Acts 16:9-15. What a powerful example of listening to the Lord, and of sharing the Gospel of Jesus. The apostle Paul had a vision in the night, and heeded the vision, going to Macedonia to proclaim Christ. At a place of prayer on the Sabbath, several women gathered to pray, among them Lydia. The Lord opened her heart to the message of Jesus, and she became a Christian. Like Paul, let us heed the urging of the Lord to share the Good News of Jesus so that the Holy Spirit can work in the hearts of those who hear and faith can take root and grow in them.
Holy Spirit, let us always be open to Your urging and let us share the Gospel of Jesus with others so that You can take the message of Jesus and bring those who hear to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Thanks and praise be to You for the faith in us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Psalm 67. This is a psalm of praise, fitting for the Sundays of Easter. Notice the progression in the psalm, beginning with the Aaronic blessing asking for God’s grace, blessings, and His face to shine on us. Notice that there is a purpose for God’s blessings, not that we keep the blessings to ourselves, but so that God’s way and saving power would be made known. This revelation of God’s power leads to praise of God among all peoples of the earth. Praise is also offered to God for His right judgments and guidance of the nations. Again, leading the refrain of praise. The psalm ends with praise to God for His blessings of the harvest. Let us all fear, honor, and glorify Him!
All praise, honor, and glory be to You, almighty God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for Your blessings to all people. Open the eyes of faith to see Your blessings each day and let praise be continually offered to You. Amen.
Revelation 21:9-14, 21-27. As we are coming to the end of the Sundays of Easter, we read about the End of the world, and the beginning of God’s recreation of all things, making all things new in Jesus. What a glorious vision of heaven! Notice the beautiful terms with which the new Jerusalem is described; as beautiful as a bride on her wedding day! The hymn For All the Saints references this passage when we sing about the countless host streaming in through the gates of pearl, singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia! As we enter the city, we will see the Lord face-to-face, and all the glory and honor of the nations will be laid at the feet of God. Notice that there is a warning at the end of the passage, those outside of Christ will not be in the city; a good reminder to remain in Him.
All glorious Lord, we join in singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, alleluia! As we go through the struggles of life, keep before us the awesome vision of Your heavenly glory, and keep us firm in faith in Jesus our Lord and Savior. Amen.
John 16:23-33. This passage occurs on the Thursday evening before Jesus’ crucifixion. Notice the great compassion Jesus has for His disciples, preparing them for the hours and days ahead, but also preparing them for the rest of their lives. He begins by encouraging them in prayer, telling them, and us, to ask in prayer. God will answer in all ways that are best; trust Him.
Jesus then prepares them for the crucifixion, and also gives them hope that they will see Him again before He returns to the heavenly Father. He tells them to take heart, He has overcome the world.
Lord Jesus, we thank and praise You for Your compassion toward Your disciples on that Thursday evening, and for Your compassion toward us. We thank and praise You that You willingly went to the cross to redeem us by overcoming the world. Keep us at peace in You, even as we face tribulation in the world. In Your Name we pray. Amen.