Bible Readings for Sunday September 24, 2017

In the First Reading, Isaiah 55:6-9, we hear the call to return to the Lord, there is still time to repent. As Isaiah says, let us turn from sin and return to the Lord. Through Christ we can approach the Lord for forgiveness. Through Christ we find that God’s ways are not our ways, but that His ways are greater than ours. Let us turn to the Lord each day in repentance to receive His forgiveness.
Loving Lord, thank You for the opportunity to turn to You in repentance as we face our sinfulness. Thank You that in Jesus we have forgiveness. Always keep before us the truth that Your ways are so much greater and more merciful than our ways. Enable us to trust in Your will and ways for our lives. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

In today’s Psalm, 27:1-9, we see a powerful proclamation of trust in the Lord by David. As we know from the Bible, David faced many enemies, but the Lord delivered him from them all. Let us trust the Lord, knowing that in His hands we are safe. Let us trust the Lord, knowing that one day He will defeat all sin and evil. Let us gather in worship to give the Lord thanks and praise.
To You, O Lord, we give thanks and praise that through Jesus You deliver us from the enemies of sin, death, and the devil, giving us forgiveness, life, and salvation. Keep us safe in Your hands, and open our lips to give You praise! Through Jesus our Lord and Savior we pray, amen.

In today’s Second Reading, Philippians 1:12-14, 19-30, the apostle Paul is imprisoned. He does not know if he will be released or put to death, and he is unsure as to which he would prefer. What would be your desire if faced with possible death? Notice what Paul’s desire is. Notice also that even in his imprisonment he continues to proclaim the Gospel.
One of the most powerful features of Philippians, which is a thank you note to the church at Philippi for their help given to Paul, is the note of joy. The Greek root word for JOY occurs over 20 times in the 4 chapters. Even though Paul does not know if he will live or die, he is filled with joy. May we also be filled with joy in Christ.
Lord, by the work of Your Holy Spirit in our lives, let us always be filled with joy in Christ, joy trusting that no matter what happens in life, we are safe in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

The Gospel for today, Matthew 20:1-16, is not designed to be an economic principle, but rather to show God’s grace and mercy through the generosity of the owner of the vineyard. As we hear the parable let us hear God’s mercy given to us, and let us share His mercy with others through the many ways we interact with others.
Gracious and loving Lord, we thank You that in Jesus You have given us all we need for life and salvation. Enable us to share what You have given to us with others so that they too can be blessed as You have blessed us. Enable us to rejoice when Your blessings reach the needs of others. Amen.

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