Monday, August 31, 2009

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 31, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

2 Chronicles 6:32-7:7

We see here the Temple dedicated; we see Solomon offer the praise of his words, through prayer and we see him offer the praise of sacrifice upon the altar. With this sacrifice, the Temple is now open and there is sacred space to worship God.

Now, we know that God didn't live in the Temple, just as we know that God doesn't live in any of our churches. We know that as the Psalmist tells us "heaven is your throne and the earth your footstool." But while God doesn't live only in these places, He is there. And those spaces are places that we have specifically set aside for the worship of God. These spaces are more for us than they are for God. These are spaces that we have said we will come and we will worship.

In our lives, we need these spaces. We need the space of worship in church, but we also need the space of personal reflection, personal prayer, personal time. As busy as we each are, we need to make time for those spaces. We need to encounter God there. If we make space to meet God, we will find Him there, waiting on us.

New Testament Lesson

James 2:1-13

We see one of the messages that comes forth in James - treat everyone the same. Don't show favoritism. Don't show partiality. Everyone is made in God's image. Don't treat anyone differently than you'd treat anyone else. Those are good lessons and good words for us. We should treat everyone the same. We should remember that everyone we meet each day deserves our respect. Wesley said did not Christ die for all? Thus He loves all. And so should we. Just as Jesus was loving to all, we should seek to do the same, through His grace.

And with the empowerment of His grace, we can do it. Today, and each day, may we treat everyone with respect.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 14:53-65

One of the hardest parts to read about the crucifixion is all the abuse that Jesus took. We said above that Jesus treated all with respect. In the passages we read about the crucifixion we see that He was not treated with respect, He was abused, spit upon, and beaten. And yet, on the cross, He prayed for the forgiveness of those that had done this. He did this all out of love. Let us never forget what our Lord suffered. And never let us forget what that shows us about the depth of His love towards us.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ordinary Time: Thrusday, August 27, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 3:16-28

We see the famous story of Solomon and the baby. He says since neither mother can agree about whose baby it is, the baby is to be divided into half and half given to each. The true mother says, no let her have it, showing she valued the child's life above all. Solomon had that wisdom given from God and we see it here. Wisdom is an interesting thing. It's not education, it is a gift. It's not something you learn, but it is something that life teaches. Wisdom is not about seeing things the way that the world would see it or we would see it, it's about trying, as best we can to see things through Jesus' eyes. Its about seeing things the way He'd have us to see.

Today, may we try to look not just through our eyes, but though Jesus' eyes. May we seek to see with wisdom.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 27:27-44

We see Paul save the lives of his captors here as well as the other prisoners. Paul encouraged the soldiers to eat and let them know that they would be fine, God would take care of them. And then, when the ship ran aground, the guards wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they would not escape, they didn't because of Paul. Because of the compassion and integrity of Paul, all these lives we saved.

We will never know the true impact of our lives. As we live lives of grace and mercy, we'll know all the lives that we touch. As we seek to live as God would have us to, full of love, mercy, and grace, God can change so many around us in ways that we'll never know. Let us be faithful. And leave the rest to God!

Gospel Lesson

Mark 14:12-26

His body the bread, His blood the wine, given for us. Not just in the meal of Holy Communion in each day. Each day, the body and blood of Christ poured out for us feeds us. Each day, He is our life. Each day, He is sustenance. Each day, He really is all we need. Today, if we have Jesus, we have all we need. May we rest in that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 3:1-15

God offered Solomon anything. Anything he could have wanted as king. And, Solomon proved that he already had some wisdom when he asked God for wisdom and the ability to judge wisely. At this point in his life, Solomon had a firm understanding of what was most important. But, later in life we see him depart from this, as he began worshiping idols and departed from God. I don't want to jump ahead in the story, but notice right now Solomon gets it. Later he doesn't.

Today, though, we see a man that knows what's most important in life and he lives and makes decisions accordingly. Today, in our lives, what is most important for us? What guides our decision making? What determines how we will; who we will be? Today, and each day, may we allow God to guide us, lead us, and help to live they way He wants and be the people He wants.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 27:9-26

We see Paul encourage the men with the statement we see over and over again — have courage. Do not fear. God is at work. In this terrifying situation, Paul tells the men, God is at work. God is doing something. God will do something because God has a bigger plan than this. He will make a way. Even in the storm they were in, God would make a way.

What a great encouragement to those of us that are often tossed about in storms - God will make a way. Have courage. Do not fear. God is there. And He will make a way. In whatever it is, in whatever storm we face, God, will make a way. Remember God is bigger than any storm in life we may face. Let us have faith, let us not fear. God is with us.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 14:1-11

We see here an act of devotion and an act of betrayal. The unnamed woman, she shows her love and devotion to Jesus by anointing him and worshiping. Judas betrays. These two stories are right beside each other. Perhaps this shows how closely the acts can be to each other. Sometimes in our lives, we are the woman, showing great devotion and love to Jesus. Sometimes we are Judas, betraying Him with our actions and words.

We are a mixture, aren't we? Sometimes we do right. Sometimes we do wrong. Sometime we glorify God. Sometimes we walk away. That's why we are saved by grace. None of us can earn what God wants to freely give us - His grace and mercy.

Today, you are loved. God loves you. Not because of what you've done, but because of what He's done. Live in that knowledge and grace today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 1:38-2:4

We often wonder, if I had one last thing to say, what would it be. Sometimes we preachers wonder, if I had one last sermon to preach, what would I preach? What words would you leave behind before those that would come after? What would you say?

David has these words for his son Solomon, who is now the king. He's words are not about leadership, or taxes, or military plans. It's not about how to run the kingdom. It's this — follow the Lord's decrees. Follow what the Lord has commanded. Follow His way and all else will work out as it ought to be.

Those are good words. We can't control everything in life. There are some things in life, many things in life, that we have no control over. But, I believe, if we follow the Lord, as best we can, all else will work out. That's what David told Solomon. I think its good words for each of us today.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 26:24-27:8

Paul is able to preach to the kings and rulers of that part of the world. Paul tells us in Romans that all things work to the good of those that love God. We see this happen in Paul's life. God is using the chains he is wearing as a powerful way to testify to the grace and glory of God. Paul's imprisonment allows him to preach the good news in places that he would have never had the chance before.

God can use anything. There's no part of your life, no part of your history, no part of who you are that God can't use for His glory and for your good. God can use it all. May we allow Him to do so.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 13:28-37

Jesus tells us about His second coming, no one knows the hour or the day. No one. Not even those that have wrote best selling books about it. Not even preachers. Not even people on the internet. No one knows when the second coming will be. No one.

So, I've always felt like it'd be a better use of our time to worry about the stuff we do know — foreignness and service and grace and love. Let's focus on what we do know, and let's leave the rest to God.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 24, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 1:5-31

One of the constants throughout human history is that people plot and scheme for power. We saw it with Absalom, we see it here now. On both sides. We see one said saying I'll be king, and we see another saying, make us king! That may be one of the most amazing parts of David's life. He never plotted against the king. When Saul was king, David told his men to not harm Saul, even when in doing so, it would have made David king. David would not do that.

Unfortunately, that lesson was not passed down to David's children, as it seems one after the other was always trying to figure out a way to be king. David understood it was a life lived in love and service to God that matters most, not your title. The children never understood. They wanted the title more than they wanted to walk with God. May we learn the lesson that they never did. May our walk with and service to God matter more to us than any title we would could ever possess.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 26:1-23

We see Paul recount his conversion for the King, tell how we had come to saving faith in Jesus, how Jesus had appeared to him and told him to go, preach this good news. Jesus had called him to something, given him a vision and a mission, and told him to go.

What a powerful foundation. To have Jesus give you a mission and then send you out. But, we each have that. Now, I don't know what your specific calling is, but God has called each of us to something. We each have special gifts that no one else has, we have things that only we can do, we are gifted in unique ways, called to unique things.

Right now, there's something you can do, that only you can do! No one else can! God has made you special and gifted. Follow Him. Trust Him. And He will lead you to where you need to be to be doing what you need to be doing!

Gospel Lesson

Mark 13:14-27

We see Jesus recounting what the Second Coming will look like. We can focus on all the things we don't understand about the Second Coming, we can focus on the way it looks like things will be bad. Or we can focus on the fact that Jesus does not leave His people and will return for them. We are never alone. We are never without hope. Jesus will not leave not forsake us. He will come again for His people! Don't lose hope. Don't give up. God has not forgotten you. Jesus will not leave you. He is here with you now, and He will return for His people!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ordinary Time: Thursday, August 20, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 19:1-23

David has a moment today that is completely bittersweet. The kingdom is saved. He is restored. His son is killed. He is no more. And while David wins the battle, he weeps over his son. And Joab tells him he need to rally the troops and encourage them. They laid down their lives for him, and needs to thank them, encourage them, speak to them.

What a hard thing to do, an impossible thing. Saving the kingdom by defeating your son. When we think of the life of David, the life of the one who was a man after God's own heart, let us not think that it is an easy life. It was very hard. Some pain was caused by David's actions.Some by forces beyond his control. In it all, he held close to God.

In the struggles of our life, may we do the same.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 24:1-23

Throughout Paul's imprisonment, he got to preach in front of many, many powerful people in the Roman empire. Leaders of all stripes. He got to tell them about the power of God, the Resurrection, the saving grace of Jesus Christ. God used this imprisonment as a way for Paul to testify to the goodness of God.

Today, not matter what happens in your life, you have choice. Will you use it for good, or will you use it for bad. Will you use the events of life to glorify God and build others up, or will you use them to tear others down and not glorify God. We have a choice today to make in our life. How will we respond to the things that happen to us today, and each day?

Gospel Lesson

Mark 12:28-34

We see the list today. What do you do as a Christian? What do you do to inherit eternal life? What is required? What's it about? We see today. Love of God, Love of Neighbor. That's it, that's the list. That's the checklist of our faith. That's what we are supposed to do. That's what we are made to do. That's who we are created to be. We are made to love to love God with all that we are, and love as neighbor as we love our self. That's it.

May we do this today. And as we do this, we will be about the work God has made us to be about.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Today, just a quick thought by way of my good friend Dr. Rocky Henriques

We always seem to find the time
To grumble and complain,
To think of all our troubles,
Our sorrows and our pain.
Yet if we would but stop and think,
I'm sure we would be glad
If we counted all the troubles
That we never had.
The loved ones we still have with us;
Our house that didn't burn;
Our automobile that wasn't wrecked;
The money we still earn.
When we're counting all our blessings
God gives us by His grace,
Let's think today of all the trials
We were not asked to face.
--Author unknown

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 18:9-18

We see in this mention in the end of the passage the thing that plagued Absalom his entire life — pride. He wanted folks to know about him, how great he was, how handsome he was, how good a king he would be. He had an overwhelming sense of pride, and it is was got him in trouble. As Proverbs teaches us, it's the pride that goes before the fall.

Let us not become too prideful. Let us not grow to thing it's all about us. Let us not think too much of ourselves. Humility is not putting yourself down or having low self esteem. Humility is what a professor of mine called "self forgetfulness." It's forgetting about ourselves, and focusing on God and others. May we seek true and honest humility today, and each day.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 23:12-24

The Lord was at work in Paul's life at this point, making a way for him to testify to as many people as possible about Jesus. He had Paul speak before governors, kings, and eventually, according to legend, Caesar himself. Paul was able with his life to give witness the love and grace of God with all that he said and did.

May that be our mission as well. Regardless of who we live our lives in front of, from kings to commoners, may be glorify and give witness to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ by what we say, how we live, and what we do.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 11:27-12:12

Jesus was standing in front of them today and they didn't realize it. They had the very son of God before them and they were so worried about other things that they missed him. May we not make the same mistake.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 17, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 17:24-18:8

One of the signs of a good leader is someone who is willing to listen to his/her people. Today, David has a plan. David knows what he wants to do. But his people say, no, let's try this. And David, the king, the one after God's own heart, David says. Ok. Let's try that.

Who in your life do you listen to? Who in your life, if they disagreed with you, would make you reexamine your plans? We all need someone in our life to do that. That's willing to tell us the things that we don't want to hear, in love, of course. That's willing to speak truth that we may miss. David always had someone in his life like that, Nathan, his trusted commanders, someone. And, he listened.

Who do we have that we listen to? We all need someone.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 22:30-23:11

Paul saw all the things that he endured as a chance to testify to God's grace and mercy. He saw all things that happened in his life as something that God could use for His glory. What a great way to look at things! In life, we can see things in the negative, in the bad, in the troublesome. Or we can see each thing in life, each moment, each event, as something God can use.

God used each part of Paul's journey for some awesome means of showing His grace. Each thing that happened to Paul, God could use. So is it in our lives. Each part of our lives, each moment of our lives, God can use. May we allow God to use all of us today.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 11:12-26

Faith. Jesus said if we believe, it will happen. We are a people of faith. We are a people of belief. We are a people of hope. We walk by faith, not by sight. We are called to believe today. That's the key to who we are. We have faith in God, that's He's at work. That He's not done. That He's doing more than we can ever imagine, or even see. We have faith. And, as Peter once said, Lord, we believe, help our unbelief.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ordinary Time: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 15:1-18

We see from Absalom the desire to do whatever he must do to get what he wants. He is willing to lie, to harm, to use people, to do whatever he has to do to get what he wants. And many of the people in the text don't even realized they are being used by Absalom. They don't even see it.

In life, there are those that so lust after what they want that they will do whatever they have to do to get it. Let us be careful of folk like that. But, as importantly, let us not be people like that. Let us not be like Absalom. Let us not plot, cheat, and steal. Let us lead moral upright lives. Let us not use others, let us do right be others. Absalom focused only on what he wanted; he didn't even consider other people. Let us not make that same mistake.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:27-36

We see Paul get swept up in the mob of this moment. This happens to Paul a lot. In life there seems to always be things happening that are beyond his control. This that swirl around him, that he has no control over. You can't control when a mob tries to throw you out of the Temple. What did Paul do in all this?

He focused on his mission. And he focused on what he could control. In life, there are a lot of things we can't control. There are a lot of things we can't do anything with. Let's not worry about those. Let's just focus on what we can control. On what we can deal with it. On what we can do something about. And we can leave all the rest in God's hands.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 10:32-45

The Disciples are arguing about who will be the greatest. Who will be in charge. Who will run things. Who will have the power. They'd gotten made each other, they'd started to fuss about it and Jesus hears. And He tells a Kingdom truth. The greatest must be least. The greatest is the servant. The greatest doesn't boss all, they serve all. The greatest in the Kingdom follows the lead. They will serve.

May we be the servants today that God has called us to be. May we love one another as God as called us to. May we remember that true greatest comes from serving one another.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Listening Sessions and Town Halls

I've been thinking a lot about how if we are not careful, any listening session, any conversation, any time we gather together around any hot button issues in our connection can turn into of the town halls we are seeing right now across the nation. Or can turn into the cable news shows that reduce conversation to WWE style wrestling matches. We have lost the ability as a nation, and seemingly, as a church, to discuss things in a loving Christian manner. I was thinking about this is as I saw this story today.

Towns halls gone wild: After going on for several days now, who looks worse in this town-halls-gone-wild story? An Obama administration that promised a new era of American politics, but that isn't delivering on it? A Republican Party/conservative movement -- less than seven months removed from the White House -- stoking this anger and hoping it returns them to power? American citizens who can't treat their neighbors or elected officials with respect, even when they disagree? Or a media covering the story but also amplifying the exaggerations and outright lies being told at these town halls? Ah, the classic political story … nobody wins, we're all losers in these eyes of the true silent majority: the radical middle? To look at this debate through the prism of campaign politics, has anyone raised their POSITIVE ratings or simply succeeded in raising the NEGATIVE ratings of an opponent?

The ability for our country to have a constructive conversation is being lost, just like I see happening in the church. I think in the end, with all the yelling and angry talk, this radical center, this centrist view gets lost among the yelling and the entire Body is harmed. We've got to recapture the idea of Christian conversation. But I fear as I see the culture loosing this ability, the church may fall in line with culture, if we haven't already.

Two of my favorite disciples are Simeon the Zealot and Matthew (the tax collector). Zealots and tax collectors didn't get along. Zealots wanted to over throw the government and perhaps the only people they hated more than Rome were the tax collectors. And Matthew, was a tax collector. And both of these, these two that came from opposite sides of the street these two that had opposite opinions, opposite foundations, found unity in Christ.

Now we don't know what they may have talked about on those dark night when the rest of the 12 were asleep. Maybe they yell, maybe they argued. But, we do know they were united in mission and love of Christ.

Can't we as the church do that? Isn't that what we should be about? Isn't that who we are? We talk about being in the world, but not of the world. In the issue of our voices, if we are not careful, we are treading close to being of the world. And we are more than that.

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 14:21-33

We see in Absalom the ability to do what ever he has to do to get want he wants. Joab won't come and see you? Then set his field on fire. That got Joab there. But it was the way you should do things. In life, there are ways that we should treat each other. We should treat each other with respect, we should, as Jesus said, do unto others as we would have them do unto you.

Our culture has grown very coarse. There's lot of yelling and shouting, lots of loud word and raised voices. We've stopped treating each other with respect, we've stopped treating them as we'd like to be treated. No one would want their field set on fire. Did it work? Sure. Was it right? No. May we treat each other with the respect and the grace that we would want to be treated ourselves.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:15-26

Paul understood in life that are certain things you do for the benefit of others. Did he have to purify himself? No. Was is it something that he told others to do? No. But, in doing it, he was able to put the minds of some others to rest. He didn't do it for his benefit, he did it for their benefit. In life, we must not be a stumbling block to someone else. We don't just live for ourselves, we live for God. May we live in a way that glorifies God, and that helps each other.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 10:17-31

Jesus wants to be our first love. Over everything. Over our possessions. Over our status. Over our job. Over our hobbies. Over everything. He wants to be first. He must be first. The rich young man would not love Jesus more than His stuff. In our lives, what do we love more than Jesus? What takes first place in our lives? May we remember that Jesus wants to have that first place in our hearts.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 10, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 13:23-39

David's life grows very chaotic in the end. We see here family strife. We see even such extreme thing as rape and murder. We see even what should be the perfect family start the fall apart. And this reminds us that in the end, there is no perfect family. There is no perfect life. All of our lives have struggles and problem. All of our lives have times of great trials and tragedies. Even David's a man after God's own heart.

So, when you go through bad times, or times of pain, stress, and tears, remember you're alone. You will not be the first to go through such things, nor will you be the last. But, just as God was David during these times, so is He with you. At this time, and always.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 20:17-38

Paul is leaving on a journey and he knows he will not be back. He knows that this the last time he'll see these friends here. These ones that he loves and has worked with. And so he tells them to remember the important things. Hold fast to Jesus. Cling to His grace. Believe upon Him. Stick together. Don't depart from the faith. Remember it's not complicated — faith in Jesus. He wants them to remember what's most important.

And I think that's good thing for us. Sometimes we can spend our time on those things that aren't the most important, on those things that we'll never figure out. Instead, let's focus on what we do know - God loves you. He sent His son to show you His love and to save you through faith. He wants you to love Him, and love each other. Those are the essentials. Let's focus all our lives on those; and know that in the end, all things are in God's hands.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 9:42-50

Jesus tells us today that we don't just live for ourselves; we live for others. How I live my life, it will affect your life. How you live yours will affect mine. We are connected. We are part of one family, we are all part of one body — the body of Christ. So instead of tearing each other down, let us build each other up. Instead of hurting one another, let us help one another. As member of the body of Christ, let us be there for one another. Because we need each other. We don't walk this road alone, we walk it with God, and with each other. Let us do what we can to strengthen each other on this road we walk.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ordinary Time: Thursday, August 6, 2009

For those that were curious, Sarah did great her first day of school and had wonderful day. Mama and Daddy did ok too :)

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 11:1-27

We see here in this passage, even the one after God's own heart fails. Even David, the one that wrote many of the Psalms, the one that was faithful time after time after time. That had faith. That did right. That stood for God. That had courage. That was one to be admired and looked upon. Even he failed.

We've problem all heard sermons about why David failed. The power of temptation. Things like that. And, many of those things are very true. But today, remember this. David failed and sinned against God. Even David. So, when we do something dumb, let us be reminded that even David, he failed God. And God still loved and used him. May we learn to forgive ourselves.

And we other make mistakes, may we not be as hasty to judge, but may we remember that just as David messed up, just as we mess up, so will others. And may we respond to other in grace at the times of weakness

New Testament Lesson

Acts 19:11-20

When people step out on faith, people believe. When those in the passage today destroyed the things keeping them from faith; others said, wow, there must be something to this Jesus. Do we live in such a way to lead others to say that? Do we live in such a way to cause others to examine and say - wow, what is it about them? Why do the live the way that they do? That happened over and over again in the New Testament. May it happened in our lives as well.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 9:2-13

Today, the disciples saw Jesus as He really is, glorious and powerful. He's our best friend. He's our companion. He's our guide. He's our safe harbor and shield. But, He's also God Himself. He's Lord. He's the very God we worship and praise and through Him all things are held together. May we have Him as a friend. But may we also remember that He is Lord.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Say a special pray for all the kids that start back to school today, their teachers and other school staff as well. Also remember a little girl named Sarah Stoddard that starts kindergarden

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 9:1-13

In spite of all that Saul had done to David, in spite of all the ways that that Saul had sought to hurt David, oppose David, stand against David, David was determined to do right by Saul. Even after Saul's dead, David still wanted to do what was right by Saul's descendants and servants.

David would not let Saul's actions control how David responded to Saul. David was going to do what was right, regardless. Today, may we be like David. The only thing we can control is ourselves; no one else. No matter how folks act towards us in this day, may we respond with grace.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 19:1-10

We see here Gentiles saved. Paul went and told the Gentiles of the Good News, all that turned to God would be saved. That was the action that lead to salvation, not any correct action — the action was an action of faith. Turning to Jesus Christ in faith. That's it, that's the list. Today, may we remember that we are saved by anything we can do. We are saved by belief in Christ. That's it. May we remember we don't have to earn God's love. It's freely given. Today, and always.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 8:34-9:1

Now, turning to Jesus in faith will change who we are. We are not saved by taking up our cross. We take up our cross because we are saved. As John Wesley said, "We are not saved because we do good works; we do good works because we are saved." As people of faith, that live in the glory and grace of God, may the faith that we have change who we are.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 3, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

We see David realize that it's not right that he lives in such a nice palace while the Ark of the Covenant is in a tent. David says that he will build a house, a temple for God. But God says, no. Not now. Not yet. He will have a house, but it will not be built by David.

But, because of David's heart, because of his willingness to this for God, because of his understanding, God declares that David will have a house. Not just a material house, but a house that will last forever. His house, his kingdom, his linage will rule forever.

Jesus Christ is from the line of David. In scripture, He is sometimes called the Son of David. David wanted to build a house for God. God sent a savior through the line of David. Even now, at that point, God was at work, paving the way, for the redemption that was to come through Jesus.

New Testament Lesson

Everywhere Paul went, he met people that had the same heart, the same passion, the same vision that he did. Everywhere he went God was placing people in his path that would be an encouragement, a help, a friend on the way.

God knew that Paul couldn't do the things that God had called him to without help. God knew that the journey would be long, that there would be rough times, that their would be times of trial. And God knew that Paul would need encouragement; he would need friends.

In the roads we walk of life, may we take time to thank God for the friends He has given us, may we thank Him for those that walk the road with us that encourage, that challenge, that help. Like Paul, we need those friends. And, may we seek to be a friend as well.

Gospel Lesson

It must have frustrated Jesus, because the people (or the disciples) never saw. They never understood. He taught, He did miracles. He healed. He preached. And they never saw. The never listened. And you know what He did?

He kept loving. In spite of their lack of understanding, He kept loving. Even when they didn't get it, He kept loving. He never quit loving the people, or the disciples, even when they didn't get it.

Thank goodness it's the same today. He never quits loving us. Even when we mess up. Even when we don't get it. Even when we make mistakes. He loves. Today, and each day. May we live in the power of His love.