Bible Readings for Sunday July 16, 2017

The first Reading is Isaiah 55:10-13. This passage is filled with hope: God’s Word is like the snow and rain replenishing the earth; God’s Word will accomplish the very thing He sends it to do. This is Good News and hope for us because in Christ God’s Word means life and salvation for us. Let us hold fast to God’s faithfulness to do what He promises through His Word.
A side note on this passage: it is the key passage for the Gideon Society, this is the passage that motivates them to do what they do. The Gideons know and trust that God’s Word will accomplish what He sends it to do, so the Gideons are diligent in placing God’s Word, the Bible, where ever and when ever they can. And God uses His Word for the benefit of humanity, accomplishing what He sends it to do.
Faithful Lord, all praise and glory to You for fulfilling Your promises in Your Word. Thank You that Your Word has called us to faith in Jesus our Lord and Savior. In His Name we pray. Amen.

Today’s Psalm, 65:1-13, continues the theme of God’s faithfulness. Notice in the first part of the psalm how God forgives and restores His people; through Jesus, we have this hope. The second part of the psalm fits in well with the First Reading in praising God for His faithfulness to give us the rain we need. May the Lord grant us timely rains and an abundant harvest.
Oh Lord, the eyes of all look to You to give us what we need. Continue to bless Your creation with the fruits of the fields and with the fruits of Jesus in our lives, that we will receive Your blessings of the earth and Your blessings of life in Jesus. In His Name we pray. Amen.

The Second Reading, Romans 8:12-17, rejoices in what God has done for us to make us His children, including giving us His Holy Spirit. All this God does for us through Baptism. As the Baptized, let us rejoice in God’s adoption of us and in His giving us eternal life in Jesus.
When the apostle Paul talks about “living according to the flesh”, this is his way of saying, “living according to the sinful self.” He urges us to live “according to the Spirit”, to live according to the way the Spirit of God leads us, and not to live according to the sinful self.
Notice one of the gifts God gives us – through His Holy Spirit we can call Him: Father. What a privilege! Let us call on our heavenly Father in prayer and praise!.
Holy and gracious heavenly Father, what a privilege it is to call You: Father. You are the perfect parent, giving us what we need in life, ultimately giving us eternal life in Your Son Jesus. Each day, by Your Holy Spirit, turn us from our sinful selves to You alone, to live according to the Spirit. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

The Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, is a familiar passage to us, it is the Parable of the Sower. We are asked to consider what kind of soil we are – do we produce fruit for the kingdom of God? Do we?
This time when you read the parable, consider the sower. How does he treat the seed? How does he treat the different soils? What soils receive the blessings of the seed?
Holy Spirit, enable us to be good soil, producing an abundant harvest for God’s kingdom. We thank and praise You that You scattered the Word of God on us, and caused it to took root, grow, and bear fruit in our lives. Use us as workers in the fields of life into which You send us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


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