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 73 (Today marks 20% of the way through the Bible!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Welcome to Day 73 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Deuteronomy 25, 26, 27; Galatians 5 (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

Deuteronomy 25, more laws…

v 17-19 “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. 19 When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!

(So much for forgive and forget, right?)

Deuteronomy 26, more on firstfruit offerings and tithes…

Now THESE are classic verses!

v 16-19 “The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws;

carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.

17 You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him. 18 And

the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession

as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. 19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.”

Deuteronomy 27, instructions to build an alter once Israel has crossed over the Jordan River…

And, a whole lotta “cursed is anyone who _________” statements. Amen.

Galatians 5:1,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

v 7, “You were running a good race…”

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

O bservation

Galatian 5 is such a classic chapter, contrasting life by the Spirit and life by the flesh (sinful nature.) Two long lists; the acts of the flesh and, the fruit of the spirit. Not a list of do’s and don’ts as we are accustomed to in our Old Testament readings of late, but evidence, or the bi-product of living either lifestyle.

A pplication

This is not long division… If we live according to “acts of the flesh” we will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Not meaning heaven) but that we will not be walking in the Spirit and extending the kingdom here on earth. However, the evidence of “walking in the Spirit” is that we will produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, thereby allowing us to participate in extending the kingdom.

We are not talking about perfection or a flawless lifestyle here… but the direction and momentum of our lives. What does what our life is producing say about our walk with God?

Am I living according to my flesh… and it’s desires?

Or am I living according to the Spirit… and producing good fruit?

P rayer

Lord, I want to live my life according to your Spirit. I want to produce good fruit in my life for the sake of your kingdom.

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5 thoughts on “Day 73 (Today marks 20% of the way through the Bible!)

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Galatians 5:19-23, 25-26 (msg)
    vs 19-21 “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.”

    vs 21 “This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.”

    vs 22-23″But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard-things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

    vs 25-26 “Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”

    I love these verses! What inspiration-to see all of the benefits of living with God, walking in the Spirit, trading the fruits of the spirit for selfishness. We are each originals, made by God, to love others.

    Lord, I am yours. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. Thank you that you give me power, love and a sound mind. Please help me to slow down. To be people-oriented not task-oriented. Open my eyes to see the needs of others and fill me with your Spirit so I have wisdom to know how to meet those needs. Remind me to be last, Lord-as I talk with others, as I go about my day, as I am blessed. I want to put others first, I want to be slow to speak, slow to take, slow to need. Help me to be present in each moment of my day, looking for ways to serve others. I love you!

  2. As I have been listening to the readings in Deuteronomy on all the laws God established that the Israelites had to follow to the letter in order to be blessed, I have felt overwhelmed. While many of the laws make sense, others are perplexing to me. It has been refreshing to jump to the book of Galatians, where Paul talks about just how overwhelming it is to follow the law, but that Christ has set us free to live by the Spirit… which will help us naturally obey God’s law instead of grappling with every single rule and regulation. I am thankful for God’s freedom in my life, and do not ever want to take it for granted or use it as an excuse to sin.

  3. The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.

    This stood out to me. Jesus called out the Pharisees for performing religiosity in public for show. Apparently, they were only observing with their hearts and not their souls. I remember saying may bedtime prayers growing up. I know it made Mom happy that we did, but it was nothing more than a ritual to say, “Now I lay me down to sleep. Blah blah blah…” I was only praying with my heart, but my soul wasn’t in it. The same thing was going on every week in church. I said the creeds, recited the Lord ’s Prayer, sang three hymns, and voila, God was happy, right? I think it is easy to fall in to the same rituals and ruts even in contemporary church service. We come in, sing some cool songs (air guitar optional) and perhaps even raise our hands to look spiritual. We listen to the message and go out on an outreach or two, and voila, God is happy, right?

    I think God is happy when we give, serve and worship with our hearts, but He really wants the connection to be deeper in our souls though. I love the section in the song, You Won’t Relent that goes “I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room. I want to look right at You. I want to sing right to You.” God’s presence is always present. When we use our heart and our soul to connect with Him, His presence becomes more noticeable and I am noticing Him more and more lately at our Pretty Good Church.

    Lord, show me where I am not connecting with you or only connecting with my heart. May we always worship and serve you with all of our hearts AND all of our souls. We don’t want to live like You are somewhere else. Even though we don’t see You, we want to sing right to You. Thank you for Your presence.

  4. Deanna Leroux on said:

    You know it really makes a difference, everyone reading the entire Bible thru at the same time. 20% already? It doesn’t even feel like it’s been all that long (& would’ve thought it would be, at the beginning. Yay, pretty good’Happiness!

  5. Doug Roe on said:

    I continually thank God (the LORD) for Jesus. He freed me from the Law and all the curses.

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