Welcome to my online blog for our Vineyard Life Journal!
This forum IS NOT for debate or to correct each other, but to share our insights and observations. (Actually, I will be keeping a pretty tight rein on the comments section, and I will have the ability to block trolls, spammers or those who just want to stir the pot.)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, read today’s passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… (If you read mine first, it may taint what you think.)
For more info, check out this link:
- Introduction to Life Journal CLICK HERE.
Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 1,2; Luke 1
The S.O.A.P. Exercise
Open your Bible to the reading found under today’s date of our daily reading plan. Take time to read and allow God to speak to you. When you’re done, note the verse (or verses) that particularly spoke to you today, and write them in your journal.
What is God saying to you through this scripture? Now, write that scripture down in your journal in your own words, or simply note what “jumped out” at you.
Personalize what you have read by asking yourself, “how does this apply to my life right now?” Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or correction for a particular area of your life. Write out how this scripture applies to your life today.
This can be as simple as asking God to help you apply these scriptures, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say and note that in your journal.
Here is my SOAP for today, Monday, January 1, 2018
When I think of doing a daily Bible reading plan, my mind immediately goes to, “I AM.” God is the God of “now.” In the Gospel of John, when Jesus turned the water into wine, the master of the banquet used the phrase, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” Most people quote that as, “you have saved the best for last…” but that’s not at all what it says. It’s, “You have saved the best till NOW.” God is the God of NOW. He is “Emmanuel/(Greek)” or “Immanuel/(Hebrew)” “God WITH us.” He’s not distant, far off, unconcerned… He’s close, near, concerned.
That’s why this reading plan is a daily reading plan… If you have play to catch up once in a while, that’s ok and it’s understandable, but it’s best to do your reading daily, so as to allow God to speak into your day, each day. Think of it this way… why do we eat three meals per day? Not just ONE huge meal… or why do we eat three meals EVERY day, not 21 meals in ONE once per week? Because it’s better for you… You don’t benefit from exercising once per week for 3-4 hours. You benefit from exercising for an hour 3-4 times per week. Same principal. Again, this plan is not meant to read the Bible as literature or as a novel, but as God’s word, that’s alive and powerful!
I think of the manna that God provided to the Hebrews as they wandered the desert. God provided enough for them for each day (Exodus 16). They weren’t to store it up. It was about trusting God each day. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he said to pray, “Give us THIS DAY our DAILY bread.” It’s about trusting and staying connected. It’s ALWAYS about relationship.
Scripture (Genesis 1, 2; Luke 1)
These are the verses/passages that jumped out at me
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”
Always makes me think of John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
1:26 “Then God said, “Let US make mankind in OUR image, in OUR likeness…”
Jesus is the Word…
Matthew 1:21 “You are to give him the name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.”
- Jesus is from the Hebrew, “Joshua” meaning “Jehovah is salvation.”
Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, Eden
Vs 25, “they felt no shame.” (Wow, what would THAT feel like??)
For me, it’s not complicated… my faith is simple for the most part. I just take God at His word…
I don’t lay awake at night “wanderin’, waitin’ and worryin’ about some silly little things that don’t add up to nuthin’” (Tom Petty, “Here Comes My Girl.”) I do chew on bigger issues… But I believe the key is to “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6. Like most things, easier said than done…
Do I believe that God actually created everything in six 24-hour days? Yes…
It says “there was morning and there was evening” on each day. Days have always been 24 hours… I don’t struggle with carbon dating, etc… It’s possible that the earth is billion years old… and the Spirit of the Lord hovered over it for millennia… I’m not a scientist or microbiologist so I really don’t know, but I just believe it’s all possible. All of it. Dinosaurs, Noah’s ark, Adam and Eve… all of it. Oh, and I believe the chicken came first. An egg can’t hatch itself… and the baby chicks would need parents to raise them. So there… we’ve settled that issue.
Reading through the Bible is not New Year’s Day resolution… this is more than a resolution…
You can’t do this in a written journal, but you can when you go digital! U2 “New Year’s Day” video: CLICK HERE.
This is just how my brain works…
God created on each day:
- Light (day/night)
- Land (vegetation)
- Creatures (sea/birds)
- Creatures (land/man) vs 26 “Let US make man in OUR image…”
- God rested on the seventh day, made it holy.
vs 22 Made woman from man (rib)
(Digression: I spent nearly 20 minutes looking at maps of Iraq looking at the Tigress and Euphrates rivers… FYI, both the Tigress and Euphrates rivers still exist. It’s widely believed that the Persian Gulf actually covers the location of Eden, where Iran and Iraq border the Persian Gulf.)
Luke 1, birth of John the Baptist (Jesus’ cousin)
The birth of Jesus foretold to Mary and Joseph
Mary, you have found favor with God.
I could go a couple of different directions…
– What God promises, He fulfills…
– He can create whatever He wants… He simply speaks and creation happens.
– Even God rested… But He DID work six days…
– God is a God of relationship… They created together, “let US make man in OUR image.”
– Adam and Eve “felt no shame” before they sinned… Wow
My prayer today is that this wouldn’t be just an exercise… but it would be a life-transforming adventure for me and for all those attempting to do it, too. Lord, that you would speak to your people and breathe life into us, as you did Adam and Eve.
P.S. Keep in mind, YOUR personal SOAP entry may look very different from mine, and that’s OK! My blog is just to give you a point of comparison, not to show you how you should do it. It’s just how I am doing it. I just want you to see that it can be done. Every day. You just have to kind of chip away at it and hang in there!