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 268

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome to Day 268 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Ezra 2; Ezra 3; Luke 8 (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

Ezra 2:1, “Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles.”

65 “The whole company numbered 42,360, 65 besides their 7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 200 men and women singers. 66 They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 67 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.”

Ezra 3:11b, “And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.”

Luke 8:10, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you.”

19 “Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’ 21 He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.'”

25 “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

O bservation

It’s amazing how people can see the same event differently. At the laying of the foundation for the new temple, some wept out of sadness, others wept tears of joy… Age and perspective?

A pplication

Most days it’s hard for me to pick just ONE point that jumped out at me. Especially in Luke… (See above.)

But what really stood out to me was how differently people responded to the laying of the foundation for the new temple.

I’m sure those who were older, having the benefit of remembering how things “used to be” saw how far Israel had fallen… Whereas the younger ones, who perhaps were raised in exile in Babylon were just excited to be free and able to establish worship again.

No matter what we do in life, people will always have their own perspective on things. We all process events, even words, through our own grid of experience and understanding… and brokenness.

Even with feeding 1,000 households every month, there are those who think we should feed every family that walks through the doors of our pantry. It’s just not possible. (Our Beavercreek pantry is for anyone who lives in Greene County, OH and some bordering zip codes in Montgomery County.) The early Apostles had the same issues with the distribution of food to their widows… See Acts 6.

I know this, we can’t feed everyone, but we try really hard, and do the best we can. No matter what we do, we will always be outnumbered by the poor. Jesus said, “You will always have the poor with you.” And it’s not just “the poor.” It’s hardworking families just trying to make ends meet. The need is huge these days…

We have a pretty good system of referrals, but people hear that we have good food and nice, helpful people at our pantry. It’s how we treat people that matters…

Even more than what’s in the bag.

P rayer

Thank you for your generosity in our lives… for your provision! I thank you that I get to see you multiply food day after day after day!


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2 thoughts on “Day 268

  1. “Some of the heads of families, on arriving at The Temple of God in Jerusalem, made Freewill-Offerings toward the rebuilding of The Temple of God on its site.”

    I love that their first priority was building the temple, a place to sacrifice and worship. This is where our priorities should be. God first….

    As I pondered how to apply this, it hit me that I am already. In working with friends to build an organization dedicated to worship, we are in essence building a modern day temple under the new testament. We don’t need an alter for burnt offerings (although I do think a smoker would be good), but we are building a place where God’s children can come together and worship in addition to their regular church services.

    I’m amazed at the different organizations and people who are willing to offer up time and resources. A church downtown gave us a room and keys to their building. They didn’t even know us and handed us the keys! We blessed them by remodeling the room that they can use for bible study, etc. I have come to know personal sacrifice as well. Endeavors like this take a lot of time and money. Even second hand sound equipment is expensive. I’ve been able to turn around and bless other friends in a Christian band with this equipment just as they bless us by leading worship at our 24 hour worship events.

    “Even though they were afraid of what their non-Israelite neighbors might do, they went ahead anyway and set up the Altar on its foundations and offered Whole-Burnt-Offerings on it morning and evening.”

    Through this process, I’ve been hesitant to ask people for help and resources. I know that people are busy, and I suppose deep down, there is also the fear of rejection or people wondering what I am up to. On the other hand, not inviting others in is being selfish. I believe the Lord has commissioned me to bring people together, so I am stepping out in faith a little more.

    Lord, I am grateful and humbled to be a part of this. Give me the courage and the right words to carry out Your plans and open hearts to worship without fear or hesitation. I want to Dayton to be know for passionate worship and compassionate serving of each other.

  2. Ezra 2:62 these searched family records but they could not find them so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. Like 8:16 no one lights a lamp and hides it under a jar or bed. Instead he puts it on a stand so that those who come in can see the light.
    How awful to be excluded from the priesthood due to lost records! And labeled as unclean. It soinds like this was the only way to prove that they were. I want people to know what God’s love has done for me. I want them to know the miracles He’s performed in my life. The way he’s protected me. Father thank you for your love surrounding me like a shield. Thank you for thetorn curtain so that no one will ever be excluded again.

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