Easter | 5th Wednesday 18 May 2022: Psalm 133; Leviticus 19:9-18; Luke 10:25-28 ~ My disciples love God and love people.

Easter | 5th Wednesday 18 May 2022

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

Opening:

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant
us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the
truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in
the way that leads to eternal glory; through Jesus Christ your
Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’
And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
(Luke 10:27)

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Psalms: Psalm 133Hineh Ma Tov (Psalm 133) [Live in Jerusalem] // Joshua Aaron // Messianic Worship

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OT Reading: Leviticus 19:9-18 (NLT)

19:9 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.

+ “Do not steal.

“+ Do not deceive or cheat one another.

+ “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the Lord.

+ “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.

+ “Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.

+ “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.

+ “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.

+ “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.

+ “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord.

+ “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.

+ “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

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The Ten Commandments SongGood Shepherd Band
Joseph Spurgeon

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NT Reading: Luke 10:25-28 (NLT)

The Most Important Commandment

10:25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

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Love God Love People (ft. Michael W. Smith) – Danny Gokey (Lyrics)
Light of the World

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Prayer: ACNA | BCP2019

The 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 our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Summary of the Law

+ Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ says: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

For Guidance

+ 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.

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Closing:

Show the world
that we follow Jesus
by loving each other
as He loved us.

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

Tuesday Morning, 19 Nov 2019, Luke 10:1-11:36 ~ “The Kingdom of God is near you now.”

Tuesday Morning

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

Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Luke 10:1-11:36 (NLT)

Jesus Sends Out His Disciples

The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.

“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.

“If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.

“What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.”

Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”

When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving

At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.

“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then when they were alone, he turned to the disciples and said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen. I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.”

The Most Important Commandment

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Parable of the Good Samaritan

Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Teaching about Prayer

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Jesus and the Prince of Demons

One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed, but some of them said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart. You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive? And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.

“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

“When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”

As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

The Sign of Jonah

As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign. But the only sign I will give them is the sign of Jonah. What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God.

“The queen of Sheba will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen. The people of Nineveh will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.

Receiving the Light

“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
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Morning Reflection:

“The Kingdom of God is near you now.”

In today’s reading Jesus extends His Kingdom ministry beyond the Twelve to include seventy-two of His followers – charging them to announce that the Kingdom of God is near, and giving them authority to heal the sick. In a way, they were Jesus’ advance team – preparing the towns and places to He intended to visit to welcome Him when He arrived.

However, as our reading unfold today, we discover that the seventy-two’s mission not only includes words and wonders – Jesus expects to be represented by people with changed lives, people who talk the talk and also walk the walk. More specifically –

  • people who are guileless, unafraid and single-minded in their mission
  • people who are wholly dependent on the hospitality of others
  • people who bring peace, blessing, and healing to those who welcome them
  • people who move on and abandon the unrepentant to God’s judgement
  • people who don’t take their acceptance or rejection personally
  • people who rejoice that their names are registered in heaven
  • people who recognize what God is doing around them and join Him
  • people who wholeheartedly love God and show mercy to those around them
  • people who prioritize spending time listening to and learning from Jesus
  • people who pray as Jesus taught, who persistently ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit
  • people who hear the Word of God and put it into practice as best they know how
  • people who desire that the light of Christ radiate from their lives

“The harvest is great, but the workers are few.
So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
– Luke 10:2 –

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you consider yourself a harvest worker in God’s fields? Please explain.
  • How successful have you been in preparing others to welcome Jesus into their lives? Please explain.
  • Which of the above descriptions of Jesus’ representatives best apply to you? Please explain.
  • Which of these descriptions of Jesus’ representatives are most difficult for you? Please explain.
  • Where, or in what way, do you see God at work around you? How could you join Him? Please explain.
  • Who do you know that needs God’s peace, blessing, and healing in their life? How can you be Jesus’ representative to them? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: for the mission of the church

O God, our heavenly Father, You manifested Your love by sending Your only-begotten Son into the world, that all might live through him: Pour out Your Spirit on Your Church, that we may fulfill his command to preach the Gospel to all people. Send forth laborers into Your harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations; and hasten the time when the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and faithful Israel shall be saved; through Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“We Declare that the Kingdom of God is here”– Ron Kenoly in 1998 at Liberty University

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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

Wednesday Morning: 16 Oct 2019 – Matthew 22:23-46 ~ The Two Most Important Commandments

Wednesday Morning

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

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 22:23-46 (NLT)

Discussion about Resurrection

That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’ Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. Last of all, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”

Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.

“But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead—haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”

When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching.

The Most Important Commandment

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Whose Son Is the Messiah?

Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

They replied, “He is the son of David.”

Jesus responded, “Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’

Since David called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”

No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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Morning Reflection:

The Two Most Important Commandments

“The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

  1. “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
  2.  “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The Pharisee asked Jesus another controversial question to which various Scripture experts gave various answers.

The rabbis documented 613 commandments in the Mosaic Law, 248 positive and 365 negative. Since no one could possibly keep them all, they divided them into “heavy” (more important) and “light” (less important). The Pharisees taught that the Jews needed to give attention to all the laws but particularly the “heavy” ones. This Pharisee was asking which of the “heavy” ones Jesus considered the “heaviest.”

To answer, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 and then Leviticus 19:18.

  1. Deuteronomy 6:5 (love God) is great because it is primary, i.e. our relationship with God.
  2. Leviticus 19:18 (love People) is similar in character. i.e. our relationship with people.

The rest of the Old Testament hangs from or flows out of these two commandments. All the other laws deal with specific applications of one or the other of these two commands. The prophets consistently stressed the importance of heart reality with God and genuine love for one’s neighbor. Without these two commandments the Old Testament lacks unifying summaries.

Questions for consideration:

  • How can you put God first in your life? What would it mean for you to love God with all your heart, soul. and mind? What would change? Please explain.
  • How can you love people unselfishly? What would it mean for you to put someone else’s interests before your own? Who comes to mind? Please explain.
  • The New Testament also contains a large number of commands. Which ones are emphasized in your faith community? Which of these do you think is most important? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Of Confession – Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed,
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Of Pardon – If we confess our sins to him,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
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“You Don’t Love God If You Don’t Love Your Neighbor” – Rhonda Vincent

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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

5th Sunday after Pentecost, 14 Jul 2019: Luke 10:25-37 ~ The Compassionate Neighbor.

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

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

Opening Prayer:

In Christ you draw near to us, God of mercy and compassion, lifting us out of death, binding up our wounds, and nursing our spirits back to health. Let such a tenderness as yours compel us to go and do likewise. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Love divine all loves excelling” – Keswick Praise

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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 10:25-37 (NLT)

The Most Important Commandment

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Parable of the Good Samaritan

Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
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Intercession:

God of compassion: we come before your throne of grace to receive your mercy and help. Hear our prayers for those in need –

+ For Christian leaders that they may preach the Gospel and practice what they preach….
+ For strangers and aliens that they may be protected and find food, shelter and rest….
+ For those divided by prejudice and hatred that they may be overcome by your love….
+ For Christians that we may show charity and kindness to everyone we meet….
+ For victims of violence and crime that they may receive support and healing….
+ For those suffering the effects of natural disaster, that their lives may be restored….

God of love and compassion: hear our prayers and respond to them out of your loving-kindness and grace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Mighty To Save” – Hillsong Chapel

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Closing: – Colossians 1:9-10

May God give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

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

Wednesday Morning: 22 May 2019 – Mark 12:28-44 ~ on loving God and others

Wednesday Morning

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

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 12:28-44 (NLT)

The Most Important Commandment

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Whose Son Is the Messiah?

Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, he asked, “Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’

Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with great delight.

Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”

The Widow’s Offering

Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
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Morning Reflection:

on loving God and others

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this:
‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31

The religious teacher asked for one commandment, but Jesus gave him two. Why? Because love for others grows out of love for God. These are the greatest commandments because they summarize our two basic human responsibilities. Jesus didn’t come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.

Even as God has loved us totally and completely, through his Son Jesus Christ; we are to love God totally and completely in response, through his Son Jesus Christ. Everything else flows out of that essential relationship with God through his Son.

Questions for consideration:

  • When you think of today’s “to do” list, where does loving God fit in? Please explain.
  • “Heart” represents the control center of our human personality. How does your personality affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.
  • “Soul” represents our self-conscious thought life. How does your thought life affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.
  • “Mind” represents our capacity to think. Are you a “thinker” or “feeler”?  How does your way of thinking affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.
  • “Strength” represents all of our physical powers. How does your physical strength affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: 

The Persecuted Church: Prayer for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted:

Heavenly Father: Comfort the families that are affected by the persecution of their loves ones. Open up safe channels and opportunities for them to support and/or visit those who are imprisoned, or otherwise detained. Empower them by your Spirit to remain faithful to you and to their loved ones, even as they wait patiently for deliverance and release. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Decalogue: My Prayer –

Lord God: Write these words on my heart and keep them ever before me;

First, that I might love you –

+ I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods but me.
+ You shall not make for yourself any idol.
+ You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.
+ Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

And secondly, that I might love my neighbor as myself –

+ Honor your father and your mother.
+ You shall not murder.
+ You shall not commit adultery.
+ You shall not steal.
+ You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
+ You shall not covet.

Lord God: Empower me by your Spirit to love you in the decisions I make, in the desires of my heart, in my thought life, and in my actions. I ask this through Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord. Amen.
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“SHEMA | A Prayer for Israel” – Misha Goetz & Shae Wilbur

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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