Friday, April 26, 2013

LEGACYouth: SOAP Study on Matthew 5

SOAP Case Study

First, a quick review on what the S.O.A.P. method is:

Scripture: Pick a verse or two that stands out to you.

Observation: What is it about that verse that stands out to you? Why?

Application: How does it apply to your life? How can you apply it to your life?

Prayer: Write out a prayer asking God to help you apply it.

Scripture: Matthew 5

It’s interesting how salt and light intertwine…

Context: Jesus had just finished preaching the Beatitudes, completing the most thorough definition of what “blessed” means. And of all the content he could have transitioned to, he decides to talk about salt and light.

Why does Jesus do this?

Observation: vs. 13-16

1) Our identity is clearly defined. “You are the salt, you are the light…”

2) We are given well-defined instruction: “Let your light shine before others, so that [the world] may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

3) Note: Jesus is not saying if we don’t let our light shine, we are NOT light. Why? Because you can’t change God’s original design for your life. The true battle is not between light and darkness, since light is always superior to darkness (ex: when the world was created, God separated the darkness, which is simply the absence of light, with light).The real battle is between revealed and hidden light.

The same concept applies to salt. We can never lose our identity as salt, but we can lose our zest and saltiness for Jesus. The question is how seasoned for the Kingdom do you want to be?

Psalm 34:8 encourages man to taste and see that the Lord is good! As believers, we are preservers and flavor enhancers of the Gospel, accomplished by living out truth, grace and good works, while keeping our aim at the glory of God (glory = holiness of God on display, infinite worth made manifest).

Bottom line: The combination of God’s unchangeable will and the cross reassures us we can never NOT be salt and light. Salt is WHO we are. Light is WHO we are.

4) Note: It’s also fascinating to observe the structure of Jesus’ teaching. He provides a clear-cut template on how to be salt and light in the verses preceding vs. 13-16 and then gives us the flip side in the verses following.

Application: How are we, as individuals and the corporate body of Christ, to be like a city on the hill that cannot be hidden? How does this relate to a rising generation of believers? Is Jesus saying restoration can’t take place after we’ve lost a bit of saltiness? How does God’s grace fit into what Jesus is talking about in this passage?

Prayer: Father, I pray that all generations will taste and see that you are good – that we may know with greater understanding and clarity how deep your love is for us. We accept the call to be salt and light in every setting of our lives. May we not desire security in hiding our light, but instead, realize the wonder of your authority and freedom. May our faith in you triumph over any doubt and fear in our lives. May you be exalted above all as you help us carry the glory of your fire to the people and places of the world in desperate need of it. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen!

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Vows to Mrs. Fry

"In the beginning was a green-belted sundress with a signature yellow cardigan, adorning a perfect stranger on the edge of my expanding world. And as she stood tall in the fine, autumn sun, life suddenly boiled down to twenty seconds of insane courage. All I had to do was open my mouth. Four conversations and ninety minutes later, the chord of wonder had been plucked. 

In the months following, dreams transitioned into sweet reality.  And as friendship matured into a stronger bond, it became undoubtedly clear I had finally met my co-author in this life, divinely created with my breath so she could take it back from me. 

So as I stand before God and man, I open my mouth once more so everyone here, especially you, may know this:
I vow to love, cherish and treasure you. To honor you. To fight for you. To protect you. To engage you. To not only be mindful of the God-given abilities placed inside you, but to help you discover with greater clarity your unique place in God’s tapestry. 

I vow to be a husband who is your best friend each and every day. To be a God-fearing leader and a servant of the Gospel, who seeks to become more like Jesus by loving you more than himself. 

I vow to pray alongside you in good times and bad. To listen to you, sacrifice for you, and provide a home marked by deep joy. I vow to be a father who will care for and prize his children. To be honest and transparent, faithful and loyal. To be humble, wise, grateful and discerning. 

Above all, I vow to love you forever. To love you for always. As long as I’m living, my bride you will be.

Thank you for waiting, obeying and for choosing me to be the one you spend the rest of your life with. For walking upright with integrity and dignity. For being such a model of God’s grace, especially in the eye of the storm. No blizzard or tornado chase in the world could compare to the richness of knowing and loving you." 

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