Monday of The 3rd Week of Easter, 27 April 2020 – John 6:22, Acts 6:8-15, Psalm 119 ~ What does God want from me?

Monday of The 3rd Week of Easter, 27 April 2020

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

Opening:

Almighty God, you gave your only Son to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and an example of godly living: Give us grace to thankfully receive his inestimable benefits, and to daily follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

A Reading from the Gospels: John 6:22-29 (NLT)

Jesus, the Bread of Life

The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 6:8-15 (NLT)

Stephen Is Arrested

Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people. But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him. They were Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and the province of Asia. None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke.

So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, “We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.” This roused the people, the elders, and the teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council.

The lying witnesses said, “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses. We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”

At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s.
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(The Word Is Alive) – Casting Crowns

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Responsorial Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30 –

+ Blessed are they who follow the word of the Lord!

Even princes sit and speak against me,
but I will meditate on your decrees.
Your laws please me;
they give me wise advice.

+ Blessed are they who follow the word of the Lord!

I told you my plans, and you answered.
Now teach me your decrees.
Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.

+ Blessed are they who follow the word of the Lord!

Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
I have chosen to be faithful;
I have determined to live by your regulations.

+ Blessed are they who follow the word of the Lord!
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Closing: Matthew 4:4

‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

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

Wednesday Morning: 23 Jan 2019 – John 6:22-40 ~ the man behind the miracles

Wednesday Morning

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

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 6:22-40 (NLT)

Jesus, the Bread of Life

The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
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Morning Reflection:

“Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.”
– John 6:27

Our reading of John Chapter 6 continues – Jesus’ miraculous sign of feeding the five thousand has left the crowd with a hunger for more…. But more of what? More miracles, and the ability to perform miracles themselves. And when they ask Jesus what they can do to perform miracles, he responds –

“This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
– John 6:29

And that’s where they get hung up – they want the miracles, but not the man behind the miracles. They want daily bread, but not the Bread of Life offered by Jesus. They have seen him, and still they don’t believe in him. And Jesus’ declaration makes no sense to them –

“For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him
should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
– John 6:40

In summary: Believing in miracles won’t get you to heaven, but believing in the man behind the miracles will.

Questions for consideration:

  • What are you seeking from Jesus – your daily bread, the bread of eternal life, or something else?
  • What does believing in Jesus involve for you? Do you consider it work?

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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: I believe in Jesus Christ – Son of God and Son of Man – whom you sent into the world to give us eternal life. Soften my heart; change my mind; and bend my will that, through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within me, I may become more like him, and be raised with him on the last day – all to the glory of your name. Amen.
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“I Am The Bread of Life” – The University of Notre Dame Folk Choir

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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

Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Fri, 18 Aug – John 5-6 ~ I believe in Jesus

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: John 5-6 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

Jesus Heals a Lame Man

John 5:1-9 (NLT)Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath….
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Lord Jesus: In some sense, we are all blind, lame, and paralyzed laying on our porches waiting for someone to come along to help us. And, truth be told, we’ve grown accustomed to our infirmities and have adjusted our life expectations to accommodate them. Open our hearts and minds to the wonderful possibilities of new life in you – as a healed and forgiven person with clear sight, whole bodies, and unchained hope. In short, Lord, give us a glimpse of eternal life.

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John 5:19-24 (NLT) – So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.

“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
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Lord Jesus: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Thank you for giving me life, now and forever. Fill me with your Spirit and bind me to your Word, that I may listen, believe, and honor you in all things and give glory to God the Father.

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Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

John 6:1-2 (NLT) – After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick.

John 6:10-15 (NLT)“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.

Jesus Walks on Water

John 6:16-21 (NLT)That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!
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Lord Jesus: You are the Son of God and Lord of all. You are not bound by the natural order of things; even the wind and waves obey you; in you, all things are possible. Take me beyond the human limitations of my thinking, that I may trust you even in the seemingly impossible circumstances of my life. Increase my faith and make me steadfast in prayer, that I may live without fear in your presence.

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Jesus, the Bread of Life

John 6:26-27 (NLT)Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

John 6:35-40 (NLT) – Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

Jesus 6:53-59 (NLT)So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”

He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
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Lord Jesus: I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. Thank for the union with the Father made possible through your sacrifice of body and blood. Fill me with a sense of wonder and awe at the mystery of your presence in our midst. And, thank you for your redemption and promised resurrection to eternal life.

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Many Disciples Desert Jesus

John 6:66-69 (NLT)At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”

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“This I Believe” – Hillsong Worship


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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!