Thursday Morning: 11 Jul 2019 – 1 Peter 4:1-19 ~ Live for God and Expect Suffering.

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: Guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our lives we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – 1 Peter 4:1-19 (NLT)

Living for God

So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Suffering for Being a Christian

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? And also,

“If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?”

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
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Morning Reflection:

Live for God and Expect Suffering

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right,
and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

– 1 Peter 5:19 –

Once again, Peter calls us to live for God – even if it involves physical suffering – after the example of Jesus Christ. In suffering with Christ, our sinful desires are replaced with the desire to do God’s will. So then, how shall we live for God?

+ Reject evil things – such as immorality and lust, drunkenness and wild parties, and idol worship.
+ Pursue godly things – earnest and disciplined prayer, deep love for other believers, and hospitality to those in need.
+ Serve one another – use your spiritual gifts of speaking and helping with all the strength and energy that God supplies, all to his glory.

And, don’t be surprised by suffering, rather be glad. Why?

+ Suffering makes us partners with Christ in his suffering.
+ Suffering with Christ will result in seeing the joy of his glory when it is revealed.
+ Insults as a Christian result in the blessing of God’s Spirit resting on us.
+ Suffering for being a Christian removes all fear of God’s final judgement.

“We may not always understand what God is doing,
but we know that He is doing what is best for us. We do not live on explanations;
we live on promises.” (Warren Wiersbe)

Questions for consideration:

  • In living for God, what are some evil things that God is calling you to reject? What are some godly things that God is calling you to pursue? Please explain.
  • Have you faced suffering for being a Christian? What form did it take? Please explain.
  • Do you identify with Christ in any of your suffering? How has suffering shaped your life for the better?  Please explain.
  • What promises of God do you find most helpful when faced with suffering? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:  For Persecuted Christians –

Sovereign God, we worship You and we acknowledge that You know all those who suffer in Your name.

  • We remember those who are imprisoned for their faith and ask that they would join with the Apostle Paul to see that even though they remain captive, their chains have furthered the gospel, not frustrated it. May they inspire and embolden their fellow believers to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

God of all comfort, for those who are tortured both in body and mind, give them the grace to endure and to see their suffering as part of following in Christ’s footsteps.

  • Merciful God, for those asked to pay the ultimate price; who are martyred because of their love for You, may they truly know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.

Father God, for those who are widowed and orphaned may they know the comfort that comes from Your promised presence even when they walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

  • May they be strengthened by Your Spirit, enabling them to rejoice with the psalmist as they proclaim that the Lord will not abandon them in death.

Heavenly Father, we ask that You would make us ever mindful of our brothers and sisters around the world who need us to stand with them as they suffer in Your name.

  • Teach us what it means to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony; we pray that we would not love our lives so much as to shrink from death. O Lord, hear our prayer.

Faithful God, we trust in Your promises and pray that You would strengthen us and empower us to live godly lives and endure suffering after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.
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“O God, Do Thou Sustain Me” – The Overholt Family

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: Fri, 19 August – Proverbs 3:5-6; Galatians 2:19-20 ~ Christ lives in me

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through a belief in the Threeness, through a confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

Morning Reading: Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Morning Reading: Galatians 2:19-20 (NLT)

christ in me

For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Prayer

Christ is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation, and the first to be born from the dead. All things are to be reconciled through him because he made peace by his death on the cross.

+ Lord Jesus, we have been baptized into your death: cleanse us of greed and envy, and clothe us in the strength and gentleness of your love.
+ Lord Jesus, we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit who has been given to us: confirm us in your service, and help us to bear witness to you in the society in which we live.
+ Lord Jesus, you continue to work in your faithful people: create through us a new world where injustice and destruction will give way to growth, freedom and hope.
+ Lord Jesus, come to us today: bestow a full measure of your grace on us as we come to you in prayer.

Lord God, as you work within us to keep us in the path of righteousness, console us in this present life and grant us eternal joys in the next. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Trust In Jesus” – Third Day

Blessing

Christ with me, Christ in me.

Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left; Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down; Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me; Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.

Christ with me, Christ in me.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: 29 May – Galatians 2:19-20; Mark 11:11-26 ~ Christ lives in me

Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and prayer:

Lord Jesus, come to us today.
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Christ is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation, and the first to be born from the dead. All things are to be reconciled through Him because He made peace by His death on the cross.

+ We have been baptized into Your death- may I be cleansed of greed and envy, and clothed in the strength and gentleness of Your love.
+ We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit who has been given to us – confirm me in Your service, and help me to bear witness to You in the society in which I live.
+ Before You suffered, You longed to eat the passover with your disciples – as I take part in Your eucharist, may I share in Your resurrection.
+ You continue to work in Your faithful people – create through us a new world where injustice and destruction will give way to growth, freedom and hope.

Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace on me, as You work within me to keep me in the path of Your commandments, may I receive consolation in this present life and eternal joys in the next. Through my Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

A Reading from the Letters: Galatians 2:19-20 (NLT)

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For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law — I stopped trying to meet all its requirements — so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
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I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord. (John 15:16)
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A Reading from the Gospels: Mark 11:11-26 (NLT)

So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.

When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because he people were so amazed at his teaching.

forgiveness-quotes-to-forgive-is-to-set-a-prisoner-free-and-discover-that-the-prisoner-was-you1

That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city

The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it had withered from the roots up. Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died!”

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing:

May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen