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S.O.A.P. October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017

Read: John 5

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureJohn 5:39-40- “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life."

Observations- The religious officials were none too happy about the signs and wonders and teaching of Jesus, especially as He likened Himself to the Father. They found this to be blasphemous, but Jesus stated it as self-evident truth they refused to acknowledge. Even in all of their scholarly desire to pour over the text of the Scriptures, they were blinded to the reality that the very Word of God stood before them. 

Application- As we spend time in the Bible, we read not for information, but for inspiration and transformation. We read to see Jesus, the true Word of God made flesh. It all points to Him, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. If we want to know who God is and what He wants from us and for us, then we look at Jesus, not as one option among many, but as the preeminent way of being grasped by the living God. 

Prayer- Thank You, Lord, for another day to celebrate Your goodness and rejoice in Your blessings to me and Jesus' church. Let Your Holy Spirit guide me in my encounters with people today. Help me speak as Your ambassador, not with my own message, but carrying the Good News of Your grace and love. Help me see Jesus in the people I meet this day. Amen.  

"Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross." (Philippians 2:7-8),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - 500 years ago today Martin Luther began the Reformation with a bold act of declaring some key truths the church of his day had forgotten. The main emphasis was the rediscovery that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. To briefly read more about Martin Luther's contribution to the Reformation go to: http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/the-five-solas-of-the-protestant-reformation.html and http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/theologians/martin-luther.html

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S.O.A.P. October 30, 2017

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October 30, 2017

Read: Luke 5

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureLuke 5:15-16- But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Observations- Here we see great crowds pressing in on Jesus clamoring for His attention, for they wanted the benefit of the miracles, signs, and wonders He was able to perform. Jesus also, however, modeled for His disciples the need to withdraw from the crowds to be quiet and still to connect more deeply with His Father. 

Application- The point isn't for us to live a "balanced life" whatever that means; rather the point is for us to live a passionate life of joyful service with and for the Lord as we have a clear understanding of our own limits and needs. The good news about "burning out" is that we at least knew we were once on fire, but the even better news is doing what is necessary to keep the fire in our soul burning brightly for Jesus, which will often require us to "withdraw to the wilderness to pray."

Prayer- Lord, I want to burn brightly for You, but I don't want to burn out. Please help me see my own limits and needs of what I need to do to stay so connected with You in private that I am able to serve You publicly. Let Your joy flow into me and through me for Your glory. Help us become a church that understands the rhythm of engaging and withdrawing for Jesus' sake and our own. Amen.

"O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning." (Psalm 5:1),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - Thanks to everyone who helped make the Annual Fall Festival a great success!

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