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S.O.A.P. October 23, 2017

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October 23, 2017

Read: John 2:1-25

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureJohn 2:15-16- Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

Observations- Jesus clearly didn't like what He saw going on in the Temple courtyard- a place where all people seeking God were welcome. Originally the sale of sacrificial animals arose to assist the Jews traveling from long distances to Jerusalam, but it became a way to gouge people with exorbitant prices, which angered Jesus. So Jesus calmly took the time He needed to make a whip to throw them out of His Father's house, which was to be used for prayer, not taking advantage of people in need. 

Application- This wasn't an impulsive act the Savior of the world hadn't thought through very well. Jesus carefully considered the proper, symbolic action He wanted to make as the Messiah on behalf of His Father. Was He angry? Yes, and He harmed no one, but made an important point about the value of the Temple, which represented His own body- a dwelling place of the living God. How can we harness our God-given passion and energy today for the glory of Jesus in a way that points to the Kingdom of Heaven at work in our midst? 

Prayer- Lord, while it's highly unlikely You will ever call me to make a whip and drive people from Jesus' church, I pray for You to help me receive what You need me to learn from this text about Jesus, myself, and Your call in my life. Help us at New Hope honor Your church as a house of prayer that never seeks to put up obstacles from people connecting more deeply with You. Amen.

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." (Ephesians 6:18),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P. October 22, 2017

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October 22, 2017

Read: John 1:35-51

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureJohn 1:46- “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

Observations- Here we see Jesus begin to select and call his disciples- those who would voluntarily choose to be apprentices learning to love and serve God together. "Come and see" is refrain we will find again in the Gospel of John, because the best way to come to have faith in Jesus as the Messiah was simply that- "to come and see" for yourself what God was up to in His Son, Jesus the Christ.

Application- "Come and see." What a simple and beautiful and challenging invitation! Check out the claims of the this One who declare He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Consider this man who tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. Who invited you to "come and see?" Who will you invite to "come and see" the Savior you are walking with now through your words and actions?

Prayer- Dear heavenly Father, who joyfully calls us into a living relationship with You, please forgive me for all of the times I have opened up Your Word not simply to come and see Jesus, but as a way of discerning rules  to comply with- mostly for others. Help me receive Your Word with the gift of love to me that You intend, so that I can share that freely with others who need to "come and see" Jesus. Amen.  

"Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!" (Psalm 66:5),

Pastor Jamie

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