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Monday, October 24, 2016

God of Abundance

26 October 2016

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: Fight the good fight with all thy might

Theme: Spirit Divine

Topic: God of Abundance

Reading: Joel 2:23-32
23 O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
   he has poured down for you abundant rain,
   the early and the later rain, as before. 
24 The threshing-floors shall be full of grain,
   the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. 
25 I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you. 
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God,
   who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
   and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame. 
28 Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
   your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 
29 Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit. 
30 I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.32Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

The ups and downs in life sometimes make it appear as if we serve a God of ‘not enough’, but on the contrary, our Lord is the God of abundance.  It is not His will that we live in lack, for according to Scripture God says that He will not withhold any good thing from those whose walk is blameless.  So what happens when we go through a ‘dry season’?  Does it mean that God has forgotten His promise?  Has He abandoned us?  No, He has not, far from it!  We live in a fallen world, and there are good and bad seasons.  God’s promise is not that we will not face adversity, but that He will provide for us and see us through it all; this is why He is called the Great Provider- Jehovah-jireh.  In what areas are you facing lack today- health, school, work, career, finances, relationship with God and other people, and so on?  Remember that God is always present with us, in the good and the bad, and will make a way even where there seems to be no way.

1) How do we know that our Lord is the God of abundance? 
Genesis 22:6-14
Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ 8Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together. 9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ 13And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’

Deuteronomy 8:10-18
You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. 11 Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. 12When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, 13and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,15who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, 16and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. 17Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.

Psalm 65:1-13
Refrain: You crown the year with your goodness, O Lord.
You are to be praised, O God, in Zion; to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem. To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come, because of their transgressions. R Our sins are stronger than we are, but you will blot them out. Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there! they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house, by the holiness of your temple. R Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away. You make fast the mountains by your power; they are girded about with might. R You still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the clamour of the peoples. Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvellous signs; you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy. R You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous; the river of God is full of water. You prepare the grain, for so you provide for the earth. R You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase. You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty. R May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, and the hills be clothed with joy. May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; let them shout for joy and sing. R

2) What are the lessons for us in Luke 18:9-14 regarding the God of abundance
     What should be our attitude towards His mercies? 
Luke 18: 9-14
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” 13But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.’

3) What are some of the challenges to trusting that God always provides
     How do we overcome the challenges? 
Deuteronomy 8:1-9
This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors.2Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments.3He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years. 5Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you. 6Therefore keep the commandments of the Lordyour God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper.

Philippians 4:10-20
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. 15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 16 At my first defence no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 


God is always present with us, in the good and the bad, and will make a way even where there seems to be no way.

Closing Prayer (Collect for Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost)

Lord God our redeemer, who heard the cry of your people and sent your servant Moses to lead them out of slavery, free us from the tyranny of sin and death, and by the leading of your Spirit bring us to our promised land; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Life in Christ

19 October 2016

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: Now thank we all our God

Theme: Spirit Divine

Topic: New Life in Christ

Reading: Jeremiah 31:27-34
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. 28And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. 29In those days they shall no longer say:
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
   and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ 
30But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge. 31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. 

When we become Christians, God expects that our lives be guided by the exemplary life of Jesus Christ.  To be a Christian is to be Christ-like, and to be like Christ is a process characterized by ups and downs.  This is why it is important that we stay connected to God through fellowship with other Christians, studying His Word, and praying regularly to name a few.  It is impossible to keep growing as a Christian in our strength; we need the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  As long as we are alive, there will be challenges in our journey of faith, but as we know the Lord more deeply through prayer and His word, and His great love for us, we will always emerge victorious.  To have new life in Christ is to turn from selfish and sinful ways to life of righteousness in Jesus Christ.    


1) What does new life in Christ mean? 
Romans 6:1-14
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21
For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 1:3-9, 13-23
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ 17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. 22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
2) What are the lessons for us in Luke 18:1-8 regarding having a new life in Christ
Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.”  6And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’

3) Discuss some of the challenges to having a new life in Christ.  How do we overcome them? 
Psalm 119:97-104
Refrain: The words of the Lord are sweeter than honey.
Oh, how I love your law! all the day long it is in my mind. Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, and it is always with me. R I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your decrees are my study. I am wiser than the elders, because I observe your commandments. R I restrain my feet from every evil way, that I may keep your word. I do not shrink from your judgements, because you yourself have taught me. R How sweet are your words to my taste! they are sweeter than honey to my mouth. Through your commandments I gain understanding; therefore I hate every lying way. R

Romans 6:15-23
What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. 20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Timothy 3:14-17, 4:1-5
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is inspired by God and isuseful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
4:1-5 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.


To have new life in Christ is to turn from selfish and sinful ways to life of righteousness in Jesus Christ.

Closing Prayer (Collect for Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost)
Almighty and everliving God, increase in us your gift of faith, that forsaking what lies behind and reaching out to what is before, we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of everlasting joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Thankful heart

12 October 2016

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed

Theme: Spirit Divine

Topic: Thankful heart

Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-11
When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, 2you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. 3You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, ‘Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.’ 4When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, 5you shall make this response before the Lord your God: ‘A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous.6When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labour on us, 7we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; 9and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.’ You shall set it down before theLord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. 11Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.

Thankful heart is an attribute we should display at all times.  However, we know that circumstances in our lives sometimes compel us to be unappreciative of good things God is doing in our lives.  To be thankful does not mean that we have the ‘perfect life’, but that we are grateful for the blessings of God in our lives.  Although negative situations- illness, unemployment, loss of a loved one, trouble at school/home/work/business, and so on- tend to push us down, we should allow the Holy Spirit to lift our hearts up in thanksgiving to the Lord at all times.  This does not imply burying our head in the sand, and neglecting our responsibilities, but rather is expression of complete trust in the Lord our Maker. 

1) What does it mean to be thankful to the Lord?  
    Why should we be thankful even in the face of dire situations?
Psalm 100:1-5
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2   Worship the Lord with gladness;
   come into his presence with singing. 
3 Know that the Lord is God.
   It is he that made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
   and his courts with praise.
   Give thanks to him, bless his name. 
5 For the Lord is good;
   his steadfast love endures for ever,
   and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 103:1-18
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
   nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
   so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
   so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust. 
15 As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
   and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 

Acts 16:22-34  
The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods.23After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’ 29The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’31They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ 32They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

2) What are the lessons for us in John 6:25-35 regarding having thankful heart?
John 6:25-35
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ 26Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ 28Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’29Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ 30So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’ 32Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ 34They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ 35 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

3) Discuss some of the challenges to being thankful.  How do we overcome them? 
2 Samuel 6:12-23
It was told King David, ‘The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.’ So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt-offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord18When David had finished offering the burnt-offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes. 20 David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, ‘How the king of Israel honoured himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!’ 21David said to Michal, ‘It was before the Lord, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord, that I have danced before the Lord22I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honour.’ 23And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Luke 17:11-19
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean.15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ 19Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’

Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.


Thankful heart is expression of complete trust in the Lord our Maker.

Closing Prayer (Collect for Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday)

Creator of the fruitful earth, you made us stewards of all things. Give us grateful hearts for all your goodness, and steadfast wills to use your bounty well, that the whole human family, today and in generations to come, may with us give thanks for the riches of your creation. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.  Amen.