Something not to miss!!!

December 14, 2019: SOAP #3663:  Hebrews 12-13; Jude

Scripture:  Hebrews (NIV) 12:15 See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Observation:  It is good to enjoy the grace of God in others, but it is better to have grace in my life.  It is the grace of God in me that keeps the bitter roots from growing up.  God’s grace helps me to put away offences and not let them boil in my memories and get rooted in my attitudes.

God’s grace works forgiveness into my life and relationships.  Being forgiven, I should become a forgiver.  Having received grace, I can be gracious to others.

Application:  God’s grace covers more than just my sins against God, even though they are many.  God’s grace covers the sins of others against me!

Prayer:   Holy Spirit, keep watch in my heart and mind.  Remind me of God’s grace to me.  And remind me of God’s grace through me to others.  Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

Only Once

December 13, 2019: SOAP #3662:  Hebrews 9-11

Scripture:  Hebrews (NIV) 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Observation:  Obviously what we often consider the end, is not the end.  Death is not the end.  What comes next?  Judgment.   Just as death was not the end for Jesus, death is not the end for us.

The Father so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son… (John 3:16)   Jesus was sent to earth to die for the sins of God’s creation.  His death was not the end of His existence.  Death is not the end of our existence, just a doorway through which we pass into life eternal.

Application:   Since we are destined to “die once” we can be assured that the life after death will never end.  Death will have no power over those who have died.  For those who have accepted the death of Jesus as the payment for their sins, they will enter the never-ending joys of heaven.  For those who have refused to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they will enter the never-ending judgment in hell.

Prayer:  Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice in payment for my sins.  I want my life to count for you. Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

Christianity’s Beginnings

December 12, 2019: SOAP #3661:  Hebrews 5-8

Scripture:  Hebrews (NIV) 8:5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

Observation:  After the Israelite’s were delivered from their bondage in Egypt, God led them to Mt. Sinai where Moses was shown the pattern and led them in building the tabernacle.  They worshiped God in a tent of animal skins with furniture made of the wood growing in the wilderness.  For sacrifices, they used animals from their flocks.

The single sacrifice of Jesus put an end to all animal sacrifices and brought us into a new covenant relationship with God.

Application:   The Jewish religion was brought by Moses from time on the Mount Sinai.  It was brought from heaven to earth where people could relate to God.  Through Jesus, we are lifted back to worship in the heavenlies.  The Jewish religion was brought as a pattern from heaven to man.  In entering the human race as a Jew through a virgin birth, in living a perfect life without sin, and in providing the perfect sacrifice, Jesus made the way to bring man into the original heavenly tabernacle.

The Jewish religion came from heaven.  Jesus brought Christianity out of the Jewish religion to worship at the true tabernacle in heaven.

Prayer:   Heavenly Father, you chose the people of Israel to be the doorway through which Jesus, the Messiah, would enter the stream of humanity.  With thanksgiving for the Jews, I pray for your protection to be theirs as individuals and as a nation.  I am also thankful that President Donald Trump has honored Israel by moving the US Embassy to the city of Jerusalem.  Bless him as you have promised.  In the mighty Name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

A Powerful Combination

December 11, 2019: SOAP #3660:  Philemon; Hebrews 1-4

Scripture:  Hebrews (NIV) 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Observation:  Jesus came and lived perfectly without sinning.  He did what no man had ever done.  Does he arrogantly look down on men who did not live up to God’s law? The one who conquered every temptation does not condemn those who have fallen to every temptation.  He uses His victory to lift the fallen!

At His throne we find mercy in dealing with our past sins, AND grace to help us in our present struggles.  Mercy AND Grace:  A Powerful Combination!

Application:   The enemy would like to deceive me into thinking that I have no place before God’s throne.  I have sinned and am not worthy to present myself there.  But the true Word of God encourages me to approach with confidence and assures me that I will find mercy to cover my past and grace to help me with my present!

Prayer:   Heavenly Father, I stand before your throne, desperately in need of both mercy and grace.  Your word assures me that here in your presence I will find both.  By faith, I claim both your mercy and grace.  With my sins forgiven I consider your presence to guide and instruct me.  I continue on into my day rejoicing in what your great love has provided for me. Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

Preparation

December 10, 2019: SOAP #3659:  2Timothy 1-4

Scripture:  2Timothy (NIV) 4:1 [The Apostle Paul to Timothy]  In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Observation:  One might have a question as to how is it possible to be prepared for both “in season and out of season” ministry?  “In season” is understandable because ministry opportunity is happening as expected.  Often the “in season” ministry has a season for preparation set prior to the ministry.

Preparation for “out of season” ministry is another story.  How can one prepare for what they do not know is coming?

Application:   The only way I know how to be always prepared: allow the Holy Spirit to make the preparations in me.  For me that means I must be faithful in God’s Word every day.  As I am reading and meditating on God’s word, the Holy Spirit, who knows the future, opens my heart and mind to verses and thoughts that prepare me for what I am about to encounter.

Prayer:   Holy Spirit, I depend on you to keep me prepared and I know you depend on me to keep reading the Bible and listening for you to speak to me.  Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

Turning Worldly Wealth into Heavenly Treasure

December 09, 2019: SOAP #3658:  1Timothy 5-6; Titus 1-3

Scripture:  1Timothy (NIV) 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Observation:  Four commands for people with wealth:  First, be humble.  Second, keep God as the source of hope.  Third, do good, often and in every way you can.  Fourth, use your wealth to bless others.

Will doing this buy their way into heaven?  NO!  But doing this will insure they have treasures awaiting their arrival in heaven.  NOTE:  If I want my money to become a treasure in heaven, I must give it away or use it for the benefit of others.

The true life from God is a life of giving.  God is such a giver, no wonder those in whom He dwells find themselves inclined to give.

Application:   Planning and making commitments help me be faithful in giving.  I also enjoy having resources available to respond to unexpected opportunities to give.  It is good to have some extra food in the cupboard or cash in the pocket just for the purpose of giving.

Prayer:   Heavenly Father, you are a giver and you are working that grace in me.  May I be a joyful giver. Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

God’s Consideration

December 08, 2019: SOAP #3657:  1Timothy 1-4

Scripture:  1Timothy (NIV) 1:12 I [the Apostle Paul] thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.

Observation:  God did not choose to use Paul because He considered Paul to be strong enough to endure all the hardships that would come his way.  God chose Paul because He considered Paul faithful!

God does not call the strong and make them faithful; He calls the faithful and gives them His strength!

Application:   God does not need me to be strong; He needs me to be faithful!  He can provide all the strength I will ever need.   He does not need me to be talented, He does not need me to have great knowledge, He does not need me to have a great personality.  He can use all that I am, and all that I have, but if I am faithful, I can count on Him to provide what I am lacking!

The important question: does God consider me faithful?

Prayer:   Holy Spirit, in doing what the Father has assigned me, I am depending on you to be with me and work through me. Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!