August 9, 2017 Esther 8-10; Hebrews 6:13-7:3

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

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Remember Your Faithfulness | Kim Chipman

S~ These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants. Esther 9:28 (NIV)

O~ God, through Esther, saved the Jews from extermination and gave them victory. God was faithful to rescue His people in spite of unbelievable circumstances. This festival was established to help them and generations to come to remember.

A~ I know I’m a forgetter. I tend to see what is right in front of me and forget Your faithfulness to me in the past. If I’m honest with myself, I also tend to get overwhelmed. When I think of the holidays or big celebrations I can just about feel a panic attack rising up. So much to do, so many expectations, so much stress.

Here’s the thing. I CAN find a way to embrace the actual celebration – and I need to. I need to remember. I need to celebrate, live grateful, pass this along to my children and every generation just like the Jews did. Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Easter…I need to remember Your faithfulness!

P~ Lord, help me to have a joyful heart about holidays and celebrations as a way to remember Your amazing faithfulness. I love You!

Big Picture Faith | Kelley Deases

S~ And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Hebrews 6:15 (NIV)

O~  Our church has been doing a sermon series called “Hall of Fame”, looking at some of the heroes of the Christian faith who are highlighted in the Book of Hebrews. Abraham was the first person we studied. But this particular verse referencing him actually gave me pause and made me chuckle. Abraham waited patiently? What?! That’s not how I remember his story. When God made a promise and swore an oath to Abraham that He would bless him and give him many descendants, Abraham scoffed at the very idea, given his advanced age. As the months and years continued to tick by, he began to doubt what he’d been promised and he and Sarah decided to take matters into their own hands, impregnating Hagar rather than wait on God’s plan and provision.

A~ So when I read in Hebrews about how Abraham waited patiently, I am actually encouraged. Abraham was human. He had bad days. He made poor choices. But God still used him, and, at the end of his life, he was dubbed faithful to God. It is freeing to know I can mess up and still be beloved of God. His grace allows me to be characterized as a faithful servant even when some days, some attitudes, some words and some decisions will fail to reflect the faith I desire to have.

P~ Father, Only by Your goodness do You hold up for us in Your Word “heroes” who aren’t really heroes at all. Humans are messy and fickle and deeply flawed, the whole lot of us. But You show Your perfect faithfulness through Your willingness to accomplish Your purposes through us, despite our sin and failings.

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