Bible Readings for Sunday 5/07/17

Today’s First Reading, Acts 2:42-47, immediately follows the giving of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, and the addition of about 3,000 new believers in Jesus. Notice how they lived: they devoted themselves to four things: the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. Notice also that the Lord added daily to their numbers. What would happen in a congregation if every member devoted themselves to the apostolic teaching, Christian fellowship, breaking of bread in Holy Communion, and prayers, as we praise God. Let us devote ourselves to drawing closer to Christ through the means He provides.
Holy Spirit, we praise You for gathering more and more people to Jesus. As the early disciples devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers, so draw us more closely to Jesus through the means You provide, through Word and Sacrament. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

The psalm for today, Psalm 23, is one of the most-loved psalms of all time. Notice the Lord’s care of the psalmist, and of us, and the trust the psalmist has in the Lord. Let us trust the Lord each day and into eternity. His is faithful to keep us with Himself forever.
Shepherding Lord, guide and lead us every moment of every day so that we are kept safe in You. Enable us to follow You, trusting in Your gracious care of us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

There is a saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.” This is a rather cynical attitude which at times seems to bear out. In today’s Second Reading, from 1 Peter 2:19-25, the apostle Peter encourages the one who is suffering unjustly to endure the injustice graciously, just as Jesus did. Jesus endured the suffering He faced, trusting in the heavenly Father Who judges justly. Jesus is our example and more; as our Lord and Savior He enables us to endure suffering, knowing that in Him we are safe, and that He can bring good out of the unjust suffering we endure.
Lord Jesus, we thank and praise You that You endured unjust suffering on our behalf, taking our sin upon Yourself and enduring the cross for our redemption. As You suffered unjustly, yet good come from it, so enable us to endure even unjust suffering; bring good out of the situations. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

The Gospel, John 10:1-10, is a good reminder to us to pay attention to whom we listen and whom we follow. Jesus alone is the Good Shepherd; let us listen to His voice alone, and follow only Him. Only Jesus saves and leads to abundant life.
Jesus, our Good Shepherd, open our ears, eyes, and hearts to hear, see, and follow You alone. Let Your Holy Spirit speak to us and keep us in You. Let Your Holy Spirit enable us to discern Your voice from the voices of those who would lead us away from You. Let Your Holy Spirit lead us to follow You alone as our Good Shepherd. Amen.

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