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Gospel Lesson: John 14:23-29 (NIV84)

posted Jan 18, 2014, 10:04 PM by Rick Tuttle   [ updated Apr 26, 2016, 7:28 AM ]

Jesus continues to prepare the disciples for his visible departure. The new command to love one another also means loving him and his Word. Loving Jesus means obeying his teaching. We do not fear at the thought of this impossible task. The gift of the Spirit comes to bring knowledge and peace. With untroubled hearts, we believe. 

23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.

Supplemental Second Lesson: Revelation 3:14-22 (NIV84)

posted Jan 18, 2014, 9:51 PM by Rick Tuttle   [ updated Apr 26, 2016, 7:31 AM ]

Spiritual apathy has disastrous results. The Laodiceans failed to obey the teaching of Christ.  Their lukewarm Christianity was taking them to destruction.  But Christ called them to new obedience and new love for him by offering them real wealth, clothes of holiness, and the salve of healing.  Hear what the Spirit says and overcome the world even as the risen Lord has overcome it. 

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 
 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 
 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” 

Second Lesson: Revelation 21:10-14,22,23 (NIV84)

posted Dec 16, 2013, 3:12 PM by Rick Tuttle   [ updated Apr 26, 2016, 7:37 AM ]

As the angel points out the bride of Christ to St. John, can we help but marvel:   that’s us!  Here is how God sees his Church: as the very bride of Christ, holy and glorious.  Like a brilliant jewel the Church built on the prophets and apostles is prepared for an eternity with her loving Lord in the temple of the Lamb and the radiance of his light. 

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

Supplemental First Lesson: 2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV84)

posted Dec 16, 2013, 2:47 PM by Rick Tuttle   [ updated Apr 26, 2016, 7:40 AM ]

Obeying the Word of God had brought Elisha and his servant to the brink of death.  The servant of Elisha was gripped in fear when he saw the forces that King of Aram sent to capture his master. In a stunning revelation of divine knowledge, the servant receives spiritual sight. The sight of the vast army of fire brought peace to his fainting heart. God’s message is simple, but profound.  Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God! 

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. 
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 
17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 

First Lesson: Acts 14:8-18 (NIV84)

posted Dec 16, 2013, 2:40 PM by Rick Tuttle   [ updated Apr 26, 2016, 7:45 AM ]

Their first missionary journey continues as Paul and Barnabas flee to Lystra. Filled with the Spirit, Paul and Barnabas heal a man crippled from birth. While the crowd recognizes divine power at work, their misguided notions of divinity lead them to the wrong conclusion. Troubled by what was happening, Paul and Barnabas seize the opportunity to proclaim the true message of peace through the risen Christ. 

8 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. 
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. 
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

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