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Sunday Prep // September 6-10, 2021

"Praying With Paul" - #1

Read these passages each day this week to prepare for the sermon this coming Sunday.

Sorry for missing a week last week!  It's always a challenge to stay ahead of what's happening on Sundays.  Thanks for sticking with us!  We hope the Sunday Prep has been a blessing to you.

Monday, September 6 - Colossians 1:1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
 
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Tuesday, September 7 - Proverbs 8:1-36

CONTEXT:  Proverbs is a book of short sayings that provide wisdom from God.  In this chapter wisdom itself is personified (or made to be a person), and some people interpret this person as being Jesus Christ himself.  As we read this passage today, consider the words of wisdom and how they relate to Paul's prayer for the Colossians for knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9).

8:1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.
5 O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right,
7 for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

Wednesday, September 8 - Psalm 34:1-22

A FEW THINGS TO NOTE:  First, the heading of this Psalm references a specific event in David's life found in 1 Samuel 21:10-15.  It might be a good idea to read that short story along with this Psalm today.  Also, in Hebrew, this Psalm is an acrostic poem where each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
 
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; 
his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; 
let the humble hear and be glad. 
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, 
and let us exalt his name together! 
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me 
and delivered me from all my fears. 
5 Those who look to him are radiant, 
and their faces shall never be ashamed. 
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him 
and saved him out of all his troubles. 
7 The angel of the Lord encamps 
around those who fear him, and delivers them. 
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! 
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, 
for those who fear him have no lack! 
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; 
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 
11 Come, O children, listen to me; 
I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 
12 What man is there who desires life 
and loves many days, that he may see good? 
13 Keep your tongue from evil 
and your lips from speaking deceit. 
14 Turn away from evil and do good; 
seek peace and pursue it. 
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous 
and his ears toward their cry. 
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, 
to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears 
and delivers them out of all their troubles. 
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted 
and saves the crushed in spirit. 
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, 
but the Lord delivers him out of them all. 
20 He keeps all his bones; 
not one of them is broken. 
21 Affliction will slay the wicked, 
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; 
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. 

Thursday, September 9 - Ephesians 4:1-16

CONTEXT:  What does it mean to "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord?" (Col. 1:10)  Here the Apostle Paul writes more on this subject helping us to understand what this might look like for us and some of the tools the Lord gives us to help us get there.

4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”


9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Friday, September 10 - John 1:9-13

CONTEXT:  Today, we're going to end the week with a short passage that reflects what Paul says in Colossians 1:12--that God the Father "has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."  In the beginning of John's Gospel, he speaks for this qualification that was given to us by no merit of our own.  Reflect on this passage today, remembering that if you are a Christian you are a true child of God and heir to the Kingdom of God.

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

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