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S.O.A.P. September 6, 2017

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September 6, 2017

Read: Esther 1

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Esther 1:19-20- “So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!”

Observations- Queen Vashti asserted her own sense of personhood in the midst of being treated like an object. She had the audacity to decline the offer to be paraded around only to show off how beautiful she was to a group of inebriated men her husband wished to impress. This queen would be deposed for her act not of insolence, but of independence and dignity. 

Application- Perhaps if the king himself had been less inebriated he would have been able to make a better decision with his wife as a person in her own right in his mind and heart. This should serve as a warning to us to remember to treat one another with love and respect in marriage. Ephesians 5:21 says to husbands and wives "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." This can't possibly look like anything King Xerxes did to his bride. Mutual submission is a gift of grace to one another on the basis of all God has done for us in Christ. The problem is not that Vashti refused to properly submit to her husband; rather it's that Xerxes refused to properly honor his wife. 

Prayer-  Dear God, I pray for Denise, my wife, to have a deep desire to know and love Your with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength. I am am grateful for the ways she loves me and wants Your best for my life. Help me long for her best everyday. Give me the strength and wisdom to know when I should defer and submit to her for Your glory and my benefit. Help us to honor one another in ways that make Jesus smile. Amen.

"So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (Ephesians 5:33),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - Keep praying and monitoring the impending Hurricane Irma. Be safe out there! For a helpful list of items you might want to have go to: 

file:///C:/Users/Jamie/Downloads/Hurricane%20Ready%20Supplies.pdf

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S.O.A.P. September 5, 2017

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The path of Hurricane Irma is deeply concerning. 

Please take all possible measures to ensure your safety.

 

September 5, 2017

Read: Nehemiah 8

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Nehemiah 8:8- They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.

Observations- The Book of the Law was now freely and openly being proclaimed. So many people worked together to "accomplish the impossible" of rebuilding the wall...the impossible took 52 days. As they stood together to receive God's Word once again, the people of God were filled with both deep sadness (repentance) and great joy (celebration of what God was doing among them).

Application- We should never take for granted the privilege of being able to freely and openly spend time in God's Word- as individuals, Connect groups, and Jesus' church. Reading the Bible for spiritual growth (not merely head knowledge) remains the #1 way we are able to move forward in our faith. Can we ever say we spend enough time seeking a living connection with God through His Word?

Prayer- Lord, thank You for communicating with us through Your Word, the Bible. Help me be more open to hearing from You as I open the pages and read to understand and receive more of Who You are in my one and only life. As we consider the rebuilding that will be necessary in Houston and our own storm preparations, let us be inspired by the dedication of Nehemiah and all who worked so hard to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem for Your glory. Amen.

Pastor Jamie

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