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 302

Monday, October 29, 2012

Welcome to Day 302 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Job 20; Mark 3; Mark 4 (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

Job 20:1, “Then Zophar the Naamathite replied: 2 “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed. 3 I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply.”

Mark 3:16, “These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”

Mark 4:37, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

O bservation

Wondering about this “furious squall” that came upon the disciples and Jesus…

A pplication

Writing this journal entry this morning, I hear the news reports on tv in the background about Hurricane Sandy, threatening the east coast of the United States… as far inland as where we live in Ohio, 700 miles from the coast! They are predicting blizzard conditions just 5 hours from here in West Virginia! Up to 2 feet of snow!

Does God cause these storms?

Is it “by His will” that they occur?

Should we view this storm as God’s judgment on Atlantic City, NJ or Manhattan?

Throughout the Old Testament, God was willing to spare entire cities for the sake of just a few believers…

But ever since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, every hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, etc, is blamed on God… that He is passing judgment on that region or city or whatever.

Could that be true?

Perhaps…

But look at this verse in Jeremiah 5…

“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
look around and consider,
search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
I will forgive this city.”

Certainly, entire societies can be bankrupt and corrupt and ungodly… But I still lean toward God being merciful… “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13.)

1 Kings 19, “The Lord said [to Elijah], “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

This verse leads me to believe God is not “in” every storm (as in causing it to pass judgment.)

Now, when fire and brimstone or hail/fire starts falling from the sky as mentioned in Revelation…

P rayer

Lord, I pray that we would have wisdom in how we view these natural occurrences…

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5 thoughts on “Day 302

  1. On one hand, we have promises from God that he will never wipe out humanity again. Then we have a mega “perfect” storm that is beyond reason and precedent barreling towards the east coast and gaining strength. This storm most likely won’t completely wipe out the cities, but it will likely cause widespread devastation.

    He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

    We don’t need to be afraid, but we do need to be prepared. We should keep plenty of bottled water and supplies ready if needed. There are many resources on the internet for storm survival kits. I like to keep a stash of Hot Hands and blankets in my car in case I get stranded in the winter.

    Lord, there are many things I don’t understand. I do know that the winds obey You, and we need to be saved. There is nothing we can do on our own. Your judgements are just and true, but thankfully, Your love and mercy are far greater.

  2. Mark 3:5 he looked around them in anger and deeply distressed said to the man, stretch out your hand. 12) But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was. Mark 4:34 he did not say anything to them without using a parable but when he was alone with his own disciples he explained everything. 40) why are you so afraid ? Do you still have no faith?

    This is one of my favorite chapters. I need that reminder that in the storms of life most of all I need to trust Him. I’m human. I don’t usually discourage easily but I do tend to look to others for encouragement when I’m REALLY struggling. When all I need to do is allow Him to calm me and quiet the distractions around me. He knows what I need even before I do. Father, thank you for your grace and protection. (I wasn’t clear abt the verse that says he didn’t want the demons that possessed people to tell who He was. Any insight Scott? Thank you)

    • Probably for the same reason that, when he would heal someone he would tell them to go show themselves to the priest and not say he had healed them. See Luke 5. Jesus didn’t do things to get noticed. He told the demons to be quiet… same command as he gave to the storm!

      I don’t know that I would want someone who was demon possessed running around telling people that I was the son of God!

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