LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Father, we pray for the Dominican Republic, Cyprus, Serbia, Thailand, Sierra Leone and the church in these countries as well as the lost. We thank you for your justice and love. We thank you for your presence and compassion. We thank you for your provision even in difficult times. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION “…Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:37-39 NIV
We will continue our discussion of the Bible Project video on justice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A14THPoc4-4). Jesus died to set us free from the bondage of sin. We are now filled with God’s Spirit and ready to live the lives of justice, righteousness and love that God intended us to live. Those observing the first Pentecost heard Peter’s words (today’s verse) and were changed just as the apostles had just been changed. These were the people who just moments before had suspected the apostles of being drunk. Now they were “cut to the heart” and ready to hear how they too could be changed. “This involved a change in status from guilty (rashah) to not guilty but even more importantly it came with POWER. The early followers of Jesus experienced this power and it changed their lives in every way. It compelled them to act in surprising new ways. This new life was not convenient or easy, it was a radical way of living that included making other people’s problems our problems. This is what Jesus means by ‘loving your neighbor’.”* The apostle Paul’s life was completely upended and so he had a keen insight on how to pray for us as we seek to be faithful and just: “I pray that the great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you the wisdom of His Spirit. Then you will be able to understand the secrets about Him as you know Him better. I pray that your hearts will be able to understand. I pray that you will know about the hope given by God’s call. I pray that you will see how great the things are that He has promised to those who belong to Him. I pray that you will know how great His power is for those who have put their trust in Him. It is the same power that raised Christ from the dead.” Ephesians 1:17-20a NIV Be blessed, be hopeful, be ready to be changed! -nicole *from the Bible Project video on Justice
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING- pastor mike
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/song-of-songs/ for an overview of Song of Songs and https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-corinthians/ for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Song of Songs 5:1-8:14 Love. Song of Songs is a collection of “love poetry.” The question is, why is it in the bible? What do you think? What might it tell us about human sexuality? What might it tell us about love? 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13 In response to the idea of division, Paul will show us what is most important. Love. Which in light of Song of Songs, I find interesting. How does the love that Paul describes compare to the love that we find in Song of Songs? We tend to look at Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13 during weddings, but the question is, isn’t Paul speaking about something much more significant? Meaning is Paul talking about a love only in the context of marriage, or something more. Consequently, do we show love in all that we do? Psalm 100:1-5 “The Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” What a beautiful reminder.