Bible Readings for April 24th

english-standard-version-bibleActs 11: 1-18: What a joyous passage! “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” What Peter learned (read Acts 10 for the full account), and what he told the others, is that the Good News of Jesus is for all people, not just a select few. This is Good News to us because we also need to hear the Gospel of Jesus so that faith can grow in us. Let us give thanks that the Lord has included us in hearing and believing, and let us reach out with the Gospel of Jesus to others, even to those who seem unlikely to respond, like Cornelius the Roman centurion. The Holy Spirit can work in anyone, and every one’s heart, to bring them to faith in Jesus.

Holy Spirit, we thank and praise You that You take the Gospel of Jesus and cause faith to grow. We thank You that You have brought us to faith. Continue to work in us to share the Good News of Jesus with others so that You can work in their hearts and lives and bring them to faith. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Psalm 148: This is another great psalm of praise! Notice as you read through the psalm that the Psalmist begins with all the host of heaven giving praise to God. Even the sun, moon, and stars give Him praise because He made them and as part of His creation they glorify Him. Then the psalmist calls on all of the creatures, powers, and objects of earth to praise the Lord; they, too, are part of His creation. Then the psalmist calls on all humans to praise the Lord! Let all of creation praise the Lord!

Lord God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; to You be all praise, honor, glory, thanks, and worship. You alone created all that exists. You alone uphold creation by Your powerful Word. You alone rescue Your people. You alone have reconciled us to Yourself through Jesus Christ. Let Your Holy Spirit lead us to continual praise! Amen.

Revelation 21:1-7: The book of Revelation can be confusing and troubling as we read through all the turmoil and conflict it reveals. As you read through the book of Revelation, let your reading be bracketed by the glorious worship of God in heaven in chapters 1, 4, 5, 6, 7; the warnings to the seven churches in chapters 2 & 3, and the glorious conclusion of the book in chapters 21 & 22. Remember that through all of our turmoil, hardship, heartache, and even death, that the Lord is the glorious Lord of all, and that One Day He will return and make all things new, as we read in today’s Second Reading. Trust in His victory accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Take heart, be of good courage, the Lord is ultimately in charge, and He will wipe away all tears when He makes all things new.

Most holy Lord, we give You thanks and praise that even as we face turmoil, hardship, resistance to the faith, and even death, You are still in charge, You are still the victorious Lord of all. We give You thanks and praise that One Day You will return and make all things new in Jesus; all of creation will be as You intended from the beginnings of time. Enable us to trust in Your victory in Christ. Amen.

John 16:12-22: In this passage Jesus promises His disciples that the Holy Spirit will come and continue to lead His them into all of the truth of God. Notice the Trinitarian emphasis in this passage. Let us heed the Spirit’s work in our lives and grow in the truth of God through Christ, the truth that leads us to eternal life.

Notice also how Jesus prepared His disciples for His coming crucifixion, but also that their sorrow would be turned to unending joy in the resurrection! Let us rejoice with the first disciples in that Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Risen Lord Jesus, we rejoice in Your victory over sin, death, and the devil. Let us always rejoice in You and give You thanks and praise! By Your Holy Spirit enable us to grow in the truth of the heavenly Father revealed in You. Alleluia!
Amen!

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