Colossians 3:18-4:1 - "Family Life" by Carey Hughes

Message


Scripture Readings

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

(1 Corinthians 13 ESV)


    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

    Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

(Colossians 3:18-4:1 ESV)

 

Colossians 3:1-7 - "Gospel Change" by Josh Malone

Message


Scripture Readings

    And God spoke all these words, saying,

    “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

    “You shall have no other gods before me.

    “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

    “You shall not murder.

    “You shall not commit adultery.

    “You shall not steal.

    “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”

(Exodus 20:1-17 ESV)


    If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

    Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

(Colossians 3:1-7 ESV)




Hebrews 3:7-19 - "Holding Fast" by Carey Hughes

Message


    Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
        let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
    Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
        let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
    For the LORD is a great God,
        and a great King above all gods.
    In his hand are the depths of the earth;
        the heights of the mountains are his also.
    The sea is his, for he made it,
        and his hands formed the dry land.
    
    
    Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
        let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
    For he is our God,
        and we are the people of his pasture,
        and the sheep of his hand.
    Today, if you hear his voice,
        do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
        as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
    when your fathers put me to the test
        and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
    For forty years I loathed that generation
        and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
        and they have not known my ways.”
    Therefore I swore in my wrath,
        “They shall not enter my rest.”
   

(Psalm 95 ESV)


    Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
        on the day of testing in the wilderness,
    where your fathers put me to the test
        and saw my works for forty years.
    Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
    and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
        they have not known my ways.’
    As I swore in my wrath,
        ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
    
    
        Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
    
    
        For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

(Hebrews 3:7-19 ESV)




Colossians 2:16-23 - "Threats to Christian Growth" by Jim Rosenquist

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Scripture Readings

    For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

    Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

    “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
        but a body have you prepared for me;
    in burnt offerings and sin offerings
        you have taken no pleasure.
    Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
        as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
       
        When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

    And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

    “This is the covenant that I will make with them
        after those days, declares the Lord:
    I will put my laws on their hearts,
        and write them on their minds,”
       
        then he adds,

    “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
    
            Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

(Hebrews 10:1-18 ESV)


    Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

    If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

(Colossians 2:16-23 ESV)




1 Peter 3:8-22 - "Flourishing as a Christian in a Difficult Time" by Peter Hayward

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Scripture Reading

 

 

Suffering for Righteousness' Sake

    Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For

    “Whoever desires to love life
        and see good days,
    let him keep his tongue from evil
        and his lips from speaking deceit;
    let him turn away from evil and do good;
        let him seek peace and pursue it.
    For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
        and his ears are open to their prayer.
    But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
    
    
        Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

 

(1 Peter 3:8-22 ESV)

 

 

Colossians 2:6-15 - "Filled in Him" by Carey Hughes

Message


Scripture Readings

    Blessed is the man
        who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
    nor stands in the way of sinners,
        nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
    but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
        and on his law he meditates day and night.
    
    
    He is like a tree
        planted by streams of water
    that yields its fruit in its season,
        and its leaf does not wither.
    In all that he does, he prospers.
    The wicked are not so,
        but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
    
    
    Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
        nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
    for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
        but the way of the wicked will perish.   

(Psalm 1 ESV)


    Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

    See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

(Colossians 2:6-15 ESV)




Psalm 37 - "Worth the Wait" by Brian Hoch

Message


Scripture Readings

    Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

    Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

    But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

(James 5:1-12 ESV)


    Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
        be not envious of wrongdoers!
    For they will soon fade like the grass
        and wither like the green herb.
    
    
    Trust in the LORD, and do good;
        dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
    Delight yourself in the LORD,
        and he will give you the desires of your heart.
    
    
    Commit your way to the LORD;
        trust in him, and he will act.
    He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
        and your justice as the noonday.
    
    
    Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
        fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
        over the man who carries out evil devices!
    
    
    Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
        Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
    For the evildoers shall be cut off,
        but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
    
    
    In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
        though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
    But the meek shall inherit the land
        and delight themselves in abundant peace.
    
    
    The wicked plots against the righteous
        and gnashes his teeth at him,
    but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
        for he sees that his day is coming.
    
    
    The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
        to bring down the poor and needy,
        to slay those whose way is upright;
    their sword shall enter their own heart,
        and their bows shall be broken.
    
    
    Better is the little that the righteous has
        than the abundance of many wicked.
    For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
        but the LORD upholds the righteous.
    
    
    The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
        and their heritage will remain forever;
    they are not put to shame in evil times;
        in the days of famine they have abundance.
    
    
    But the wicked will perish;
        the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;
        they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
    
    
    The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
        but the righteous is generous and gives;
    for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
        but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
    
    
    The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
        when he delights in his way;
    though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
        for the LORD upholds his hand.
    
    
    I have been young, and now am old,
        yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
        or his children begging for bread.
    He is ever lending generously,
        and his children become a blessing.
    
    
    Turn away from evil and do good;
        so shall you dwell forever.
    For the LORD loves justice;
        he will not forsake his saints.
    They are preserved forever,
        but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
    The righteous shall inherit the land
        and dwell upon it forever.
    
    
    The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
        and his tongue speaks justice.
    The law of his God is in his heart;
        his steps do not slip.
    
    
    The wicked watches for the righteous
        and seeks to put him to death.
    The LORD will not abandon him to his power
        or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
    
    
    Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
        and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
        you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
    
    
    I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
        spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
    But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
        though I sought him, he could not be found.
    
    
    Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
        for there is a future for the man of peace.
    But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
        the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
    
    
    The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
        he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
    The LORD helps them and delivers them;
        he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
        because they take refuge in him.
    (Psalm 37 ESV)




 

 

 

 

 

Colossians 2:24-2:5 - "The Supreme Concern" by Kent Hughes

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Scripture Readings

    Do you not know? Do you not hear?
        Has it not been told you from the beginning?
        Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
    It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
        and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
    who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
        and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
    who brings princes to nothing,
        and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
    
    
    Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
        scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
    when he blows on them, and they wither,
        and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
    
    
    To whom then will you compare me,
        that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
    Lift up your eyes on high and see:
        who created these?
    He who brings out their host by number,
        calling them all by name,
    by the greatness of his might,
        and because he is strong in power
        not one is missing.
    
    
    Why do you say, O Jacob,
        and speak, O Israel,
    “My way is hidden from the LORD,
        and my right is disregarded by my God”?
    Have you not known? Have you not heard?
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
        the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He does not faint or grow weary;
        his understanding is unsearchable.
    He gives power to the faint,
        and to him who has no might he increases strength.
    Even youths shall faint and be weary,
        and young men shall fall exhausted;
    but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
        they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
    they shall run and not be weary;
        they shall walk and not faint.
   

(Isaiah 40:21-31 ESV)


    Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To 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. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

    For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

(Colossians 1:24-2:5 ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colossians 1:9-23 - "Our King" by Ben James

Message


Scripture Readings

    Does not wisdom call?
        Does not understanding raise her voice?
    On the heights beside the way,
        at the crossroads she takes her stand;
    beside the gates in front of the town,
        at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
    “To you, O men, I call,
        and my cry is to the children of man.
    O simple ones, learn prudence;
        O fools, learn sense.
    Hear, for I will speak noble things,
        and from my lips will come what is right,
    for my mouth will utter truth;
        wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
    All the words of my mouth are righteous;
        there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
    They are all straight to him who understands,
        and right to those who find knowledge.
    Take my instruction instead of silver,
        and knowledge rather than choice gold,
    for wisdom is better than jewels,
        and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
    
    
    “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
        and I find knowledge and discretion.
    The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
    Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
        and perverted speech I hate.
    I have counsel and sound wisdom;
        I have insight; I have strength.
    By me kings reign,
        and rulers decree what is just;
    by me princes rule,
        and nobles, all who govern justly.
    I love those who love me,
        and those who seek me diligently find me.
    Riches and honor are with me,
        enduring wealth and righteousness.
    My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
        and my yield than choice silver.
    I walk in the way of righteousness,
        in the paths of justice,
    granting an inheritance to those who love me,
        and filling their treasuries.
    
    
    “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work,
        the first of his acts of old.
    Ages ago I was set up,
        at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
    When there were no depths I was brought forth,
        when there were no springs abounding with water.
    Before the mountains had been shaped,
        before the hills, I was brought forth,
    before he had made the earth with its fields,
        or the first of the dust of the world.
    When he established the heavens, I was there;
        when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
    when he made firm the skies above,
        when he established the fountains of the deep,
    when he assigned to the sea its limit,
        so that the waters might not transgress his command,
    when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
        then I was beside him, like a master workman,
    and I was daily his delight,
        rejoicing before him always,
    rejoicing in his inhabited world
        and delighting in the children of man.
    
    
    “And now, O sons, listen to me:
        blessed are those who keep my ways.
    Hear instruction and be wise,
        and do not neglect it.
    Blessed is the one who listens to me,
        watching daily at my gates,
        waiting beside my doors.
    For whoever finds me finds life
        and obtains favor from the LORD,
    but he who fails to find me injures himself;
        all who hate me love death.”
   

(Proverbs 8 ESV)


    And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

    And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

(Colossians 1:9-23 ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colossians 4:2-6 - "Speech that Glorifies God" by Will Kynes

Message


Scripture Readings

    Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
        and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
    The wise of heart is called discerning,
        and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
    Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
        but the instruction of fools is folly.
    The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
        and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
    Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
        sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
   

(Proverbs 16:20-24 ESV)


    Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

    Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

(Colossians 4:2-6 ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

Colossians 1:1-8 - "Complete Christianity" by Carey Hughes

Message


Scripture Readings

    Awake, awake,
        put on your strength, O Zion;
    put on your beautiful garments,
        O Jerusalem, the holy city;
    for there shall no more come into you
        the uncircumcised and the unclean.
    Shake yourself from the dust and arise;
        be seated, O Jerusalem;
    loose the bonds from your neck,
        O captive daughter of Zion.
    
    
        For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing. Now therefore what have I here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the LORD, “and continually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.”

    How beautiful upon the mountains
        are the feet of him who brings good news,
    who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
        who publishes salvation,
        who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
    The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
        together they sing for joy;
    for eye to eye they see
        the return of the LORD to Zion.
    Break forth together into singing,
        you waste places of Jerusalem,
    for the LORD has comforted his people;
        he has redeemed Jerusalem.
    The LORD has bared his holy arm
        before the eyes of all the nations,
    and all the ends of the earth shall see
        the salvation of our God.
    
    
    Depart, depart, go out from there;
        touch no unclean thing;
    go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,
        you who bear the vessels of the LORD.
    For you shall not go out in haste,
        and you shall not go in flight,
    for the LORD will go before you,
        and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
    
    
    He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions

    Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
        he shall be high and lifted up,
        and shall be exalted.
    As many were astonished at you—
        his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
        and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
    so shall he sprinkle many nations;
        kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
    for that which has not been told them they see,
        and that which they have not heard they understand.
   

(Isaiah 52 ESV)


    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

    To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:

    Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

    We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

(Colossians 1:1-8 ESV)

 

Philippians 4:10-20 - "Gospel Giving" by Carey Hughes

Message


Scripture Reading

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?

        The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
    Your tongue plots destruction,
        like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
    You love evil more than good,
        and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
    You love all words that devour,
        O deceitful tongue.
    
    
    But God will break you down forever;
        he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
        he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
    The righteous shall see and fear,
        and shall laugh at him, saying,
    “See the man who would not make
        God his refuge,
    but trusted in the abundance of his riches
        and sought refuge in his own destruction!”
    
    
    But I am like a green olive tree
        in the house of God.
    I trust in the steadfast love of God
        forever and ever.
    I will thank you forever,
        because you have done it.
    I will wait for your name, for it is good,
        in the presence of the godly.
   

(Psalm 52 ESV)


    I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

    Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

(Philippians 4:10-20 ESV)

 

Matthew 9:35-10:10 - Renewing Our Vision

Vision Presentation


Scripture Reading

    And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

    And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

    These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.

(Matthew 9:35-10:10 ESV)


 

Psalm 33 - "Responding to Power" by Brian Hoch

Message


Scripture Readings

    Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

    To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

    Grace to you and peace.

    We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

(1 Thessalonians 1 ESV)


    Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous!
        Praise befits the upright.
    Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
        make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
    Sing to him a new song;
        play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
    
    
    For the word of the LORD is upright,
        and all his work is done in faithfulness.
    He loves righteousness and justice;
        the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
    
    
    By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
        and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
    He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
        he puts the deeps in storehouses.
    
    
    Let all the earth fear the LORD;
        let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
    For he spoke, and it came to be;
        he commanded, and it stood firm.
    
    
    The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
        he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
    The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
        the plans of his heart to all generations.
    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
        the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
    
    
    The LORD looks down from heaven;
        he sees all the children of man;
    from where he sits enthroned he looks out
        on all the inhabitants of the earth,
    he who fashions the hearts of them all
        and observes all their deeds.
    The king is not saved by his great army;
        a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
    The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
        and by its great might it cannot rescue.
    
    
    Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
        on those who hope in his steadfast love,
    that he may deliver their soul from death
        and keep them alive in famine.
    
    
    Our soul waits for the LORD;
        he is our help and our shield.
    For our heart is glad in him,
        because we trust in his holy name.
    Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
        even as we hope in you.
    

(Psalm 33 ESV)

 

Psalm 139 - "Being Known" by Brian Hoch

Message


Scripture Readings

    “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

(Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)


 

    O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
        you discern my thoughts from afar.
    You search out my path and my lying down
        and are acquainted with all my ways.
    Even before a word is on my tongue,
        behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
    You hem me in, behind and before,
        and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
        it is high; I cannot attain it.
    
    
    Where shall I go from your Spirit?
        Or where shall I flee from your presence?
    If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
        If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
    If I take the wings of the morning
        and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    even there your hand shall lead me,
        and your right hand shall hold me.
    If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
        and the light about me be night,”
    even the darkness is not dark to you;
        the night is bright as the day,
        for darkness is as light with you.
    
    
    For you formed my inward parts;
        you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
        my soul knows it very well.
    My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
        intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
        the days that were formed for me,
        when as yet there was none of them.
    
    
    How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
        How vast is the sum of them!
    If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
        I awake, and I am still with you.
    
    
    Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
        O men of blood, depart from me!
    They speak against you with malicious intent;
        your enemies take your name in vain.
    Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
        And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
    I hate them with complete hatred;
        I count them my enemies.
    
    
    Search me, O God, and know my heart!
        Try me and know my thoughts!
    And see if there be any grievous way in me,
        and lead me in the way everlasting!
    

(Psalm 139 ESV)

 

Philippians 3:12-4:1 - "The Race" by Carey Hughes

Message


Scripture Readings

 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

        O Lord, hear my voice!
    Let your ears be attentive
        to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
    
    
    If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
        O Lord, who could stand?
    But with you there is forgiveness,
        that you may be feared.
    
    
    I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
        and in his word I hope;
    my soul waits for the Lord
        more than watchmen for the morning,
        more than watchmen for the morning.
    
    
    O Israel, hope in the LORD!
        For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
        and with him is plentiful redemption.
    And he will redeem Israel
        from all his iniquities.
   

(Psalm 130 ESV)


    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

    Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

(Philippians 3:12-4:1 ESV)

 

Psalm 92 - "A Song of the Sabbath" by Brian Hoch

Message


Scripture Readings

    Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

    “As I swore in my wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
       
        although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,

    “They shall not enter my rest.”
       
        Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

    “Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts.”
   
        For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

    Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

(Hebrews 4:1-13 ESV)


    It is good to give thanks to the LORD,

        to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
    to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
        and your faithfulness by night,
    to the music of the lute and the harp,
        to the melody of the lyre.
    For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
        at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
       
    How great are your works, O LORD!
        Your thoughts are very deep!
    The stupid man cannot know;
        the fool cannot understand this:
    that though the wicked sprout like grass
        and all evildoers flourish,
    they are doomed to destruction forever;
        but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
    For behold, your enemies, O LORD,
        for behold, your enemies shall perish;
        all evildoers shall be scattered.
       
    But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
        you have poured over me fresh oil.
    My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
        my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
       
    The righteous flourish like the palm tree
        and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
    They are planted in the house of the LORD;
        they flourish in the courts of our God.
    They still bear fruit in old age;
        they are ever full of sap and green,
    to declare that the LORD is upright;
        he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
    (Psalm 92 ESV)

 

Psalm 42-43 - "The Story of Life" by Brian Hoch

Message


Scripture Readings

    Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

    Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

(2 Corinthians 4 ESV)


 

As a deer pants for flowing streams,

        so pants my soul for you, O God.
    My soul thirsts for God,
        for the living God.
    When shall I come and appear before God?
    My tears have been my food
        day and night,
    while they say to me all the day long,
        “Where is your God?”
    These things I remember,
        as I pour out my soul:
    how I would go with the throng
        and lead them in procession to the house of God
    with glad shouts and songs of praise,
        a multitude keeping festival.
       
    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.
       
    My soul is cast down within me;
        therefore I remember you
    from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
        from Mount Mizar.
    Deep calls to deep
        at the roar of your waterfalls;
    all your breakers and your waves
        have gone over me.
    By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
        and at night his song is with me,
        a prayer to the God of my life.
    I say to God, my rock:
        “Why have you forgotten me?
    Why do I go mourning
        because of the oppression of the enemy?”
    As with a deadly wound in my bones,
        my adversaries taunt me,
    while they say to me all the day long,
        “Where is your God?”
       
    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.
       
      Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
        against an ungodly people,
    from the deceitful and unjust man
        deliver me!
    For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
        why have you rejected me?
    Why do I go about mourning
        because of the oppression of the enemy?
       
    Send out your light and your truth;
        let them lead me;
    let them bring me to your holy hill
        and to your dwelling!
    Then I will go to the altar of God,
        to God my exceeding joy,
    and I will praise you with the lyre,
        O God, my God.
       
    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.
   

(Psalms 42-43 ESV)

 

Psalm 11 - "Stay or Go" by Brian Hoch

Message


Scripture Readings

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

    Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

(1 Peter 1:3-12 ESV)


   In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul,
        “Flee like a bird to your mountain,
    for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
        they have fitted their arrow to the string
        to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
    if the foundations are destroyed,
        what can the righteous do?”
    
    
    The LORD is in his holy temple;
        the LORD's throne is in heaven;
        his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
    The LORD tests the righteous,
        but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
    Let him rain coals on the wicked;
        fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
    For the LORD is righteous;
    he loves righteous deeds;
        the upright shall behold his face.
   

(Psalm 11 ESV)

 

Luke 24:36-53 - "Luke- The End?" by Carey Hughes

Message


Scripture Readings

    Have mercy on me, O God,
        according to your steadfast love;
    according to your abundant mercy
        blot out my transgressions.
    Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
        and cleanse me from my sin!
   
    For I know my transgressions,
        and my sin is ever before me.
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
        and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words
        and blameless in your judgment.
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
        and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
        and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
   
    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
        wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    Let me hear joy and gladness;
        let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
    Hide your face from my sins,
        and blot out all my iniquities.
    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
        and renew a right spirit within me.
    Cast me not away from your presence,
        and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
        and uphold me with a willing spirit.
   
    Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
        and sinners will return to you.
    Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
        O God of my salvation,
        and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
    O Lord, open my lips,
        and my mouth will declare your praise.
    For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
        you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
        a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
   
    Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
        build up the walls of Jerusalem;
    then will you delight in right sacrifices,
        in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
        then bulls will be offered on your altar.
   

(Psalm 51 ESV)


    As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

    Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

    Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.

(Luke 24:36-53 ESV)