Category Archives: New Testament

Ephesians 1 -Responsive 


M: He chose us. 
C: He adopted us. 
M: He predestined us. 
C: He gave us His grace. 
M: He redeemed us. 
C: He forgave our sins. 
M: He lavished God’s grace on us. 
C: He made known His will to us. 
M: He marked us with a seal. 
C: He guaranteed our inheritance.   
M: That, brothers and sisters, is how much favor we have with God.  

– Ephesians 1

Of course!

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L❤️O❤️V❤️E


I was recently traveling with a colleague who has two young girls.  As we sat together in an airport lounge his two girls contacted him via FaceTime and I overhead the youngest say to their father “I want to talk about loooovvvvvveeeeee!” Leave it to a six year old missing her daddy to be so blunt.

This love between a father and his child is precious, but it got me thinking about God’s love toward us.  Actually, I think about this often.  Because…

Love is a positive force
Love changes lives
To know God is to know love
Love describes God perfectly
Love is on the move because God is on the move
Jesus is the living proof that God is love
God’s love is unusually real
Love gives us dignity and worth

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – 1 John 4:9-10 & 16 

Here is one of my responsive readings on love:

M: Love is patient
C: It is not hurried

M: love is kind
C: It is not harsh, rough or hurtful

M: It does not envy
C: It knows no other Gods

M: it does not boast
C: but only in Christ

M: it is not proud
C: It is humble

M: It is not rude
C: It is polite, refined and civil

M: it is not self-seeking
C: It is thoughtful and compassionate

M: it is not easily angered
C: it is understanding and sympathetic

M: it keeps no record of wrongs.
C: it forgives

M: Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
C: Jesus is the truth and the truth is His native language.

M: It always protects
C: never endangers

M: always trusts
C: never doubts

M: always hopes
C: never fears

M: always perseveres.
C: Love never fails.  It always succeeds. 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Eph 3:14-19

Love in Action


Love in Action – Merging Romans 12:9-21 & 1 Cor 13:4-8
M: Love must be sincere. 
C: It is not self seeking
M: Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 
C: Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
M: Be devoted to one another in love. 
C: Love always trusts
M: Honor one another above yourselves. 
C: Love does not dishonor others.
M: Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 
C: Love always perseveres
M: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
C: Love is patient
M: Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. 
C: Love is kind.
M: Practice hospitality. 
C: Love always hopes.
M: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 
C: Love is not easily angered
M: Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 
C: Love rejoices with the truth
M: Live in harmony with one another. 
C: Love always trusts
M: Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. 
C: Love is not proud
M: Do not be conceited. 
C: Love is not self-seeking
M: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. 
C Love keeps no record of wrongs
M: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 
C: Love never fails.

Every Tribe, Every Nation, Every People


Every Tribe
Every Nation
Every People
… Will one day, Worship Him!

Pastor: Who will remember and turn to the LORD?
All: All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations. – Psalm 22:27-28

Pastor: Who will come and worship before the LORD?
All: All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. – Psalm 86:9-10

Pastor: Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name?
All: For you alone are holy. ALL NATIONS will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. – Rev 15:4

Related Readings:

REVELATION 5:9-14 (NIV):

And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from EVERY TRIBE and LANGUAGE and PEOPLE and NATION. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever! “The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

REVELATION 7:9-10 (NIV):

After this I looked and there before me was a GREAT MULTITUDE that no one could count, from EVERY NATION, TRIBE, PEOPLE and LANGUAGE, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society

Related articles

A Call to Worship based on the Beatitudes


A Call to Worship based on the Beatitudes

M:        This is a call to all those who are poor in spirit,
C:        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

M:        This is a call to all those who mourn,
C:        for they will be comforted.

M:        This is a call to all those who are meek,
C:        for they will inherit the earth.

M:        This is a call to all those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
C:        for they will be filled.

M:        This is a call to all those who are the merciful,
C:        for they will be shown mercy.

M:        This is a call to all those who are the pure in heart,
C:        for they will see God.

M:        This is a call to all those who are the peacemakers,
C:        for they will be called sons of God.

M:        This is a call to all those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
C:        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

M:        Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me (Jesus). 

– Based on Matthew 5:3-12

Here’s some incredible music based on these passages to go along with the reading:

Matt Maher – “Unwavering”

Michael Schroeder – “The Beatitudes”
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-witness/id30841673
http://www.newsongministries.info/ms-site/lyrics/A%20Witness/Beatitudes.html


“Blessed To Be A Blessing” by Michael Schmid (ref Mt 5:1-16):
http://www.truevinemusic.com/blessed_to_be_a_blessing.htm

“Blest Are They” (CWS 758)
“Jesus Sat With His Disciples”(CWS 763)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

We are Heirs


A responsive reading based on what is bequeathed to us:

M:        Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
C:        We are heirs of the kingdom (James 2:5)

M:        Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
C:        We are heirs of a special blessing (1 Peter 3:9)

M:        And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
C:        We are heirs of eternal life (Matt. 19:29)

M:        Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
C:        We are heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14)

M:        Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.
C:        We are heirs of God’s promises (Heb. 6:17)

M:        He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
C:        We are heirs of many things (Rev. 21:7)

M:        Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:7)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Immanuel


Immanuel

Immanuel (or Emmanuel) means “God With Us”.  What a profound statement contained in a name as God is with us in so many ways.  Here’s a responsive reading to illustrate this point.

P:         God is with us in the flesh
C:        The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. – John 1:14

P:         God is with us in all fullness
C:        For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. – Colossians 2:9

P:         God is with us as an example
C:        Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, – Philippians 2:5-6

P:         God is with us as a companion
C:        Jesus said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” – 2 Corinthians 6:16b

P:         God is with us by the Spirit
C:        Jesus said: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. – John 14:16-17

P:         God is with us always
C:        God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5b

 

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Love is Patient


Love is Patient

A responsive reading based on 1 Cor 13:1-8

M:        Love is patient
C:        It is not hurried
M:        love is kind
C:        It is not harsh, rough or hurtful
M:        It does not envy
C:        It knows no other Gods
M:        it does not boast
C:        but only in Christ
M:        it is not proud
C:        It is humble
M:        It is not rude
C:        It is polite, refined and civil
M:        it is not self-seeking
C:        It is thoughtful and compassionate
M:        it is not easily angered
C:        it is understanding and sympathetic
M:        it keeps no record of wrongs.
C:        it forgives
M:        Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
C:        Jesus is the truth and the truth is His native language.
M:        It always protects
C:        never endangers
M:        always trusts
C:        never doubts
M:        always hopes
C:        never fears
M:        always perseveres.
C:        Love never fails.
All:      It always succeeds.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society