Wednesday, 25 Aug 2021: Psalm 11; 1 Kings 6:15-38; John 15:16-25 ~ pray for one another

Wednesday, 25 Aug 2021:

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

Opening:

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your
Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your
help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through
Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
“If the world hates you,
know that it has hated me before it hated you.”
(John 15:17-18)

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Psalms: Psalm 11 

Since I Take Refuge In The LORD – Karl Kohlhase
[A prayer of confident trust when tempted with anxiety, fear, doubt, and worry.]

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OT Reading: 1 Kings 6:15-38 (ESV)

6:15  He lined the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar. From the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood, and he covered the floor of the house with boards of cypress. He built twenty cubits of the rear of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls, and he built this within as an inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place. The house, that is, the nave in front of the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. The cedar within the house was carved in the form of gourds and open flowers. All was cedar; no stone was seen. The inner sanctuary he prepared in the innermost part of the house, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid an altar of cedar. And Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. And he overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high. Five cubits was the length of one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the length of the other wing of the cherub; it was ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. The other cherub also measured ten cubits; both cherubim had the same measure and the same form. The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was that of the other cherub. He put the cherubim in the innermost part of the house. And the wings of the cherubim were spread out so that a wing of one touched the one wall, and a wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; their other wings touched each other in the middle of the house. And he overlaid the cherubim with gold.

Around all the walls of the house he carved engraved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms. The floor of the house he overlaid with gold in the inner and outer rooms.

For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors of olivewood; the lintel and the doorposts were five-sided. He covered the two doors of olivewood with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. He overlaid them with gold and spread gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.

So also he made for the entrance to the nave doorposts of olivewood, in the form of a square, and two doors of cypress wood. The two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. On them he carved cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, and he overlaid them with gold evenly applied on the carved work. He built the inner court with three courses of cut stone and one course of cedar beams.

In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications. He was seven years in building it.

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Another in the Fire – Hillsong UNITED

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NT Reading: John 15:16-25 (ESV)

15:16  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

The Hatred of the World

15:18  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

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O God, Do Thou Sustain Me – Anabaptist Martyr Hymns

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Afghan Pastors Ask for Prayer – by Josh Manley
View Original Article Here

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them,
and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” (Heb 13:3)

As Taliban forces have swallowed up Afghanistan and even now the capital city of Kabul, pastors in the country have been emailing and messaging me over the last few days, even hours, anxious for prayer.

Pastoring just a short flight away in the United Arab Emirates, I’ve had the opportunity to build partnerships with these men over the last decade. One house church leader sent me a picture of the small room he was hiding in with his family. He wrote, “This is where I am living. We are hidden right now in different areas.”

Another pastor wrote, “We can’t go out like normal. It’s dangerous. We moved to one of my friend’s houses, but it’s not safe at all.” Mindy Belz at WORLD reports that pastors say the Taliban has contacted them saying they are coming for them.

Here are specific ways they have asked for you and your church to pray.

1. Physical Protection and Provision

I asked one brother if he was presently in physical danger. He replied, “Not only me but my family too…because of me.”

We need to pray that our sovereign God would physically protect our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Boldly go to the throne of the universe and plead with our God to restrain evil and confuse the plans of evildoers.

Pray also for physical provision. One brother asked that we would pray “for financial issues because no one can take out money from the bank and ATM’s are empty.”

A number have specifically asked that we would pray for visas to get out of the country. So let me throw in an additional request to you, dear reader: Is helping secure a visa something that you or someone you know are in a position to help with? If so, do what you can.

Whether you are or not, you do have access to the throne of the universe, and you can ask our heavenly Father to provide. Pray for physical protection and provision.

“Be not silent, O God of my praise! For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause.” (Ps 109:1 – 2)

2. Spiritual Provision

Every church leader who has emailed or texted me has asked that we would pray for the Lord to strengthen them in their faith—that they would “stay strong in the Lord, who is the Sovereign King,” as one put it.

“Pray for me to be strong in my faith. It is really hard to stay here,” said another.

If you are reading this, you have the opportunity to ask God to protect and even increase the faith of our brothers and sisters in the Afghan church. They don’t know what today—much less tomorrow—will bring. But they can be certain that our God will supply every need of theirs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19).

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Rom 15:13)

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might…” (Col 1:11a)

3. Gospel Advance

One brother described these days as “dark” and said they feel like a “storm.” Then he asked that we pray for “revival.” What faith! Here is a man whose life is in danger asking us, who enjoy so many privileges and freedoms, to pray that God would open the eyes of the spiritually blind and give life to dead hearts.

Wouldn’t it be like our God to work in these horrible circumstances to make his great name known? While our Afghan brothers and sisters face terrible uncertainty, we should be like the believers in Acts 12 who themselves faced serious threats and persecution but, without ceasing, offered up earnest prayers to God.

“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men.” (2 Thes 3:1-2)

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jer 32:27)

“Our Hope Is Not in Politics, but in Jesus”

Over the past weeks, U. S. missions agencies have pulled out their workers. I have had the great privilege to minister the Word to some of them as they have processed their own grief and confusion. I’m grateful they could get out. Pray for them as well as for any who chose to stay.

But pray especially for the Afghans who have no choice but to stay, such as one brother who has already spent time imprisoned for his faith in Afghanistan. He has assured me again and again, “We can trust that our Lord is mighty and will care for his children.” And: “Our hope is not in politics but in Jesus who is the King.”

This is not escapism. This is biblical faith when all earthly prospects are completely bleak. Don’t you know that such faith brings great glory and joy to our Father in heaven?

While these days are dark and tragic, remember that God sits on his throne in the heavens. He holds the rulers of this world in derision. He promises to make the nations his Son’s heritage, the ends of the earth his possession (Psalm 2:4, 8).

+ 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.

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Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us, wherever He may send us.
May He guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storm.
May He bring us home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown us.
May He bring us 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.

Tuesday, 24 Aug 2021: Psalm 11; 1 Kings 6:1-14; Ephesians 6:21-24 ~ encourage one another

Tuesday, 24 Aug 2021:

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

Opening:

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your
Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your
help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through
Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“I have sent [Tychicus] to you for this very purpose,
that you may know how we are,
and that he may encourage your hearts.”
(Ephesians 6:22)

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Psalms: Psalm 11 
The Lord Is in His Holy Temple
To the choirmaster. Of David.

Psalm 11 – Tim Ophus

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OT Reading: 1 Kings 6:1-14 (ESV)

Solomon Builds the Temple

6:1  In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. The house that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. And he made for the house windows with recessed frames. He also built a structure against the wall of the house, running around the walls of the house, both the nave and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around. The lowest story was  five cubits broad, the middle one was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad. For around the outside of the house he made offsets on the wall in order that the supporting beams should not be inserted into the walls of the house.

When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built.

The entrance for the lowest story was on the south side of the house, and one went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. So he built the house and finished it, and he made the ceiling of the house of beams and planks of cedar. He built the structure against the whole house, five cubits high, and it was joined to the house with timbers of cedar.

Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”

So Solomon built the house and finished it.

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I’ll Never Forsake You – Caleb Garraway & Katie Garraway

O soul, are you weary from wave upon wave
Of grief and affliction whom no man can save?
Has sickness surrounded, or unending night?
Uncertainty stolen your joy and your might?

O doubting, o fearful– remember His care,
The helpless and hopeless need never despair
For from your afflictions His glory shall spring–
The deeper your sorrow, the louder you’ll sing!
Remember Your Father– His promise, His love:

“I’ll never forsake you, this pain will not break you,
For I will remake you for unending joy;
My promise is faithful though now it is painful;
No power can trample My covenant love.”

Remember your Savior– His grief and His pain,
The lonely affliction, unmerited shame.
Though you had betrayed Him, He died in your place;
The joy set before Him He offers by grace.
Remember Your Father– His promise, His love:

“I’ll never forsake you, this pain will not break you,
For I will remake you for unending joy;
My promise is faithful though now it is painful;
No power can trample My covenant love.”

“I’ll never forsake you, this pain will not break you,
For I will remake you for unending joy;
My promise is faithful though now it is painful;
No power can trample My covenant love.”

Remember Your Father– His promise, His love.

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NT Reading: Ephesians 6:21-24 (ESV)

6:21  So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

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Benediction (As You Go) ~ Selah

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Prayer:

+ Lord, make us instruments of your peace: where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is error, truth; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that we may seek not so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

+ Christ as a light, illumine and guide us. Christ as a shield, overshadow us. Christ under us; Christ over us; Christ beside us on our left and our right. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom we speak; in the mouth of each who speaks to us. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside us on our left and our right.

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Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us, wherever He may send us.
May He guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storm.
May He bring us home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown us.
May He bring us 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.

Monday, 23 Aug 2021: Psalm 11; 1 Kings 5:13-18; Ephesians 5:21-6:9 ~ submit to one another

Monday, 23 Aug 2021:

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

Opening:

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your
Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your
help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through
Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
(Ephesians 5:21)

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Psalms: Psalm 11 
Come now, My Friend – My Soul Among Lions

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OT Reading: 1 Kings 5:13-18 (ESV)

5:13  King Solomon drafted forced labor out of all Israel, and the draft numbered 30,000 men. And he sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts. They would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the draft. Solomon also had 70,000 burden-bearers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country, besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief officers who were over the work, who had charge of the people who carried on the work. At the king’s command they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the men of Gebal did the cutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.

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Goodness Of God ~ Bethel Music

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NT Reading: Ephesians 5:21-6:9 (ESV)

5:21  submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives and Husbands

5:22  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Children and Parents

6:1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Bondservants and Masters

6:5  Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

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No Longer Slaves – Bethel Music with Jonathan David & Melissa Helser

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Prayer:

+ Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the Cross to be the way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name. By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon your married servants. Defend us from every enemy. Lead us into all peace. Let our love for one another be a seal  upon our hearts, a mantle about our shoulders, and a crown upon our foreheads. Bless us in our work and in our companionship; in our sleeping and in our waking; in our joys and in our sorrows; in our life and in our death. In your mercy, bring us to your heavenly banquet where your saints feast for ever at the great marriage supper of the Lamb; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+ Christ as a light, illumine and guide us. Christ as a shield, overshadow us. Christ under us; Christ over us; Christ beside us on our left and our right. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom we speak; in the mouth of each who speaks to us. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside us on our left and our right.

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Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us, wherever He may send us.
May He guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storm.
May He bring us home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown us.
May He bring us 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.