Sundays at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.

Sunday Prep // January 17-21, 2022

"Truth Over Trend" #2

This week, take time each day to read these passage as you prepare your heart and mind for the sermon this Sunday.

Monday, January 17 - Psalm 139:1-24

FOCUS:  The text for this Sunday is Psalm 139:13-17, but I've given you the whole of Psalm 139 for context.  This is such a wonderful psalm to reflect on!

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; 
you discern my thoughts from afar. 
3 You search out my path and my lying down 
and are acquainted with all my ways. 
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, 
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 
5 You hem me in, behind and before, 
and lay your hand upon me. 
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; 
it is high; I cannot attain it.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence? 
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! 
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
9 If I take the wings of the morning 
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
10 even there your hand shall lead me, 
and your right hand shall hold me. 
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, 
and the light about me be night,” 
12 even the darkness is not dark to you; 
the night is bright as the day, 
for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works; 
my soul knows it very well. 
15 My frame was not hidden from you, 
when I was being made in secret, 
intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; 
in your book were written, every one of them, 
the days that were formed for me, 
when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! 
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. 
I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me! 
20 They speak against you with malicious intent; 
your enemies take your name in vain. 
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? 
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 
22 I hate them with complete hatred; 
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts! 
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting! 

Tuesday, January 18 - Luke 1:39-45

CONTEXT:  This is the story of when Jesus' mother, Mary, visits her cousin, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist and Mary is pregnant with Jesus.  One of the main points of this passage is how the pre-born John the Baptist leaps in his mother's womb at the presence of the pre-born Jesus.  This is clearly an act of volitional will on the part of John and could be argued as being an act of faith on his part.

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Wednesday, January 19 - Psalm 51:1-19

To the choirmaster.
A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love; 
according to your abundant mercy 
blot out my transgressions. 
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, 
and cleanse me from my sin!

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me. 
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned 
and done what is evil in your sight, 
so that you may be justified in your words 
and blameless in your judgment. 
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, 
and in sin did my mother conceive me. 
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, 
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; 
let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 
9 Hide your face from my sins, 
and blot out all my iniquities. 
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
and renew a right spirit within me. 
11 Cast me not away from your presence, 
and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, 
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you. 
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, 
O God of my salvation, 
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 
15 O Lord, open my lips, 
and my mouth will declare your praise. 
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; 
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; 
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem; 
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, 
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; 
then bulls will be offered on your altar. 

Thursday, January 20 - 1 Peter 2:1-12

CONTEXT:  Instead of looking to the things that the world values to understand who we are, we should look to the Lord and His Word to define us.  This is a key passage to understand our identity in Christ.

2:1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”

8 and
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Friday, January 21 - Jeremiah 1:1-10; Isaiah 49:1-7

CONTEXT:  These two passages speak about God's plan for people prior to their birth.  First, Jeremiah was set apart to be a prophet before God formed him in the womb.  This aligns with several other passages like Ephesians 1:4 that describe how we have been chosen by God before the foundations of the world.

1:1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”

9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”


CONTEXT:  Here, Isaiah says something similar to Jeremiah about his own calling, but he also says that God knows and calls all of Israel to be His people prior to their birth.

49 Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4 But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
5 And now the Lord says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
6 he says:

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

7 Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:

“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”