Prayer, Praise, & Promises May. 19, 2019

Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you. – Corrie ten Boom

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Short Passage, Big Message – Fifth Sunday of Easter [5/19/19]

Today’s Passage:  John 13:31-35

Opening Prayer:  Father God, it is often said that the gospel message is an easy one; love one another.  However, in life we have learned that this simple message is not always the easiest one to follow or put into practice.  May we consider the simple message of loving one another and then imagine the many ways, in our everyday life, that we could make that message real for those around us.  May we then, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, and to the glory of our Heavenly Father, put some of our thoughts into action with simple acts of kindness.  These things I pray and more, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Opening Song: Graham Kendrick – Love Each Other (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtkROEDMTbY

Message [used with permission from A Sermon for Every Sunday]: Fifth Sunday of Easter called
“Short Passage, Big Message”
by Courtney Allen, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia.
“‘Short passage…big message…love one another, love one another, love one another…any questions?’ This is how I once heard a preacher describe these few verses from John’s gospel,” begins Courtney Allen, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. In John 13:31-35, Jesus adds a qualifier to the old and familiar commandment to love one another. Jesus tells the disciples to love as “I have loved you.” It is a “short passage with a big message…an old commandment with a new meaning.” How does this new commandment apply to us today? How do we love as Christ loved us? Interestingly, Allen points out that Jesus gives no other ethical imperative in the gospel of John except to love one another. It’s that easy and it’s that hard. Listen as Allen expounds on how we can spread Christ’s love to others.

or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS0L22tkqvQ

Closing Song:  Michael W. Smith – Love Always Wins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQOwVIG5m9Q

Closing Prayer: Father God, help us to see that love always wins.  There are so many in need of a win.  Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus that shows a struggling world that love always wins.  May we love one another just as Jesus did… in very personal and practical ways.  In expressing love the way He did, may we feel loved.  In the precious name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

Epilogue: Just do it.
Newsboys – Love One Another (Audio)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-YFb5SVK6Q

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Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [5/19/19]

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:33-35 (NIV)

Often we hear told that an unbeliever will look upon a Christian and ask a question such as, “what is it about you that seems so different… so peaceful, so content?”  The verses above remind us that disciples of Jesus Christ will be viewed differently by others and they will behave differently from others.  As followers, we are to love one another.  This comes from a changed or renewed heart.  May our love for others be evident.  May we faithfully fulfill the command give to us by Jesus to love one another.  In His name, I pray. Amen.

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Prayer, Praise, & Promises May. 18, 2019

A person full of the Holy Spirit cannot be full of self. Pride never accompanies power in the fully yielded life. –  Beth Moore

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Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [5/18/19]

“I replied, ‘… Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’  “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’

“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.  Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’  So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:8-9, 15-18 (NIV)

God can make people and things clean.  We need to guard against assuming something or someone to be impure or unclean… because God can change that state in an instant.  We also need to guard against thinking that anyone is more entitled to something from God than we or another person might be.  Who are we to think we know more than God?  Who are we to think we have a better plan?  This portion of Scripture shows us that the Holy Spirit is an equal opportunity giver of gifts if it be the will of God.  Praise the Lord that we have equal access, through repentance, to everlasting life.

Passage: Acts 11:1-18

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Prayer, Praise, & Promises May. 17, 2019

Father, our praise is sometimes lacking. We need a fresh dose of strength every day. May we humble ourselves to You and put aside our selfishness and pride so we can receive Your instruction. Amen.

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Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [5/17/19]

Can anyone say praise the Lord?

 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
he issued a decree that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord. Psalm 148 (NIV)

Can anyone say amen?  Amen!

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