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 345

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Welcome to Day 345 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Philemon 1; Hebrews 1; Hebrews 2; Hebrews 3; Hebrews 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

Philemon 1:8, “Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.”

Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…”

14 “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

Hebrews 2:3,

“How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?”

11 “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”

Hebrews 3:8,

“Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts.”

12 “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.”

Hebrews 4:9, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…”

16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


O bservation

I am reminded, yet again, of who Jesus is and what sets him apart from the angels, Moses and all of the priests…

A pplication

Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…”


Our Great High Priest, making intercession for us… (See Hebrews 5). In 1 John, Jesus is called our “advocate” with the Father… He is our attorney with the Father! He pleads our case on our behalf! He declares us not guilty!

In terms of relationship, Jesus, on one end of the continuum is the radiance of God’s glory. His only son. On the other end of the scale he is our brother and friend. Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, I call you friends.” (John 15:15).

The radiance of God’s glory <———————–> My friend

Both are true.


Think of how many roles you play in life. I am a husband and father, a brother and a son. I’m a friend, a neighbor… a pastor, a member of the community.

How do we relate to One who is both the Son of God, our Great High Priest AND our friend and brother??

Every now and then I have someone call me and say, “Can I talk to you as a friend?” (What they are saying is, can you take your pastor hat off for a moment?) It’s not really possible for me to do that, because it’s not like I ever put the pastor hat on or take it off. It’s not like as a Christian we can put that hat on or take it off. They only reason I am a pastor is I have been reading and applying God’s word to my life, and been sharing it with others for two decades now.

My kids don’t need me as a pastor… they need me as a Father. But in that role, it’s my job to set an example for them to follow. As they were growing up, I was consciously aware that I was modeling for my daughters how their future husband should treat them, talk to them. I was modeling for my sons how to treat their future wives and kids.

We all play many roles in this life… and it can be tricky at times to know which role we are playing.

Actually, I don’t want to be known as a pastor. I want to be known for being a man of integrity, who is trustworthy, faithful. The fact that I attempt to live my life according to God’s word should come way before the fact that I am a pastor. Right?

More than a friend, I want to become a father in the faith. I want to be the “go-to” guy that someone would call when they are hurting. More than all the official stuff (weddings, funerals), just when they need someone to talk to. Then I can slip in some sound scriptural advice.

Do you realize you don’t have to quote chapter and verse for it to be “biblical?” It’s still God’s word, even if you don’t cite chapter and verse.

People will say, “Wow! That’s great insight!”


I was interviewed several years ago by the Dayton Daily News for an article on opposite sex friendships. I quoted several verses that got printed… because I didn’t say, “Well the BIBLE says…”

Here’s my best advice… Don’t get caught up in position. Walk in humility. Live the Bible. Rely on God’s Presence, His Spirit to breathe life into all your situations.

Just be yourself.

P rayer

Thank you Lord that You are both my Great High Priest and my friend and brother!


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5 thoughts on “Day 345

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Hebrews 4:8-13 (MSG)
    “8-11 And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.” The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.

    12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.”

    God is the rest-giver. His word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel and can cut through everything. I have seen that power this year, reading through His word. My life is changed and will never be the same. I feel so powerful, armed with the Word.

    Hebrews 4:14-16 (MSG)
    “14-16 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.”

    We have Jesus! He has been through everything we could ever go through. He knows how we feel. We can ask for his help. We can receive mercy. We have Jesus!

    Lord, I am awe of you this morning. So thankful. Thank you for rest. Thank you for your Word. Thank you for Jesus. You are my provider, my peace, my shelter, my father. Thank you!

  2. Nicole Marvin on said:

    I am reminded of this song this morning…

  3. That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.

    I could order you to… but.

    We can be very demanding of other people. How many times do we say, “Why don’t they just…” or “I don’t understand how they could…”. The fact is, I don’t know where people are or what motivates them. I don’t understand why Pharaoh held on to Israelites with all the plagues happening or why Pilot agreed to turn Jesus over to be crucified when clearly innocent. I don’t know how the earth perfectly rotates around the sun and the moon rotates around it causing tides, gravity, weather patterns, etc.

    I know two things though. 1) I can’t control it. 2) God spoke it into being.

    There comes a time when I have to make my desires known and give God room to work.

    Lord, may Your will be done on earth, just like it is in heaven.

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