Sunday Sermons

(Sermons will be posted on Mondays)

Link to Sermon Preaching Text Excerpts from Reading
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December 27, 2015 Mark 1:1-20 The Baptism of Jesus by John

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
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He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
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"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."
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And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
December 24, 2015 Luke 2:1-20 The Birth of Jesus

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
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In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people."
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"Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
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The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
December 20, 2015 Luke 1:5-13, 57-80 The Birth of John the Baptist

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.
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the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John."
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Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them."
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"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins."
December 13, 2015 Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13 The Release from Babylon

"Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of those among you who are of his people — may their God be with them! — are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel — he is the God who is in Jerusalem.
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When the seventh month came, and the Israelites were in the towns, the people gathered together in Jerusalem. They set up the altar on its foundation, because they were in dread of the neighboring peoples, and they offered burnt offerings upon it to the Lord, morning and evening.
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When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the Lord with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel.
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But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.
December 6, 2015 Isaiah 40:1-11 Comfort following the Babylonian Exile

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
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Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
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The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
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O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!"
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He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
November 29, 2015 2 Kings 22:1-10, [14-20]; 23:1-3 King Josiah's Covenant

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.
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He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
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Thus says the Lord, I will indeed bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have abandoned me and have made offerings to other gods, so that they have provoked me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched.
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Therefore, I will gather you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring on this place.
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The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.
November 22, 2015 Isaiah 5:1-7; 11:1-5 God as Gardener

Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.
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For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!
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A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
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Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
November 15, 2015 Hosea 11:1-9 Sorrow and Love Flow Mingled Down

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols.
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I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.
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My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all.
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My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.
November 8, 2015 1 Kings 18:20-39 Showdown: God vs. Baal

Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him."
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Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; then call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it."
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Then they cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances until the blood gushed out over them. As midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no answer, and no response.
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At the time of the offering of the oblation, the prophet Elijah came near and said, "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding.
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Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, "The Lord indeed is God; the Lord indeed is God."
November 1, 2015 1 Kings 12:1-17, 25-29 Power. Oppression. Rivalry.

And they sent and called him; and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, "Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke that he placed on us, and we will serve you."
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Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the older men who had attended his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, "How do you advise me to answer this people?"
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But he disregarded the advice that the older men gave him, and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and now attended him.
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The king answered the people harshly. He disregarded the advice that the older men had given him and spoke to them according to the advice of the young men.
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Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and resided there; he went out from there and built Penuel. Then Jeroboam said to himself, "Now the kingdom may well revert to the house of David."
October 25, 2015 2 Samuel 5:1-5; 6:1-5;
Psalm 150
King David and The Ark of God

So there at Hebron, King David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel.
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Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim.
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They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill.
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David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs[d] and playing all kinds of musical instruments — lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.
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Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!
October 18, 2015 Ruth 1:1-17 Ruth and Naomi

The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.
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When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
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But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back each of you to your mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me."
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Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
Ruth said, "Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God."
October 11, 2015 Deuteronomy 5:1-21; 6:4-9 Hear O Israel

Moses convened all Israel, and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances that I am addressing to you today; you shall learn them and observe them diligently.
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Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.
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Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.
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Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.
Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
October 4, 2015 Exodus 1:8-14; 3:1-15 The Call of Moses

Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh.
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They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.
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He said further, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
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But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
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God also said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, 'The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.
September 27, 2015 Genesis 32:22-30 Jacob Wrestles with God

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
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Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me."
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"You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed."
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So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved."
September 20, 2015 Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7 God Visits Abraham and Sarah

He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground.
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Then one said, "I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son."
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The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?"
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Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him.
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And she said, "Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
September 13, 2015 Genesis 2:4b-25 The Garden of Eden

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
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then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.
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The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
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Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner."
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Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken."
September 6, 2015 Hebrews 11:1-16 Faith in the Word of God

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
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And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
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By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.
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All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
August 30, 2015 Hebrews 9:1-14 The Door to the Holy of Holies

Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary.
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Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies.
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But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
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For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!
August 23, 2015 Hebrews 4:14-5:10 Sympathy and Boldness - An Invitation

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you."
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Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
August 16, 2015 Hebrews 2:10-18 Jesus as Pioneer, Brother, Liberator

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
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"I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you."
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Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.
August 9, 2015 Hebrews 1:1-4 From the prophets to the Son

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.
He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
August 2, 2015 Song of Solomon
2:10-13; 8:6-7
The Song of Songs

My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;
for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
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Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one's house, it would be utterly scorned.
July 26, 2015 Ecclesiastes 1:1-11; 3:1-17 Wisdom Literature - "Skeptical" Wisdom

The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
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Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has already been, in the ages before us.
The people of long ago are not remembered, nor will there be any remembrance of people yet to come by those who come after them.
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For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
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I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well.
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work.
July 19, 2015 Proverbs 8:1-11; 22-36 Wisdom Literature

Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
"To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live."
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The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
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When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.
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For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favour from the Lord;
but those who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death.
July 12, 2015 Proverbs 1:1-7; 3:1-8 Wisdom Literature

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight,
for gaining instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity;
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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
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My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;
for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you.
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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
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It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.
July 5, 2015 Psalm 146 Praise

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
June 28, 2015 Psalm 40 Thanksgiving

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.
Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
Then I said, "Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
June 21, 2015 Psalm 27 Trust

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh — my adversaries and foes — they shall stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
June 14, 2015 Psalm 69 Lament

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.
More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; many are those who would destroy me, my enemies who accuse me falsely. What I did not steal must I now restore?
O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me, O Lord God of hosts; do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me, O God of Israel.
It is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my kindred, an alien to my mother's children.
It is zeal for your house that has consumed me; the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
When I humbled my soul with fasting, they insulted me for doing so.
When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them.
I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help
rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.
Do not let the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the Pit close its mouth over me.
Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
June 7, 2015 Psalm 113 Praise

Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
He seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.

May 31, 2015 Psalm 1 Orientation: When life is stable and the world seems trustworthy

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

May 24, 2015 Acts 2:1-4;
Romans 8:18-39
The Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost
Present Suffering and Future Glory

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
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I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
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In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
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For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May 17, 2015 Romans 6:1-14 Past, Present and Future

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?
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For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
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The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
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For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
May 10, 2015 Romans 5:1-11 We are Justified by Faith

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
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Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
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But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
May 03, 2015 Romans 1:1-17 The power of God for Salvation

To all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
. . .
I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.
. . .
I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith.
. . .
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "The one who is righteous will live by faith."
April 26, 2015 Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-18 Barnabas and Saul(Paul) in Lystra and Derbe

The Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
. . .
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. Paul called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
. . .
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”
. . .
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: "Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them."
. . .
Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
April 19, 2015 Acts 10:1-17, 34-35 The Totality of God's Inclusiveness - Cornelius, the Centurion

One day, at about three in the afternoon, he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
. . .
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.”
. . .
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
. . .
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
. . .
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
April 12, 2015 Matthew 28:16-20 The Great Commission

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
April 5, 2015 Matthew 28:1-10 HE IS RISEN!

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.
But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead,and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you."
So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
April 3, 2015 Matthew 27:27-61 GOOD FRIDAY

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
. . .
And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
. . .
Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
. . .
So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
March 29, 2015 Matthew 21:1-17 Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem

This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
. . .
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
. . .
Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you are making it a den of robbers."
. . .
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became angry and said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself'?"
March 22, 2015 Matthew 25:31-46 The Sheep and the Goats

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats."
. . .
"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."
. . .
"Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
. . .
"Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
March 15, 2015 Matthew 25:1-13 The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom."
. . .
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
. . .
Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
. . .
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
March 8, 2015 Matthew 22:1-14 The Parable of The Wedding Banquet

"The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy."
. . .
"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe.”
. . .
"Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
. . .
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
March 1, 2015 Matthew 20:1-16 Divine Fairness
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. "
. . .
“These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”
. . .
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
February 22, 2015 Matthew 18:15-35 Sin, Forgiveness and Mercy

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
. . .
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
. . .
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
February 18, 2015
(Ash Wednesday)
Matthew 18:1-9 Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
. . .
“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
. . .
“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire.”
February 15, 2015 Matthew 16:24-17:8 The Transfiguration

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
. . .
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
. . .
His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
. . .
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
February 8, 2015 Matthew 14:13-33 The Feeding of the 5,000

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
. . .
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
. . .
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
. . .
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
February 1, 2015 Matthew 6:7-21 The Lord's Prayer

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
. . .
When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
. . .
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
January 25, 2015 Matthew 5:1-20 Sermon on the Mount - The Beatitudes

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..."
. . .
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God..."
. . .
"You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world."
. . .
"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."
January 18, 2015 Matthew 4:1-17 Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
. . .
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down.”
. . .
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
. . .
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
January 11, 2015 Matthew 3:1-17 The Baptism of Jesus

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
. . .
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?”
. . .
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
. . .
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
January 4, 2015 Matthew 2:13-23 The Flight to Egypt

When they [Magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
. . .
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
. . .
Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
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