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Showing posts from January 6, 2013


January 6
Lesson 6


DEVOTIONAL READING: Psalm 119:169–176


After participating in this lesson, each student will be able to:
1. Tell how Paul rose above his circumstances in order to rejoice in what God was doing.
2. Compare and contrast Paul’s outlook with that of a contemporary figure who faces adversity.
3. Identify a source of opposition or adversity in his or her life and look for ways to rejoice in the midst of it.


IntroductionA.      Mixed Motives
      B.      Lesson Background
  I.      Gospel’s Spread (PHILIPPIANS 1:12–18a)
      A.      In Spite of Restrictions (vv. 12–14)

Good from Bad

 B.      In Light of Differing Motives (vv. 15–18a)
          II.      Paul’s Outlook (PHILIPPIANS 1:18b–26)       A.      Joy and Expectation (vv. 18b–20)
      B.      Life and Death (vv. 21–24)
      To Live Is Christ       C.      Presence and Joy (vv. 25, 26)
ConclusionA.      One Reason for Joy
      B.      Praye…

Preach for a Year - Happy New

  Happy New Year!John 3:3; Romans 6:4; Philippians 3:13–14 I.      Introduction          A.      The Greeting of the Season          1.      Countless greeting cards sent through the mails
         2.      Salutations and celebrations
         B.      The New Year is not Really New          1.      While thousands will shout Happy New Year,they will awaken to the same old burdens as before
         2.      Instead of a Happy New Year, for many, it will be a terrible hangover
         3.      There is no magic hour at midnight that suddenly ushers in utopia
         C.      What Makes A New Year Happy?           II.      Body          A.      The New Birth (John 3:3–5)          1.      Necessity of the new birth
         2.      Many have dreamed of the opportunity of starting over again
         3.      What the new birth is not:
           a.      It is not baptism
           b.      It is not reformation
         4.      The new birth takes place upon receiving Christ by faith (…

The First Sunday of Epiphany

The First Sunday of Epiphany

Genesis 1:1–5
Acts 19:1–7
Mark 1:4–11

Wind and water. Light and dark. Heaven and earth. The beginning.
There is a quiet joy about the opening of Genesis. Quiet, not because it’s only slightly exciting, but because we know at once that these are the soft opening notes of a theme that will grow and swell, rise and develop, until the whole orchestra has joined in with wild, exuberant harmony and counterpoint. Even that will only be the completion of the beginning. God saw that it was good. But there is more.

The wind of God sweeps over the waters. Difficult to know how much to hear in that phrase. ‘Wind’ is the same Hebrew word as ‘spirit’, or even ‘Spirit’; there is a good deal to be said for thinking that the writer, editor(s) and transmitters of Genesis 1 would not have made the finicky post-Enlightenment distinctions that we do. A full range of meaning is available, from ‘a mighty wind’ through to ‘God’s Spirit’. The wind blows where it wills, and we don’t k…

Vanderbilt Divinity Library, United Methodist Revised Common Lectionary - EPIPHANY OF THE LORD


 Old TestamentIsaiah 60:1–6
     Psalm Psalm 72:1–7, 10–14 (UMH 795)
   New Testament Ephesians 3:1–12
   Gospel Matthew 2:1–12

Vanderbilt Divinity Library, United Methodist Revised Common Lectionary (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009).



Psalm       Psalm 72 or Psalm 72:1–2, 10–17
First Reading Isaiah 60:1–6, 9
Second Reading Ephesians 3:1–12
Gospel       Matthew 2:1–12

The Episcopal Church, Book of Common Prayer (1979) Sunday Lectionary (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010).




 Old Testament Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm Psalm 72:1–11 (12–15)
   Epistle Ephesians 3:1–12
GospelMatthew 2:1–12

Lutheran Service Book Three Year Lectionary (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009).

Casting All Your Care Upon Him

Morning, January 6

   “Casting all your care upon him; for he [cares] for you.” 
         — 1 Peter 5:7

It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel—“HE [cares] for me.” Christian! do not dishonour religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to

“Lie passive in God’s hands,
         And know no will but his.”

O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in his providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who [cares] for you. His eye is fixed on you, his heart beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotentshall yet bring you the nee…

The Hand of the Lord

Evening, January 6

         “Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening.”
         — Ezekiel 33:22

In the way of judgment this may be the case, and, if so, be it mine to consider the reason of such a visitation, and bear the rod and him that hath appointed it. I am not the only one who is chastened in the night season; let me cheerfully submit to the affliction, and carefully to be profited thereby. But the hand of the Lord may also be felt in another manner, strengthening the soul and lifting the spirit upward towards eternal things. O that I may in this sense feel the Lord dealing with me! A sense of the divine presence and indwelling bears the soul towards heaven as upon the wings of eagles. At such times we are full to the brim with spiritual joy, and forget the cares and sorrows of earth; the invisible is near, and the visible loses its power over us; servant-body waits at the foot of the hill, and the master-spirit worships upon the summit in the presence of the Lord. O…

I Did It My Way

January 6: I Did It My Way
Genesis 11

Frank Sinatra was wrong to do things “his way.” In Gen 11, we see people uniting in building what seems like a great triumph of humanity—until we realize what their work is all about. They’re tired of being distant from God, so they build a structure that will reach the heavens.

“Surely the gods will know and find us now.… Let’s meet our maker,” you can almost hear them say. But the true God, Yahweh, knows their plan and says: “Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Gen 11:7). Because all the people spoke one language, they were dangerous to themselves. In the unity of one world, there is disunity: we choose to assault the God we should serve.

There is an alternative—a unity that God desires: where we serve Him by serving others. Jesus describes how we should act towards one another and towards Him, even teaching us how to pray. With Christ, God has resolved the reason the tower …