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: Exodus 21,22; Psalms 12; Acts 4
Here is my SOAP for today, Sunday, January 28, 2018
Exodus 21 Laws concerning Hebrew servants and personal injuries.
23-25 “If there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
Exodus 22 Laws concerning protection of property and social responsibility.
(Wow… Some crazy stuff we just read right there… I think my eyes started to cross…)
Psalms 12 a psalm of hopelessness… I now, am depressed. smh
Acts 4 “If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.”
Acts 4:32-35 (very similar to Acts 2:42-48) “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”
Side note: 4:36 “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement”” (This is where we got the name “Barnabas Generation” for our ministry to those who are 50+.)
I must admit, I’m… I don’t know… my head is kind of spinning with the detail of all the laws… and how random they are in how they were given… not organized in any particular manner.
I find myself relieved (after wading through Exodus 21 and 22 and Psalm 12) to be reading about Peter and John before the Sanhedrin (council of 21-23 Hebrew leaders). Peter is on a ROLL preaching the name of Jesus, confronting the Jewish leaders, speaking with boldness… after healing a lame beggar…
There is so much, so many verses in the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament about the fatherless, orphans and widows… I always take note.
I especially love the passage from Acts 4:32-35 “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”
I appreciate this verse from Acts 4 regarding Peter and John, that they were “ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” I lead worship without a music degree and I don’t have an MDiv… I am a practitioner, not a theologian… but I think I have a knack for making the Bible interesting and understandable. I once had someone tell me that I “make being a Christian look like fun.” (as opposed to it being not fun, following a bunch of rules) I took that as a very high compliment. Another person told me that I am the same on stage and off. (I would add also back stage!) Those are very high compliments. I don’t try to prove anything to anyone. I am just trying live my life the best I can. The fruit of my life, one way or the other, will speak for itself. A good tree bears good fruit, a bad tree bears bad fruit. I’d like to think I am bearing good fruit, that will last. I’m not perfect and I don’t pretend to be, nor do I expect those around me to be perfect, either. That’s not to say that I never have to confront someone, especially those who are leaders. The bar is set high for all of us as Christians, even higher for leaders.
How cool would it be to have sold a piece of land, as Joseph the Levite did, gain the name “Son of encouragement = Barnabas” and give that money to be distributed “as anyone had need.” THAT’S good fruit!
Lord I want your grace to be powerfully at work in me! That I would always bear good fruit!