Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Readings for Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hello Everyone,

My "Something to Think About" on Sunday was "Where have you encountered God this week?" 

Have you encountered God yet? 
You have. Everyday! 
In the people you meet
in your friends and family. 
Open eyes, open ears,
and open heart. 
You will see God. 
Now, tell someone.

Our lessons this week are:
Jeremiah 31:27-34 - Two lessons that each begin with, "The days are surely coming . . . " are included in this reading. In the first, the Lord says that each person will responsible for the choices they make. In the second, the Lord says that there will be a new covenant and that it will not be like the old but will be written upon everyone's hearts. No longer will we have to teach the covenant because everyone will know the Lord.

Psalm 119:97-104 - Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It consists of 22 stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, of 8 verses each. Each verse in a stanza begins with the same letter of that alphabet. These eight verses begin with the Hebrew letter "mem" corresponding to the English letter "M". Here the Psalmist reminds us that God's laws are good.

Genesis 32:22-31 - Jacob and his family of two wives, two concubines, and eleven sons and maybe some daughters are returning to Jacob's home and his uncertain reunion with his brother Esau, whom he cheated out of his inheritance decades before. Jacob has split the family up along with all his cattle and sheep and sent them on ahead. Our story is about his fitful night where he dreams of wrestling a man-angel-God. The encounter has a profound effect on his life, even to the point of throwing his hip out of joint. How does your encounter with God change you?

Psalm 121 - The psalmist sees the hills and wonders where help will come from? Our help, he says, comes from God who will keep us from all evil. "The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore."

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 - Paul is encouraging his young protege Timothy to continue doing what he knows best. Timothy is to rely on Scripture (inspired by God) which is good for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. Paul reminds him that Jesus Christ will judge the living and the dead so Timothy should be persistent, yet patient in teaching. By doing these things the people of Timothy's church will not turn to false teachers who appeal to the desires of their hearts.

Luke 18:1-8 - Luke tells us that Jesus told this parable to teach the disciples about their need to pray always. In the parable a widow who has been wronged goes to a judge looking for justice but he will not grant it. She keeps going back to the judge and eventually she wears him down and he gives in to her demand. So, if I want a million dollars I should pester God in prayer and God will eventually give it to me? No, because I didn't read the whole context. Jesus says that God will grant justice for those who are crying out in an unjust system. The last question of this passage is perhaps most perplexing: "And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Something to think about.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor

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