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

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October 9, 2017

Read: Jonah 3-4

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Jonah 3:10- When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Observations- What Jonah most feared had come to pass. The king and the people of Nineveh responded quite favorably to one of the shortest, worst, and most poorly delivered prophetic messages in Israelite history. Jonah didn't want God's mercy, grace, and love to be offered to the people of Nineveh, who had previously been beyond brutal and cruel to the Jews, but their sorrow and repentance rivaled anything seen in Israel. 

Application- When is the right time to celebrate God's faithfulness, goodness, and abundant, over-the-top grace in our lives? One good and proper answer would be "Always and all ways!" The father in Jesus' parable of Prodigal Son and the Other Brother concludes with this line: "It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found." (Luke 15:32) How will you celebrate the undeserved forgiveness and grace of God in your (and others!) life today?

Prayer- Dear God, thank You for offering mercy, grace, and love in such abounding ways! Help me never take this for granted in my own life, lead me to share it freely and indiscriminately with all people, and remind me to celebrate such a wonderful gift with anyone who wants it in the strong and awesome name of Jesus. Amen.

"Rise up, O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts." (Psalm 21:13),

Pastor Jamie

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

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October 8, 2017

Read: Jonah 1

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Jonah 1:3a- But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.

Observations- This is a line to read with fear and trepidation. From the get go we know this isn't going to end well for Jonah as he attempts to run from God. God gave him clear marching orders, and he defied them. We aren't told why just yet, but a first time reader would make the assumption there was some specific reason he didn't want to do what the Lord asked. Was it a lack of faith in God? Was it fear of the people in Nineveh? Or was it hatred for them? 

Application- An old hymn states, "Where He leads me I will follow...I'll go with Him all the way." That's not, however, how a lot of us begin our journey to hearing, receiving, and growing in our understanding God's unique calling in our lives. We run...quickly in the opposite direction with all kinds of motivations. Could it be a lack of faith in God? Could it be a lack of faith in ourselves as God comes alongside us? Could it be our fear of making a significant difference for the Kingdom of God? When God speaks clearly, our job is to embrace His Word for our lives as quickly as possible.

Prayer- (by John Baillie- 1886-1960) For the power Thou hast given me to lay hold of things unseen: For the strong sense I have that this is not my home: For my restless heart which nothing finite can satisfy: I give Thee thanks, O God. For the invasion of my soul by Thy Holy Spirit: For all human love and goodness that speak to me of Thee: For the fullness of Thy glory outpoured in Jesus Christ: I give Thee thanks, O God. Amen.

"For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn." (Romans 11:29),

Pastor Jamie

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