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S.O.A.P June 29, 2017

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June 29, 2017

Read: Numbers 22:5-38

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Numbers 22:18-19- But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.”

Observations- Upon first glance as we read the story of Balaam we might wonder why God was so displeased with His servant, but he was actually allowing himself to enticed by the possibility of great wealth..."I can't help you, but let's just see if the Lord might allow me to curse the people He loves so much." 

Application- When we've heard from God with clarity and we're clear about how He intends for us to move forward, we don't need to keep coming back to see if perhaps, just maybe, God wants me, for instance, to keep coveting what belongs to my neighbor. We can put ourselves through all kinds of mental and spiritual gymnastics to convince ourselves that God wants us to do something when He has already told us "No!"  

Prayer- Lord, thank You for Your Word that comes to us as Your blessed gift. Help us live it out as disciples of Jesus in truth and grace. We need Your help to not be led into temptation, for there will be many things we want to do that You have declared off limits in Your love. Guide us to trust You and discern well how to best move forward today. Amen.

"If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." (1 Corinthians 10:12-13),
Pastor Jamie

 

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S.O.A.P June 28, 2017

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June 28, 2017

Read: Numbers 21:4-9

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Numbers 21:4b-5- But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

Observations- Ah, once again we find the Israelites doing what they seem to be best at- complaining about God's lack of provision, not listening carefully for His voice, and refusing to follow through with what they knew God wanted for them. This scene with the bronze snake is given even more meaning when Jesus speaks of it in John 3:14-15: "And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life."

Application- We are just as gifted as the Israelites at not listening carefully to God and not following through with what He has directed us to do. It's important for us, however, to remember that complaining is never mentioned as a spiritual gift in the Bible. We are to encourage one another to honor God and bless others. We are to encourage all people to look to Jesus, lifted up on the cross and resurrected by the Father, for their salvation.

Prayer- Lord, thank You for the gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Help me to be quick to look to Jesus, not only to meet my eternal need for a living relationship with God, but for His life transforming power here and now. Take my temptation to complain (which is so great!) and offer it to You in prayer. Amen.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." 

(1 Thessalonians 5:11),
Pastor Jamie

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