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S.O.A.P August 30, 2017

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August 30, 2017

Read: 2 Kings 5

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- 2 Kings 5:11-12- But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.

Observations- Namaan was desperate to be healed from his leprosy, but not desperate enough to immediately do the simple thing he was told to do by Elisha. Namaan's pride rose up within him- he wanted some glorious, overpowering experience to remove his disease, not something so common as getting into the Jordan River. 

Application- How often do we expect God to act in a particular over-the-top and amazing way that we miss out on the small, yet absolutely crucial thing God is up to in our lives? Sometimes small things can be life changing, too, for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. How can you practice the presence of God in your life today- without demanding God do some big thing to grab your attention? 

Prayer- Lord, You are in simple acts of grace everyday, but we need to be able to look- really look- to see the way You are at work all around us. How often do we miss the mercy, grace, and love You send our way, because we weren't paying attention in the right ways, O God? Help us be humble enough to be open to ways You want to show up and show off in our lives, in Jesus' name. Amen.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P August 29, 2017

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August 29, 2017

Read: 2 Kings 2:13-25

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- 2 Kings 2:23-24- Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. “Go away, baldy!” they chanted. “Go away, baldy!” Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them.

Observations- Elisha didn't make the cut to serve on our children's ministry team, but what can we say of this story. The boys were making fun of the fact Elijah was taken up by God and hoping the same would happen to Elisha. this means they were not merely gently teasing Elisha, they were mocking the God he served (and they were supposed to be serving as well in their idolatrous hometown of Bethel.) Being mauled by a bear is hard for us to see as a "gracious learning opportunity," but perhaps this served the community of faith in the long run- as a message for others and the remaining boys...don't mess with God's prophet.  

Application- How can we apply such a word in our lives today? Certainly it's not for Christ following leaders to call on bears to maul anyone who mocks us! This vignette can serve to remind us to careful about the way we speak about our faith leaders, not because we'll get mauled by bears, but because it's the right thing to do. The bears serve as a metaphor for other consequences that could arise as a result of our disrespect.

Prayer- Dear God, thank You even for stories like this one in Your inexhaustible Word that always have something to teach us as we do life with You and one another. Help us never be tempted to mock what You value, put down those You declare are precious, or let our anger get the best of us as we seek to live out the values of the Kingdom of Heaven in the spirit of Jesus. Amen. 

"No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way." (Hebrews 12:11),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - To help with Hurricane Harvey relief a great ministry of the United Methodist Church is UMCOR. They are often the first in and the last to leave in these crisis situations. 100% of special donations will go directly for relief related to Hurricane Harvey. You can donate to the church, and we will make sure your donation gets to UMCOR. For more information go to their website at: http://www.umcor.org/

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