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 271

Friday, September 28, 2012

Welcome to Day 271 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Zechariah 1; Zechariah 2; Zechariah 3; Luke 11 (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

Zechariah joined Haggai in rousing the people from their indifference, challenging them to resume the building of the temple. Haggai’s primary purpose was to rebuild the temple; his preaching has a tone of rebuke for the people’s indifference, sin, and lack of trust in God. He was used to start the revival, while Zechariah was used to keep it going strong with a more positive emphasis, calling the people to repentance and reassuring them regarding future blessings. gty.org

Zechariah 1:3, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’”

Zechariah 2:10, “‘Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord.”

Zechariah 3:4b, “Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.'”

Luke 11:11, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit [some translations say, “good gifts”] to those who ask him!”

O bservation

God wants to heal and restore us, and give us good gifts!

A pplication

I once heard one of our pastors, Marc Dupont, tell a story about how God wants to give us ice cream. If I recall the story correctly, the gist if it is that broccoli is better for our kids, but it’s more fun to watch them eat ice cream! I want to take my kids out for ice cream, because they enjoy it…

… and I enjoy watching them enjoy it!

God wants to give us good gifts, but at times I think he is only interested in providing for my “needs.”

Broccoli.

But he wants me to have ice cream, too!

It’s so easy to slip into a mindset that God is angry and ready to inflict punishment, versus wanting to give us good gifts, or the Holy Spirit to us. Like he is withholding from us until we are “good enough.”

If that were the case, it would never happen. I may sin less, but I will never be “good enough” or deserving of much of what he has for me.

Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

New every morning…

New every morning!

New EVERY morning!!

Like today! Right now, sitting on my couch at 6:44 AM, his mercies are new. For me… and, for you!

Just as for the Israelites… whose history was certainly an up and down roller coaster ride of drawing near, then drifting (or turning) away from him. God never stopped pursuing them, or reneged on his covenant with them.

Not even during their exile… Their captivity lasted 70 years… For them, in their lifetime, that must have felt like an eternity… but in comparison to their 400 years of slavery?

I often wonder, as I’m sure you do too, about things like that. Why would a good God allow his people to be enslaved or to be conquered??

Well, it certainly wasn’t in his plan. All he has ever wanted was a people who would love, trust and follow him.

But they would not. They turned away, repeatedly…

And he would draw them back.

Again, and again, and again.

The same is true for us. If there is space between me and him, it is never on his end. It’s always because I have allowed, or put that space there.

And his mercies are new every morning.

Every morning!

EVERY morning!!

P rayer

Thank you Lord that your mercies are new for me today!

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One thought on “Day 271

  1. Zech. 3:1-5 then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel if the Lord and Satan standing beside him ready to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, ” the Lord rebuke upu Satan the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you.” Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire? Now Joshua was dresses in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said see I have taken away your sin and I will put rich garments on you. Then I said put a clean turban on his head so they put a clean turban on his head while the angel of the Lord stood by. OAP) what I loved about this was that like Joshua we are snatched from the fire and given rich garments. Of course Satan is ready to discourage us but the angel of the Lord clothes us daily with new grace and His perfect love. These verses stuck with me too as I am reminded in Luke how the Pharisees killed zechariah and Joshua.
    Father let me be a bright light reflecting your perfect love…

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