Sunday Sermons

(Sermons will be posted on Mondays)

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December 24, 2016 Luke 2:1-20 Jesus' Birth

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.
. . .
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger.
. . .
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"
. . .
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
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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 18, 2016 Luke 1:26-56 Jesus' Birth Announcement

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth.
. . .
The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
. . .
Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."
. . .
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
. . .
And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

December 11, 2016 Isaiah 61:1-11 The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;...
. . .
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines; but you shall be called priests of the Lord, you shall be named ministers of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.
. . .
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

December 4, 2016 Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 Turn to a Merciful God

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.
. . .
Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

November 27, 2016 Daniel 6:6-27 Daniel in the Lion's Den

All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an interdict, that whoever prays to anyone, divine or human, for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions.
. . .
The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God.

Then the conspirators came to the king and said to him, "Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no interdict or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed."
. . .
The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!"
. . .
When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?" Daniel then said to the king, "O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong."
. . .
Then King Darius wrote to all peoples and nations of every language throughout the whole world: "May you have abundant prosperity! I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: For he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end. He delivers and rescues, he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth; for he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions."

November 20, 2016 Jeremiah 36:1-8, 21-23,
27-28; then 31:31-34
Isaiah's Call and Sending

In the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that when the house of Judah hears of all the disasters that I intend to do to them, all of them may turn from their evil ways, so that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
. . .
Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary; and Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. Now the king was sitting in his winter apartment, and there was a fire burning in the brazier before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off and throw them into the fire in the brazier, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier.

Now, after the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah's dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which King Jehoiakim of Judah has burned.
. . .
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the Lord," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

November 13, 2016 Isaiah 6:1-8 Isaiah's Call and Sending

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!" Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: "Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I; send me!"

November 6, 2016 Jonah 1:1-17; 3:1-10 [4:1-11] Jonah and the City of Nineveh

"Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
. . .
But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up.
. . .
So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
. . .
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, "Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you."
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"By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands."

October 30, 2016 1 Kings 17:1-16 Elijah and the Widow

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you."
. . .
But she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die."
. . .
For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth."
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The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

October 23, 2016 2 Samuel 1:1-17 God's Promise to David

Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.
. . .
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.
. . .
Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

October 16, 2016 1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20;
2:1-10
Birth of Samuel; Hannah Sings

She made this vow: "O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head."
. . .
In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I have asked him of the Lord."
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There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
. . .
The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.

October 9, 2016 Exodus 32:1-14 The Golden Calf; The Forgiveness of God

Aaron said to them, "Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me."
. . .
He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord."
. . .
The Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation."
. . .
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, "I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.' " And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

October 2, 2016 Exodus 12:1-13; 13:1-8 Passover; Blood of the Lamb

They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
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The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
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Moses said to the people, "Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, because the Lord brought you out from there by strength of hand; no leavened bread shall be eaten.
. . .
You shall tell your child on that day, "It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.'

September 25, 2016 Genesis 37:3-8, 17-22,
26-34; 50:15-21
Joseph's Dream, Conflicts

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.
. . .
Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams."
. . .
Then Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers agreed.
. . .
Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, "We are here as your slaves."

Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones." In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

September 18, 2016 Genesis 15:1-6 Abraham's Descendants

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, "Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great."
. . .
And Abram said, "You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir."
. . .
He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be."

September 11, 2016

Pre-amble
Genesis 2 Creation and Fall

Pre-amble: Excerpt from "Diaries of Adam and Eve" by Mark Twain

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up — for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground — 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.
. . .
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."
. . .
The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

September 4, 2016 Luke 11:2-4 Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray
Forgive Us Our Sins


Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."

August 28, 2016 Luke 11:2-4 Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray
Your Kingdom Come


Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."

August 21, 2016 Luke 11:2-4 Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray
Hallowed Be Your Name


Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."

August 14, 2016 Luke 11:2-4 Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray

Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."

August 7, 2016 Job 42:7-17 Job is Commended by God

After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
. . .
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring.
. . .
After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children's children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.

July 31, 2016 Job 38:25-27;41:1-8;42:1-6 Job's Vision is Expanded; Job's Hope is Fulfilled

"Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain, and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass?"
. . .
Then Job answered the Lord: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

July 24, 2016 Job 14:7-15; 19:23-27 Job Demands a Hearing from God

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements — surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb? — when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped'?"

July 17, 2016 Job 14:7-15; 19:23-27 Job's Hope

For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.
. . .
If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.
. . .
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!

July 10, 2016 Job 3:1-10; 4:1-9; 7:11-21 Job's Anguish and Lament

"Let the day perish in which I was born, and the night that said, "A man-child is conceived.' Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, or light shine on it. Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds settle upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. That night — let thick darkness seize it! let it not rejoice among the days of the year; let it not come into the number of the months. Yes, let that night be barren; let no joyful cry be heard in it."
. . .
"But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed. Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope? "Think now, who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed."
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"I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone, for my days are a breath."
. . .
"Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be."

July 3, 2016 Job 1:1-22 A Wager between God and Satan

There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another's houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
. . .
The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!" So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
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"The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you."
"The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you."
"The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you."
"Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house, and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you."
. . .
He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.

June 26, 2016 Luke 9:51-62 Following Jesus

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him;
but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?"
But he turned and rebuked them.
Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."
Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."


June 19, 2016 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 Generosity

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
. . .
Now as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you — so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking. I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others.
. . .
For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has — not according to what one does not have.
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As it is written, "The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little."

June 12, 2016 2 Corinthians 5:1-21 Walk by Faith not by Sight

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.
. . .
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
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He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
. . .
Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
. . .
For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

June 5, 2016 2 Corinthians 4:1-15 Treasure in Clay Jars

Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.
. . .
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
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We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
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All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

May 29, 2016 2 Corinthians 2:1-10 Forgiveness

And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice.
. . .
For I wrote you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
. . .
This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
. . .
Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ.

May 22, 2016 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 Consolation

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.
. . .
Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.
. . .
He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Pentecost
May 15, 2016
Acts 2:1-4
1 Corinthians 12:1-13
Gifts of the Spirit

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
. . .
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
. . .
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
. . .
It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
. . .
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

Easter 7
May 8, 2016
Acts 18:1-4
1 Corinthians 15:1-26,51-57
Death Swallowed in Life

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
. . .
But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me — and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.
. . .
But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man.
. . .
For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
. . .
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Easter 6
May 1, 2016
Acts 18:1-4
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Paul's Letter Beseeching Love

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
. . .
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
. . .
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
. . .
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
. . .
Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.

Easter 5
April 24, 2016
Acts 18:1-4
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Paul Preaches in Corinth

After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers. Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks.
. . .
Paul's 1st Letter to the Corinthians
. . .
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
. . .
Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul”. Others are saying, “I follow Apollos”, or “I follow Peter”, or “I follow only Christ”.
. . .
Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

Easter 4
April 17, 2016
Acts 17:1-9
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul Preaches in Thessalonica

Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you."
. . .
But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar.
. . .
When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, "These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has entertained them as guests.
. . .
The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go.
. . .
Paul's 1st Letter to the Thessalonians
. . .
As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
. . .
And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you.
. . .
And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God.
. . .
And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven — Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.

Easter 3
April 10, 2016
Acts 3:1-10 Peter Heals in Jerusalem

Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o'clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in.
. . .
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms.
. . .
"I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk."
. . .
Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
. . .
All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Easter 2
April 3, 2016
Acts 1:1-14 Post-Resurrection Life

During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
. . .
"John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
. . .
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
. . .
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
. . .
They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

Easter Sunday
March 27, 2016
Mark 16:1-8 He Is Risen!

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.

And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.

They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"

When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.

But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."

So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
March 25, 2016
Mark 14:22-42
Mark 15:16-39
The Last Supper and Jesus' Arrest, Trial and Execution

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
. . .
And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want."
. . .
The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand."
. . .
And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
. . .
And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!"
. . .
Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was God's Son!"
Palm Sunday
March 20, 2016
Mark 11:1-11 Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.

If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.' "

They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street.

As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?"

They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.

Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.

Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Lent 5
March 13, 2016
Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 The End Times

Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down."
. . .
"When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs."
. . .
"Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
. . .
"Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come ... And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."
Lent 4
March 6, 2016
Mark 12:28-44 The Greatest Commandment

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"
. . .
Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that "he is one, and besides him there is no other"; and "to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength," and "to love one's neighbor as oneself, — this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
. . .
As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
. . .
"Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
Lent 3
February 28, 2016
Mark 12:1-12 The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

"A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard."
. . .
And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, "They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
. . .
"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone."
. . .
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.
Lent 2
February 21, 2016
Mark 10:32-52 Greatness

"See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again."
. . .
"Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory."
. . .
"Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."
. . .
"What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Lent 1
February 14, 2016
Mark 10:17-31 The First Shall Be Last

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
. . .
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
. . .
"Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
. . .
"But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
Ash Wednesday
February 10, 2016
Mark 9:30-37 Jesus Teaches the Disciples "Greatness"

"The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again."
. . .
But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.
. . .
"Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."
. . .
"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
February 7, 2016 Mark 8:27 - 9:8 Peter's Confession at Caesarea Philippi

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah."
. . .
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it."
. . .
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.
. . .
Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!"
January 31, 2016 Mark 6:1-31 Jesus Returns to His Hometown

On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
. . .
And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them."
. . .
Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him." But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old." But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised."
January 24, 2016 Mark 5:21-43 Jesus' Healing Miracles

Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live."
. . .
She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well."
. . .
When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping."
. . .
At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
January 17, 2016 Mark 4:1-34 Jesus Teaches in Parables

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables.
. . .
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables.
. . .
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
January 10, 2016 Mark 2:1-22 Jesus' New Kind of Ministry

"I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home." And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
. . .
"Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard this, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
. . .
"The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day."
January 3, 2016 Mark 1:21-45 Jesus Begins His Public Ministry

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.
. . .
"What is this? A new teaching — with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him."
. . .
And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
. . .
"See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
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