Bible readings for the week of Nov. 4, 2018

The First Reading for this All Saints Sunday is recorded in Revelation 7:9-17. Notice the countless multitude from every nation standing before the throne of God, clothed in white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb (symbolic of being clothed with the righteousness of Christ in Baptism), with palm branches, crying out with loud voices: “Salvation belongs to our God Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” What a glorious hope we have in Jesus: to join that heavenly throng and proclaim that our salvation is through God alone!
Holy Lord, salvation belongs to You, God, Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb! All blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to You, God, forever and ever! Amen.

This Sunday’s psalm, 149, is a psalm of praise to God. Notice the joy and dancing in God’s presence! Heaven will be filled with joy!
The latter part of the psalm can be troubling for us, calling on God’s people to exact punishment on those who don’t follow the Lord; let us leave punishment of those who don’t believe up to the Lord, instead, let us be faithful to share the Gospel of Jesus with all so that the Holy Spirit can bring them to faith.
Hallelujah! To You we sing songs of thanksgiving and praise! Let songs of praise always flow forth from us, and through our witness to Jesus bring others to faith in Him. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

The Second Reading is recorded in 1 John 3:1-3. What hope this passage gives us: we are still in this life, and still face the difficulties of this life, but one Day the Lord will return and He will transform us completely into all He has in store for us. Let us always hope and trust in Him!
Lord, we look forward to Your return when You will finally and completely transform us into all You intend us to be. Until that Day, continually forgive us for our sins, and let Your Holy Spirit continue to work to enable us to grow into Christ the Head of the Church. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Gospel, Matthew 5:1-12, is the beginning of the wonderful Sermon on the Mount. Read this passage slowly, contemplating and meditating on each of the Beatitudes/Blessings. Keep your ears, eyes, and hearts open to the ways God brings His blessings into our lives.
Lord, thank You for the blessings You bring into our lives, especially the blessing of forgiveness, life, and salvation in Jesus. Amen.

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