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S.O.A.P June 27, 2017

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June 27, 2017

Read: Numbers 14:5-45

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Numbers 14:41-42- But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you."

Observations- The disobedient and defiant Israelites who bought into the bad report from the 10 scouts must face the consequences of their actions. They have once again not listened carefully to the Lord and responded faithfully; instead they have gone their own way and followed bad counsel. Even when they were sorry for not listening to God they still didn't really listen to God! God was clear- Do Not Go into the Promised Land! Head back into the wilderness for the next 40 years, but they went their own way again.

Application- When we read of the constant pattern of whining, complaining, and disobedience of the Israelites, it's easy to wonder why God didn't say "Forget about this!" In His abundant love, mercy, and grace, God refuses to forget about us, even when we are at our hard-hearted, weak-kneed worst. Our job as Christ followers and partners with Jesus in the church that belongs to Him is to listen carefully for the voice of God and respond faithfully...over and over again. Put the "bad report" aside and wait on God's "good report" today.

Prayer- (by N. T. Wright) "We are cracked vessels full of glory, wounded healers. God forgive us that we have imagined true humanness, after the enlightenment model, to mean being successful, having it all together, knowing all the answers, never making mistakes, striding through the world as though we owned it.” Lord, let me listen carefully for Your voice and help me respond faithfully to Your unique call, in Jesus' name. Amen.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - Our Sunday Morning Hospitality Team is in Need of Volunteers. We'd love to have some more smiling faces to help in the Social Hall on Sunday mornings, welcoming visitors and members alike! We are forming two hospitality teams – would you consider being on one? Ask Rev. Vicki for more info (689-4161 or  ).

 

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S.O.A.P June 26, 2017

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June 26, 2017

Read: Numbers 13:1- 14:4

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Numbers 13:31-32- But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge." 

Observations- Moses sent the twelve scouts out with a very specific call to gather information about the land they were to inhabit. In their report most of the scouts went beyond the parameters set by Moses. That there were giants was an accurate assessment, but saying the Israelites couldn't go up against them was a matter of opinion offered without taking the hand of God and the miracles they had already experienced on a regular basis into account.

Application- Peter Drucker said the first duty of a leader is to define reality. Moses, not the scouts, had already been given the task by God of defining their reality. Moses needed to have a clear picture of what things looked like in the Promised Land, so they could consult God and come up with the right strategy to live there. When we see giants all around, the temptation to allow negative reports to steal the agenda and narrative are highly likely. As we move forward as Jesus' church, we don't want to have our heads stuck in the sand and not see reality, because facts are our friends...and we serve an amazing God, who is still in the signs and wonders business.

Prayer- Dear Lord, thank You for honest assessments of our situation from people willing to tell the truth. We need all of the information we can get our hands on to make good decisions that honor Jesus and the people He loves so much, but keep us from giving into the temptations of creating and spreading bad reports. We belong to You, and we trust You to provide the way forward in faith, hope, and love. Amen.

 

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8),
Pastor Jamie

P. S. - Monday Funday is tonight beginning with dinner at 6pm and a really creative, interactive worship experience for the whole family. 

 

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