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S.O.A.P August 16, 2017

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August 16, 2017

Read: 1 Kings 1:5-27

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- 1 Kings 1:11-12- Then Nathan went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and asked her, “Haven’t you heard that Haggith’s son, Adonijah, has made himself king, and our lord David doesn’t even know about it? If you want to save your own life and the life of your son Solomon, follow my advice.

Observations- Adonijah, a son that David never disciplined, declared himself to be king of all Israel against David's wishes. As he was celebrating, Nathan and Bathsheba were strategizing about the right way to reveal this information to make the greatest impact on David, who was very near death. None of this would have been necessary had David been clearer about his plan of succession and had a better relationship with Adonijah. David's lack of clarity led to painful consequences.

Application- We could see the strategizing of Nathan and Bathsheba as manipulation, but they were looking out not only for their own interests, but for David's and the nation of Israel. They were doing what they could with the lousy hand they were dealt. Life isn't "Game of Thrones," but it never hurts us to think strategically about solving dilemmas and challenges before us. Nathan, the prophet, is certainly a good model for us of staying in touch with God as he planned for the future. It's never a bad idea to make plans that can help secure a God-honoring future.

Prayer- Lord, thank You for the gift of life. thank You for giving us Your very own son to communicate the depth of Your love for us. Help me not make the kind of leadership mistakes David made, but help me work with others of good faith at New Hope to strategize about our best ways forward as Your Church making more and better followers of Jesus Christ as we reach, connect, grow, and send. Amen.

Jesus gave us His strategy: "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20),

Pastor Jamie

Posted by Jamie Westlake with

S.O.A.P August 15, 2017

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August 15, 2017

Read 2 Samuel 18:1-18
To read this text click HERE.

Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:5- “Then the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” The whole army heard what the king commanded the three captains regarding Absalom.

Observation: David gives explicit orders to the commanders before they go into battle against his son's forces, Absalom is to be spared. Despite Absalom's earlier betrayal toward him, David wants to show his son mercy (mercy is defined as not getting what we deserve).

Application: We can overlook a multitude of faults when we love someone deeply. How else do we explain the actions of husbands and wives – or parents – toward a son or daughter or spouse of an addict? The actions of loving parents toward an unruly teenager? Or, ANY pet owner? 

And how much greater is God's love for us! With inexhaustible mercy toward us, he is able to see beyond our failings. To see beyond past hurts & disappointments we've caused. As we seek to become more like Christ, we who are the recipients of such mercy, are called to show ever greater levels of mercy toward others. Because, as David knew, holding onto past hurts gets in the way of our ability to fully experience the love God has woven into the very fabric of his creation. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father. Thank you for your great love for us. The mercy you shower us with. And the lessons you teach us, in love. Help me to overlook any slights that come my way today – whether intended or accidental. May the way I relate to others glorify you. Amen.

-Dan Palmer
Connect Groups Ministry

Posted by Dan Palmer with

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