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February 18, 2024

John 1: 1-34 New International Version (NIV)

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ”

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

John Testifies About Jesus

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.””

February 11, 2024

Matthew 7: 1 – 23 New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

1  “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6  “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

7  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9  “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Sunday, February 4 2024

James 5: 13-16

The Prayer of Faith

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 

14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Sunday, January 28 2024

Psalm 107 New International Version (NIV)

“1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—

those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

3 those he gathered from the lands,

from east and west, from north and south.

4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,

finding no way to a city where they could settle.

5 They were hungry and thirsty,

and their lives ebbed away.

6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

7 He led them by a straight way

to a city where they could settle.

8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

9 for he satisfies the thirsty

and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,

prisoners suffering in iron chains,

11 because they rebelled against God’s commands

and despised the plans of the Most High.

12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;

they stumbled, and there was no one to help.

13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress.

14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,

and broke away their chains.

15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

16 for he breaks down gates of bronze

and cuts through bars of iron.

17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways

and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.

18 They loathed all food

and drew near the gates of death.

19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress.

20 He sent out his word and healed them;

he rescued them from the grave.

21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings

and tell of his works with songs of joy.

23 Some went out on the sea in ships;

they were merchants on the mighty waters.

24 They saw the works of the Lord,

his wonderful deeds in the deep.

25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest

that lifted high the waves.

26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;

in their peril their courage melted away.

27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;

they were at their wits’ end.

28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and he brought them out of their distress.

29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;

the waves of the sea were hushed.

30 They were glad when it grew calm,

and he guided them to their desired haven.

31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people

and praise him in the council of the elders.

33 He turned rivers into a desert,

flowing springs into thirsty ground,

34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,

because of the wickedness of those who lived there.

35 He turned the desert into pools of water

and the parched ground into flowing springs;

36 there he brought the hungry to live,

and they founded a city where they could settle.

37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards

that yielded a fruitful harvest;

38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,

and he did not let their herds diminish.

39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled

by oppression, calamity and sorrow;

40 he who pours contempt on nobles

made them wander in a trackless waste.

41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction

and increased their families like flocks.

42 The upright see and rejoice,

but all the wicked shut their mouths.

43 Let the one who is wise heed these things

and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.”

Sunday, January 21 2024

Philippians 4: 4- 9

Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 

5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Sunday, January 14 2024

Jeremiah 29: 11-14 New International Version (NIV)

“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Sunday, January 7 2024

Isaiah 43: 16 – 19 New International Version (NIV)

“16 This is what the Lord says—

he who made a way through the sea,

a path through the mighty waters,

17 who drew out the chariots and horses,

the army and reinforcements together,

and they lay there, never to rise again,

extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

18 “Forget the former things;

do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.”

Sunday, December 31 2023

Revelation 22: 12-21 New International Version (NIV)

Epilogue: Invitation and Warning

12  “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14  “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16  “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you  this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”

Sunday Christmas Eve 2023

Luke 1: 26 – 38 New International Version (NIV)

“The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,

27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.

31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,

33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”