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 269

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Welcome to Day 269 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Ezra 4; Psalms 113; Psalms 127; Luke 9 (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 4:4, “Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid… (to go on building.)”

21 [From King Artaxerxes] “Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order.”

Psalm 113:2, “Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. 3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”

Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”

Luke 9:18, “Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” 19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

20 “‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘The Christ of God.'”

O bservation

Two observations… One very practical that ties in to yesterday’s reading from Ezra… and how their own people responded to the laying of the foundation of the temple. Today, opposition comes from the outside, too!

And, Peter’s amazing confession and recognition that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah).

A pplication

I think I made enough of a point yesterday about how people see things differently, even when something good is happening. It’s hard enough to have outside opposition, but when opposition comes from within, makes life even more difficult… doesn’t it?

Then we have Peter’s confession and recognition of Jesus being the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world…

Peter was just a common guy… a fisherman. Not highly educated like the Pharisees, Sadducees or Teachers of the Law. Or even like Paul, one of the most educated men of his day. He referred to himself as a Pharisee… “The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee.”

9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison,  and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme.”

As Paul went on making his defense and giving his testimony of how he came to faith in Christ, King Agrippa interrupted him and said, “Your great learning is driving you insane!”

But Peter was just a fisherman… who saw too much. Knew too much. Knew enough to know about the Messiah and how to recognize him.

Many people today still reject Christ. Who he was and is…

The Christ. The Messiah. The Savior of the world.

I am so thankful that at a young age I recognized who Jesus was. Never underestimate the faith of a child… It’s pure… simple.

As was Peter’s.

Even then, Peter denied Jesus out of fear for his life…

But that didn’t stop him. Judas betrayed Jesus and hung himself. Peter denied Jesus, yet went on to preach on the day of Pentecost to thousands of people. Three thousand of them became believers in Christ.

Peter, a simple guy… a fisherman who became a fisher of men. Then, just few chapters later…

Acts 4:5, “The rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them…”

Peter quoted a verse… “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.”

Made a powerful statement…

12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

And the result?

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that

they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Never underestimate the simplicity of that statement and verse… “They took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Paul had his own encounter with Jesus… one on one on the road to Damascus… that led him to the conclusion that Jesus was the Christ.

Each one of us must come to our own conclusion…

All those around us must do the same.

P rayer

Thank you Lord that you are not playing hide and seek with us… but you are right here with us, revealing yourself!

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3 thoughts on “Day 269

  1. Luke 9:10 then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida but, the crowd followed him. He welcomed them and he spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed those who needed healing. 62) no one who puts his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for service. O) how many times are we interrupted and miffed about the “inconvenient ” timing? We need to be ready to serve at even the most inopportune times. Ready to tell others about His

    • To FINISH what I was saying! Telling others about His love and ready to advance His kingdom. Ha ha. What an “interruption” that was! And Father help me be ready to serve you at a moments notice and NOT look back on my former life…

  2. That put a stop to the work on The Temple of God in Jerusalem. Nothing more was done until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

    I found encouragement in this today. Seems odd, yes, but the encouragement comes from knowledge of their future, that the temple does get rebuilt. I wonder if they thought that it wasn’t meant to be or if perhaps they thought they were still being punished.

    Becoming discouraged when things come to a screeching halt or when someone messes up my plans doesn’t mean I should give up. People have all sorts of motives for interfering. Becoming discouraged only serves to delay things further. It might just be an opportunity to see a weakness or do some better planning for future growth while things are being worked out. Maybe I am just meant to play a small part in something that will be completed later.

    Lord, I trust in Your plan and timing.

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