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 6

Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome to Day 6 of our Life Journal!

So… How’s it going thus far? Are you able to keep up?

Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 15, 16, 17; Luke 6 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

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?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer


Genesis 15 Let’s see… Zechariah had questions, Mary had questions, now Abram. “How can I know…” A common theme in the first 20 chapters we’ve read thus far… Thinking of Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together…” Generally speaking, God is ok with us asking questions… Generally…

Genesis 16: Abram and Sarai created one BIG mess by taking matters into their own hands… It was Sarai’s suggestion and Abram went along with it to sleep with Sarai’s servant. What a dumb idea. Abram should have never agreed to that. What was he thinking? Funny how scripture says, “Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” That’s the verse we focus on… for good reason. But still, they failed miserably, too, along the way.

Luke 6:9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” Is it important to take a Sabbath and/or to observe the Sabbath? Yes, but the bigger issue is what we DO on the Sabbath. To do good… Of course, isn’t that true every day??

Worth mentioning Jesus chose 12 to be Apostles… He had LOTS of disciples.

OK, I give. Too much in Luke 6… Insert whole chapter here. Don’t judge others, a tree is known by its fruit, what is my life built on…

O bservation

God told Abram that the Hebrews would be enslaved in Egypt for FOUR HUNDRED YEARS! That’s longer than the U.S. has been a nation! Even from Christopher Columbus at 1492 + 400 = 1892!. It would be like our nation from it’s start being enslaved. And God knew it and allowed it. That’s a really long time! Generations never knew freedom… God was true to his promise, but it was in HIS timing…

16:12 The angel told Hagar her son would be a “wild donkey of a man.” Both sad and hilarious to me… God even blessed Hagar and told her that her descendants would be too numerous to count. Similar promise that He gave to Abram… This was Abram’s seed… although not the way God intended. God is faithful to His promises. In Galatians, Ishmael is referred to as being born “of the flesh” but Isaac (not born until chapter 21) was born “of the Spirit.”

Key verse, from a slave girl… “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Wow.

99% of the people in the Bible failed, but it didn’t necessarily define their lives. I tend to remember Samson, Thomas and Judas and a few others who are most remembered for their failures, but Moses, David and Paul were all murderers… But we remember them more for their successes, “David was a man after God’s own heart” yet he had Bathsheba’s husband (Uriah the Hittite) killed… Moses killed the Egyptian, Paul/Stephen. Our failures don’t have to define who we are… but they can. Note to self.

There was a promise with Ishmael… but the everlasting covenant with Isaac. Both were going to be fathers of great nations, but the everlasting covenant was for Isaac.

Sidenote: Imagine the discussions at the water cooler over this idea of circumcision. Imagine if twitter existed then… Tweet: “Abram said we have to be “circumcised?” Is he serious?? You first! #circumcision”

A pplication

I know You see me. I want to see You. Every day… Oh, and remove the block of wood from my eye.

P rayer

I know You are faithful to Your promises… Lord help me to be faithful to You. To not get ahead of You and take matters into my own hands as Abram and Sarai did. To patiently wait on You. Thank you for your word, Lord… That is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.


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12 thoughts on “Day 6

  1. I was struck by the length of time between the promise of a son and the son’s arrival. Honestly, it’s no wonder they took matters into their own hands. (I read those verses at the beginning of chapter 16 and I want to scream “No! Don’t do it! Do you know how much trouble this is going to bring on the world!”) I wondered why God didn’t just tell Abraham and then, boom, Sarah’s pregnant the next month. What was His purpose in making them wait? Why does He make me wait?

    The temptation to take matters into my own hands sometimes is great. What if I could wait for God’s timing? Even if it took til I was 99 years old! I can plainly see that God does do what He promises. Shouldn’t this spur me on in the trusting department? Oh, to keep that at the forefront of my thoughts and actions each day!

  2. Annie, I took note of that timespan as well… yet I get impatient that we haven’t sold our home in 6 months! : )

    You’d think we would learn from those who have gone before us… but we all still tend to learn for ourselves… the hard way.

  3. Melissa Stepp on said:

    I think the SOAP application was a bit confusing for me, I was worried that I wasn’t doing it right. So I began to do what felt right for me. I begin with the scriptures to read for the day, then I write down the verses that speak to my heart, and then I follow up with a letter, like a conversation with God about what I thought about what I had read, my inner most thoughts, doubts, etc. I say a prayer to him that comes from the heart. I’m not good with fancy words or sayings but God knows my personality, and I just speak to him like I would a friend, again straight from my own heart. I’d like to start a discussion with others about how they do their journal, and what works for them.

    I recently began attending the Vineyard, and after decades of being out of touch with God and my faith, I have found a home with the Vineyard church family. For the first time, I truly let God into my heart, and found that His love is truly great! I pray that He keeps working within me, and I can live FOR Him, and not for my own selfish desires. I’d also like to find new friendships with other followers, and incorporate more of God’s worship into other areas of my life. I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories, and insights, as well as what works for you in regards to your Life Journal. Thanks, and I hope everyone has a blessed day!

  4. Lisa Green on said:

    So many things stuck out, but if I reduce it to one thought as far as it depends on me, how do I treat others (that includes everyone or anyone) at anytime, anyplace, anywhere….always, and at any moment.

  5. Mark Long on said:

    Wow, so much in this weeks passages, especially today’s! I’m in awe of God’s promises but also humbled by our calling. In this first week, the things that have hit me are – ” if you have two shirts, give one away”, “if you have food share it”, “no prophet is accepted in his own hometown”, ” love your enemies, do good for those who hate you”. Forgive me Jesus for not always having the strength to live this. Thank you for your grace and your love!

  6. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Hi Melissa! Welcome!

    My daily journal is like this…I read the scriptures and take note of what speaks to me as I read. Then I make applications as I go along in a notebook. At the end I pray over them. And at times I pray right when I read something that touches my heart.

    I have found that morning works best for me to do my journal. I have done it at night, but there is something special about having the words of God to meditate on throughout the day. So I prefer morning.

    It is so exciting to have others to share this journey with. I can’t believe that I am 35 and just now reading through the Bible! His word is my inspiration and gives me energy. What an adventure this will be!

  7. Hey Melissa! Welcome to the family! So glad to hear that your journey has led you to the Vineyard! If you attend the Beavercreek Campus, stop by the coffee bar and say hi! I’d love to meet you!

  8. Hey Melissa! Glad to have you on our Life Journal blog and as part of our church family! Welcome!

  9. @Nicole, I’m with you… Morning works best for me. I start with this and make it my priority. 6:15 AM every morning. THEN I watch the news and do all my other facebooking, etc. If I wait until later in the day, it can get squeezed out by everything else. (Plus, I committed to having this blog posted by 8:00 AM daily! haha)

    Glad to have you on this journey with me/us!

  10. Melissa Stepp on said:

    @ Nicole, Annie, and Scott, thank you for welcoming me to the family! I have also tried to read the bible and do my journal at night, but like Nicole I am finding that morning is working out the best. I am also able to meditate on God’ Word for that day, and I believe that this helps me to stay on path as well. I would like to share that I believe God is speaking to me through the bible and things I have come across recently, and I feel deep down in my heart that God wants me to use my medical background and knowledge to help in a missionary overseas. What kind of organizations could I look into? Unfortunately people in this world take something like helping others and turn it into a scam, so I am not sure which organization is legit. I have contacted Greg to ask about our churches mission trips as well. I believe this is what God wants me to do with my time this year being that I go on a mission or spend this year preparing.

    @ Annie, yes I do in fact attend the Beavercreek campus, and I will be attending service this Saturday night. I hope to meet you soon!

  11. Elizabeth Wourms on said:

    Been thinking a lot about how God often chooses to reveal things to His people way far in advance of the actual fulfillment of the thing promised. Numerous examples of that in Scripture, including God’s dealing with Abram/Abraham in our reading today. I’m learning in my own life that God gives us promises and then asks us to wait because it’s one way that He forms us – forms us spiritually and forms us mentally and emotionally, too. Waiting and hoping are one and the same in the Old Testament scriptures. To wait on the Lord is to hope in the Lord. Waiting/Hoping is an active process – it’s not at all passive. And hoping is NOT the same as “wishing” – biblical hope is an expectancy – it’s trusting in confidence that what God has promised God will bring about. As I read my words it sounds like teaching, which is not what I’m intending. I’m more reminding myself of the important truths that God has taught me the hard way in the past few years. “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Gen 15:7. Believing the Lord is waiting on Him with trust and confidence in hope and full expectation that God will deliver on His promises.

    Abram was 75 yrs old when God told him to leave Ur and go to the Promised Land along with the promise that He would make Abram into a great nation (Gen 12:4). Abram was 99 years old when God confirmed His covenant with Abram (Gen 17:1) and reminded him of His promises. That’s nearly 25 years of watching, waiting, trying to be obedient . . . trusting, hoping . . . making mistakes . . . believing. Then I forget how many years will pass between Abraham and Joseph when Abraham’s descendants wind up in Egypt and then 400 years of slavery before Abraham’s descendants are delivered back to the Promised Land.

    Sometimes we have to watch and wait, trust and believe for a LONG time. But God is faithful and He is a covenant-keeping, promise-keeping God.

    God, I believe you; I trust you; I receive your promises. Help me to wait, trust and hope while I watch for your fulfillment.

  12. Elizabeth Wourms on said:

    p.s. Scott, I think this is hilarious:

    “Sidenote: Imagine the discussions at the water cooler over this idea of circumcision. Imagine if twitter existed then… Tweet: “Abram said we have to be “circumcised?” Is he serious?? You first! #circumcision” ”

    thanks for making this fun! 🙂

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