Morning Prayer: Sat, 07 Jan – 1 John 3:22-4:6; Psalm 2:7-8,10-11; Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25 ~ truth or deception?

Saturday of the Second Week of Christmas

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

Opening Sentence

O come, let us adore him!

The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death a light has dawned.
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Reading:1 John 3:22-4:6 (NLT)

And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

wolf_in_sheeps_clothing

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
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Reading: Psalm 2:7-8,10-11 (NLT)

The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession….'”
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Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.
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Reading: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25 (NLT)

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah:

“In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.”

From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
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Prayer:

Glory to you, Christ the Lord! Through you God’s salvation reaches to the boundaries of the earth.

+ Christ, our Redeemer, you have drawn all men to yourself; break down the walls of prejudice that separate man from man.
+ Word, made flesh, you came to live among us: help us to recognize your presence in the Church and in the lives of the people around us.
+ Jesus, God’s righteousness revealed: conform our faith and our works to your teaching.
+ Immanuel, God with us, renew our lives completely; make us a people you can call your own.

Lord God, may the radiance of your glory light up our hearts and bring us through the shadows of this world until we reach our homeland of everlasting light. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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“Light of the World” – Eden’s Bridge


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Blessing

You belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory… because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

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

Daily Reading: 05 Aug – The Apostles’ Teaching: Love One Another – 1 John 3:11-4:21

Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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

E100:19.e – The Apostles’ Teaching

Love One Another – 1 John 3:11-4:21 (NLT)

Love One Another

1 John 3:11  This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

14 If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

crucifix

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

Discerning False Prophets

1 John 4  Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

greater is He in you

4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

Loving One Another

7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

An Egyptian Coptic Christian pilgrim walks inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, during Good Friday processions in Jerusalem's Old City. Christian followers of the Eastern Churches are marking the solemn period of Easter.
An Egyptian Coptic Christian pilgrim walks inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, during Good Friday processions in Jerusalem’s Old City.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.
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Prayer for Loving Others

Lord, Make me an instrument of your love. May I see each circumstance in my life as an opportunity to grow in your love. May I see my environment as a place to grow in your love. May I then take this love to other people…

+ When I am tempted to become impatient, help me to be patient.
+ When I am tempted to become unkind, help me to be kind.
+ When I am tempted to become jealous, help me to be tolerant.
+ When I am tempted to become boastful or proud, help me give you the glory.
+ When I am tempted to be rude or selfish, give me the gift of gentleness.
+ When I am tempted to take offense, help me to let go.
+ When I am tempted to become angry with someone, give me the gift of forgiveness.
+ When I am tempted to become resentful, give me your power to love.

Lord, grant that I may take no pleasure in criticizing others, but that I may see good in them, as you do. When I begin to concentrate on the faults and failures of others, give me courage to praise their accomplishments.

Help me be loyal to those you give me to love. Help me to believe in them, even when they do not believe in themselves. To expect the best from them, but accept the best they can give. May I always defend them, as you always defend me.

All gifts and powers come from you. All will come to an end. With one important exception, the gift of love!!!

Lord Jesus, teach me to love others as you have loved me. Amen.
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“The Greatest Commands” – Harding University Concert Choir


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Closing Sentence

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

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