Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, May 1. Read Exodus 19:5-6. 1) This is God’s instruction to Israel shortly after leaving their captivity in Egypt. What was God going to do for Israel? 2) What did he require of Israel?
Tuesday, May 2. Read Ephesians 2:19-22. 1) What did Paul say was the new status of the Ephesians? 2) What did Paul say was happening to them in Christ?
Wednesday, May 3. Read Ephesians 4:15-16. 1) What did Paul say was the task of Christians? 2) What do they become part of? 3) Describe its function.
Thursday, May 4. Read Colossians 1:11-14. 1) What does Paul wish for the Colossian Christians? 2) What should be our response to God? 3) What is our new status?
Friday, May 5. Read Hebrews 5:11-14. 1) What had happened to those reading the Hebrews letter? 2) To what does the writer attribute that outcome? 3) What does he say is required?
Saturday, May 6. Read 1 Peter 2:2-10. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Lord God, you did not create us to live in the darkness of the present but rather to fill our lives with visions of your Kingdom, your mission, your passion, and your love. Please help us to not allow the evening news to determine our future. Help us to embrace our new birth into a living hope. In Jesus’ name Amen.
Hymn for the Week:
How Firm a Foundation
George Keith, 1787
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in God’s excellent Word!
What more can be said than to you God hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be near thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”
Devotional Article of the Week:
Be Careful Where You Build
Not every foundation is the same!
by Tim Archer
If you’re going to spend over $650,000 building a new house, there’s one important thing to do before you begin: make sure you are building in the right place.
That’s the lesson a Missouri couple learned the hard way. While building a luxury home in a beachfront development in Florida, they accidentally constructed on the lot next to the one they owned; they built on land belonging to someone else. The initial survey of the property was wrong, leading to the misplaced construction. Hopefully an acceptable agreement can be reached with the neighbors on whose land the house was built.
If the story sounds familiar, you may have heard the news a few months ago about the Rhode Island developer that mistakenly built a $1.8 million house on public park land. Again, the survey was wrong. The error came to light when prospective buyers had their own survey done of the property. In that case, no settlement could be reached, and the Rhode Island Supreme Court ordered the house removed from public land.
Jesus talked about two men that built houses; one who built in the right place, one who built in the wrong place. We read the story in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 6:
“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”(Luke 6:47-49)
If we build our lives on the teachings of Jesus, we’ll have a solid foundation that will see us through even the hardest times. If we choose to build somewhere else, we may very well find ourselves with a life that can’t stand up to life’s trials.