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 176

Monday, June 25, 2012

Welcome to Day 176 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Joel 1; Joel 2; Joel 3; 2 Timothy 1 (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

Joel 1, Two crises confront Judah with the consequences of their sins: the recent devastation of the land by locusts and drought; and the imminent assault on the land by the army of the Lord.

Joel 2, Joel urges “all the inhabitants of the land” to prepare for an imminent assault by the army of the Lord. A contrite heart among the people may bring God’s compassion and blessing…

v 28, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

32, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Joel 3, Joel prophesies the coming of that day of the Lord in which God will with finality judge Zion’s enemies and make Zion a source of everlasting blessing. (Reformation Study Bible)

2 Timothy 1:6, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

13, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

O bservation

What resonates with me today is the verse, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”

A pplication

What an amazing thought… God is going to pour out his Spirit on all people.

All people.

ALL people.

I wonder what they (all people) will do? With the availability of his goodness and with the responsibility that goes along with the administration of his Spirit… The personal responsibility…

Yet people will still reject him. He is a package deal. You can’t get His Spirit without “Him” being a part of it.

Jesus is the key.

Most people like the idea of “God.” And “the Spirit” sounds all mystical and accessible to all. Where the difference kicks in is with Christ.

That’s what people don’t like. (Those who are not Christians…)

Here’s what Paul told Timothy, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

Jesus is the Son of God, with all the fulness of the Father dwelling in him. His father is God. Jesus ascended into heaven and the gift of the Holy Spirit was given.

That’s how it works. It’s a package deal.

We don’t get to pick and choose…

I love the promise, though… ALL people. It’s (He, His Spirit is) available to ALL people. It’s not an exclusive club.

Having said that though… what comes to mind is that the path is narrow.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

Few and many.

Few find the path that leads to life… Many are on a “broad road that leads to destruction.”

That bothers me…

I want ALL people to experience God’s presence.

It’s available… to ALL people.

But it’s their choice…

I make the choice every day to “fan the flame the gift of God” that has been entrusted to me.

P rayer

Thank you Lord that it’s your heart to draw ALL people to yourself.


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2 thoughts on “Day 176

  1. But there’s also this, it’s not too late—
    God’s personal Message!—
    “Come back to me and really mean it!
    Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”

    Change your life, not just your clothes.
    Come back to God, your God.
    And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.
    He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
    This most patient God, extravagant in love,
    always ready to cancel catastrophe.

    Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your God.
    He’s giving you a teacher to train you how to live right—

    Even with all of our technology, we are always one step away from devastation. Look at events like 9/11, hurricane Katrina, the Japanese tsunami, the tornado outbreak in the Southeast US last year, etc. It’s only natural to ask if God is punishing us for something. Our money is becoming less valuable as the Government (in whom we trust?) spends it like an out of control freight train.

    Are all these disasters part of God’s judgment or the natural effect of his hand of protection being pushed away as we put our trust in money, technology, the US Government/United Nations, etc. instead of Him? John Paul Jackson speaks of a perfect storm from God that has begun to turn us back to Him. It makes sense. When there was a mass power outage in the area after the remnants of hurricane Ike blew through, we went out of our way to serve each other. After 9/11, people turned to God like never before in my lifetime. When Katrina and the tornadoes hit other parts of the country, we banded together to pray for those impacted and unselfishly give supplies and money to help rebuild. Why does it take a disaster for the masses to turn to God as well as serve each other?

    He gave us a teacher to train us how to live right, but it seems like we need a wake up call to follow His instructions. Luke 9:35 says,

    A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

    Lord, thank you for being patient with me and renewing Your mercy every day. I want to be closer to you and follow your instructions.

  2. Here’s what stands out to me: Joel2:12-14 (NLT) “Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is FILLED with kindness and is eager not to punish you. Who knows, perhaps even yet he will give you a reprive, sending you a blessing, instead of this terrible curse.”

    Filled with kindness. I’ve heard it before. but today I’m reminded that filled means that there’s not room for other stuff. That’s so reassuring. Unlike us humans, God will always be kind.

    I wrote this on my work to do list today…… 2Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline. So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.” I got all items on the list done. When I had a more difficult item to deal with, I just read about the spirit I have of power, love, and self discipline.

    I’ve never finished everything on my to do list before. That alone is a miracle!

    The two are distinctly connected in my mind. As small children trust their parents love, they are able to explore their world without fear. If I remember that my Heavenly father is filled with kindness, I can be free to explore and experience everything in my world. Even when it’s not expected to be pleasant. So nothing I did today evoked feelings of anxiety, trepidation or negativity. I just owned my God given spirit and did all my work with love. And “who knows, perhaps he will send me a blessing ” – to do a little paraphrasing.

    2Timothy1:7 is my new ‘life verse’ – true Word in the right time.

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