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Sunday Prep // May 3-7, 2021

"Endgame" - Week Five

Each day this week, read these passages to prepare for the sermon this coming Sunday.

Monday, May 3 - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. 

Tuesday, May 4 - Matthew 22:23-33

23 The same day Sadducees came to him [Jesus], who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. 26 So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

Wednesday - May 5 - Psalm 18:1-50

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, 
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, 
and I am saved from my enemies. 
4 The cords of death encompassed me; 
the torrents of destruction assailed me; 
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; 
the snares of death confronted me. 
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; 
to my God I cried for help. 
From his temple he heard my voice, 
and my cry to him reached his ears. 
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; 
the foundations also of the mountains trembled 
and quaked, because he was angry. 
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, 
and devouring fire from his mouth; 
glowing coals flamed forth from him. 
9 He bowed the heavens and came down; 
thick darkness was under his feet. 
10 He rode on a cherub and flew; 
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind. 
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, 
thick clouds dark with water. 
12 Out of the brightness before him 
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds. 
13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, 
and the Most High uttered his voice, 
hailstones and coals of fire. 
14 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; 
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them. 
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen, 
and the foundations of the world were laid bare 
at your rebuke, O Lord, 
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 
16 He sent from on high, he took me; 
he drew me out of many waters. 
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy 
and from those who hated me, 
for they were too mighty for me. 
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, 
but the Lord was my support. 
19 He brought me out into a broad place; 
he rescued me, because he delighted in me. 
20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; 
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. 
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, 
and have not wickedly departed from my God. 
22 For all his rules were before me, 
and his statutes I did not put away from me. 
23 I was blameless before him, 
and I kept myself from my guilt. 
24 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, 
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. 
25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful; 
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; 
26 with the purified you show yourself pure; 
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. 
27 For you save a humble people, 
but the haughty eyes you bring down. 
28 For it is you who light my lamp; 
the Lord my God lightens my darkness. 
29 For by you I can run against a troop, 
and by my God I can leap over a wall. 
30 This God—his way is perfect; 
the word of the Lord proves true; 
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 
31 For who is God, but the Lord? 
And who is a rock, except our God?— 
32 the God who equipped me with strength 
and made my way blameless. 
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer 
and set me secure on the heights. 
34 He trains my hands for war, 
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, 
and your right hand supported me, 
and your gentleness made me great. 
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me, 
and my feet did not slip. 
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them, 
and did not turn back till they were consumed. 
38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; 
they fell under my feet. 
39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle; 
you made those who rise against me sink under me. 
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me, 
and those who hated me I destroyed. 
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save; 
they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 
42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind; 
I cast them out like the mire of the streets. 
43 You delivered me from strife with the people; 
you made me the head of the nations; 
people whom I had not known served me. 
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; 
foreigners came cringing to me. 
45 Foreigners lost heart 
and came trembling out of their fortresses. 
46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, 
and exalted be the God of my salvation— 
47 the God who gave me vengeance 
and subdued peoples under me, 
48 who rescued me from my enemies; 
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; 
you delivered me from the man of violence. 
49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, 
and sing to your name. 
50 Great salvation he brings to his king, 
and shows steadfast love to his anointed, 
to David and his offspring forever. 

Thursday, May 6 - Daniel 12:1-4 & Revelation 20:4-6

Daniel 12:1 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Friday, May 7 - 1 John 2:28-3:18

2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.