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 359… Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Welcome to Day 359 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 John 1; 1 John 2; 1 John 3; 1 John 4; 1 John 5  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

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 2:1, “If anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ.”

15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”

1 John 5:3, “This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”


O bservation

The word “love” is used 27 times in 1 John!

A pplication

“This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

It’s so easy to reduce “Christianity” down to a creed to live by or a list of rules to keep.

Go to church.




Read my Bible.


But it really is about love. God’s love for us… our love for him. And each other.

Jesus said he did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. (Matthew 22) He said the two great commands are to…

1. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Paul commented on this in Romans 13, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor.

Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

Jesus demonstrated his love for us by laying down his life for us.

God demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…

I love how there is a qualifier in that verse… “While we were yet sinners.” Not just that Christ died for us… Not just that he demonstrated his love for us… but it’s that he did it while we were yet sinners.

Not that we aren’t still sinners…

But once a person accepts Christ, we go from being “sinners” to “saints.” (Not like in the Catholic church.) But Paul would start his letters, “To the saints in Ephesus…” Saints are the Believers…

(I love this stuff!)

1 John is pretty clear anyone who says he doesn’t sin is a liar.


BUT, but when we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father. Jesus Christ.

We are no longer “positionally” sinners. We are saints. That’s how God sees us.

But we still sin… Saints that sin? Hmmm…

Most of you probably won’t read this until after all the gifts have been opened and the turkey has been dissected. But as you reflect on the day’s events with family and friends, score yourself on how you did at loving the people around you… Sometimes it’s hardest to love the people closest to us.

I figured out long ago it’s easy to love the people I give groceries to… I don’t live with them. I don’t have history with them. I have never been hurt by them, or they by me.

It’s the people closest to us that can often challenge our ability to love…


I hope you have (had) the best Christmas ever!

God bless us all, everyone!

P rayer

Lord, thank you for sending your son for me, while I was yet a sinner. For not just telling me you love me, but for demonstrating it.



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One thought on “Day 359… Christmas!

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    1 John 2:28 (MSG)
    “And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ…”

    I want to live deeply in you, Jesus. I give you all that I am. Consume me.

    1 John 5:14 (MSG)
    “And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening.”

    Bold and free in his presence. Sure he is listening.

    Thank you, Lord, that I can come to you. That you listen and that you bring boldness and freedom to my life. You are my everything.

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