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S.O.A.P. December 7, 2017

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December 7, 2017 

Read Luke 11:1-13

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureLuke 11:9-10- “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

Observations- Jesus' disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. He offered up a model (not the model!) way to connect with the Father, and He told a parable about a pestering a friend in the middle of the night for help. Of course, God never sees the followers of Jesus as "pestering" Him, for He longs to hear from us, but we are urged to stay persistent in prayer.

Application- We keep at the joyful discipline of praying not to get what we want in the way we want it and according to our timing, but to remain connected to God in a living relationship. This is what we ultimately need to seek and find, ask for and receive, knock and have opened to us. 

Prayer- Lord, don't ever let me settle for less than persistence in prayer, not to demand my way, but to connect more deeply with You and Your way to love and serve others. When I ask, give me a posture of openness to receive. When I seek, give me eyes to see what You want me to find. When I knock, help me trust that You are on the other side ready to respond. Amen. 

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - We are still collecting 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 6, 2017

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December 6, 2017 

Read Luke 10:25-42

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureLuke 10:41-42- 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.”

Observations- This is one of my favorite non-Advent Advent stories. What I mean is I love the way Jesus honors Martha, not by scolding Mary, but by reminding Martha that what she was doing wasn't more important than sitting at His feet and soaking in His presence. Martha was doing a wonderful service by offering her gift of hospitality to the Savior and His friends, but she let herself get bent out of shape over the details.

Application- Yesterday I saw a sermon title that made me smile: "Can Martha's Have a Mary Christmas?" This would have been a different story from Jesus if Mary had gotten angry at Martha for attending to the needs of the meal: "Jesus, why don't You tell my sister to get in here and sit at Your feet? This is more important!" Mary's need to serve as Jesus calls and Martha's need to sit and soak at His feet. Advent reminds us of both our need to serve with joy and reflect deeply on the coming of Jesus Christ.

Prayer- Lord, forget about balance! Help me passionately serve You and help me passionately worship You. Don't let these blessings become competitors in my life. Lead me to take up the servant's towel and wash the feet of those You love. Lead me to sit at Your feet and soak up the truth and grace of Your teachings. Help us be a church filled with Martha's who can have a Mary Christmas and Mary's ready to serve. Amen.

"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape, 

Pastor Jamie

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