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S.O.A.P. January 2, 2018

January 2, 2018 

Read John 12:1-11

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureJohn 12:7-8- Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Observations- A woman, Mary, who had received much by sitting at the feet of Jesus and soaking up His wisdom, grace, and truth, decided to offer an extravagantly generous gift of anointing Jesus' feet. Judas strenuously objected to her offering, but Jesus said Mary had done a good thing as He prepared to make the journey to the cross.

Application- Jesus certainly didn't mean that Judas was wrong about the need to honor and bless the poor; rather He was pointing out that there would be times when beautiful and precious gifts could be offered to the Savior and Lord that pointed people to the meaning of sacrificial giving from the heart.  

Prayer- O God, thank You for so many blessings along the way in this life. Thank You for Jesus' act of extravagant generosity and sacrificial giving of Himself on the cross that serves as a model for His followers. Help me be a good steward of everything You provide- all that I am and all that I have. Guide me also to the best possible ways to honor and serve the poor whom You love so much. Amen.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P. January 1, 2018

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January 1, 2018 

Read Luke 19:1-27

To read this text click HERE.

ScriptureLuke 19:26- “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away."

Observations- Jesus told another parable about the coming Kingdom of God, and how His friends and followers were to use the gifts and graces they had been given for the glory of the King of Kings. It doesn't sound fair, and it's not intended to be "fair;" rather it goes in line with another key teaching of Jesus: "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." (Luke 12:48)

Application- How are you doing at living out the Good News of Jesus Christ for God's glory with the talents and gifts you have? Where are you falling short? The beginning of a new year is a good time for a period of self-evaluation, because when we've been given a lot by God, He expects a lot in return. Salvation is a free gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ alone; discipleship is our response to the gift.

Prayer- (by Billy Graham from 2008- excerpted) Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future. We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year. In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love. In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need. In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost. And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. Amen.  

Pastor Jamie

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