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 284

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Welcome to Day 284 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Nehemiah 5; Nehemiah 6; Psalms 146; Luke 24 (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

Nehemiah 5:19, “Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.”

Nehemiah 6:8, “ I sent him this reply: ‘Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.’ They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.'”

But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.’

13 “He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.”

Psalm 146:3, “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.”

Luke 24:32, [On the road to Emmaus] “They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

45 “Then he [Jesus] opened their minds [the disciples] so they could understand the Scriptures.

Road to Emmaus by Sharon Welch.

O bservation

The two men on the road to Emmaus… Their hearts burned as he talked to them and “opened the scriptures to them…” And the disciples, Jesus “opened their minds” so they could understand the scriptures.

A pplication

I often hear people say they can’t understand the Bible.

I mean, sure, there is a lot in the Bible that is difficult to understand…

But I wonder how many of us just need to have our “minds opened” to the scriptures? The disciples were certainly open to the scriptures and to Jesus’ teaching before this time, right?

The same with the two guys on the road… they described Jesus (funny, to Jesus, without knowing it…) as a man “powerful in word and deed.” Then they invited him to stay with them for the night…

I believe we all need to be, well, enlightened, to the scriptures… I don’t love using that word, because it seems a little “new-agey” to me, but even the Apostle Paul said, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…” (Ephesians 1:18).

And Hebrews 6 refers to those who have been… you guessed it, “enlightened.”

So what am I saying? Just wondering how this works? I’m sure God has opened the scriptures to me. Seems he has anyway…

But I’m wondering for those that may struggle to understand the scriptures, if they simply prayed to God that the eyes of their heart would be enlightened…

Wondering if it’s like lighting a pilot light on your furnace…

Having said that, both of those encounters, with the disciples and the two men, both were before the gift of the Holy Spirit being poured out. Wondering if once we receive Christ and the Holy Spirit dwells within us, if that’s when the enlightenment occurs? If that’s when Jesus “opens our minds” to understand the scriptures?

Or if it’s something else? Another separate event? A series of events, a maturing that occurs?

I mean, the disciples were with Jesus for three years, every day! Did he not open their minds to the scriptures before the resurrection?

Just wondering…

Seems to me that would have been beneficial to them. Might have saved them a lot of discussions?

Just how my mind works…

P rayer

Lord, open my mind to the scriptures… that my heart would burn within me, as did the two men’s hearts on the road to Emmaus!

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6 thoughts on “Day 284

  1. Psm. 146:5 blessed is he whose help is in the God of Jacob whose hope is in the Lord his God. Luke 24:16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 30-31) when he was at the table with them he took bread and broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he disappeared from their sight.

    They were kept from seeing it was him until they broke bread with him. For me it seems they were still and in the “receiving” mode. THEN they saw Him but at that same minute He disappeared. All those things that are too great for us to comprehend.

    Father let me be in receiving mode so that I can see what you want for my life. Thank you for all your grace and love.

  2. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?”

    The resurrection story is quite amazing. It is unbelievable by the ways of the world. Dead people don’t just get up and walk out of tomb. It is natural to doubt, but it is supernatural to believe.

    Do not put your trust in princes [or government]

    Today, Nehemiah speaks out against the heavy burden that was imposed on fellow Jews. They were selling off their land and selling their children into slavery to survive. Fast forward to today… there is close to (and sometimes over) 25% interest rate on credit cards and payday loans. It’s interesting that payday loan places were outlawed but are still operating under terminology loopholes. Furthermore, the interest earned on savings accounts is very small.

    In Dayton, many of our automotive plants that kept us thriving for several generations have closed. NCR, which was founded in Dayton has moved to the south. We turn to government for solutions. They seek to the quick “fix” of gambling institutions to fill the gap…

    It is extremely important to avoid the temptation to buy things on credit unless absolutely necessary. When we put our trust in government, we get worldly solutions to our problems. We need heavenly solutions that can only come from God.

    He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

    Lord, we have turned to our elected officials for solutions. We trust in them instead of You for our livelihood. Our city and society are in great need right now. Even those of us who doing well are more dependent on you than we realize. Bless those who are selflessly serving the poor without expectation of interest or reward. Lift up the poor with opportunities. Help us to turn from our self centered ambitions. I humbly ask in Jesus name.

  3. Nicole Marvin on said:

    I wept yesterday as I read the verses in Nehemiah 5:14-19
    As governor, Nehemiah didn’t take what he was entitled to, because he knew it would burden the people. It made me think of the saying “Cause I can!”. When you ask people why they do something or what in the world they are thinking, they might say “cause I can!”. Just ’cause we can, doesn’t me we should. Nehemiah said (vs. 15) he acted differently because he honored God. During this election season -these verses really made me think. What wisdom there is in these verses. What would we as a people look like if we didn’t take what was entitled to us, if we knew it would burden others-or just because we could. How would our country be different? How would the world be different. Nehemiah put others before himself. He honored God.

    Then in chapter 6:10-14 Shemaiah tries to trick Nehemiah. He wants him to hide in the temple. Nehemiah says in verse 11 “I’m not the kind of person that runs and hides. Do you think I would try to save my life by hiding in the temple? I won’t do it”. I love this! His strength comes from the Lord (which he prayed for in verse 9). He says “I’m not the kind of person that runs and hides”. We don’t have to run and hide from anything in life. We have Christ! We have the Father! We have the Spirit! If they are for us, who can be against us?!

    And one last verse-Psalm 146:3-which is a great reminder during an election time…
    “Don’t put your trust in human leaders; no human being can save you.”

    Lord, I want to live a selfless life. A life that honors you. Thank you for the strength that you give me. Thank you for the power that I have in you. I trust you. Thank you for the joy, peace and contentment that I find in you. May my life honor you today.

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