Songs for the Sojourn: Family History

August 4, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 129

A Song of Ascents.

[1] “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth”—

let Israel now say—

[2] “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,

yet they have not prevailed against me.

[3] The plowers plowed upon my back;

they made long their furrows.”

[4] The LORD is righteous;

he has cut the cords of the wicked.

[5] May all who hate Zion

be put to shame and turned backward!

[6] Let them be like the grass on the housetops,

which withers before it grows up,

[7] with which the reaper does not fill his hand

nor the binder of sheaves his arms,

[8] nor do those who pass by say,

“The blessing of the LORD be upon you!

We bless you in the name of the LORD!” (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: The Pursuit of Happiness

July 28, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 128

A Song of Ascents.

[1] Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,

who walks in his ways!

[2] You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;

you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

[3] Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

[4] Behold, thus shall the man be blessed

who fears the LORD.

[5] The LORD bless you from Zion!

May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

all the days of your life!

[6] May you see your children's children!

Peace be upon Israel! (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: Unless the Lord

July 21, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 127

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

[1] Unless the LORD builds the house,

those who build it labor in vain.

Unless the LORD watches over the city,

the watchman stays awake in vain.

[2] It is in vain that you rise up early

and go late to rest,

eating the bread of anxious toil;

for he gives to his beloved sleep.

[3] Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,

the fruit of the womb a reward.

[4] Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

are the children of one's youth.

[5] Blessed is the man

who fills his quiver with them!

He shall not be put to shame

when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: For Those Who Sow Weeping

July 14, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 126

A Song of Ascents.

[1] When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,

we were like those who dream.

[2] Then our mouth was filled with laughter,

and our tongue with shouts of joy;

then they said among the nations,

“The LORD has done great things for them.”

[3] The LORD has done great things for us;

we are glad.

[4] Restore our fortunes, O LORD,

like streams in the Negeb!

[5] Those who sow in tears

shall reap with shouts of joy!

[6] He who goes out weeping,

bearing the seed for sowing,

shall come home with shouts of joy,

bringing his sheaves with him. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: You Are What You Worship

July 7, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 125

A Song of Ascents.

[1] Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

[2] As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

so the LORD surrounds his people,

from this time forth and forevermore.

[3] For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest

on the land allotted to the righteous,

lest the righteous stretch out

their hands to do wrong.

[4] Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,

and to those who are upright in their hearts!

[5] But those who turn aside to their crooked ways

the LORD will lead away with evildoers!

Peace be upon Israel! (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: Let the Redeemed Say So

June 30, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 124

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

[1] If it had not been the LORD who was on our side—

let Israel now say—

[2] if it had not been the LORD who was on our side

when people rose up against us,

[3] then they would have swallowed us up alive,

when their anger was kindled against us;

[4] then the flood would have swept us away,

the torrent would have gone over us;

[5] then over us would have gone

the raging waters.

[6] Blessed be the LORD,

who has not given us

as prey to their teeth!

[7] We have escaped like a bird

from the snare of the fowlers;

the snare is broken,

and we have escaped!

[8] Our help is in the name of the LORD,

who made heaven and earth. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: Sojourning in a Culture of Contempt

June 23, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 123

A Song of Ascents.

[1] To you I lift up my eyes,

O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

[2] Behold, as the eyes of servants

look to the hand of their master,

as the eyes of a maidservant

to the hand of her mistress,

so our eyes look to the LORD our God,

till he has mercy upon us.

[3] Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,

for we have had more than enough of contempt.

[4] Our soul has had more than enough

of the scorn of those who are at ease,

of the contempt of the proud. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: Joy in the House of the Lord

June 16, 2019: Trinity Sunday

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 122

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

[1] I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

[2] Our feet have been standing

within your gates, O Jerusalem!

[3] Jerusalem—built as a city

that is bound firmly together,

[4] to which the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD,

as was decreed for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the LORD.

[5] There thrones for judgment were set,

the thrones of the house of David.

[6] Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

“May they be secure who love you!

[7] Peace be within your walls

and security within your towers!”

[8] For my brothers and companions' sake

I will say, “Peace be within you!”

[9] For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,

I will seek your good. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn (The Psalms of Ascent): The Help

June 9, 2019: Pentecost Sunday

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 121

A Song of Ascents.

[1] I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

[2] My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth.

[3] He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

[4] Behold, he who keeps Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

[5] The LORD is your keeper;

the LORD is your shade on your right hand.

[6] The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

[7] The LORD will keep you from all evil;

he will keep your life.

[8] The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn (The Psalms of Ascent): Christ's Ascension & Ours

June 2, 2019: Ascension Sunday

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 120

A Song of Ascents.

[1] In my distress I called to the LORD,

and he answered me.

[2] Deliver me, O LORD,

from lying lips,

from a deceitful tongue.

[3] What shall be given to you,

and what more shall be done to you,

you deceitful tongue?

[4] A warrior's sharp arrows,

with glowing coals of the broom tree!

[5] Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech,

that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!

[6] Too long have I had my dwelling

among those who hate peace.

[7] I am for peace,

but when I speak, they are for war! (ESV)

Re: Resurrection (1 Cor. 15): A Good Ending

May 26, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

[50] I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. [51] Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. [53] For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. [54] When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

[55] “O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

[56] The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

[58] Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ESV)

Re: Resurrection (1 Cor. 15): Our Resurrected Bodies

May 19, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:35-49

[35] But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” [36] You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. [37] And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. [38] But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. [39] For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. [40] There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. [41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

[42] So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. [43] It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. [44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. [45] Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [46] But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. [47] The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. [48] As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. [49] Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (ESV)

Re: Resurrection (1 Cor. 15): From the Future Back

May 12, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:29-34

[29] Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? [30] Why are we in danger every hour? [31] I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! [32] What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” [33] Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” [34] Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. (ESV)

Re: Resurrection (1 Cor. 15): From Most Pitied to Most Envied

May 5, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:20-28

[20] But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. [21] For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. [22] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. [23] But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. [24] Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. [25] For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. [26] The last enemy to be destroyed is death. [27] For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. [28] When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (ESV)

Re: Resurrection (1 Cor. 15): Our Need for Easter

April 28, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

[12] Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? [13] But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. [14] And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. [15] We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. [16] For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. [17] And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. [18] Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. [19] If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

[20] But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (ESV)

Re: Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15): Of First Importance

April 21, 2019: Easter Sunday

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

[1] Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, [2] and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

[3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, [5] and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. [6] Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. [7] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. [8] Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. [9] For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. [10] But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. [11] Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. (ESV)

Teach Us to Pray: Kingdom, Power, and Glory

April 14, 2019: Palm Sunday

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:1-11

[1] Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, [2] saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. [3] If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” [4] This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

[5] “Say to the daughter of Zion,

‘Behold, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

[6] The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. [7] They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. [8] Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. [9] And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” [10] And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” [11] And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” (ESV)

Teach Us to Pray: Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices

April 7, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-13; 4:1-11

[9] Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

[10] Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

[11] Give us this day our daily bread,

[12] and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

[13] And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

[4:1] Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. [2] And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. [3] And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” [4] But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

[5] Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple [6] and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

[7] Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” [8] Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. [9] And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” [10] Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’”

[11] Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (ESV)

Teach Us to Pray: Debts and Debtors

March 31, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-15; 18:21-35

[9] Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

[10] Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

[11] Give us this day our daily bread,

[12] and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

[13] And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

[14] For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, [15] but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

[18:21] Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” [22] Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

[23] “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. [24] When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. [25] And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. [26] So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ [27] And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. [28] But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ [29] So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ [30] He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. [31] When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. [32] Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. [33] And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ [34] And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. [35] So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (ESV)

Teach Us to Pray: Our Daily Bread

March 24, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-13, 25-34

[9] Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

[10] Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

[11] Give us this day our daily bread,

[12] and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

[13] And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

[25] “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27] And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [28] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [32] For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

[34] “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV)