S.O.A.P. Journal Entry - 2014-10-21

Scripture:

Colossians 4:2-6

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Observation:

As Paul finishes his letter he encourages the church to pray for themselves and to pray for him also.  Pray for what?  Pray that the good news of Jesus will continue to spread.  That doors would be opened for them to share…even for Paul as he is in prison.  Pray for a clear presentation of the Gospel.  And then he encourages them to be careful in how they approach the lost.  With wisdom…seizing opportunities when they are presented.  Always showing compassion and grace…but never hesitating to share about Jesus!

Application:

I can honestly say that my conversation to those outside of Christ is almost always full of grace…but what I cannot always say is that it is seasoned with salt.  I’m gracious with the lost…sensing their condition, knowing that they very well could be without the Savior, but I don’t always act on this prodding from the Holy Spirit.  The salt is often never shaken out of the salt shaker.  This passage challenges me to always be ready…but even more than that…to never hesitate to share.  Seasoned with salt?  I know I need to be. 

Prayer:

God help me to not only be aware of someone’s lost condition.  Help me to act on your leading as you season my conversation with salt.  Words that just might reach someone far from you!  Give me boldness and grace to share.  I pray in Jesus name, Amen.

via https://dayone.me/WmszrG

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Now. Not five years from now when you are a better Christian. Right now. At this instant.

No. None at all. Not even a little. Zero. Gone. Poof.

For those in Christ Jesus. And only because we are in him. We provide everything that deserves condemnation. He provides everything that deserves acceptance.

This is the plain message of the Bible, because God not only does not condemn us, he also doesn’t want us feeling condemned. He wants us feeling freed. Nothing like no-condemnation to get us riled up for his glory!

- Ray Ortlund
“Freed”

“So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.”

- Ecclesiastes 2:17-18

You will cleanse no sin from your life that you have not first recognized as being pardoned through the cross. This is because holiness starts in the heart. The essence of holiness is not new behavior, activity, or disciplines. Holiness is new affections, new desires, and new motives that then lead to new behavior.

If you don’t see your sin as completely pardoned, then your affections, desires, and motives will be wrong. You will aim to prove yourself. Your focus will be the consequences of your sin rather than hating the sin and desiring God in its place.

-  Tim Chester
You Can Change

“Being dead to the world means that every legitimate pleasure in the world becomes a blood-bought evidence of Christ’s love and an occasion of boasting in the cross. When our hearts run back along the beam of blessing to the source in the cross, then the worldliness of the blessing is dead, and Christ crucified is everything.”

-  John Piper
Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

Pray more…worry less.

Every time you show generosity, you strengthen your faith.

Why is that? Because when you take something and, instead of using it on yourself, you use it to help others, then you’re going to have to depend on God to help you.

  • Rick Warren

Verse of the day:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6 NIV

Application:  Worrying instead of praying.  That’s easy.  Praying instead of worrying…that’s the hard part.  That takes real faith.  Pray more…worry less.  Depend on God and trust he knows what’s best for you!

Prayer:  God my life belongs to you.  Soften my heart so I cease trying to control everything.  Help me to depend on you.  You know what’s best for me.  I pray in Jesus name, Amen.

via https://dayone.me/G2qzic

It’s your job to ask.

It’s not your job to figure out how God’s going to provide. It’s your job to ask.

The Bible says in James 4:2, “You do not have because you do not ask God” (NIV).

Here’s the second key to stress management: Worry less, and ask more. Instead of worrying, pray about everything.

  • Rick Warren

Verse of the day: He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭32‬ NIV)

Application: God has already taken care of our biggest need. Jesus did everything necessary to reconcile us to the Father. I worry too much and ask too little. How is that possible after all that Jesus has done?

Prayer: God you know my needs before I even ask. However, I can use that as an excuse not to ask. Help me to ask as much as I worry! You know where you want us to be…I pray that you reveal it to us soon. In Jesus name, Amen.

via https://dayone.me/EDXz1M

In the late 1800’s, Scottish pastor and author John Watson wrote: “Be kind to everyone you meet, for everyone is fighting a great battle.”

What if we were to live with that understanding about one another? Every day, we have the opportunity to connect about the stories we are going through. Even if just for a few moments. A chance to say “I know you are fighting a great battle, and so am I.” To say, “I’m a fellow sojourner. I’m with you.”

A chance to commune with compassion.

- Al Andrews - Storyline Blog

A decision…then a process.

Following Jesus is a decision and then a process for the rest of your life. You can’t follow without walking. You’ve got to have movement!

Philippians 3:12-13 says, “I don’t mean to say I’m perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers, I’m still not all I should be” (LB).

Pride will keep you from growing, because when you pretend that you’ve got it all together, you won’t make an effort to become more spiritually mature. No one has it all together! Humility leads to happiness because it makes you teachable.

  • Rick Warren

Verse of the day: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭12-13‬ NIV)

Application: Stop pretending…start relying. I need Jesus. Bottom line. The sooner I apply this to every part of my life…the better!

Prayer: Jesus I need you. Overwhelm my life with yours! In your name, Amen.

via https://dayone.me/DNtzao

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