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 9

Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome to Day 9 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 23, 24; Luke 9 (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

S cripture

Genesis 23, Wow, “The death of Sarah.” My heart instantly sank… Didn’t see that coming. Had this thought going into today’s reading as I sat down at my computer, “Today I’m going to try to read all three chapters… THEN do my SOAP.” Well, that didn’t happen…

I notice a pattern in how Abraham conducted business, “You go whatever way you want, I’ll go the other.” “Take everything back, except for what my men have eaten… (When he tithed to Melchizedek after seizing the city.) Here he insisted on paying full price for whatever tomb he was going to bury Sarah in. He showed honor to the Hittites, bowed to them. Smart guy… honoring. Even the owner told him he didn’t have to pay… but he still paid him the 400 shekels. v 23:14 “What is that between you and me?” Obviously Abraham was well respected.

Isaac was 26 or 27 when Sarah died… and Abraham sends the servant to find him a wife.

I love, love, love this… 24:15 “Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out…” As he was praying, giving God all the details of what and how this would work… haha, God KNOWS our needs even before we ask!

Rebekah was Isaac’s cousin, once removed. The granddaughter of Abraham’s brother. (just trying to follow the blood line.)

Had to do this… lol… this is why my post was delayed! : )

But the Bible says it this way, “the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.”

CLICK TO ENLARGE Isaac and Rebekah's family tree.

Wow… Rebekah left to marry someone she hadn’t met yet. Simply said, “I will go.” Love that… although that is REALLY trusting… I would never advise my kids to do that… What about the 8 weeks of premarital counseling?? Must be that they all KNEW God was in this! Isaac saw her coming… took her as his wife, right then. 24:16 said she was “very beautiful,” but she had covered herself with a veil when she saw Isaac…

I think tomorrow I’m going to focus on Luke verses… Love that Jesus sent out the twelve with power and authority… goes on to say that Herod “sought to see Jesus.” (He’s the guy who had John the Baptist beheaded!)

So much to learn in the story of feeding the 5,000! About faith… God’s provision, his concern for our most basic needs… Love that Jesus helped organize this… “Have them sit down in groups of fifty each.” Any significance or just an interesting detail?

Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah. (You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!) Immediately Jesus begins telling them he is going to be crucified! His ministry was only three years anyway, and it seems he told them pretty early on about what was going to happen… Timeline isn’t clear just from Luke… Need to look at parallel of other Gospels.

The transfiguration… to have actually seen Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah! THAT would have been awesome!

Jesus expresses some frustration at their lack of faith… 9:41.

The disciples argue over who is going to be the greatest… haha, human nature. Me first. I, me, my… Oops… no, see this child? He is the greatest. “The least among you is the greatest.” A little humility goes a long way!

Good thing I don’t have the power to call down fire from heaven!

Amazing chapter ends with the cost of following Jesus. A great note to end on… Looking back is never a great idea… remember Lot’s wife?

O bservation

I am amazed at how rich the scriptures are. I have heard and read all this so many times, but every time I read it, layers of depth and knowledge and wisdom and insights are revealed.

A pplication

There are so many ways to apply all these passages today… Trusting God, following Him… Going in His power… Knowing that He will provide bread for the hungry, or the lamb for the slaughter (Isaac story).

P rayer

Help me to never take You or Your word for granted… To ever trust you to meet my needs and to lead me. Give me the strength to leave everything and to follow you.

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12 thoughts on “Day 9

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Luke 9:23-25 “If you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, take up your cross every day, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but are yourself lost or defeated? Of course not!”

    vs.48″…For the one who is least among you all is the greatest”

    vs.54-56 “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village.

    I must forget myself. Take up the care of Christ every day and follow his direction. Put my cares, desires, wants, passions to the side and find his. My heart must be his heart. When selfishness, pride and my flesh rear their ugly heads…I need to find selflessness, humility and the Holy Spirit’s wisdom.

    Lord, your are speaking to me over and over, and over again about pride, selfishness and surrendering. I must die to my flesh. Please strip me of all my desires. Make my heart like yours. Help your fire to burn inside of me. I want to be the least. I want to be last. I want to put others before myself. Oh father, I’m on my knees, on my face and fully surrendered. Be my God, be my direction, be my shepherd. I need you!

  2. Elizabeth Wourms on said:

    The past couple days I’ve been reflecting on how God often calls us to wait – to wait confidently and trustingly in full faith while time passes until the revelation of His Word or promises. Today, in Genesis 22, I see a great reminder that God often acts immediately, even before we’ve finished praying for something (Gen 24:15). I’m reading a book, “Release the Power of Jesus” by Bill Johnson and I was just reading yesterday about how “declarations” pave the way for God’s action and actually release God’s power in the supernatural. Abraham makes such a declaration here when he says to his servant, “he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.” (Gen 24:7) That declarative statement opened the way for God’s power to flow and not only bring Rebekah out to the spring even before the servant had finished praying, but also opened the eyes of the servant to recognize and trust the answered prayer that was standing in front of him!

    Annie Hoke was telling me that in the coffee bar, when they run out of $1 bills to make change with, they pray out loud for God to supply the needed bills and God always provides! What a cool testimony of God’s immediate action and goodness!

    The application for me is to begin practicing – to make declarations from God’s Word and trust that those words will be prophetic triggers for God’s action afresh. God, help me to be more bold in my actions and my faith. Thanks, God.

    In Luke 9, I saw 2 things I’d never seen before in these familiar passages. In the feeding of the 5K, Jesus says to the disciples “YOU give them something to eat.” And then after Jesus gave thanks over the elements (bread and fish) He gave them to the disciples to pass out to the people. So the multiplication happened in the disciples’ hands! I’d always thought of this miracle as something Jesus Himself did but what I now see is that Jesus gave power to the disciples to serve the people and manifest the miracle. It wasn’t Jesus who fed the 5K, it was the disciples who fed the 5K with the power of the God flowing thru THEM! The application for me is to have confidence that comes from the power of God in me to be a channel for the miraculous in the lives of other people. Jesus, help me to use the resources that You’ve given ME to feed, to heal, to restore, to encourage. Thanks, Lord!

    [OK, now I can’t resist pulling a “Scott Sliver” here. Luke 9:51-56 makes me imagine James and John having played too much MW3 on their XBOX. James: “Dude, let’s ask Jesus if we can rain down fire on the Samaritans!” John: “Oh ya Dude, that’s awesome!”] 🙂

  3. Oh, great insights, too, btw! 😉

  4. I saw that the angel of the Lord was sent to prosper Abraham’s servant along the way. It was a revelation to know that angels function in just this way.

    It means that as the servant was praying, there was an angel encouraging Rebecka to go to the well at just that moment. If I’m not mistaken, she also saw that the camels were thirsty at that instant as well. It could be that an angel caused one of the camels to look or sound thirsty just at that split second as well.
    Hmmm…..

  5. Today was all about faith for me.

    Abraham showed a faith that was full and matured from a lifetime of learning that God can be trusted and by the testing of his faith. Mature Christians are a fountain of faith for those younger in the faith who are watching. His longtime servant had obviously learned by watching Abraham learn. When he was sent to find Isaac a wife, he put his trust in God and then watched God supply. I love how he immediately gives God the glory when his prayer is answered! Gen 23:26…”The servant fell down to the ground and worshiped the Lord ‘Praise be to the Lord…he has been so KIND and FAITHFUL to Abraham for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.’

    Then there’s Rebekah, who represents for me the younger generation and their faith. She agrees to leave everything and go with Abraham’s servant to Canaan to marry Isaac. A simple “yes, I will go” (24:58) immediately instead of waiting a few days as her family suggested. I love the innocent, adventurous (reckless?) faith that younger Christians put in God. No doubt she was spurred on by the story of the servant’s answered prayer and trust in God.

    I have learned many lessons about trusting in God over my lifetime. I pray that my faith reflects that. I also hope my faith and trust in God was/is “caught” by my children. As they head into adulthood, have they learned by watching me? I want them to be like Rebekah who simply trusted God and went.

  6. Cheryl Dunlap on said:

    Me too Annie. The last couple of days have been alot about strengthening my faith.

  7. Hmm… thereby proving what the Bible says about itself…

    “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God!”

  8. When the servant asked the Lord to choose the girl who would offer him water and his camels water, that was pretty straightforward. If the Lord did it then, why do we doubt He will do it now? I’m going to try this.

  9. @Nicole Marvin, I was deeply moved by your prayer in your post today. I SO resonate with where you are right now in seeking to die to self. Last year, I was so painfully aware of my “selfish ambition and vain conceit” http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Phil.%202&version=NIV1984 and I had a burning desire to “in humility consider others better than myself” as the passage says.

    Also, in Philippians 3 where it says, “7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” I returned time and time and time again to that passage and would weep over it – literally – because God was so wanting to form me in that level of humility. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I stand with you in solidarity in your desire/my desire to be a humble servant.
    Thanks for sharing so honestly from your heart.

    • Nicole Marvin on said:

      @Elizabeth, Thank you for the verses from Philippians! I will meditate on them.
      I appreciate you taking the time to note them for me. And to share your heart.

      My favorite from those verses is the end of 8 going in to verse 9..”so that I may gain Christ, and be completely united with him”. I could spend hours in quiet waiting to hear his voice. To be completely united with him. I have two young boys who are 5 and 8 and don’t allow me hours of quiet right now. 🙂 But I hunger for it!

      That is why this reading has been so powerful for me, as Scott said…every time you read it you see something new. And God shares a little bit more of his wisdom with us.

  10. Luke: 9

    It comforts me that the Disciples often acted liked they never saw Jesus perform a miracle. After all, they messed up over and over…being stumped over how they were going to feed people when they just returned from healing spree; to being unable to heal the demon possessed boy; to arguing over who was going to be Jesus’s best friend. I identify with these fallible souls. After all, I can witness God move a mountain one day and worry about the bills the next. I often have short-term memory loss when it comes to the things God does in my life as, apparently did the original 12. I guess we are all in good company.

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