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S.O.A.P August 4, 2017

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August 4, 2017

I Samuel 20:1-42

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture: I Samuel 20:16-17, So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, saying, “May the Lord destroy all your enemies!” And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.


Observation: In chapter 20, we see Saul’s anger and jealousy toward David continuing to escalate.  Despite the fact that David has done nothing wrong, Saul wants him dead.  This is heart-wrenching for Saul’s son, Jonathan, as he and David are best friends and love one another deeply.  They devise an elaborate plan to protect David from Saul and make a pact with each other, promising undying faithfulness and kindness.  The bond between David and Jonathan is a beautiful picture of friendship solidly based on the love and faithfulness of God.


Application:  Studies indicate that despite our greater level of connectedness with “friends” on social media, Americans actually have less close friends now than they did just fifteen years ago.  A whopping 25% report having no close confidantes to call when things get tough!  God didn’t create us to be isolated beings.  Rather, we were created to do life in community.  The church is the community that Jesus created for us to build strong, spiritual friendships founded in our love and devotion to God. The Bible gives us many examples of this kind of friendship (David and Jonathan are a great example!).  That’s why at New Hope, one of our core values is CONNECT because we truly desire for each and every person to build the kind of spiritual friendships that help us grow in our faith and encourage us through times of joy and times of sorrow.  These are friendships that aren’t based just on common interests but on our common faith in Jesus Christ. 


Do you have spiritual friendships?  A great place to start is by joining a connect group.  If you aren’t currently part of a connect group or you would like to try a new one (if your current group isn’t a good fit), contact Dan Palmer at  .


Prayer:  God, help us create the kind of close, spiritual friendships for which you created us.  Give us the courage and motivation to step out of our comfort zones and open ourselves up to new people and new friendships founded in you.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Rev. Vicki

Posted by Vicki Harrison with

S.O.A.P August 3, 2017

August 2, 2017

Read: 1 Samuel 18

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- 1 Samuel 18:28-29- When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life.

Observations- At every turn Saul became more and more threatened by David's success. His son, Jonathan, was David's best friend. The people of Israel were far more impressed by David's military exploits than by Saul's. Then his daughter, Michal, fell in love with David and married him. Saul hated David (and would seek to kill him many times) simply because he was good and others thought more highly of him. 

Application- It's sad (even pathetic) that King Saul was so personally threatened by who David was and all that he did. When we give free rein to the power of resentment and envy in our lives, we truly unleash a green eyed monster that winds up destroying God's good work in us. King Solomon, David's son observed, "...most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind." (Ecclesiastes 4:4) It's impossible for us to cooperate with God in the process of sanctification if we cling to resentment and envy. They must die for God's good work to make a home in us.

Prayer- Lord, thank You for this warning through Saul about the dangers of envy and resentment. Help me to celebrate with those who rejoice when You are at work in and through them. Don't let me ever feel threatened by the successes of others, especially when they give You the glory. I will choose to humble myself before You and be grateful for others who serve You so well, in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen.

Blowing out the other person's candle won't make yours shine brighter,

Pastor Jamie


Posted by Jamie Westlake with

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