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S.O.A.P. December 31, 2017

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December 31, 2017 

Read Mark 10:35-52

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureMark 10:49- When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”

Observations- This is a story of a blind man being healed as relentlessly called out to the One he trusted could make him better. While the crowd was annoyed with his incessant begging for connection with Jesus, Bartimaeus didn't care. The crowd shifted from annoyance to encouragement when they saw Jesus was willing to help and heal the desperate man. 

Application- Jesus is always inviting us to "come here" into His presence, and since that is true we should also be encouraging one another to "cheer up." As we say good-bye to an old year and hello to a new year, hear the words, "Come on, Jesus is calling you!" What is it time to let go of, and what is it time to take up? 

Prayer- (John Wesley's Covenant Prayer for a New Year's Eve Service) I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by you or laid aside by you, enabled for you or brought low by you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to your pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are mine, and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

"I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.' (Philippians 3:13b-14),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P. December 30, 2017

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December 30, 2017 

Read Matthew 20:1-19

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureMatthew 20:12- ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

Observations- This should really be called the parable of the generous landowner, because it's pointing to God's willingness to be gracious to whomever he wills whenever He wants to, and those who have been with Him for the long haul of their lives should remain grateful for the generosity they received long ago. 

Application- When we come to the party of God early in our lives, we get the pleasure of knowing we are in an ongoing, life-giving relationship with our Redeemer. We get to be with God along the way in life, and we get to celebrate His mercy, grace, and love for those who come to the party just before they take their last breath. They, sadly, missed out on so much, so those of us who have followed Jesus a long time rejoice at 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, and 5pm for our new brothers and sisters in the faith. When is the best time to enter into a relationship with Jesus? A long time ago. When is the next best time? Now!

Prayer- Dear God, I am grateful to be a 9am worker in the vineyard. Help me never resent those who come at 5pm, but let me be excited about anyone who says "Yes!" to You at any point in their journey through life. I appreciate the benefits of coming earlier than later, and I remember that to whom much is given much will be expected. Amen.

"As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, 'At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.' Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation." (Romans 6:2),

Pastor Jamie

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