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 23

Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome to Day 23 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Exodus 6, 7, 8; Luke 23 (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

Exodus 6, Moses tells the Israelites what God is about to do, but they are too discouraged to listen. Then Moses’ and Aaron’s family line… And once again, Moses again has his doubts about speaking with Pharaoh, even though God has told him what to say… “Why would Pharaoh listen to me?? I have faltering lips.” (I don’t talk so good…)

Exodus 7 and 8 are all about the plagues God is sending (water turns to blood, frogs, gnats, flies) and how Pharaoh one minute says they may go and worship, then the next minute his heart is hardened and he refuses to let them leave…

The big story today is the Crucifixion in Luke 23… and the thief who defends Jesus and asks Jesus to “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Luke 23:39 “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42, Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”43 Jesus answered him,

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 

(Also took note that Pilate and Herod “became friends that day” passing Jesus back and forth…)

O bservation

It’s interesting to me that Pharaoh’s “wise men, sorcerers and magicians” could do some of the same miracles… Their staffs turned into snakes, they also turned water into blood “by their secret arts.” They couldn’t produce gnats from dust though… Wondering if Moses, being raised in a Pharaoh’s household, knew that they had magicians and sorcerers available… Can’t imagine this is new to only this Pharaoh…

What an amazing story… one thief hurls insults, the other defends Jesus and asks him, “Don’t you fear God?” then asks Jesus to remember him… Such a great picture of God’s mercy…

A pplication

The common denominator between the Exodus readings and the Luke reading? Hardness of heart. Pharaoh and the other thief (who insulted Jesus). You could also add Pilate to this list… “This man has done nothing to deserve punishment.” But he still allowed them to crucify Jesus…

It’s so easy for our hearts to become hardened…

P rayer

Lord, I don’t want to have a hard heart… I want to be like Joseph, “a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51, who had not consented to their decision and action… and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.” Luke 23:51-52.

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3 thoughts on “Day 23

  1. Mark Long on said:

    It struck me in Luke how sure Pilate was of Jesus innocence ,but he let the world(the crowd) change his mind. Lord, help me to resist the influence of the world and look only to you for direction. I am reassured later when Jesus, in the midst of this torture, tells the thief “tonight you will be with me in paradise”. It’s hard to come to grips with the dichotomy of this look at grace in the midst of the gore of the crucifixion. Thank you Lord!

  2. Cheryl Dunlap on said:

    Good point about the world, Mark, I hadn’t thought of it that way. It also struck me in these readings all the chances God gave the Pharoah and Pilate and Herod to change their minds. There were so many opportunities for them to change the course and outcome…God seemed to be giving them every possible opportunity.

  3. Moses’ lips leaped out at me today! Haha! But seriously, I was convicted by Moses’ excuse and God’s response to him. Moses felt deficient and unable to carry out his God-given assignment. Here are my paraphrases –

    Moses: “I’m not eloquent and I’m slow of speech and tongue.”
    God: “Who gave you your mouth?! . . . I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (that was in Exod. 4:10-11)
    Moses: “Oh please God, send someone else!”
    God: (God’s anger burned against Moses, but God sent Aaron to help him)

    Moses: “The Israelites wouldn’t listen to me, so why would Pharaoh listen to me since I speak with faltering lips.”
    God: (God basically just commanded him to go. The record doesn’t indicate God acknowledging Moses’ 2nd complaint.) (Exod. 6:12)

    Moses: “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”
    God: I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.”

    So basically, Moses felt woefully inadequate. However, Creator God knew him intimately, called him, appointed him, gave him authority, and sent a partner (Aaron) to support him and be a prophet for him! What more could Moses possibly need?!

    I’ve been pondering lately why I too, often feel ill-equipped for aspects of my ministry and allow myself to get tunnel-vision on those perceived deficiencies. I think it’s a form of pride. Pride says, “I should be able to do that assignment on my own.” Reason says “You can’t do that assignment on your own.” Paralysis and frustration is the result. Humility says, “Apart from Christ I can do nothing; yet I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

    God, give me the humility to focus on YOU and receive the power of the Holy Spirit and the resources you provide me to equip me for the things you call me to. Forgive me for my pride that causes me to think I can labor in my own strength and for the resulting panic that ensues quickly when I realize I can’t. Thanks God, that I labor, struggling with Christ’s energy that so powerfully works in me (Col. 1:29). Forgive me, God, for the futility of thinking that I can do anything apart from you. Like Moses, I falter a lot but hallelujah that You, God, provide me with everything I need. I’m sorry I complain so much when I should be receiving and rejoicing. I love you, God.

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