Daily Bible Reading:
Monday, July 27. Read Matthew 17:14-21. 1) What event caused the discussion in this text? 2) Why did Jesus rebuke his disciples? 3) What did Jesus say is required?
Tuesday, July 28. Read Galatians 5:7-12. 1) Why do you think Paul wrote these words to the Galatians? 2) What does yeast stand for in this text? 3) When do you encounter this kind of experience?
Wednesday, July 29. Read 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. 1) The Corinthian church was bragging about their tolerance. About what? (5:1,2) 2) To what did Paul compare this?
Thursday, July 30. Read Ezekiel 13:22-24. 1) What did it take for God to produce a tree that grew and bore fruit? 2) What di God say he would do to the low tree and the high tree? 3) What do you learn about who God favors?
Friday, July 31. Read Daniel 4:10-12. 1) What does Daniel see in this vision? 2) How does what is envisioned benefit everything around it? Compare this to the sermon text in tomorrow’s reading.
Saturday, August 1. Read Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Hymn of the Week:
Lord of Our Highest Love
by G. Y. Tickle
Lord of our highest love!
Let now your peace be given;
fix all our thoughts on things above,
our hearts on thee in heaven.
Then dearest Christ, draw near,
while we your table spread;
and crown the feast with heavenly cheer,
yourself the living bread.
And when the loaf we break,
your own rich blessing give,
may all with loving hearts partake
and all new strength receive.
Dear Christ! what memories crowd
around the sacred cup!
The upper room! Gethsemane!
Your foes! Your lifting up!
O scenes of suffering love,
enough our souls to win—-
enough to melt our hearts and prove
the antidote of sin.
Prayer of the Week:
God of the Small Things, we bow down before you in praise. We ask for your help in seeing the wisdom of working in seemingly unimportant ways. Like yeast works its magic in bread dough.
Like tiny mustard seeds grow into large bushes. May we see the importance of gestures of love, humility, generosity, and service. Let us be impressed with how these small things grow into large things.
Especially true of your Kingdom. May your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth. In Jesus’ name we pray this. Amen.
Devotional Article of the Week:
‘Hidden Power’ — Matthew 13:33
by Phil Ware
Then Jesus told the people another story: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman mixes into a big bowl of flour to make bread. The yeast makes all the dough (bread) rise.” — Matthew 13:33 NLT
Once again, Jesus’ point is that despite the small beginnings and insignificant size of his Kingdom at it’s beginning, it will spread pervasively until it eventually makes a direct impact on everyone! Jesus purposely starts his Kingdom small. There is no press corps nor entourage.
Jesus uses no spin doctor. He doesn’t want folks going around making wild claims about him. He is careful to reveal the full truth of the Kingdom only to his disciples. But over time his Kingdom will have great power and will impact many lives. Its influence will permeate throughout the world. While his disciples must believe this in faith, they will experience it in mission!
Almighty Father, please give me eyes to see and ears to hear what you are doing in the world by influencing it through your Kingdom family. Help my influence to be a blessing to others who are searching for you and your Kingdom. I trust that while many in my time and culture do not fully acknowledge you as Sovereign in their lives, one day they will. Help me be a part of welcoming that day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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