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 59

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome to Day 59 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Numbers 22, 25, 26, 27; 1 Corinthians 13  (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

Numbers 24, Balaam speaks prophetically against all the nations of Canaan (the inhabitants of the Promised Land) in which Israel is about to enter. Balak is none too happy about it either!

“Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. 2 When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him 3 and he spoke his message…”

Balaam was prophesying by the Spirit of the Lord, but he also had no problem using “divination” in the process. In this case, he didn’t… but overall, Balaam is not considered a true prophet.

NOTE: Peter warned against “the way of Balaam,” Jude against “the error of Balaam” and John against “the doctrine of Balaam” (2 Peter 2:15Jude 11Revelation 2:14).

Numbers 25, this is insanity… Israel has now completely lost their mind! v 1 “The men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the LORD’s anger burned against them.”

Keep in mind, they are within SIGHT of the Promised Land…

One guy (the son of one of Israel’s leaders) brought one of the Midianite women into his tent… Very bad idea. They are both killed, which incidentally stops a plague God had sent upon the Israelites! 24,000 people died that day…

Numbers 26, God tells Moses to take another census of all men age 20+… Remember what God said? “No one over age 20 will enter the Promised Land, the land of inheritance… except for Caleb and Joshua… v 64 “Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. 65 For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.”

Numbers 27:1-11 is a great picture of justice! And, the reward for their father NOT sinning as all the others had done! “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the LORD, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. 4 Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.” 5 So Moses brought their case before the LORD, 6 and the LORD said to him, 7 “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right.”

Moses is then given additional laws about inheritance because these girls stood up and made their situation known. Love it.

Interesting left turn from the book of Mark to 1 Corinthians 13… (Would love to know their thinking on this.)

v 1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Note to self…

O bservation

Two observations stand out to me today…

The first is yet again how easy it is to fall into sin… Israel did it over and over. One would think with all they had seen over a generation (parting the Red Sea, manna, glory cloud, hearing His voice, etc, etc, etc…) that it would have prevented them from turning away so quickly… But no…

The second is works without love are just works. They are good, but = nothing. They are just noise. We gain nothing and it says, “I am nothing.” Good works without love are just good works. But insert love, and the purposes of extending God’s Kingdom, and fruit is produced. Fruit that will last!

John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit thatwill last…”

A pplication

Be on the lookout… live a measured life. Live a life of purpose to extend the Kingdom with LOTS of LOVE.

P rayer

Yet again I come to you, asking for strength… Let me see things as you see them. I want to bear fruit that lasts, not just good works, not just feeding the hungry, but extending your Kingdom to those in need. To the lost, broken and hurting of our city. Our city needs a lot of love…

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8 thoughts on “Day 59

  1. 1Cor 13:13 stands out to me. Faith,hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. Love involves unselfish service for others. As I look in my notes in my bible,it talks about faith is the foundation and content of God’s message. Hope is the attitude and focus and love is the action.

    I really believe that the actions that we display for others glorifies God. When faith and hope are in line, I am free to love completely because I understand how God loves.

  2. I couldn’t wait for the post this morning as I read about the zelophehads daughters and how they came BOLDLY to Moses for their inheritance. And Moses was a direct connection to God! Not only did God give them what belonged to them BUT changed the law forever. My take was that what God has for me is for me. And that He will always come thru and amaze me! That all’s I need to do is come BOLDLY before Him.

  3. Num. 27:2-7 The daughters ask for an inheritance and God gives it to them.

    These verses reminded me of several other situations we have read during the Life Journal, where people have come to God (or Moses) asking for something that they desire-and God has graciously agreed. Even if it changed the law or the direction that people were moving in.

    This reminds me that God wants a relationship with me. He wants me to ask him for my desires, he wants me to share my heart with him, he is compassionate and full of grace.

    I Cor 13:7 (msg)

    “Love never gives up
    Love cares more for others than self
    Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have
    Love doesn’t strut
    Doesn’t have a swelled head
    Doesn’t force itself on others
    Isn’t always “me first”
    Doesn’t fly off the handle
    Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others
    Doesn’t revel when others grovel
    Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth
    Puts up with anything
    Trusts God always
    Always looks for the best
    Never looks back,
    But keeps going to the end.”

    vs. 13- “But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly…”

    Father God, thank you for your example of love. Thank you for your grace and compassion. Thank you that you care about my desires and that you want a relationship with me. Help me to love extravagantly. Let me see people through your eyes. Help me to be selfless, with a servant’s heart. Replace my anger, impatience and judgement with love, peace, patience and grace. I trust you. I’m living in today, not in the past. Thank you for hearing my prayer.

  4. One if the things that struck me was that one single man..Phinehas..redeemed Israel.

  5. To add to my last comment.. One man came to redeem the world.
    Father, I ask that you fill me with your love so that I may love others as you do.

  6. Dan Talbott on said:

    Sorry, a little late. Yesterdays reading num.21: 6-9 Jesus spoke of this concerning himself. He was made to become the very thing that had bitten all of mankind, sin. That we would look and live. AMAZING LOVE.

  7. How great is God’s justice and mercy! He took the gentile ruler’s desire to curse Israel, those who He blessed, to proclaim his rightful position as God above their gods, but provides the gentiles with a warning that they are about to be overthrown. If they were smart, they would have packed up and left then. God sends us warnings even today that we can choose to ignore or accept. He does this not out of hate but out of love for us.

    When I read Balaam say that the Isrealites were brought out of Egypt and they have the strength of a wild ox, the image of Rocky Balboa training in the wilderness of the then Soviet Union popped into my head. Surely trekking through the desert made the young men who would overthrow the promised land very strong.

    Satan digs into his bag of tricks and uses lust to lure Israelite men to worship Baal. This is not fighting fair, but satan does not fight fair. Many church leaders have fallen prey to lust. I remember hearing the testimony from a recent occult leader (through John Paul Jackson) that he would send his “best girls” into churches to tempt the leaders into a sex scandal. As Scott mentioned, we must be on the lookout. Satan does not have any new tricks but is an expert at using the ones he has.

    I have to give a shout out to Phinehas for doing what was right. Although it would be bad for us to spear a friend or coworker who is involved in sexual immorality, we need to open our mouths and speak what is right when we see a wrong.

    1 Corinthians 13 comes right after 12 (of course) which lists the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I used part of that chapter recently to debate with a friend against the practice of becoming intoxicated/slain in the spirit, but this one would have been equally good. We are each gifted through the Holy Spirit. These gifts are given to love on others, not for self promotion. Testimony should only be shared to give Glory to God. I’ve heard people say they want to learn to speak or pray in tongues. Why? Is God not great enough to hear our prayers in English? Is it not better to prophesy hope and happiness into someone’s life?

    Lord, nothing is too great for you! Your love and mercy reaches to all though Christ Jesus. Lord, protect us from satan’s bag of tricks and reveal them in our midst. Grow and strengthen us and increase our gifts of the Holy Spirit as we purify our hearts to use those gifts to love others, not ourselves. Grant us courage to stand up for what is right in your eyes. Let your kingdom come! In Jesus name. Amen.

  8. Today, on a podcast, I listened to my physical trainer, Jillian Michaels, mention about how she is not religious. She said she is agnostic. She is not sure about Jesus and all of his story, but he seems like an okay dude that would not be a bully or show prejudice. She is not against Jesus really…it just takes the faith of a mustard seed. I must look for those little signs of openness in people instead of all of the closed doors. I must not cast judgement. If I am different, I must own my differences. I must be careful to not be condescending. I want to be a good influence. I find it hard to have no opinion where you have no responsibility (from my spiritual mother, Joyce Meyer – I LOVE JM girls!)

    Lord, help me see the good in people. You created them all. I am no different. They need to see your love through me and not my struggle.

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