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 262

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome to Day 262 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Ezekiel 47; Ezekiel 48; Luke 2 (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

Ezekiel 47 and 48 are a description of future lands.

Ezekiel 47:3, “As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

(The Message translation says, “Have you had a good look?”)

Ezekiel 48:35, “And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.”

Luke 2:9, “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

O bservation

More angelic visitations… “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

A pplication

When I was out at Bethel church last year (not for the School of Worship) at the Leaders Advance, they offered us a prophetic prayer time. What that meant was a team of three people was going to pray for me. Two 20-somethings and a younger teen.

They took turns praying, sharing what they were seeing and sensing. One of them shared these verses out of Ezekiel 47, where the water got deeper the further it was from the temple. They said, “You are like the river that flows from the temple… the further from the temple, the deeper it gets.”

The Nile River in Egypt. Its widest point is 5 miles!

Then they gave an interpretation that I would be even more effective doing ministry outside the four walls of the church.

(They of course had no idea that I am Executive Director of The Hope Foundation of Greater Dayton, or that I admin a page on Facebook called, “I Love Dayton!“)

Both are efforts I have been involved in to reach out to the community, outside the church.

But the word also made me nervous… the water was only ankle-deep at the Temple, yet 3,000 cubits (a cubit is about 18”) away (just shy of a mile) it was deep enough to swim in and so wide it was unable to be crossed.

Still chewing on that one… (Hoping the Lord doesn’t see me as shallow!)

I think it has to do with effectiveness and calling. That He has uniquely gifted me to reach out to the community, beyond “outreaches” that we do at church.

It’s funny, I have a reputation of knowing “everyone.” I do know a lot of people, that’s for sure. And I am known by even more.

What is interesting about all this is that several years ago I felt like I wasn’t “part” of the community at large, Beavercreek, Dayton or otherwise. My life had been centered around our church and I felt the need to reach out as a member of the community, not as a pastor.

Last Friday, The Hope Foundation sponsored a New Media Dayton meeting (I am on the Board of NMD). A friend of mine from the Dayton community was doing the welcome and announcements, mentioning the sponsors, etc and she said, “Thanks to the Hope Foundation… there’s Scott… Get to know Scott. He knows everyone. They feed thousands of people every month in Greene and Montgomery Counties. He also admins a page on Facebook called I Love Dayton! He really does love Dayton.”

At that moment I knew I was hitting the mark…

She didn’t have to say any of that.

She sits on several Boards and has been involved in the Dayton community for many, many years.

I know the metaphor is not that I am shallow… but it’s where the river starts and flows from. Obviously the temple represents God’s presence, His throne… (as we just read in Revelation.)

All of who I am, and what I do, is motivated by my relationship with Him. Any favor I enjoy in our city is because of Him. My talents are given to me by Him. I serve Him.

“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.'”

That is such a healthy, amazing perspective.

I am the Lord’s servant.

May it be to me as you have said.

P rayer

Lord, I am your servant. May it be to me as you have said.

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One thought on “Day 262

  1. Ezekiel 47:1-12 is so rich in imagery, the best part of the book IMO. I think that the river represents God’s love flowing freely with Jesus as the source. It originates in the temple of the Old Testament but flows outside as Jesus was pieced in the side on the cross. Walking down the river represents our walk with Christ. The further we go, the deeper the water and the richer the blessing becomes. It is our source of sustenance and healing. We can’t fathom how deep God’s love is for us, but it could in essence turn the Gulf of Mexico into fresh water if it were the Mississippi River. That is a pretty deep river!

    I don’t think this is THE interpretation of course. It’s just what came to me.

    This made me think of the Bethel song Deep Cries Out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ncGqFyGqTc. Besides being a great drumming song, it has an awesome message. We’re falling into deeper waters, calling out to You. We’re walking into deeper waters, going after You.

    Jesus, you are the source of living water. Because of you, my life is full of blessing and it keeps getting better. Guide me as I walk into deeper waters. I’m calling out to You.

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