace, kindness and respect.  The rightful heir of the Davidic dynasty is exalted to a place of honor in the court of Babylon.  And so 2 Kings (and the writings of the Former Prophets) ends with a glimmer of hope.  It will be seventy years before the exiles return to the land... but the king is coming!

APPLICATION
Let hope rise.  Messiah is coming.  From the worst devastation, hope arises.  From the rubble of the walls of jerusalem, Zerubbabel and a small remnant of faithful believers will return to Jerusalem and one of them will pick up the first brick and they will begin to rebuild.  Brad no matter how bad it gets, God can always start over anew, afresh.

PRAYER
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.  God we've seen some tough times, though not the kind of devastation Jehoiachin and Jerusalem saw.  But You are faithful.  Let hope rise.  Messiah has come.  He is here, and He is with us until the end of the age (Mt. 28:20).  He will return, and His kingdom is and will be glorious!

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Son

Current Location: Homestead
Current Mood: lonelylonely
Current Music: Russ Taff - A Christmas Song

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Oct. 7th, 2010 08:58 pm His Voice & My Plans

SCRIPTURE
2 Kings 5:11  But Naaman was very angry and went away saying, "Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.  (ESV)

OBSERVATION
Naaman was used to being greeted with pomp and circumstance.  His king had even sent a letter to the king of Israel as a predecessor to Naaman's arrival.  Clearly, God did not act in the way he expected to cure his leprosy.  And he was so angry (v. 12) that his intent was to not obey the simple word of God that would lead to his healing/wholeness.

APPLICATION
God doesn't always act in the way we expect, answer prayer in the way we want it answered, or ask of us what we planned Him to do.  "He is not a God of equations, but of relationships" to quote Pastor Joel last Sunday.  Dan and Julie were talking last night about the importance of hearing from God.  Naaman didn't hear what he expected so he was going to act as if the word was not from God.  We need to learn to hear God (i.e. recognize His voice - for His sheep know His voice) so that we can obey when what He says doesn't match our plan or expectation.

PRAYER
God, I am but a lamb.  And probably one of the more stubborn ones at that.  Teach me to listen, hear and obey - even in the little things.  Oh Holy Spirit, that I might know the Master's voice.  King Jesus, You are my Lord.  I want to follow.

In Jesus name - Amen,

                             Son

Current Location: Homestead
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Kathryn Scott - Satisfy

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Sep. 14th, 2010 09:02 pm Not a Gifting - Be Intentional

SCRIPTURE
Col 3:12  So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; (NASB, upd. '95)

OBSERVATION
Paul speaks here to the church, not leaders.  And it is for the sake of unity.  The reason for such behavior is because we have been chosen by God.  And finally Paul speaks here not of a gifting from God, but an intentional act of the will: "put on a heart of..."

APPLICATION
Brad, as a leader, let these be your goal.  Strive to live these out every day: Have a heart of compassion just as Jesus did; be kind to one another (especially in the church); live a life of humility (you ain't all that) - assist the elderly and wipe the drooling face of the disabled; be gentle to all - but especially the weak, the helpless, women and children; and finally put on patience like a coat (bear with one another) - not everyone is as far along as you are and you aren't as far along as you should be.

PRAYER
Lord Jesus, if these are your standards for the brethren, how much more must I strive to achieve the perfect bond of love (cf. v.14) I see in You, Christ Jesus my Lord.  Let Your peace rule in my heart (v. 15) and let Your word dwell in me richly.  Oh Holy Spirit remind and convict me of these truths in the coming months.  Oh God my Father, may You be glorified in and through me.

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Son

Current Location: On the homefront
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Vineyard - More Love, More Power: 25 Best Loved Live Worship Classics

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Sep. 9th, 2010 08:37 pm A Failure in Servant Leadership

SCRIPTURE
1 Kings 12:7  And they said to him, "If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever."  (ESV)

OBSERVATION
Hmm, servant leadership, way back here in the story of Rehoboam.  If you want the people to follow you, you must serve them.  An office of leadership isn't given for the leader's benefit.

APPLICATION
Brad, begin to cultivate not just the actions of a servant leader but a desire to be a servant and an attitude of a servant leader: "If you will be a servant to this people..."  Rehoboam, of course, didn't follow the advice of the older, wiser counselors of his father and as a result he lost all but one tribe in his kingdom.  If you want to be a servant leader "speak good words" of kindness and encouragement to people.

PRAYER
God you know that encouragement is not my strong suit.  Yet there is such great power in it.  There is power of life and death in the tongue (Pr. 18:21).  Lord Jesus, increase my gifting in this area, I ask, that others might be encouraged.  Holy Spirit strengthen me as I step out in faith to speak life into someone today, tomorrow, this decade.

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Son

Current Location: On the homefront
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: C.A. Worship Band with Tommy Walker - S/T

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Aug. 30th, 2010 08:41 pm Concerning this House

SCRIPTURE
1 Kings 6:12-13  Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father.  And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel."  (ESV)

OBSERVATION
Interesting introduction to this oracle.  Although God begins with "Concerning this house" He actually says nothing about the temple, its construction, maintenance, sanctity or holiness.  What He does talk about is obedience, His faithfulness to His promises, and His desire to be with His people.

APPLICATION
God never commanded the building of this temple (though He did endorse David's idea - but delayed it).  I have to wonder if God isn't much more concerned about issues of obedience, heart then He is about great monuments built to His name or how we "look" at church.  God wants all of us.  He wants to capture our hearts, dreams, ambitions, and yes, our minds.  He wants to show Himself a loving Father who desires to shower gifts on His kids and spend long afternoons with us in the cool of the garden.

PRAYER
Oh God, I long for those cool days with You.  That You might find me in the garden unashamed because I am busy being about the Master's business.  Come and be with me Daddy - God that I might find rest in Your arms. 

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Son

Current Location: On the homefront
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Mylon & Broken Heart - Big World

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Aug. 6th, 2010 09:25 pm Stability in the Storm

SCRIPTURE
2 Sam. 22:37  You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
And my feet did not slip;  (ESV)

OBSERVATION
God brings stability to our lives - esp. during storms (trials).  He is a stronghold (a place of protection from attack), a refuge (a place of peace), and a savior (one who delivers) v. 3.  "This God - his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield" (again a protection during attack) "for all those who take refuge in him" (v.31).

APPLICATION
David was a warrior-king so he uses the image of stability of his feet during battle.  If an ancient soldier slipped during a battle with sword and spear his goose was cooked.  It may seem ridiculous to compare stresses faced in an office environment to those of a warrior in battle, but think of the most mature Christian(s) whom you really look up to - they are probably cool as a cucumber when under stress.  Why, because they have confidence that the Lord equips them for the battle (v. 40).  So take refuge in Him and He will be your support in the day of your calamity (v. 19) because He delights in you (v. 20).

PRAYER
Oh God, You have seen me through this trial.  And although it is not over yet I will exalt Your name and sing praise to You (v. 47, 50).  I long for Your steadfast love every day (see v. 51).

In Jesus' name - Amen,

                              Son 

Current Location: Homestead
Current Music: Paul Baloche - Our God Saves

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