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 274

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcome to Day 274 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Zechariah 10; Zechariah 11; Zechariah 12; Psalms 126; Luke 14 (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 10:6b, “I will restore them because I have compassion on them.”

This chapter is a rebuke to the people, and especially the leaders, of Judah for seeking wisdom and advice from idols, and a promise that he will himself, be their shepherd. RSB

Zechariah 11:7, “So I pastured the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock.”

Zechariah 12:10, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great…”

Psalms 126:1, “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.”

Luke 14:13, “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

O bservation

God is for the underdog… the poor, the broken, the hurting, the widows. And he is often rejected by them.

A pplication

I actually typed my Observation statement before I had read Luke 14. I typed it after reading Zechariah 11:7.

Then, lo and behold, Luke 14 further solidified my observation. “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed.”

I have always had a heart for the underdog. I have always enjoyed getting to know those who were very different from me.

I often joke at Christmas that we take in strays. You never know who will be at our table.

Two Christmases ago I invited, Ted, a gentleman from our Dayton campus to join us. He brought a friend along. Ted lived at the Biltmore Hotel, a step above being homeless. But he had a motorcycle, which I found curious… He had gray flowing hair and a distinct, low, raspy voice… and a twinkle in his eye.

Ted didn’t miss anything. He was observant and street-wise, with a big heart, well protected by having lived a hard life. He would often give me “the word on the street” about what we (and others like us) were doing.

Ted passed away suddenly just a few months after that picture was taken.

I’m not looking for a pat on the back… really just saying I can relate to these passages today. Caring for those less fortunate is not difficult for me. Going to outreaches and talking with people (or breaking up a fight, as I did this past Saturday…) just feels… well, natural.

People love to put guys like me on a pedestal. (Actually, guys like me often LIKE being on a pedestal.)

But I work pretty hard at climbing off that pedestal people put me on. I’d rather climb down than fall off.

Just sayin’…

I believe we’re all pretty much the same just below the surface.

There but for the grace of God, go I.

P rayer

Thank you Lord that you are for the flock marked for slaughter… that you care for them even when you know you will be rejected.

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3 thoughts on “Day 274

  1. I picked the same verse for my journal today. Zech. 10:6 I will restore them for I have compassion on them. We can’t hear that enough! That’s why that stood out to me today. I was sad to hear about Ted from the Dayton campus. I had the honor of serving him coffee. He loved people and it seemed he always had a smile. He was a gentle soul and weathered by the storms of life. I miss my friends at the Dayton breakfast and hope one day my schedule will allow me to return. Father I thank you for my life. For the sacrafices you made for me. For your compassion on my life .

  2. Anonymous on said:

    Servant Kingdom describes the person you are. Your care and concern for the homeless and less fortunate is a model for all of us to follow. I have known you now for over 15 years and your heart for Dayton is like a lion. Keep up the good work!

  3. We are 75% done! Home stretch!!! I’m journaling from the road today, Please excuse any typos. =)

    For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11 NIV)

    God speaks and Jesus affirms His heart for the poor. We are strong through our weakness. Satan was cast from heaven because he exalted himself higher than God. Being exalted is like being promoted. Through training and experience, we can become exalted in the corporate world. A CEO is not likely to promote someone who is after his job.

    There is a promotion system with God too. Ideal candidates are those who exalt Him over themselves. I can do nothing of value without Him. I rely on God for food… clothing… air to breathe. Those who serve the poor, who want to see everyone succeed no matter where they are. Shepherds who not only care for and watch over their flock, but invite in others no matter what shape they are in, not just to increase their flock, but to be a loving shepherd. Taking time out of their day to check on someone who is feeling down, keeping watch over the flock.

    Lord, I thank you for the good shepherds among us. I bless them in Your name. Help me to be a better shepherd, not for my benefit, but for the glory of Your name.

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