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8.24.20


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 Germany, Barbados, Uruguay, Rwanda, China and the church in these countries as well as the lost. Thank you Lord for all your blessings and forgive us for doubting Your goodness. Lift those who carry heavy burdens, comfort the bereaved, heal the sick, And use us to reveal Your love to the world. 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 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:30-34 NIV 2020 has been some year! And we’re not through it yet. It is easy to get caught up in the latest news cycle and feel overwhelmed but remember as Christians we have dual citizenship; here in this world and in the kingdom of God. Last week we dug deep into what justice means using the Bible Project’s video on justice. In the weeks before we looked at the concept of reconciliation; the mending of broken relationships. In each case, it’s clear that these concepts are fairly simple to define and infinitely difficult to live out. How many times have you heard someone say, “I know I should______________, but I just don’t want to.” How many times have you felt that way?   In truth, justice is simply love enacted for the wider world and society. Reconciliation is love at work in more intimate and close relationships marred by sin. All the big Bible buzz words are actually facets of love in action: kindness, patience, forgiveness, peace, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness are just love engaging with God and others. Again so simple and yet nothing is harder in the day to day. This world is broken. Vandalized by sin and twisted away from God’s intended course by our selfish wants. When humanity sinned, we chose to make our desires number one instead of God.  The apostle Paul wrote about the struggle with his own sinful nature throughout his letters to the early church. While he was completely dedicated to God, he wrote that he found himself doing what he hated and not doing what he knew he ought to do. Sound familiar?  The solution was Jesus; to daily seek God and a growing intimacy with Him. In the writings of many faithful Christians throughout history we find that the more mature you are in Christ the more clearly you see how frail and sinful you are. While we’d like a simple formula of effort in = reward out, faith is a relationship not an equation. On our part, growth tends to happen in fits and starts with great gaps of monotony or effort in between. However God is never far, like any good parent He is working for us. Sometimes He steps in and other times He stands back. He knows so much more than we do. The most powerful tool we have is to seek Him. Make Him your top priority; pray, read the Bible, talk about Him with other Christians, worship and then reflect on what He has done. Taking time every day to be grateful can absolutely transform this journey. More and more scientific studies reveal the benefits of practices the church has always advocated; fasting, meditating, gratitude, etc… God is good, He is ready at every moment to reach out. Are you ready to take His hand today?

-nicole


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/1-2-chronicles/ for an overview of 2 Chronicles 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.

2 Chronicles 18:28-21:3 What will Ahab do, as he enters battle? (29) How will that work out for him? (33-34) It’s interesting what can happen at times when we chose to deny God’s word! Do you remember what God said to Ahab through the prophet? While Jehoshaphat is a good king, his choices with regards to “who” to partner with are called out in chapter 19. What will Jehu say to him? (2)  This year as I have been reading through the bible with y’all, the idea of “judging” and “justice” especially in the old testament has really jumped out at me. (19:8-10) Think about what Solomon asked for and how God responded to his request. (1 Kings 3:9) What are the two things Jehoshaphat will do, when confronted by an immense army? (20:3) What will be God’s response through Jahaziel? (15-17) Once again, Jehoshaphat will make an alliance with a wicked king. (Isn't it amazing how slow we are to learn) What is the result? (37) 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 The resurrection is the core to our faith. It changed history. In response to the resurrection is a question about “bodily resurrection.” What can you make out of what Paul is saying in these verses? Psalm 102:12-17 Psalm 102 starts with the psalmist turning to God while in affliction or oppression. What do we see today? Where does the psalmists hope exist? 2 Chronicles 21:4-23:21 How will Jehoram’s kingship go? Why? (chapter 21) Chapter 22 is hard to follow, at least for me. Ahaziah, Jehoram, Ahab, Athaliah… there are too many names to keep straight. I can't remember who was king of what nation. What is the overall sense of this chapter? (Did they do good or evil?)  I don’t know about you, but I had never thought of the priests as warriors. But isn’t that what we see in Chapter 23? Isn’t it interesting how Jehoida, a priest, will rise up and establish Joash king, and set Judah back on a path of faithfulness for God? (Come on, this is almost as good as the soap operas I used to watch with my mother.) 1 Corinthians 15:50-16:4 Paul continues to unpack “perishable” and “unperishable.” Re-read verse 58. What is the encouragement we find here?  Moving into chapter 16, how does Paul understand the “collection?” What were the people in Corinth supposed to do? Proverbs 20:25-21:4 Proverb 20:28 is an interesting proverb in light of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. Rehoboam’s story points to the truth in this proverb. (1 Kings 12 is the story of Rehoboam’s mistake) What do you think about 21:3 in light of our study of Amos?

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