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Sunday Prep // September 13-17, 2021

"Praying With Paul" - #2

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

Monday, September 13 - Philippians 1:3-11

1:3  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 

Tuesday, September 14 - Acts 20:17-38

CONTEXT:  In yesterday's passage from Philippians 1, Paul expresses his sincere love for the church at Philippi.  Paul felt this way about many of the churches he planted and visited, including the church at Ephesus.  In Acts 19, we read about Paul's experience as he starts the church in Ephesus.  But in this passage, Paul must leave them and we can see the love that Paul and church have for one another.

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:
 
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.

Wednesday, September 15 - Psalm 35:1-28

Of David.
 
1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; 
fight against those who fight against me! 
2 Take hold of shield and buckler 
and rise for my help! 
3 Draw the spear and javelin 
against my pursuers! 
Say to my soul, 
“I am your salvation!”

4 Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life! 
Let them be turned back and disappointed 
who devise evil against me! 
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, 
with the angel of the Lord driving them away! 
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, 
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!

7 For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause they dug a pit for my life. 
8 Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it! 
And let the net that he hid ensnare him; 
let him fall into it—to his destruction!

9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his salvation. 
10 All my bones shall say, 
“O Lord, who is like you, 
delivering the poor 
from him who is too strong for him, 
the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

11 Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things that I do not know. 
12 They repay me evil for good; 
my soul is bereft. 
13 But I, when they were sick— 
I wore sackcloth; 
I afflicted myself with fasting; 
I prayed with head bowed on my chest. 
14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; 
as one who laments his mother, 
I bowed down in mourning.

15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
they gathered together against me; 
wretches whom I did not know 
tore at me without ceasing; 
16 like profane mockers at a feast, 
they gnash at me with their teeth.

17 How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their destruction, 
my precious life from the lions! 
18 I will thank you in the great congregation; 
in the mighty throng I will praise you.

19 Let not those rejoice over me
who are wrongfully my foes, 
and let not those wink the eye 
who hate me without cause. 
20 For they do not speak peace, 
but against those who are quiet in the land 
they devise words of deceit. 
21 They open wide their mouths against me; 
they say, “Aha, Aha! 
Our eyes have seen it!”

22 You have seen, O Lord; be not silent!
O Lord, be not far from me! 
23 Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, 
for my cause, my God and my Lord! 
24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God, 
according to your righteousness, 
and let them not rejoice over me! 
25 Let them not say in their hearts, 
“Aha, our heart’s desire!” 
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who rejoice at my calamity! 
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor 
who magnify themselves against me!

27 Let those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad 
and say evermore, 
“Great is the Lord, 
who delights in the welfare of his servant!” 
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness 
and of your praise all the day long. 

Thursday, September 16 - Jude 1-25

CONTEXT:  In this short letter from Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, he encourages his readers to grow in "knowledge and all discernment," just as Paul prays for the Philippian church.  While there are some confusing and difficult things in this letter, note the instruction that Jude gives us and how it helps us to be more complete in our faith.

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
 
5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
 
14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Friday, September 17 - 1 John 2:28-3:10

CONTEXT:  Another thing that Paul prays for in Philippians 1 is for the Philippian church to be "pure and blameless for the day of Christ."  This promise from God is seen throughout scripture, but here in 1 John we have it spelled out to us in the context of a relationship between God and us where we are His children.

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 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.

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