Bible Readings for July 3

reading_5033cnIsaiah 66:10-14. The First Reading comes virtually at the end of Isaiah, and is a prophecy of hope to the nation which had come under God’s judgment and punishment at the hands of the Babylonians. Earlier in the book, Isaiah had prophesied terrible punishment and destruction on Jerusalem and Judah for its faithlessness to God, but here at the end of the book are words of hope for God’s people, that God would restore and bless the city and surrounding area. God remembers His covenants and will keep them, even restoring a city and area devastated by enemies. Let us hope in God’s faithfulness to keep His promises.
Lord God, heavenly Father, always keep us with You. When we sin and turn away, bring us back to Yourself, forgiving and restoring us in Jesus. Let us always trust in Your faithfulness to forgive and restore. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Psalm 66:1-7. This is a wonderful psalm of praise, proclaiming that all the earth gives God glory! The Good News of Jesus has circled the earth, and people from every nation give Him praise. Thankfully we have been called to join the chorus of praise to the Lord. Notice near the end of the psalm the allusions to God opening a path through the sea and river for His people to cross, a reference to the Exodus. Praise is given to God for how He rescues His people. Let us give praise to God for the redemption we have in Christ.
Oh Lord, to You be all praise, glory, honor, and thanks for the ways You rescue Your people, such as through the Exodus and through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Let us always sing praise to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18. This reading concludes the readings from Galatians for now. Notice the words of comfort and hope the apostle Paul gives to the Galatians, especially after his harsh words earlier in his letter to them. In this passage he talks about forgiveness and restoration, done in a spirit of gentleness and humility. Paul does continue his warning about following sinful ways, and he calls the Galatians to follow the Spirit’s leading in life.
Notice the centrality of the cross for Paul in vs. 14: the cross of Jesus makes all the difference for Paul, and is the turning point in his life; as it should be for us.
Lord Jesus, we give You thanks and praise for giving Yourself on the cross for our redemption. Keep us focused on what You have done to redeem us, and let Your redemption be seen in and through our lives as we are restored to others in You. Amen.

Luke 10:1-20. What are some of our tasks as disciples of Jesus? Today’s Gospel gives some answers: first of all, trust in the Lord to take care of you. Our mission includes proclaiming the kingdom of God and helping people in their needs. Leave the results up to the Lord: some will receive His message, some will not; but we are called to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God.
Notice also the power the disciples had even over evil: evil could not stand in the presence of Jesus’ Name. This is wonderful, that evil is defeated in Jesus’ Name, but even more wonderful is that our names are written in heaven. Let us always rejoice in this!
Lord Jesus, to You be all thanks and praise for Your power over sin, death, and the devil. Use us as instruments in Your hands to drive back the forces and powers of evil, and keep our eyes focused on Your kingdom, proclaiming Your reign by word and deed, and rejoicing that our names are written in Your kingdom. In Your Name we pray, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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