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S.O.A.P. October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017

Read: Luke 1:5-25

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Luke 1:17- He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

Observations- Here we read about the prophecy to the people who would be his parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, that John the Baptizer would be the forerunner of Jesus, one who prepared the way for the Messiah. What joy it brought them to know they got to have a part in God's unfolding plan to redeem His people.

Application- Each one of us has a role in "preparing the way" for Jesus Christ to be faithfully received by the people in our lives that He loves so much and yet are far away from Him or not yet aware of their great need for a Savior and a Lord. We may not be exactly like John the Baptizer, but God can use our unique gifts and graces to make an impact in the lives of all kinds of people for His glory. A study has revealed that it takes as few as 9 and as many as 26 significant, individual connections with Christ followers before someone steps over the line of faith. How are you helping "prepare the way?"

Prayer- Dear Lord, thank You for all of the people in my life who made sacrifices to reveal Your great love for me. Thank You for how many folks didn't give up on me when it would have been easy to give up. Help me join You in preparing the way for others to say "Yes!" to a life transforming relationship with Your Son and my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P. October 10, 2017

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October 10, 2017

Read: John 1:1-18

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- John 1:14, 18- So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

Observations- Make no mistake the early church quickly came to believe in the full humanity and the full divinity of Jesus Christ. The Message version says, "The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood." God is with us and for us in Jesus Christ- as a human being who can relate to all that we go through and as God so He can genuinely helps us and even lead us to be born again. 

Application- God not only entered into our lives through Jesus Christ long ago in the Roman province of Judea, but God is still in the "showing up" business in our lives here and now today. We need to be able to trust that God understands our weaknesses, failures, and sins, and we need to know and trust that He has the capacity to not leave us stuck and without the help we need. This is why it matters when we affirm that Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God with us and for us. 

Prayer- (by Girolamo Savonarola- 1452-1498) I beg you, Lord, because of your own goodness: Give light to my eyes; wound my heart with your love. Steady my stride along your paths So that my steps do not stray. Free the captive, gather the scattered, Sew up the torn, lift up the fallen. Give me a heart that ponders you; Give me a mind that dwells on you. Give me an intellect that understands you. Give me a reasoning that easily clings to you. Give me a soul that loves you. Give me a will that never parts from you. Be near to my heart, near to my words. Be near to my work, near to help. Be near to me, for I am faint with love. Be near to me, because without you I die. Be near to me, because I am uplifted by the thought of you. Your fragrance refreshes me; Your memory heals me; Your pleasant light renews my life; Your gentle voice gives me delight. Then will I be satisfied when your glory appears. Amen.

"God has punched a hole in the roof of the world and has climbed in." (Tim Keller),

Pastor Jamie

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