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S.O.A.P. December 9, 2017

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December 9, 2017 

Read Luke 11:33-54

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureLuke 11:45-46- “Teacher,” said an expert in religious law, “you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.” “Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden."

Observations- When Jesus wanted to be clearly understood, especially by His opponents, He could be quite blunt. There was no mistaking how Jesus really thought and felt about the danger of the hypocrisy some of the religious leaders spouted. The religious leaders accurately noted they had been insulted by Jesus, and Jesus confirmed that for them. It wasn't that the Pharisees didn't know the truth; rather it was that they failed to offer grace. They rightly lifted up a high standard, but they refused to hold it gently and with love in the knowledge of human frailty. 

Application- Jesus never let His followers off the hook; that is, He never said, "Don't worry about it! Your sin is no big deal. God doesn't care about that." Jesus was clear about the Father's high standards, which He held in common with the religious leaders, but Jesus held out the offer of mercy, grace, and love. Jesus tell us to get our act together and clean ourselves up and then we can be in a relationship with Him; instead we are invited into the relationship with Him and through learning of and growing in His love we are encouraged and challenged to be the new creations God already sees us to be through His eyes. 

Prayer- Dear Lord Jesus, as we enter into this Advent season and as the day when we celebrate Your birth approaches, we express our gratitude that You didn't come merely holding up high standards, but that You offered us Yourself to walk with us as we attended to our sins, failings, and weaknesses. You came from heaven to earth not to condemn us, but to lift us up to the joy of new life. Help us approach that day with humility ready to confronted by Your amazing love once again. Amen. 

"But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children." (Galatians 4:4-5),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - Last call for toys for the Gift of Hope for children ages 3-5. Please bring them with you this Sunday, December 10. It will be the last day to receive the gifts. Thanks for all you've done and will do!

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S.O.A.P. December 8, 2017

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December 8, 2017

Read Luke 11:14-32
To read this text click HERE.


Scripture: Luke 11:28– Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” 

Observation: Jesus continues performing miraculous healings – not to demonstrate his power but rather God's love; and yet people continue to question his motivation and demand even more “signs & wonders” from him. Jesus wants us to know that his miracles aren't the ultimate prize. Rather they're a tangible picture of the restored life a relationship with him offers us, and anyone who puts their faith in him. 

Application: Jesus constantly redirects our attention to what's really most important. It's not who our parents are, our social status or where we live. Not what we do for a living or how much money we have. Nor what we wear or drive, or what we look like. What's most important is our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Everything else, despite what the world says, pales in comparison and in importance.

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:41-42

Prayer: Thank you, God, for caring about us enough to want to restore our relationship with you through faith in your son, Jesus. Thank you for the Holy Spirit, who guides and directs our daily lives, and helps make it possible for us to become more and more like you in our thoughts and deeds. Thank you for our connect groups, who help us stay true to you. Amen.

-Dan Palmer
Connect Groups Ministry

PS: We have four services to choose from on Sunday, December 24th this year: 9:00am, 11:00am, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm. 9:00am & 7:00pm both feature our full choir & orchestra and will be identical services. 11:00am features our bell choir & communion. 5:00pm is geared for families with young children. Please begin praying about which friends & family members you can invite to worship with us on the 24th!

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