After Pentecost| Tuesday – 28 June 2022: Psalm 75; 2 Kings 3:4-20; Ephesians 5:6-20 ~ Understand what God wants you to do.

After Pentecost| Tuesday – 28 June 2022

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

Opening:

O God, your never-failing providence
sets in order all things both in heaven and on earth:
Put away from us all hurtful things,
and give us those things that are profitable for us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
Don’t act thoughtlessly,
but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
(Ephesians 5:16-17)

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Psalms Reading: Psalm 75 Poor Bishop Hooper

we give thanks god
we give thanks for your name is near
we give thanks god
we give thanks for your name is near
as men tell of
all your wonderful works
as men tell of
all your wonderful wonderful works

at the set time that i appoint
i will come and judge with equity
when the earth totters and the people shake
it is i who keep its pillars steady
it is i who keep its pillars steady

not from the east or from the west
not from the wilderness comes lifting up
but it is god who is tho only judge
putting down one and lifting up another

for in his hand there is a cup
full of wine and spices foaming up
it is well mixed and when he pours this
surely the wicked will drink

but as for me i will declare it
i will sing praise praise to the god of jacob

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OT Reading: 2 Kings 3:4-20 (NLT)

3:4 King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder. He used to pay the king of Israel an annual tribute of 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But after Ahab’s death, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Joram promptly mustered the army of Israel and marched from Samaria. On the way, he sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you join me in battle against him?”

And Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one. My troops are your troops, and my horses are your horses.” Then Jehoshaphat asked, “What route will we take?”

“We will attack from the wilderness of Edom,” Joram replied.

The king of Edom and his troops joined them, and all three armies traveled along a roundabout route through the wilderness for seven days. But there was no water for the men or their animals.

“What should we do?” the king of Israel cried out. “The Lord has brought the three of us here to let the king of Moab defeat us.”

But King Jehoshaphat of Judah asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord with us? If there is, we can ask the Lord what to do through him.”

One of King Joram’s officers replied, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to be Elijah’s personal assistant.”

Jehoshaphat said, “Yes, the Lord speaks through him.” So the king of Israel, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and the king of Edom went to consult with Elisha.

“Why are you coming to me?” Elisha asked the king of Israel. “Go to the pagan prophets of your father and mother!”

But King Joram of Israel said, “No! For it was the Lord who called us three kings here—only to be defeated by the king of Moab!”

Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I wouldn’t even bother with you except for my respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Now bring me someone who can play the harp.”

While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he said, “This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. But this is only a simple thing for the Lord, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! You will conquer the best of their towns, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their good trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones.”

The next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere.

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Million Little Miracles | Elevation Worship & Maverick City
Light of the World

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NT Reading: Ephesians 5:6-20 (NLT)

5:6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,

“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

Living by the Spirit’s Power

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Awake Oh Sleeper || Bending to Hear… || Kelanie Gloeckler

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Prayer: ACNA | BCP2019

+ O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices; that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path we may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

+ Hasten, O Father, the coming of your kingdom; and grant that we your servants, who now live by faith, may with joy behold your Son at his coming in glorious majesty; even Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

Closing: FaithandWorship.com | John Birch

As I adventure with you today
be the word that encourages,
the hand that reaches out,
each time I stumble.

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

After Pentecost – 3rd Sunday: 26 June 2022 – 1 Kings 19 :15 – 21; Ps 16; Gal 5:1,13-25; Luke 9: 51-62 ~ Moving on: No turning back!

After Pentecost – 3rd Sunday: 26 June 2022

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

Opening:

O God, your never-failing providence
sets in order all things both in heaven and on earth:
Put away from us all hurtful things,
and give us those things that are profitable for us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen

“Anyone who puts a hand to the plow
and then looks back
is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
(Luke 9:62)

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Alpha Omega – Bryan & Katie Torwalt
music meets heaven

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OT Reading: 1 Kings 19:15-21 (NLT)

19:15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

The Call of Elisha

19:19 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”

Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”

So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.

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Psalm Reading: Psalm16The Path of Life
Diocese of St. Benedict | Old Catholic Missionaries
[We exist to serve the poor]

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NT Reading: Gal 5:1,13-25 (NLT)

Freedom in Christ

5:1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

5:13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Living by the Spirit’s Power

5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

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Holy Spirit Living Breath of GodKeith & Kristyn Getty

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Gospel Reading: Luke 9:51-62 (NLT)

Opposition from Samaritans

9:51 As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. So they went on to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

9:57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”

The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”

But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”

Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

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No Turning BackBrandon Heath

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Prayer: ACNA | BCP2019

A Covenant Prayer | John Wesley (1703-1791)
[Please read before you pray]

+ I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.  Amen

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Closing: FaithandWorship.com | John Birch

As I adventure with you today,
be the strength I need to follow,
and as the day draws to a close
let me rest in your embrace.

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

Friday, 17 Jan 2020, Galatians 4:12-6:18 ~ Christ has truly set us free.

Friday, 17 Jan 2020

The Season of Epiphany

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

Opening:  (A Collect for Epiphany)

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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Reading: Galatians 4:12-6:18 (NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws.

You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?

Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them. If someone is eager to do good things for you, that’s all right; but let them do it all the time, not just when I’m with you.

Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. I wish I were with you right now so I could change my tone. But at this distance I don’t know how else to help you.

Abraham’s Two Children

Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says? The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.

These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. As Isaiah said,

“Rejoice, O childless woman,
you who have never given birth!

Break into a joyful shout,
you who have never been in labor!

For the desolate woman now has more children
than the woman who lives with her husband!”

And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.

But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

Freedom in Christ

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Living by the Spirit’s Power

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

We Harvest What We Plant

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

Paul’s Final Advice

Notice what large letters i use as i write these closing words in my own handwriting.

Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
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Reflection:

Christ has truly set us free.

Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free…. (vs 5.1)

We who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus… what is important is faith expressing itself in love.
(vs 5.5-6)

In this last portion of Paul’s letter, his emphasis is on the freedom that we have through faith in Jesus Christ. His concern is that his readers not squander the freedom that they have been given by lapsing into either legalism or license – both of which distort the Gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Note that –

Christ has set us free from:

  • becoming enslaved children under God’s Law
  • always trying to make ourselves right with God
  • living to satisfy our sinful human nature
  • living without power to carry out our good intentions
  • living sinful lives under the judgement of God

Christ has set us free to:

  • become a free child of God’s Promise
  • live in God’s grace through faith in Christ
  • live to serve one another in love
  • live in the power of the Holy Spirit to bear good fruit
  • live godly lives under the leadership of the Holy Spirit

Paul sums it all up this way –

What is important is faith expressing itself in love. (vs5.6)

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—
especially to those in the family of faith.
(vs 6.9-10)

Questions for consideration:

  • How has legalism (keeping religious rules) influenced the freedom your have received in Christ? Please explain.
  • How has license (abandoning all restraint) influenced the freedom you have received in Christ? Please explain.
  • When you consider how you go about your daily affairs –  do you live as a child of God’s Promise. or a child of God’s Law? Please explain.
  • When you think of doing good for someone – who comes to mind? Please explain.

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Prayer: For living in God’s Grace

+ Heavenly Father: You have made peace with us through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. In your service is perfect freedom. Defend us against all the assaults of our enemies; that we may surely trust in the power of your Spirit and not fear any adversaries within or without.

+Almighty and and everlasting God: you have safely brought us to this day. Grant we may not fall into sin, or run into any kind of danger; but that we may honor you and do what is right in your sight.

+ Gracious God: in you we live and move and have our being. Guide and govern us by your Spirit, that in all the cares and workings of our life, we may remember that we are with us.

We ask this as your children of Promise, though our Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“I Am Free” – Newsboys

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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

Thursday Morning: 08 Aug 2019 – Ephesians 5:18-33 ~ Be filled with the Holy Spirit… at home.

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 – Ephesians 5:18-33 (NLT)

Living by the Spirit’s Power

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
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Morning Reflection:

Be filled with the Holy Spirit… at home.

“Be filled with the Holy Spirit… and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
– Ephesians 5:18, 21 –

In yesterday’s reading, Paul exhorted us to live as Jesus lived and to love as Jesus loved – both of these involve the sacrifice of self and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Which is where we pick up today’s reading – Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit empowers us to imitate Christ, and it also manifests itself in thanksgiving and “making music to the Lord in our hearts.”

Then Paul moves on to another subject – the relationship between husbands and wives – or is it? He prefaces his remarks with – ” submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” If we follow his reasoning in Chapter 5, we can only live and love as Jesus lived if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and loving like Jesus loved requires the sacrifice of self (submission to one another) for the good of those closest to us – our family – out of reverence for Christ.

Our families are the laboratories of our faith – our parents, spouses, and children are our nearest neighbors and they have been given to us by God. It’s easy to love everybody, but it’s tough to love those with whom we “rub elbows” every day. It requires the sacrifice of submission to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Questions for consideration:

  • What does your closest family look like? With whom do you “rub elbows” every day? Please explain.
  • Are all of your family believers? How does that affect your relationships with them? Please explain.
  • How does being a man or a woman affect your relationships within your family? Please explain.
  • What does the sacrifice of submission mean for you in practical terms? Please explain.
  • Where do you need the Holy Spirit’s help to live reverently for Christ in your family? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer – For Families

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you set the solitary in families: We commend to your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and true godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy matrimony, have been made one flesh; turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be joined to one another with bonds of loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“It Is Well” – Kristene DiMarco | You Make Me Brave

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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

3rd Sunday after Pentecost, 30 Jun 2019: Gal 5:1,13-25; Luke 9:51-62 ~ Free to put Jesus first!

Third Sunday after Pentecost

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

Opening Prayer:

Sovereign God, ruler of our hearts, you call us to obedience and sustain us in freedom. Keep us true to the way of your Son, that we may leave behind all that hinders us and, with eyes fixed on him, walk surely in the path of the kingdom, where he lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“I am Free” – Newsboys

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A Reading from the New Testament: Gal 5:1,13-25 (NLT)

Freedom in Christ

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
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For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Living by the Spirit’s Power

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 9:51-62 (NLT)

Opposition from Samaritans

As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. So they went on to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”

The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”

But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”

Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
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Intercession:

Almighty God: You have created a new people for Your very own possession through faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. And, You have set us free from sin and shame to love and serve You and to live as citizens of Your coming Kingdom through the power of Your Spirit at work in us. Hear our prayer, gracious God, for all those who follow Jesus –

+ That all church leaders may faithfully and courageously proclaim the coming of Your Kingdom….
+ That all church leaders may receive the gifts they need for the ministries You have given them….
+ That all believers may follow Jesus wholeheartedly as guided and empowered by Your Spirit….
+ That all believers may grow in grace and visibly demonstrate the good fruit of Your Spirit in their lives….
+ That all who are fearful and anxious may receive Your support through the loving-kindness of believing friends….
+ That all believers suffering persecution may be delivered from evil and receive help, healing and hope….
+ That all believers on vacation may travel safely and be renewed by the wonders that You show them….
+ That all believers may receive Your mercy and help where we need it most….

Almighty God, our Refuge and our Strength: Hear our prayers and work Your perfect will in our lives, we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“No Longer Slaves” – Jonathan David & Melissa Helser

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Closing: – Psalm 16 (excerpts)

You are my inheritance, O Lord. Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge…
You are my inheritance, O Lord. I bless the LORD who counsels me…
You are my inheritance, O Lord. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices…
You are my inheritance, O Lord. You will show me the path to life…

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