Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Thu, 17 Aug – Hosea 1-7 ~ God is faithful even when we are not

Reading, Reflection & Prayer

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

Opening(Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Please Read: Hosea 1-7 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

Hosea’s Wife and Children

Hosea 1:2-3 (NLT)When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”

So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son.

Charges against an Unfaithful Wife

Hosea 2:2-4 (NLT)“But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—for she is no longer my wife, and I am no longer her husband. Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face and the clothing that exposes her breasts. Otherwise, I will strip her as naked
as she was on the day she was born. I will leave her to die of thirst, as in a dry and barren wilderness. And I will not love her children, for they were conceived in prostitution.

The Lord’s Love for Unfaithful Israel

Hosea 2:14-16 (NLT)“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’

Hosea 2:19-20 (NLT) – I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord.

Hosea’s Wife Is Redeemed

Hosea 3:1-3 (NLT)Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.”

So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine. Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution….”

The Lord’s Case against Israel

Hosea 4:1-4 (NLT)Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: “There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere—one murder after another. That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away….”

“Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you.

A Call to Repentance

Hosea 6:1-6 (NLT)“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

“O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?” asks the Lord. “For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight. I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces—to slaughter you with my words, with judgments as inescapable as light. I want you to show love,  not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

Israel’s Love for Wickedness

Hosea 7:1-2 (NLT)“I want to heal Israel, but its sins are too great. Samaria is filled with liars. Thieves are on the inside and bandits on the outside! Its people don’t realize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds are all around them, and I see them all.
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Merciful God: Thank you for your faithfulness to us, even when we are faithless. We confess, we are a faithless people, prone to wander.

Forgive us Lord. Teach us what it means to be faithful to You, to Your Word, and to Your church. Give us steadiness and steadfastness as we follow You.

Thank you for your loving-kindness that knows no bounds. Draw us deeper into your love that we may know you, love you, and serve you through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Great is Thy Faithfulness” – Songs of Praise

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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

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

Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Wed, 16 Aug – Proverbs 19 ~ misplaced anger

Reading, Reflection & Prayer

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

Opening(Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Please Read: Proverbs 19 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

Peanut Gallery: These are the words of wisdom that spoke to me today. How is God speaking to you through Proverbs 19?

Proverbs 19:3 (NLT) – People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.

Wise and True God: Overcome my infinite capacity for self-deception, that I may be able to distinguish between your words of wisdom and my own foolishness; and, in knowing the difference, follow your leading.

+ May I continually turn to your Word of truth to teach me, convict me, correct me that I may do what is right in your sight.

+ May I accept responsibility for my own foolishness, and shoulder the consequences with equanimity.

+ May I continually seek out godly advice and counsel that your plans may prevail in my life.

+ May I place loyalty, honesty and hard work above sketchy schemes for quick gain.

+ May I cheerfully help the poor and disadvantaged as unto the Lord.

+ May I control my anger by overlooking wrongs done to me.

Wise and True God: You discipline those you love. Forgive my foolishness and place within me a proper sense of reverence and fear that I may love and serve you freely and joyfully through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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“Be Still for the Presence of the Lord” – BBC


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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

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

Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Tue, 15 Aug – 1 Chronicles 5-9 ~ beloved and blessed

Reading, Reflection & Prayer

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

Opening(Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Please Read: 1 Chronicles 5-9 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

The First-born’s Birthright

1 Chronicles 5:1-2 (NLT) –  The oldest son of Israel was Reuben. But since he dishonored his father by sleeping with one of his father’s concubines, his birthright was given to the sons of his brother Joseph. For this reason, Reuben is not listed in the genealogical records as the firstborn son. The descendants of Judah became the most powerful tribe and provided a ruler for the nation, but the birthright belonged to Joseph.

The Musicians

1 Chronicles 6:31-32 (NLT)David assigned the following men to lead the music at the house of the Lord after the Ark was placed there. They ministered with music at the Tabernacle[m] until Solomon built the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They carried out their work, following all the regulations handed down to them.

The Priests

1 Chronicles 6:49 (NLT)Only Aaron and his descendants served as priests. They presented the offerings on the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense, and they performed all the other duties related to the Most Holy Place. They made atonement for Israel by doing everything that Moses, the servant of God, had commanded them.

The Returning Exiles

1 Chronicles 9:1-3 (NLT)The people of Judah were exiled to Babylon because they were unfaithful to the Lord. The first of the exiles to return to their property in their former towns were priests, Levites, Temple servants, and other Israelites. Some of the people from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh came and settled in Jerusalem.

The Gatekeepers

1 Chronicles 9:22-23 (NLT)In all, there were 212 gatekeepers in those days, and they were listed according to the genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men. These gatekeepers and their descendants, by their divisions, were responsible for guarding the entrance to the house of the Lord when that house was a tent.
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Matthew 17:4-6 (NLT)

Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.

Romans 8:29 (NLT)

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Heavenly Father: Your blessing to Israel was conditional based on obedience; and they paid dearly for their disobedience. Thank you for bestowing on us your unconditional blessing through faith and trust in your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

+  Thank you for the inheritance of new life we have received through Jesus, the first-born of your new creation.

+ Thank you for judging us both guilty and forgiven through Jesus, our appointed Judge and our Savior.

+ Thank you for offering us your mercy and help when we need it most through Jesus, our great High Priest.

Heavenly Father: Receive our worship and praise in spirit and in truth through Jesus Christ our Lord.

+ Give us new songs to sing of your loving-kindness that many will see what you have done for us and put their trust in you.

+ Fill us with your Spirit that we may sing and continually make music to you in our hearts.

+ Fix our minds on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable that we may continually give thanks for your goodness to us.

Heavenly Father: Thank you for making us full participants in the inheritance of the saints in your Kingdom of light, with all the blessings and benefits reserved for your children.

+ Guard the hearts of your children in Christ Jesus, and credit to us his perfect obedience.

+ We are your children; teach us how to live in a way that brings honor to your name.

+ Thank you for writing your Word of truth on our hearts; fill us with your life-giving Spirit that your truth may be applied and lived out in our lives.

Heavenly Father: You alone are worthy of our worship and praise; you have given us a priceless inheritance with the immeasurable blessings of your Kingdom through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Savior – who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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 “Good, Good Father” – Jenn & Brian Johnson(Bethel Church)


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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

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

Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Mon, 14 Aug – Numbers 1-4 ~ organized around the Tabernacle

Reading, Reflection & Prayer

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

Opening(Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Please Read: Numbers 1-4 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

Registration of Israel’s Troops

Numbers 1:1-4 (NLT) –  A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai. On the first day of the second month of that year he said, “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war. You and Aaron must register the troops, and you will be assisted by one family leader from each tribe.

Organization for Israel’s Camp

Numbers 2:1-2 (NLT)Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron: “When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle, but at some distance from it.

Numbers 2:17 (NLT)“Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner.

Numbers 2:32-34 (NLT)In summary, the troops of Israel listed by their families totaled 603,550. But as the Lord had commanded, the Levites were not included in this registration. So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them.

Levites Appointed for Service

Numbers 3:5-7 (NLT)Then the Lord said to Moses, “Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants. They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle.

Philippians 2:9-11 (NLT)God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lord God: Under the Old Covenant, you organized the life of your people with the Tabernacle at the center of it all. And now, under the New Covenant, you organize the life of your people with Jesus at the center of it all.

+ Thank you for the gift of life, abundant and eternal, for all who believe in your name.
+ Thank you for working for my good (I love you Lord}, and for calling me according to your good purpose.
+ Thank you for reminding me again that it’s not about me, it’s all about you; my life does not revolve around me.
+ Help me to ignore all the distractions around me, and make seeking your Kingdom my first priority.

Lord God: You alone are worthy of my worship and praise; call me into your presence throughout the day, that I might live with my end in mind – when one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to your honor and glory. Amen.
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“Jesus at the Center” – Darlene Zschech


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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

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

Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Sat, 12 Aug – 2 Thessalonians 1-3 ~ encouragement for the persecuted church

Reading, Reflection & Prayer

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

Opening(Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Please Read: 2 Thessalonians 1-3 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

Encouragement for the Persecuted Church

2 Thessalonians 1:3-11 (NLT) – 

Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.

And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Merciful God: Thank you the endurance and faithfulness of Christians who are suffering persecution and great hardship, especially in North Korea, Syria, and Iraq. Hear our payer on their behalf –

+ For those who are undergoing great physical and emotional pain through imprisonment, torture, sexual abuse, and dislocation – relieve their suffering…. Lord, hear us.

+ For families and communities that have been devastated by war and violence, for those paralyzed by grief and fear – have mercy on them and help them where they need it most…. Lord, hear us.

+ For courage and boldness in the Holy Spirit in the face of threats of violence and imprisonment – that they may speak the truth, and see great signs and wonders done in the name of Jesus…. Lord, hear us.

+ For cooperation, and unity of heart and mind, among believers – that they might share with those in need what meager resources they may have, and rebuild your Church together…. Lord, hear us.

+ For world leaders and rulers – that they might recognize the plight of your people and act wisely, justly, and swiftly to relieve their suffering…. Lord, hear us.

+ For the persecutors and oppressors, and all who are perpetrating evil, violence, and suffering on your people – that they may confess their sins and turn from their wicked ways…. Lord, hear us.

Merciful God: Uphold your Church with your powerful right hand. Pour out your Spirit upon them, that even in their suffering they may live in a way that honors you – through the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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“In the wake of ISIS” – The Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Sienna return to what’s left of their homes in Qaraqosh, Iraq.

Christians Look to Revive ISIS-Ravaged Town: ‘They Can’t Defeat God’ – CBN News

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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

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