December 30, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Luke 2:41-52

41-45 Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.  When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast.  When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it.  Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors.  When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him.  46-48 The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.  The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers.  But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.  His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”  49-50 He said, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?” But they had no idea what he was talking about.  51-52 So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.

[Reader] “This is the word of the Lord”

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December 23, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Luke 1:39-55

Blessed Among Women

39-45 Mary didn’t waste a minute.  She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped.  She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly, you’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed!  And why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me?  The moment the sound of your greeting entered my ears, the babe in my womb skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.  Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!  46-55 And Mary said, I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened— I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!  What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.

He bared his arm and showed his strength, scattered the bluffing braggarts.  He knocked tyrants off their high horses, pulled victims out of the mud.  The starving poor sat down to a banquet; the callous rich were left out in the cold.  He embraced his chosen child, Israel; he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.  It’s exactly what he promised, beginning with Abraham and right up to now.

 

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December 16, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Luke 3:7-18 The Message (MSG)

7-9 When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life father.’ Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there—children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.”  10 The crowd asked him, “Then what are we supposed to do?”  11 “If you have two coats, give one away,” he said. “Do the same with your food.”  12 Tax men also came to be baptized and said, “Teacher, what should we do?”  13 He told them, “No more extortion—collect only what is required by law.”  14 Soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”  He told them, “No shakedowns, no blackmail—and be content with your rations.”  15 The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, “Could this John be the Messiah?” 16-17 But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”  18-20 There was a lot more of this—words that gave strength to the people, words that put heart in them. The Message!

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December 9, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Luke 3:1-6

3 1-6 In the fifteenth year of the rule of Caesar Tiberius—it was while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea; Herod, ruler of Galilee; his brother Philip, ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias, ruler of Abilene; during the Chief-Priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas—John, Zachariah’s son, out in the desert at the time, received a message from God. He went all through the country around the Jordan River preaching a baptism of life-change leading to forgiveness of sins, as described in the words of Isaiah the prophet:

Thunder in the desert!
“Prepare God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
Every ditch will be filled in,
Every bump smoothed out,
The detours straightened out,
All the ruts paved over.
Everyone will be there to see
The parade of God’s salvation.” 

[Reader] “This is the word of the Lord”

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December 2, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Luke 21:25-36

25-26 “It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.  27-28 “And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”  29-33 He told them a story. “Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here—when you see these things happen, you know God’s kingdom is about here. Don’t brush this off: I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too—these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.  34-36 “But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.” 

[Reader] “This is the word of the Lord”

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November 25, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        John 18:33-37

33 Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus.  He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”  34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”  35 Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew?  Your people and your high priests turned you over to me.  What did you do?”  36 “My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you.  If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews.  But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”  37 Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”  Jesus answered, “You tell me.  Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”

 

[Reader] “This is the word of the Lord”

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November 18, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Hebrews 10:11-25

11-18 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:  This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled in stone; This time “I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts.”  He concludes, I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.  Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.

Don’t Throw It All Away

19-21 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.

22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching

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November 11, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Mark 12:38-44

38-40 He continued teaching.  “Watch out for the religion scholars.  They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless.  The longer their prayers, the worse they get.  But they’ll pay for it in the end.”  41-44 Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection.  Many of the rich were making large contributions.  One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents.  Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together.  All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all. 

 

[Reader] “This is the word of the Lord” 

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November 4, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Mark 12:28-34

The Most Important Commandment

28 One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: “Which is most important of all the commandments?”  29-31 Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’  And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’  There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”  32-33 The religion scholar said, “A wonderful answer, Teacher!  So lucid and accurate—that God is one and there is no other. And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that’s better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!”  34 When Jesus realized how insightful he was, he said, “You’re almost there, right on the border of God’s kingdom.”  After that, no one else dared ask a question.       

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October 28, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Mark 10:46-52

46-48 They spent some time in Jericho.  As Jesus was leaving town, trailed by his disciples and a parade of people, a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting alongside the road.  When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, “Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!”  Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!”  49-50 Jesus stopped in his tracks.  “Call him over.”  They called him.  “It’s your lucky day! Get up! He’s calling you to come!” Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus.  51 Jesus said, “What can I do for you?”  The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”  52 “On your way,” said Jesus. “Your faith has saved and healed you.”  In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road

 

Hebrews 7:23-28

23-25 Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. But Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. He’s there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them.  26-28 So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, he doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect.

 

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October 21, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Hebrews 5:1-10

5 1-3 Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it’s like from his own experience. But that also means that he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the peoples’.  4-6 No one elects himself to this honored position. He’s called to it by God, as Aaron was. Neither did Christ presume to set himself up as high priest, but was set apart by the One who said to him, “You’re my Son; today I celebrate you!” In another place God declares, “You’re a priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek.”  7-10 While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.

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October 14, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Mark 10:17-31 The Message (MSG)

17 As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”  18-19 Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”  20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”  21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”  22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.  23-25 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”  26 That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked. 

27 Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”  28 Peter tried another angle: “We left everything and followed you.”  29-31 Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.” 

 

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October 7, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        Mark 10:2-16

10 1-2 From there he went to the area of Judea across the Jordan. A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?”  3 Jesus said, “What did Moses command?” 4 They answered, “Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.”  5-9 Jesus said, “Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.” 10-12 When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again. Jesus gave it to them straight: “A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her.

And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery.” 13-16 The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it:Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

  

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September 30, 2018

Mark 9:38-50 The Message (MSG)

38 John spoke up, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t in our group.”

39-41 Jesus wasn’t pleased. “Don’t stop him. No one can use my name to do something good and powerful, and in the next breath cut me down. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally. Why, anyone by just giving you a cup of water in my name is on our side. Count on it that God will notice.

42 “On the other hand, if you give one of these simple, childlike believers a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck.

43-48 “If your hand or your foot gets in God’s way, chop it off and throw it away. You’re better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owner of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell.

49-50 “Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames. Be preservatives yourselves. Preserve the peace.

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September 23, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM        James 3:13-18

13-16 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.  17-18 Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

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September 16, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM:         Mark 8:27-38

27 Jesus and his disciples headed out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, he asked, “Who do the people say I am?”  28 “Some say ‘John the Baptizer,’” they said. “Others say ‘Elijah.’ Still others say ‘one of the prophets.’”  29 He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”  Peter gave the answer: “You are the Christ, the Messiah.”  30-32 Jesus warned them to keep it quiet, not to breathe a word of it to anyone. He then began explaining things to them: “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive.” He said this simply and clearly so they couldn’t miss it.  32-33 But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. “Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works.”  34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

38 “If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.” 

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September 9, 2018

Sunday, September 9th Scripture Readings: 

Isaiah 35:4-7 (NIV)

4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”  5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.  Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.  7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

James 2: 1-10, 14-17 (NIV)   Favoritism Forbidden

2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?  5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong? 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  

 James 2:14-17 (NIV)                         Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.     

 

Mark 7:24-37 (NIV)   Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.[a] He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.  27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”  30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.  Jesus Heals a Deaf and Mute Man 31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.[b] 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.  33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.  36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” 

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September 2, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM:         James 1:17-27

17 Every good [a]gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.  19 [b]Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of [c]wickedness, receive with meekness the [d]implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding [e]his natural face in a mirror: 24 for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing. 26 If any man [f]thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

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August 26, 2018

TODAY’S MESSAGE COMES FROM:         Ephesians 6:10-20

10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.  13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.  19-20 And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.

 (READER) THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD

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