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 196

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Welcome to Day 196 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Isaiah 22; Isaiah 23; Isaiah 24; Hebrews 12 (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

Isaiah 22, a prophecy against “the Valley of Vision,” Jerusalem. Interesting it’s stuck in the middle of all the other oracles against foreign nations. Most likely due to it’s association with Babylon and Assyria (or Mesopotamia, parts of modern-day Turkey, Iran and Iraq, basically the area along the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.)

v 22, “what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”

Isaiah 23, “an oracle of judgment concerning Tyre, concerning commercial systems that do not take God into consideration.” The language is symbolic, not historically specific as some of Isaiah’s other prophecies. RSB Commentary.

Jesus also referred to Tyre (and Sidon) in Matthew 11 when he was speaking out against Bethsaida. Knowing that if he had done the same miracles in Tyre and Sidon that he had done in Bethsaida, those cities would have repented.

It’s never good when God compares your city to a prostitute.

Isaiah 24 (through 26) is often called an “apocalypse.” The prophet holds before sinner and godly the clear teaching that the day of the Lord brings judgment on creation and the fullness of salvation for the saints. God’s plan of redemption includes restoration from exile, the blessings of Christ in the church, and the establishment of God’s kingdom in all nations. Ch. 24 focuses on God’s overthrow of the corrupted earth; ch. 25, on the praise that comes to Him in response. RSB Commentary.

Doesn’t get much gloomier or doomier than Isaiah 24…

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

O bservation

Throw off everything that hinders… sin that easily entangles… grow weary and lose heart.

Or…

Run the race. Fix our eyes on Jesus… NOT grow weary and lose heart.

A pplication

Because we have this great history, recorded in chapter 11’s “Hall of Faith,” we can look forward (As Mark Long mentioned in his comment to yesterday’s blog) and run this race to win.

(The imagery of running a race is also used in 1 Corinthians and Galatians… doesn’t prove that Paul wrote Hebrews… Many of the others this book’s authorship could be attributed to (Silas, Apollos, Philip, Priscilla, Aquilla, Clement) all most likely would have had access to Paul’s other letters and could have easily picked up on that imagery.)

It’s also worth mentioning that Paul always identified himself in his writings. Timothy is mentioned in chapter 13 as “our brother.” So it was certainly someone close to Paul, who also knew Timothy.

But I digress…

I love this imagery of running a race.

I was a runner back in the day. Not a great runner, but a solid one. I was fourth in the county. (Behind three other guys on my team!)

That whole thing about “endorphins” escaped me. “Runner’s high?” Huh?

I ran to win. Not for fun. Not because it made me feel great. Not for the love of the road.

Our team went to state three years in a row, finishing 7th, 11th and 4th respectively. I loved that.

I ran cross country because I nearly got killed as a tight end and safety in football. (I was 5’4″ and 90 lbs. in the 7th grade.) I played football through 8th grade and then got recruited by the high school coach.

I grew 8″ and added 50 lbs. in two years. By my sophomore year I was 6’/140, wearing 29 x 36 jeans. (Long stride.)

I can so relate to the imagery about running the race to win. I only won one race in my career… when I had to run a JV race, because I was ill the day we ran the trial race to determine the varsity team…

But again, I digress…

Point being, you mention “running the race to win” and I get plugged in.

I also understand pace. Any runner does.

Running is all about pacing oneself… Not burning out too soon. (Especially marathoners who are running 26.2 miles!)

But I can relate that to running my race as a believer, too. I get that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Life is lived one day at a time.

Pace.

And I get the idea of “spurring one another on to love and good works.” If you stop along the way, I can encourage you as I catch up to you, or vice-versa! We encourage one another.

I always enjoyed the road runs… as long as I had a companion to run with me. Otherwise, it was a lonely six miles…

So glad to be running this race with all of you!

P rayer

Lord, strengthen all my brothers and sisters who read this blog… that are also running this race!

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3 thoughts on “Day 196

  1. I am a runner. I am preparing right now for my second try at the Air Force Half-Marathon in September. Running is something my husband must do for work and I wanted to challenge myself so we run together quite frequently. We might run a half-marathon in Savannah, GA in October if we survive September. We understand about not pushing ourselves too much. Last year, we ran 5 miles each morning to train for the September race. After the marathon, we went lost the desire to exercise at all. It was ugly. We DO NOT want to experience that again. It made for a rough winter.

    Our goal is to do a half-marathon in January in Houston and a 15K in Michigan this time next year. We have lofty goals as you can see. I know we can do it. My husband and I long to be at our ideal weight. Our bodies are God’s temple. We only have one shot at this life. We cannot take our lives for granted. It is certainly a challenge to run by yourself. It is during those times that I am reminded my race is my own. I am responsible for it. I am only as close to God as I want to be.

    Lord, I feel your love more and more each day. I want to have the life you died to give me. May I make more room this day, this week for you in my life. I cannot do this thing called life without more of you.

  2. Mark Long on said:

    In his message last night at church, Scott was talking about the amazing worship when they were at Bethel church the last few weeks. This passage in today’s reading reminded me of that and gave me a picture of the multitudes in heaven praising and worshiping. Thank you Lord for the hope that you give us through your word!

    But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22, 23 NIV)

  3. Kelly on said:

    I am grateful to be running with the support of the Vineyard. There are many people I see as encouragers, a few very dear to me. Those are the ones who sit by the side of the road with me, and share in the sorrows and victories.

    Thanks, God, for loving me enough to bring me fellow warriors, and fellow runners. “we are your burning ones. we are consumed by You.”

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