Prayer, Praise, & Promises Apr. 23, 2019

Father, hear our praises and know how we love and desire to please you. Amen

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Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [4/23/19]

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)

Passage: John 15:1-8

This verse shows how important it is to remain in a close relationship with Jesus Christ.  We can learn much from the comparison that is made, in this passage, between the main vine and the outer branches of a plant.  In gardening, you can see how pruning a plant forces it to focus its energy on sending food and water to the remaining parts of the plant that will ultimately bear fruit.  You can also see how a branch of a plant will wilt and die if it becomes separated from the main part of the plant.  In the heat of the day, you can also see how the parts of the plant that have grown the furthest away from the roots, which tap into needed water and food, will be found wilting.  Prolonged periods without adequate water and food will stunt the plant’s growth or even kill it.  May we be found close to the source of needed living water and spiritual food.  May we send down deep roots that will sustain us during stressful times or periods of drought.  May we prune those wandering branches that threaten to drain what is needed for us to bear much fruit for God’s kingdom.  (inspired by Reflecting God – Devotions for Holy Living, WordAction Publishing Company)

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Prayer, Praise, & Promises Apr. 22, 2019

Colossians 3:16 (NCV)

Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

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Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [4/22/19]

Passage: John 14:5-14 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus the Way to the Father
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

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Prayer, Praise, & Promises Apr. 21, 2019

1 Peter 1:3-4 (GNT)

Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for His people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away.

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“This Emperor Has Clothes!” – Easter Sunday [4/21/19]

Today’s Passage:  Mark 14:50-52; 15:16-24; 16:1-6

Opening Prayer: He is risen!  Jesus is alive.  A simple, but powerful prayer I offer you today.  May you truly believe that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16 NIV].  May you choose rightly and be saved.  For those who have already chosen to believe in the risen Christ, may you be found worthy through Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.

Opening Songs:
Third Day – He Is Alive (Official Lyric Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3WesovtpvI
He Reigns – Newsboys (with lyrics)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKTqwBetI1I

Message [used with permission from A Sermon for Every Sunday]: “This Emperor Has Clothes!” – Easter Sunday by Scott Spencer, New Testament professor.
In Hans Christian Anderson’s famous folktale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the emperor hired tailors to make him exquisite new clothes with interwoven power that makes them invisible to anyone unfit for their positions. It’s a sham, but everyone, including the emperor, will not admit it because they do not want to be seen as unfit for their positions. So it was in Jesus’ day as well. Scott Spencer, author and New Testament scholar, preaches a sermon called “The Emperor Has No Clothes: Exposing the Naked Truth” from Mark 15-16. He says, “Jesus comes as Lord and Messiah of God’s kingdom with a whole different idea of what it means to rule justly and rightly and it gets him killed by the fancy dressed set.” What is with all of the nakedness and re-clothing in Mark 15-16? What does it mean in light of the crucifixion and resurrection? Listen as Spencer explains how Jesus’ resurrection reveals the naked truth of God’s kingdom.

or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtxEXUCf18Y

Closing Song:
Matt Maher – Because He Lives (Amen) [Official Lyric Video]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBvU7arNhQs
 
Closing Prayer: I am alive because He lives.  Thanks you Jesus!  May we find hope in You.  May Your grace and mercy touch our hearts and souls.  May You heal our brokenness.  May we live for You; being Your hands and feet in the world.  Thank you for a new and eternal hope!  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

Epilogue:
Third Day – Cry Out To Jesus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmVxRl5bc4Y
Crucified With Christ – Phillips Craig and Dean
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0_1jazh454

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Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [4/21/19]

Mark 16:1-8 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Has Risen

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

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