Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 1 (Here we go!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome to the online blog for our Vineyard Life Journal! 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? (If you read mine first, it may taint what you think.) Read a note from Scott.

Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 1,2; Luke 1 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Here is what S.O.A.P. stands for:

S for Scripture

Open your Bible to the reading found under today’s date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.

O for Observation

What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.

A for Application

Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.

P for Prayer

This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

Here is my S.O.A.P. for today…

S cripture

In the NIV, the phrase “God said…” appears twelve times as God is creating the heavens and the earth and speaking about it. He SPOKE everything into existence.

Noted in verse 1:26 “let US make man in OUR image.”

“And there was evening and there was morning on the first day.”

I like that the specific location of the garden of Eden is spelled out where all these rivers converge… verse 2:14 “The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.” (You can still find these two rivers on the map today!)

Note: God gave the specific instructions about not eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to Adam before Eve was created. She didn’t hear it for herself… She had to trust what Adam was telling her was true. Not always easy to do!

Love the introduction to Luke 1…

“1 MANY have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

An “orderly” account… “carefully investigated” so that you may “know the certainty” of the things you have been taught.(!)

Even though an angel (Gabriel) spoke to Zechariah, he still had questions/doubts… We all do… His doubts cost him his ability to speak for a time… I wonder what mine cost me?

Gabriel also spoke to Mary…

O bservation

Is there a difference between, “How can I be sure?” and “How will this be?” Seems there might have been a difference in attitude behind the question? Can’t be for sure… only conjecture.

A pplication

When I think God has spoken to me, best to say what Mary said, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” It’s still always wait and see. Both she and Zechariah had to wait nine months, and both had to wait a lifetime to see those words fulfilled.

P rayer

Lord, may my heart and mind always be open to what you have to say to me… That I would know with “certainty” the things you have called me to. Even though I’m made in your image, I know I’m still human and that I don’t have it all figured out. Please help me to be faithful as I walk out the things you have called me to…

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14 thoughts on “Day 1 (Here we go!)

  1. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. The one thing I noticed was that even though Zechariah was a faithful follower of the Lord, he still had doubts and as for Mary, she was so humbled by the Lord choosing her to give birth to His son. She believed immediately because Gabriel had said it would happen, whereas Zechariah could not see it, because our finite minds just can’t comprehend what God can do.

    I myself struggle at times with my faith and I learned from this first reading that I have to continually trust God and that He has a plan for my life. I may not always understand it, but I am choosing to believe and have faith, and allow God to work out everything in His timing. That’s the hardest part sometimes….waiting.

  2. I combined Heb 11 “Now Faith is the substance of things HOPED FOR, the evidence of things NOT SEEN..” with Romans 10 “Faith cometh by hearing…”

    Logically you can conclude, the things hoped for and things not seen cometh by hearing the Word of God.

    We wait in hope because the evidence is strong since it is based upon the Word of God.

  3. “In the beginning…” I immediately zeroed in on that phrase. New Year’s Day–a new beginning, a time when I am naturally tender to what God may want to create in me over the next 365 days and a time I look back at what He did in me over the last year.

    This is a time for God to bring light into my dark areas, order to my chaos, and new life where this is none. I pray that He also uses me to love others as He did and that I learn to love and trust Him ever more deeply.

  4. Psalm 1:1-6. Basically doing the right thing because God wants you to, and you’ll be blessed for it. We went to the movies today and when we got there, the wind caught my husband’s door and it smacked the car beside us. Bob left a note for the man and he called just as I was reading Psalm 1:1-6. The man was shocked that someone left a note and was grateful. I know my husband would have done the right thing, even if nobody was looking. And I’m so happy he will be blessed for it.

  5. Stephanie Jenkins on said:

    Thanks for sharing this Scott. It was helpful in following the example. I was looking at the scripture about when He created light. It occured to me (actually I heard the teaching somewhere) that God created light before He created the vessels that were to manifest it. As in the moon only reflects the light from the sun (Son). My prayer is to have Him show me how to be a willing vessel to reflect His light. I want to have all the hang-up, hurts and anger removed from me in order to do so. I know its a process and progress not perfection. Thats my goal… to be progressive in growing in the Lord this year and sharing his light and not be void of it.

  6. This group is what I have been waiting for. I wanted to cover the whole Bible. Thank you Scott for sharing. Luke 1 :77 stood out to me because God does love us enough to send Jesus when we have lost our way with sin . He wants us to see that we can be with him for ever if we repent and believe. Amen

  7. Hello everyone! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! Keep in touch as your schedule allows. God bless!

  8. What this speaks to my life right now is that boundaries are Biblical. Having studied psychology for several years I’ve heard a lot about the importance of having boundaries in relationships — not “enabling” people to continue in their sinful addictive patterns by allowing them to take advantage of you over and over again. While it seems logical and healthy, lately I have been struggling with wondering whether or not it is Biblical. After all, Jesus said in Luke 6:29-30, “If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” That doesn’t sound like “clear boundaries” to me. (Since this is an upcoming reading, I’m looking forward to spending more time meditating on it in a few days).

    From the beginning of creation God established clear boundaries, creating opposites and establishing rules to maintain relationship with Him. He created light and darkness to clearly delineate day and night, marking the passing of time in an unmistakeable way. He separated the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens and called the open space “sky”. He separated the seas from dry land. He created a clear order in vegetation, creating seed-bearing plants whose seeds would only “produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came” (Gen. 1:11). Apple seeds didn’t produce orange trees; there was a logical order to creation. He created the sun, moon, and stars to further separate day and night, light and darkness. He created sea creatures, birds, and land animals, each living in its own realm of creation, each producing offspring of its own kind. Finally he created human beings in his image, male and female — opposite, yet complementary. In Chapter 2 he gave the man and woman dominion over everything in the world, except for the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they later crossed that boundary, he essentially kicked them out of their home for the rest of their lives.

    I’m praying God will continue to show me the balance between extending grace to the people in my life that try to use me, and establishing boundaries to keep from enabling those people to continue indulging in sin, and to protect the rest of my family from harm.

  9. Elizabeth on said:

    Observation from Luke 1: I was struck by Zechariah’s and Mary’s responses to Gabriel’s prophecy. Zechariah questioned the message and was struck dumb; Mary questioned the word without consequence. As I pondered what might be different in God’s dealings with these 2 individuals, I noticed that Zechariah asks “How can I be sure of this?” Mary queries, “How will this be?” There is a note of doubting in Zechariah’s response. Mary’s question carries a connotation of trusting. Elizabeth’s pregnancy was implausible, while Mary’s was impossible by human standards and understanding. So Mary’s response revealed a greater level of trust and confidence in God. I also wondered if Zechariah was held to account for his doubting because of his position – he was a priest and had been ministering before the Lord for many, many years. The Word also says that he and Elizabeth were “upright in the sight of the Lord.” (Luke 1:6) Perhaps a mature believer is held to a higher expectation (to whom much is given, much is expected . . .) Just some ponderings there. I also noticed that Mary sings her song of praise, worship, and adoration BEFORE the miracle occurs – before the prophecy is fulfilled. Zechariah’s song of worship and exaltation comes after the fulfillment.

    So, my application is to seek to trust God more absolutely even when the words I hear from Him seem implausible or even impossible; and to remember to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving BEFORE the fulfillment of God’s promises to me. Trust, praise, and worship while I wait on God’s timing – that’s a good goal for 2012!

  10. “For nothing will be impossible with God…Behold I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:37-38)

    As soon as I was done with the reading, this is the first verse that was in my mind. There are so many times when I try to steer my life in the direction that I see fit, when what I really need to do is scoot over and let God drive. I am the servant of Him and through Him all things are possible. This makes me feel blessed to even be in the car at all!

  11. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Zechariah prophesied about what his son John would do in Luke 1:68-79.
    Vs. 79 says “to guide our feet in to the path of peace”.
    What a blessing. To be able to guide others in to the path of peace.

  12. Silvia on said:

    The verse I was drawn to is Luke 1:46-48. Where Mary declares: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of me” Starting a new year, and reflecting on 2011, I KNOW that God has been mindful of me. My prayer is that God will restore in me the joy of my Salvation, taking me back to Bethel, and that my spirit will rejoice in Him through every circumstance, for He cares for me.
    Have a blessed 2012!

  13. “the tree of life also in the Center of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of [the difference between] good and evil and blessing and calamity.” (Gen 2:9)
    Reading in Gen 1&2-this verse struck me-since the heart is the center (of our will/emotions) do I allow Jesus to have full reign over my heart-is it LIFE
    giving-through the Spirit to others by my actions and words and do I choose to do GOOD and choose to be a BLESSING
    and bless my Father-and others I come into contact with? Lord let this be a reminder to me each day, as this New Year begins.

  14. Great comments everyone. I said, “Wow!” as I read each one. I think this is going to be a fun, life-changing experience for all of us!

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