Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, July 14, 2019 - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Luke 10:25-37

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, July 14, 2019 - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
[Lectionary/Ordinary 15, Proper 10]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Opening Prayer


As We Gather Here
(Words for the above video)
As we gather here in the harbour of your safety
We thank you for fellowship and family.

We ask that you will strengthen us, restore us and inspire us with your love.
Lord, would fill us with your peace
So that as we journey onwards
We would pour out your love and grace to others.
We ask that our souls would catch the wind of your spirit
so that we would take your promises to all the earth.

Amen.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
We confess that in our lives we often hide behind our work and play, schools and jobs, fun and fashion. We let ourselves get so busy that we forget the cause of the poor and the suffering. We confess we allow the powers of this world to seduce us into selfishness and silence our witness. Teach us to champion the cause for justice for all, strengthen us to love our neighbor and speak truth no matter the penalty.  Amen.

Assurance of God’s Love
The Word of God assures us that we are able to love through the Spirit of Christ. Let us go from this place with authority, knowing that God’s Word gives us strength to love our neighbors near and far and power to speak up for those who are broken. Thanks to the Word of God!


First Reading
Amos 7:7-17
7:7 This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

   “See, I am setting a plumb line
     in the midst of my people Israel;
     I will never again pass them by;
9  the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
     and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
     and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

Amaziah Complains to the King
10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said,

   ‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
     and Israel must go into exile
     away from his land.’”

12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, 15 and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’

16 “Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
   You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
     and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’
17 Therefore thus says the Lord:
   ‘Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city,
     and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
     and your land shall be parceled out by line;
   you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
     and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”

Psalm 82 Deus stetit
1  God takes his stand in the council of heaven; *
   he gives judgment in the midst of the gods:

2  "How long will you judge unjustly, *
   and show favor to the wicked?

3  Save the weak and the orphan; *
   defend the humble and needy;

4  Rescue the weak and the poor; *
   deliver them from the power of the wicked.

5  They do not know, neither do they understand;
   they go about in darkness; *
   all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6  Now I say to you, 'You are gods, *
   and all of you children of the Most High;

7  Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, *
   and fall like any prince.'"

8  Arise, O God, and rule the earth, *
   for you shall take all nations for your own.


Second Reading
Colossians 1:1-14
Salutation
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2 To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Paul Thanks God for the Colossians
3 In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. 7 This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


The Gospel
Luke 10:25-37
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
10:25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer


Lord, thank you that we are a family in Christ. Help us to share his love and legacy with everyone that we encounter this week. May we lavish Christ’s abounding goodness upon our families, friends and colleagues. Holy Spirit, come and equip us in our workplace, guide us in our school life, and inspire us in our neighbourhood. May we be your hands and feet to the needy, your words of affirmation to the oppressed and your arms of comfort to the lonely.

Thank you for choosing to use us to bring your kingdom here on earth.
Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, July 14, 2019


Sunday morning prayer

Lord on this special day, I run into Your loving arms. May Sunday be a celebration, filled with thankfulness, where I connect with the presence of Heaven, seek Your beauty and goodness, and cherish special family time together. Come fill my heart afresh with Your love. May it overflow with Heaven's bounty, moving through this rest day and into the week ahead.

Lord on this special day,
I run into Your arms.
Spend cherished time with family,
And find shelter in Your palm.
May Sunday be a celebration,
Full up to the brim,
With Heaven's promise ringing loud,
And Your love flowing in.

Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, July 14, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?version=NIV&search=John%2015:10

John 15:10 (NIV) If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

Read all of John 15

Listen to John 15

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“Jesus, the Good Samaritan” The Sermon for for SUNDAY, July 14, 2019 - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus, the Good Samaritan

Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 10th chapter of Luke, beginning with the 25th verse.

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37, NRSV)

All mighty God, we thank you for your word and the way that you in it revealed to us who you are and what you've done for us in Christ. Now as we open that word we pray that your spirit may be present, that all thoughts of worry or distraction may be removed and that the Spirit will allow us to hear your voice. And so, oh God, fill us with your spirit through the reading and proclamation of your word this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.


“Jesus, the Good Samaritan”

Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” So asked a Pharisee, a lawyer, to Jesus. The Pharisee was a man who had spent his life studying the Old Testament. And to him, Jesus was cheapening the Law, the Torah, making it into nothing.

Now, all the wrong people were thronging to the gates of heaven: tax collectors, prostitutes, poor people who stunk to high heaven, and other no-good low-lifes. This Jesus was welcoming them with arms open wide! He forgave their sins and sat down to dine with them. And Jesus was doing all this because they saw their sins, were anguishing over them, and sought His mercy!

So to see if Jesus was a ‘real’ rabbi, whether He really understood the Torah, the lawyer asks him a question. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

But Jesus’ response surprises the man: “You’re the expert. You tell me.” The lawyer knew the Law and so he stated the bottom-line: “Love God with your whole being, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The lawyer answered properly. For that is what the Law says you must do if you are going to receive eternal life.

Jesus says, “Yes, do that and you will live. Do that and you will have eternal life.” Such is the Law. It can only demand. Do this; if you do, you will live; if you don’t, you will die, even in eternity. There’s no borderland or gray area--it’s all or nothing. It’s unflinching, stark, and demanding. One mess up--anytime and anywhere--and you’ve fully failed: no excuses, no rationalizations, no hope.

But lawyers being lawyers, he look for a loophole to give him hope where none exists. For the lawyer is squirming. You know why. He hasn’t done what the Law demands any more than you have. He’s not soaring toward light and life, but plummeting downward toward death and damnation.

But in the lawyer’s own eyes, he sees himself as a good person. And I suppose he is--in the eyes of people. But God’s eyes and our eyes see differently. Our eyes say, “Good enough.” God’s eyes see things as they really are when compared to true holiness. God sees our full corruption and complete failure!

The lawyer, for all his ransacking of the Scriptures, didn’t understand them. He saw the Word of God as life’s instruction manual, a book of living tips. He saw the Bible, in his case the Old Testament, as an owner’s manual for living a good life. It’s true: the Scriptures do teach the Christian what a godly life is. But that’s not why God unmasked His written Word to us. God made known the written Word to bring us Christ--in the Old Testament and the New (John 5:39).

For the Old Testament and Jesus teach the same truth: justification by faith, that salvation is all God’s doing. It’s woven into the words of the Old Testament. Abraham shows as much. Moses wrote that Abraham “believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Such salvation also sings its song in the New Testament. God is the God who forgives. He is the One who covers His people’s sin and gives them eternal life.

The lawyer--as most of the Jews in Jesus’ day, as many Christians today--had twisted and mutilated God’s written Word into a book that told them what to do to get a reward. Yes, God may get you into heaven. But that’s not good enough! Now here’s what you’ve got to do to make Him smile on you, to get rewarded.

And so the lawyer begins to loophole because the lawyer’s own answer had condemned him. If you want to do something to inherit eternal life, you must live a perfect life of love--for God and neighbor. No slip ups, no failures, just pure, unadulterated burning love for God and neighbor. Ouch! God’s Law cuts no deals.

And so Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. You know the story. A man fell victim to robbers. They left him stripped, bleeding, in pain, and dying. A Priest walks by. A Levite walks by. Then a Samaritan--someone considered second-class at best--a Samaritan, who doesn’t walk by.

He stops. The Samaritan pours oil and wine, that’s the medicine of his day, on the man’s wounds. He cleans his bruises, cuts, and sores. He picks him up and puts him on his own animal. He takes him to an inn and hands him over to the innkeeper.

The Good Samaritan takes care of all the man’s needs. He nurses him to health and clothes his fallen nakedness. He brings him food to eat and wine to drink. And as the Good Samaritan leaves, he gives to the innkeeper some money to pay for the man's expenses. He then tells him to spend it--and more if needed--on the man.

Jesus then asks the lawyer: “So, who was a neighbor to the man who fell among thieves?” “The one who showed mercy” the lawyer answered quietly; the lawyer could not even say, “The Samaritan.” Jesus had driven him to confess the true purpose of God’s Law: to unmask the need for mercy. It was as the Prophet Hosea who summarized: “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6).

Our Gospel reading for today is a double-bladed text. If you want anything that you do to contribute to your standing with God, Jesus’ words send you away sliced, bleeding, and condemned to die. But if you see yourself as someone who can contribute nothing--because the Law has already sliced, condemned, and left you for dead--only then do you have hope. For the Law is the killing Word of God--but the Gospel, that’s the healing, merciful Word of God!

There is no doubt: We are the one whom thieves have beaten and robbed. Satan and his demons have left us bleeding and bruised, robbing us of the beautiful Image of God. Satan left us for dead in the dust from which we had been taken. And the Law of God, shown by the Priest and the Levite, is no help.

The Priest and the Levite stride right past without giving--without even offering to give--any help. That’s because they can’t. The Law can’t help those whom Satan has robbed, beaten, and left for dead. It’s as the Apostle Paul says, “For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20).

So don’t expect help from the Priest and Levite. The Law goes striding by. The helpless Priest and Levite walk past--because they can’t help! The Law can only kill. Don’t expect God’s Law--that can only make you aware of your sins--to help rescue you out of your sinfulness.

So to answer the lawyer’s question, there’s nothing he can do, nothing any of us can do, to inherit eternal life. You are lying in the ditch. Without rescue, you will be eternally dead. Your wounds, already mortal, will have their way. Yet God saw you and me in our misery, and He wasn’t content to walk on by. For at the core of God is mercy, compassion, and love. Our Good Samaritan didn’t randomly come down the road. The love of God the Father sent Him to us.

Yes, Jesus, God in the flesh, is our Good Samaritan. For He comes to rescue us, we who are not only helpless, but an enemy of God! Here is the purest form of holy living--the sanctified, sinless life that only Christ could live. Yes, the Good Samaritan is Jesus Christ.

In mercy, Jesus came to heal us. Oh, He had every right to walk right past us. But instead of walking past us, mercy led Him to take on our flesh, to go to the cross of death, forgiving our sin, forgiving your sin--all to give you eternal life!

Yes, Jesus, the Good Samaritan, has had compassion on you. He has stepped into our cesspool of sin. He stooped down, soiling His hands to pick you up. But there’s even more, that’s because eternal life isn’t for only after you die. It’s here for you, even now. For life everlasting is the life of mercy that flows from Mercy-Enfleshed--Jesus Christ. It is the life of Christ, given to you through the Holy Spirit, which you live out in faith toward God and fervent love toward one another! For Jesus invites us all to taste and live such life with Him.

You don’t have to wait for heaven to begin tasting eternal life! It’s yours today--although experienced right now only through the eyes of faith. And when Jesus shows you mercy and you hear Him say, “Go and do the same,” He is saying, “Come and live my love!” For our rules cannot contain the boundaries of Christian love.

And so you live a life of love, “proclaiming the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). And all this takes place in the vocations where God has placed you, where you “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

As Jesus, through His Spirit, pours out more Life for you and into you than you can contain, you pour out yourself for others. For from God’s sea of overflowing love, you pour out such love toward your neighbor. It’s what Christians do; it’s who we are. How can we live any other way?

Yes, it’s as the Scriptures say, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Let us pray: God in heaven, we offer our deepest appreciation for the many blessings you shower upon us every day. We are truly humbled by the bounty of your graces. Through this prayer, we ask for the compassion to follow the inspiring example of your Son Jesus, the Good Samaritan. We know that You have made us for Yourself, to love You and to love our neighbors. Yet still we cannot help but live for ourselves, and every day we justify ourselves by our own standards, not Yours. But Lord, you have found us in the ditch, and You have rescued us. Now soften our hearts to Your will, and make us to love others as You have loved us; especially those who are most in need, whom we pass by every day. Help us to embrace and bring comfort to those suffering. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)® Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Sermon contributed by Rev. Richard Futrell.
Our Gospel reading for today is a double-bladed text. If you want anything that you do to contribute to your standing with God, Jesus’ words send you away sliced, bleeding, and condemned to die. But if you see yourself as someone who can contribute nothing--because the Law has already sliced, condemned, and left you for dead--only then do you have hope.

Un dia a la Vez - Sunday, July 14, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/07/14

De día en día

Soy yo mismo el que los consuela. ¿Quién eres tú, que temes a los hombres, a simples mortales, que no son más que hierba?
~ Isaías 51:12 (NVI)

A veces nos pasa que hemos tenido un fin de semana bien activos con Dios. Hemos tratado de estar en comunicación con Él y hacer su voluntad. Entonces, ¡sorpresa! Llega un nuevo día, una nueva semana, y con ellos las luchas y los problemas. Así que dices: «Dios mío, ¿hasta cuándo? Dios mío, ayúdame, no puedo más».

Para esos momentos es que viene este recordatorio de vivir de día en día. No te llenes la cabeza pensando en lo que fue y ya no es… vive el presente, tu presente, y procura vivir el hoy. De ese modo, cuando llegue la preocupación, tendrás cabeza para pensar y evitarás tomar una decisión equivocada.

Recuerda que aunque la situación que atraviesas hoy sea más difícil que tus fuerzas, Dios está allí presente en tus noches de angustia. Te da la compañía cuando te sientes solo.

Incluso, a veces permite esta breve preocupación para que le busques de manera exclusiva a Él. No quiere que tu enfoque sea carnal, sino espiritual.

Hoy es una excelente oportunidad para rendirle tu problema al número uno en la solución de las crisis. Su nombre es «Jesús».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
A veces nos pasa que hemos tenido un fin de semana bien activos con Dios. Hemos tratado de estar en comunicación con Él y hacer su voluntad. Entonces, ¡sorpresa! Llega un nuevo día, una nueva semana, y con ellos las luchas y los problemas. Así que dices: «Dios mío, ¿hasta cuándo? Dios mío, ayúdame, no puedo más».

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, July 14, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/07/14
MOURNING

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
~ Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

Mourning is the kind of grief that cannot be hidden. It can be a deep sorrow for our own unworthiness that leads us to trust the Lord as our total Provider, seeking His presence and counsel (authority). Such action is rewarded by the Father’s gracious comfort.

It can also be for grief over the sorrow and suffering of this world. Blessed is the man who cares intensely for the sufferings, sorrows and needs of others. And so again we can paraphrase this Beatitude:

Blessed are those whose hearts are broken for the world’s suffering and are deeply sorry for their sin and unworthiness, for they will find the joy and comfort of God.

As we meditate on this, what comes to mind is the need to mourn for the state of the church and Christians generally. In many countries, churches are weak and nominal, or are split by internal conflicts. There is need to mourn. There is need to mourn also for believers who have quit the struggle and crossed to the other side.

Mourn for the poor quality of preaching, the lack of prayer and the deficiency of spiritual power. Mourn for those who come to the church only to find they are unwelcome. Mourn for Christians unwilling to introduce the light of Christ to them. Mourn for a church hiding its light, too scared to let it shine. Yes, there is much to mourn for. Yet, the promise is, if we mourn, comfort will come.

A self-sufficient Bible trainer from the West, spent time in China with young leaders needing biblical training. He felt inadequate at first but later wrote, “As I left them, I wept. I wept because I had to go back to a world where God was not taken half as seriously. I wept to return to a church where if I do not insert enough clever illustrations, eyes glaze over and no one listens to my talks. I wept to go back to a world of unread Bibles and dry eyes. I wept to return to a lifestyle that would regard me as mad if I kept trying to rise at 4.30 a.m. for prayer. I wept because I really wanted to stay with those fifty teachers and learn to love God as they did.”

RESPONSE: Today I will repent of my self-sufficiency.

PRAYER: Lord, I truly mourn over my own sin and unworthiness. And I mourn too for the deep and painful suffering that I see around our globe. May I receive Your joy and comfort.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Blessed are those whose hearts are broken for the world’s suffering and are deeply sorry for their sin and unworthiness, for they will find the joy and comfort of God.

LHM Daily Devotions - With the Lord Begin Your Task

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190714

"With the Lord Begin Your Task"

Jul. 14, 2019

"With the Lord begin your task; Jesus will direct it. For His aid and counsel ask; Jesus will perfect it. Ev'ry morn with Jesus rise, And when day is ended, In His Name then close your eyes; Be to Him commended.

"Let each day begin with prayer, Praise, and adoration. On the Lord cast ev'ry care; He is your salvation. Morning, evening, and at night Jesus will be near you, Save you from the tempter's might, With His presence cheer you."

How do you begin your day? Do you sit down to a hot breakfast, or do you grab a bite to eat at your local fast food joint? Is a morning walk or jog on your agenda, or does your busy routine at work give you more than enough exercise already? We all have our habits and routines, but our hymn today suggests some new habits or—if not new—at least some familiar habits worth considering.

"With the Lord begin your task ... Let each day begin with prayer, praise, and adoration." Holy Scripture also encourages the formation of these habits: "O LORD, in the morning You hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for You and watch" (Psalm 5:3). And what of that daily task begun with the Lord? "Jesus will direct it." Again, God's Word offers the same comfort: "The heart of a man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). The day may not turn out just as we planned. In fact, our days rarely do turn out precisely the way we intend. Yet, our Lord is with us, directing and ordering our days according to His will.

Our Lord began His day with prayer to His Heavenly Father (see Mark 1:35). Jesus' life and ministry were ordered and directed according to His Father's will. His steps were established, and His path to the cross was laid out before the foundation of the world. We may try to make our plans according to God's will, but our steps often wander. We do not always speak or think or act as we should. Having begun the day in prayer, we may also end it in prayer—a prayer of heartfelt repentance. With our Lord, however, there was no wandering from the path before Him. He did not plan one way and His Father another. Jesus was of one mind and will with His Father for the sake of our salvation because that is why He came, "to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10b).

Jesus' single-minded mission is inspiration for us today. As you head out the door to begin your hurried day, remember that Jesus is by your side, preserving you from the tempter's might, cheering you with His presence. Thus be comforted, let your words and actions to others reflect the love and compassion He has shown you.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, each morning, evening, and at night, hear my prayers and accept my grateful praise. Direct my steps this day according to Your will. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Do you have any daily routines or habits that are centered on God?
  • Is it difficult to find time to set aside for God in your day?
  • What suggestions would you have for new Christians to include in their day to help them grow in their faith?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "With the Lord Begin Your Task." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do you have any daily routines or habits that are centered on God?

Unser Täglich Brot - In lebendiger Farbe

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2019/07/14/in-lebendiger-farbe/

In lebendiger Farbe

Lesung: Offenbarung 4,1-6 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Psalm 10-12; Apostelgeschichte 19,1-20

Und der da saß, war anzusehen wie der Stein Jaspis und der Sarder; und ein Regenbogen war um den Thron, anzusehen wie ein Smaragd. Offenbarung 4,3

Als Xavier McCoury die Brille aufsetzte, die ihm seine Tante Celena zum 10. Geburtstag geschickt hatte, brach er in Tränen aus. Xavier wurde farbenblind geboren und bisher hatte er die Welt nur in Grau-, Weiß- und Schwarztönen gesehen. Mit seiner neuen EnChroma-Brille sah Xavier aber erstmalig Farbe. Seine Begeisterung, als er die Schönheit um sich herum erblickte, war für seine Familie, als würden sie ein Wunder erleben.

Gottes bunter strahlender Glanz brachte auch im Apostel Johannes eine mächtige Reaktion hervor (Offenbarung 1,17). Nachdem er die ganze Herrlichkeit des auferstandenen Christus erlebt hatte, sah Johannes „einen Thron im Himmel, auf dem jemand saß, der anzusehen war wie der Stein Jaspis und der Sarder; und ein Regenbogen war um den Thron, anzusehen wie ein Smaragd . . . und von dem Thron gingen Blitze aus“ (Offenbarung 4,2-5).

Hesekiel hatte zu einer anderen Zeit eine ähnliche Vision, als er „einen Saphir sah, der wie ein Thron aussah“, mit einem darauf, der schimmerte wie „Bernstein, wie loderndes Feuer“ (Hesekiel 1,26-27). Dieses beeindruckende Wesen war umgeben wie von gleißenden Flammen (V. 28).

Eines Tages werden wir dem auferstandenen Christus gegenüberstehen. Diese Visionen geben uns nur einen winzigen Hinweis auf die Herrlichkeit, die uns erwartet. Während wir im Hier und Jetzt die Schönheit von Gottes Schöpfung feiern, mögen wir auch in der Erwartung der Herrlichkeit leben, die noch offenbar werden wird.
Was für eine Reaktion erwacht in dir, wenn du die Farben und die Schönheit der Schöpfung siehst? Wie kannst du deine Dankbarkeit für dieses Geschenk Gott gegenüber ausdrücken?
Vater, Worte reichen nicht aus, wenn wir versuchen uns vorzustellen, was wir erleben werden, wenn wir dir gegenüberstehen. Danke für deine kleinen Hinweise auf deine Schönheit, die du in diese Welt gebracht hast.


© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Als Xavier McCoury die Brille aufsetzte, die ihm seine Tante Celena zum 10. Geburtstag geschickt hatte, brach er in Tränen aus.