Archive for the ‘soap meditations’ Category

bible readings (october)
September 29, 2008

Here is the list of bible readings for October 2008. We are beginning a new 3 year cycle through the Bible. Feel free to post your comments, questions or observations. Learn more about the SOAP method of bible reading here.

1. Genesis 1
2. Genesis 2
3. Genesis 3
4. Genesis 4
5. Genesis 5
6. Genesis 6
7. Genesis 7 (more…)


giving my book to Jesus
September 28, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 20

When it comes to interpreting the details of this book, I get bogged down and confused by the details (if you are looking for clarity from the Pastor, I will disappoint you). When people talk about the end-times, about the rapture and the millennium and the 144,000 and the beast and the dragon, etc., I find myself hesitant to get into it. Not that I don’t believe the vision, it’s just that I am not sure that the discussion is helpful. (more…)

September 27, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 19

Ever since we saw the vision of Jesus (the Lamb) opening the scroll (God’s plan of kingdom restoration), we have seen how Jesus will accomplish the victory against Satan, sin, death and hell. The many visions contain striking and frightening images and symbols that represent very real events. But the punch line throughout is the same: VICTORY! (more…)

don’t be surprised
September 26, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 18

Will the political, economic systems of the world as we know them today last forever? Can we assume that the U.S. will always remain the leading super-power, that English will always remain the main language, that whites will always remain the privileged group in society, that democratic freedoms as we know them will remain, that Christianity will remain the largest world religion? No doubt Rome expected to thrive forever, but eventually things changed. What will the world look like in 50 years? Maybe very different from today. (more…)

seductive, destructive
September 25, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 17

Why does Jesus use a female prostitute to symbolize the epitome of evil? Not because God has it out against women, but because she illustrates perfectly the seductive, destructive power of sin. We can also think of the beautiful Sirens in Greek mythology that lured sailors to their rocky shores, and then killed them. And we recall the wisdom of Proverbs 5,7 warning about the “Immoral Woman”. This vision shows how alluring temptation and immorality is. Those who surrender to immorality can describe how appealing the temptation was UNTIL they gave in to it. And then they experience the hangover, the crash. (more…)

don’t blame God
September 24, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 16

What happens when I put my hand in the fire? I get burned, obviously. Doing something stupid has consequences, we all know that. Do we also realize that all of our moral failures have consequences? Every little way that we fail to reach perfection (as we were created to be) has ripple effects that hurt so many people. Our lifestyle choices result in environmental, social, economic and personal consequences. The Bible is right, we reap what we sow [Galatians 6:7-8]. (more…)

resist or repent, that is the question
September 23, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 15

In this life, it is hard for Jesus-followers to resist temptation or persecution, to stay true to our commitment to Jesus. So many pressures, so many distractions, so many doubts, so many fears. But the constant reminder in the Bible is to stand firm, to persevere. The intent of these visions is to bolster the weakening faith of persecuted believers at that time (and of all times). And this vision paints a picture of ONE DAY when they will stand at the finish line, victorious over the beast. (more…)

facing God’s wrath alone?
September 22, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 14

God has every right to be angry. Imagine all the horrible things that people have done, that He has withheld judgment for. How long would I keep my anger in if someone kept cheating, stealing, slandering and abusing me and those that I loved? Would I just be nice forever and ever? Would I say, ‘that’s OK, I just love you anyway?’ Is this what we think God does? (more…)

why does the devil seem so strong?
September 21, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 13

In his vision, John now sees a horrible beast, which seems to symbolize a powerful empire (Rome?) with a fatal wound that appears healed. That beast has a beast that serves it (the Caesar?), and subjugates all nations, refusing to help those who do not worship him (or Rome), those who do not willingly take the mark of loyalty? This is just one possible application, it could apply to empires and rulers throughout the ages, that ought to be defeated, under the rule of Christ (the mortal wound) but seem to be healed, doing just fine. They have power, they perform amazing signs, they experience great victories, while the followers of Jesus are persecuted, exiled, martyred. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (more…)

his days are numbered
September 20, 2008

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 12

Another amazing vision. Here we see the story of the Bible visualized with a woman (God’s people, Israel, 12 tribes = 12 stars) having a baby (the promised messiah, and Satan doing everything in his power to prevent the messiah from coming. The messiah is victorious, snatched up to the throne (all authority is given to Him), and the Satan is defeated (symbolized by war in heaven, and being cast down with his demons (1/3 of the stars). There is rejoicing in heaven, but earth becomes the battleground, and the age of the church (God’s people, still represented by the woman) is one of warfare. Satan knows he is defeated, but he is raging to take down as many as he can. But God protects His people, and will hold them secure through the fury to the victory at the end. (more…)