Welcome to this Blog!

The weekly Bible Study will be posted each week, as it becomes available.
You are welcome to attend the study group. We also encourage you to join this blog as a follower and to add comments.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Walk in the Light of the Lord

30 November 2016

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: Thou, whose almighty word

Theme: Lord of all

Topic: Walk in the Light of the Lord

Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
Without light, even if nothing is wrong with our eyes, we will not be able to see.  Light and darkness do not coexist; this holds true for both the spiritual and physical realms.  As Christians, we need to walk daily in the light of the Lord.  Without His light, we will not understand God’s plans and purpose for our lives.  When we walk in the light of our own understanding and/or those of our friends and family, we are bound to falter and stumble.  One of the significant ways we get the light of the Lord is through the Holy Scriptures.  No wonder the Bible says that the entrance of His Word gives light.  The Holy Spirit helps us understand, interpret and put into action the Word of God.  The Lord also speaks to us- when we gather together in His Name- through sermons, hymns, fellowship, Holy Communion and Worship.  As we walk in the light of Christ, may God make perfect His plans and purpose for our lives in Jesus name.  Amen.


1.    What does it mean to walk in the light of the Lord?  Genesis 17:1-7; Psalm 122:1-9; Philippians 2:12-18.  
2.    What are the lessons for us in Matthew 24:36-44 regarding walking in the light of the Lord?  Matthew 24:36-44.
3.    What are the challenges to walking in the light of the Lord?  How do we overcome them?  Numbers 6:24-26; Psalm 119:129-142; Romans 13:11-14.

As we walk in the light of Christ, may God make perfect His plans and purpose for our lives in Jesus name.  Amen.

Closing Prayer (Collect for First Sunday of Advent)
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility, that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Made Strong

23 November 2016

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: Jesus shall reign where'er the sun

Theme: Spirit Divine

Topic: Made Strong

Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 2Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord. 5 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

We normally attribute strength to how much we can do in the physical or psychological, and that is fine.  However, as Christians, we are called to be strong in the Lord, and in His mighty power.  This means that we should love the Lord with all our might for He first loved us, and love our neighbours as ourselves.  Meditating on the Cross of Calvary reveals the deep truth that true love conquers all adversities and adversaries.  He who had no sin gave His life for us, atonement for our sins, setting for us an example of sacrificial love.  God did not just say that He loves us, He demonstrated His great love for us on the Cross of Christ, for where there is no sacrifice, there is hardly any love.  As we celebrate the Kingship of Jesus Christ, let us remember that He only received the name above all other names, after He gave His life to save poor sinners- you and me!

1) How are we made strong in the Lord? 
John 15:1-13
‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Acts 17:24-30
The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are his offspring.” 29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

Colossians 1:11-20
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled*you* to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in* him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

2) What are the lessons for us in Luke 23:33-43 regarding being strong in the Lord
Luke 23:33-43
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [[34Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’]] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine,37and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ 38There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’ 39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ 40But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ 42Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ 43He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

3) What are the challenges to being strong in the Lord? How do we overcome them? 
Canticle 19, BAS (Luke 1:68-79)
Refrain: The dawn from on high shall break upon us.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, born of the house of his servant David. R Through his holy prophets he promised of old, that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. R This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. R You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. R Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. R

Galatians 5:22-26
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.


As we celebrate the Kingship of Jesus Christ, let us remember that He only received the name above all other names after He gave His life to save poor sinners- you and me!

The Collect for Reign of Christ Sunday
Let us pray,
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, our Lord and King, grant that the peoples of the earth, now divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his gentle and loving rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Prayer Over the Gifts
Let us pray,
Eternal God, by your grace you have raised us up and enthroned us with Christ in the heavenly realms. Receive all we offer you this day, and lead us in those good works for which you have created us. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer 3
The Lord be with you.
        And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
        We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
        It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of heaven and earth; we give you thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord. You exalted him as Lord of all creation that he might present to you an eternal and universal kingdom: a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love, and peace. Therefore at the name of Jesus every knee shall  bow as heaven and earth proclaim the glory of your name.

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We give thanks to you, Lord our God, for the goodness and love you have made known to us in creation; in calling Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus your Son.

For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, a death he freely accepted, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Therefore, Father, according to his command,
we remember his death,
we proclaim his resurrection,
we await his coming in glory;
and we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.

We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts, that they may be the sacrament of the body of Christ and his blood of the new covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we, made acceptable in him, may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

In the fullness of time, reconcile all things in Christ, and make them new, and bring us to that city of light where you dwell with all your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours, almighty Father, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
And now, as our Saviour Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread
“I am the bread of life,” says the Lord.
“Whoever comes to me will never be hungry;
whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are they who trust in him!

The Communion
The gifts of God for the People of God.
Thanks be to God.

Prayer after Communion
Let us pray,
Almighty God, you have made us a royal priesthood in the kingdom of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Make known his victory through us, we pray, that all the world may see his light. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

The doxology
Glory to God,
whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever. Amen.

The peace of God which passes all understanding
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Go forth in the name of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New life in Christ

16 November 2016

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: Hark! hark, my soul! angelic songs are swelling

Theme: Spirit Divine

Topic: New life in Christ

Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25
17 For I am about to create new heavens
   and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
   or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice for ever
   in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
   and its people as a delight.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
   and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
   or the cry of distress.
20 No more shall there be in it
   an infant that lives but a few days,
   or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
   and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
   they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
   they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
   and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labour in vain,
   or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord
   and their descendants as well.
24 Before they call I will answer,
   while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
   the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
   but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
   on all my holy mountain, says the Lord

There are two aspects to the Christian life- earthly and heavenly.  Our life on earth should have the same level of attention as our hope of eternal bliss with the Lord.  We should not be so heavenly conscious that we become useless in the world we live in, and vice versa.  When we put our faith and trust in God, we join the family and army of God, and as such become ambassadors of Christ.  We do not become Christians just to be blessed by God but also to be a blessing to the people in our lives.  This is important because the Scripture instructs us to be salt and light of the world.  Prior to becoming Christians we were selfish by nature, but as followers of Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ lives in us.  One of the proofs of our new life in Christ is that people bear witness to our good works and glorify our Heavenly Father.

1) What is your understanding of new life in Christ? 
Canticle 3, BAS (Isaiah 12:2-6)
Refrain: You shall draw water with rejoicing.
Surely, it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid. For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defence, and he will be my Saviour. Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation. R And on that day you shall say, Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name; make his deeds known among the peoples; see that they remember that his name is exalted. R Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, and this is known in all the world. Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel. R

2 Corinthians 5:16-21
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.

Ephesians 2:1-9
You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

2) What are the lessons for us in Luke 21:5-19 regarding having new life in Christ?  
Luke 21:5-19
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’
7 They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ 8And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.
9 ‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’10Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12 ‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14So make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance; 15for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your souls.

3) How do we receive and maintain new life in Christ
Matthew 5:13-16
‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Colossians 1:24-29, 2:1-7
I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.
21-7 For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face. 2I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments. 5For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labour we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you.9This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.


One of the proofs of our new life in Christ is that people bear witness to our good works and glorify our Heavenly Father.

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

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be the light of the world.  Free us from all that darkens and ensnares us, and bring us to eternal light and joy; through the power of him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Take Courage

9 November 2016

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: Guide me, O my great Redeemer

Theme: Spirit Divine

Topic: Take Courage

Reading: Haggai 1:15B, 2:1-9
In the second year of King Darius, in the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying: Speak now to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, and say, Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord; work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts, according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit abides among you; do not fear. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendour, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts. The latter splendour of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the Lord of hosts.

One of the challenges we face as Christians is what to do when things are not going the way we expected.  We prayed and believed but the sickness continued, was passed over for the promotion or lost a loved one.  Whatever the issue, it is relatively harder to keep going on in the face of disappointments than not.  However, the truth is that our God is a faithful God, and we should never give up or throw in the towel.  Our Lord is not a God of disappointments, and what we view as disappointment is a setup for great miracles in our lives.  Period of waiting is not merely a delay but a process we go through to receive God’s favor and blessings.  It is important to take courage in the promises of God; His promises to neither leave nor forsake us, and to see us through the tough times. 

1. How do we take courage in the Lord?
1 Samuel 30:1-6
1David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. 3When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5Davidʼs two wives had been capturedAhinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

Psalm 42:1-11
1As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. 5Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. 6My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 145:1-5, 18-22
REFRAIN The Lord is close to all who call him.
I will exalt you, O God my King, and bless your Name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless you and praise your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; there is no end to his greatness. R
One generation shall praise your works to another and shall declare your power. I will ponder the glorious splendour of your majesty and all your marvellous works. R
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving in all his works. The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him faithfully. He fulfils the desire of those who fear him; he hears their cry and helps them. R
The Lord preserves all those who love him, but he destroys all the wicked. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever. R

2. What are the lessons for us in Luke 20:27-38 regarding taking courage in the Lord? 
Luke 20:27-38
Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her." Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive."

3. What are some of the challenges to taking courage in the Lord?  How do we overcome them?
Psalm 98:1-9
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things. With his right hand and his holy arm has he won for himself the victory. The Lord has made known his victory; his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations. He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing. Sing to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the voice of song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy before the King, the Lord. Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, the lands and those who dwell therein. Let the rivers clap their hands, and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord, when he comes to judge the earth. In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.

Ephesians 6:10-18
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devilʼs schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lordʼs people.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.


It is important to take courage in the promises of God; His promises to neither leave nor forsake us, and to see us through the tough times.     

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

Eternal God, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.