10 August 2016
Hymn: Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine!
Theme: Spirit Divine
Topic: Stay Ready
Reading: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation - I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity. Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
1. What does it mean to stay ready and alert in the spirit?
Matthew 24:45-51, 26:36-46
2. What are the lessons for us in Luke 12: 32-40 regarding staying ready spiritually?
Jesus said, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour."
3. What are the challenges to being alert in the spirit? How do we overcome them?
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
REFRAIN Our God will come and not keep silence.
The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, God reveals himself in glory. R
Our God will come and will not keep silence; before him there is a consuming flame, and round about him a raging storm.
He calls the heavens and the earth from above to witness the judgement of his people. R
"Gather before me my loyal followers, those who have made a covenant with me and sealed it with sacrifice." Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; for God himself is judge. R
Hear, O my people, and I will speak: "O Israel, I will bear witness against you; for I am God, your God. I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; your offerings are always before me. R
Consider this well, you who forget God, lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you. Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God." R
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
1 Timothy 4:1-16
Closing Prayer (Collect for Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost)
Almighty God, you sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church. Open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love, joy, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.