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S.O.A.P February 16, 2018

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February 16, 2018 

Read Acts 4:23-37

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureActs 4:29-30 - And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Observations- Peter and John have just been bullied by the Sanhedrin and then sent on their way after a good scolding (Acts 4:13-23).  Immediately upon their release they go back to the other believers and tell them all that had happened and what was their response?  They prayed to God for more boldness.

Application- This is one of my favorite passages in Acts.  I love that after getting bullied by the religious leaders the Jesus followers got together and prayed a bodacious prayer.  They didn't pray, "Oh Lord help us, protect us, save us from the big bad bully."  No, they prayed, "Lord, give us more boldness to spread Your word, to do signs and wonders and may it all be for your glory!"  So often when we face opposition our go to prayer is asking God to protect us or save us.  But what if we began praying like these first followers of Jesus and ask for MORE boldness to spread God's word, to do signs and wonders and to do it all for His glory!  Maybe our lives would be shaken and filled with the Holy Spirit too (check out verse 31).  Let's pray bold prayers!

Prayer- Lord, You are God, who made the heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them.  Give me, your servant, great boldness in preaching your word.  Stretch out your hand with healing power across this land, may miraculous signs an wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.  Amen.

Pastor Ricc

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S.O.A.P February 15, 2018

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February 15, 2018 

Read Acts 4:5-22

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureActs 4:19-20- But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”

Observations- The growing Jesus movement, the Way, was on the move. Peter again boldly and fearlessly declared the Good News as clearly as he know how in front of the religious leaders, "There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” When they asked them to never speak of Jesus again, Peter again was bold and clear- they had to tell about the resurrection power they witnessed with their very own eyes and the truths they heard speak with their own ears. 

Application- What's your story of being grafted into THE story of Jesus? Everyone who has stepped over the line of faith has a story worth sharing, but a lot of people don't believe that. They don't feel like their story is of much value, but nothing could be further from the truth. What have you seen and heard as your faith in Christ has grown? Sure, there will always be people that would prefer you silence on the subject of Jesus, but will use your story for His glory. Peter, who had been so frightened on the night before Jesus' death that he denied even knowing Him three times is now the main person proclaiming the gospel on behalf of the early church. Don't believe that God can't use you!

Prayer- Lord, thank You for my story of being far from You, but after a long time- at just the right time- I was drawn into Your unconditional love and saving grace. Use my story like You used Peter's story. He literally had the privilege of spending time with the resurrected Lord, and while I'll never have that experience, I know this- I belong to Jesus Christ. Help me honor Him today and everyday. Amen.

"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:6-8),

Pastor Jamie

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To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

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