The Parables of Jesus: The Rich and the Foolish

October 13, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Luke 12.13-24, 29-32

[13] Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” [14] But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” [15] And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” [16] And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, [17] and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ [18] And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. [19] And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ [20] But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ [21] So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

[22] And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. [23] For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. [24] Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

[29] And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. [30] For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. [31] Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

[32] “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (ESV)

The Parables of Jesus: The Sower and the Soils

October 6, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:1-23

[1] That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. [2] And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. [3] And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. [4] And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. [5] Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, [6] but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. [7] Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. [8] Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. [9] He who has ears, let him hear.”

[10] Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” [11] And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. [12] For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. [13] This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. [14] Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,

and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

[15] For this people's heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed,

lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

and turn, and I would heal them.’

[16] But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. [17] For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

[18] “Hear then the parable of the sower: [19] When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. [20] As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, [21] yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. [22] As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. [23] As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (ESV)

2019 Vision Series: Love in Action

September 29, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 John 3:11-18

[11] For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [12] We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. [13] Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. [14] We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. [15] Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

[16] By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. [17] But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? [18] Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (ESV)

2019 Vision Series: The Love of God Among Us

September 22, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 John 4:7-12, 20-21

[7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [8] Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. [9] In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. [12] No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

[20] If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. [21] And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (ESV)

2019 Vision Series: The Life of God for the Life of Madison

September 15, 2019

SCRIPTURE: 1 John 1:1-4

[1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—[2] the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—[3] that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. [4] And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (ESV)

God's Mercy and Our Sight

September 8, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 20:29-34

[29] And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. [30] And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” [31] The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” [32] And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” [33] They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” [34] And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: Life Together

September 1, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 133

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

[1] Behold, how good and pleasant it is

when brothers dwell in unity!

[2] It is like the precious oil on the head,

running down on the beard,

on the beard of Aaron,

running down on the collar of his robes!

[3] It is like the dew of Hermon,

which falls on the mountains of Zion!

For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,

life forevermore. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: A Calm and Quiet Soul

August 25, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 131

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

[1] O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;

my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me.

[2] But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

like a weaned child is my soul within me.

[3] O Israel, hope in the LORD

from this time forth and forevermore. (ESV)

Songs for the Sojourn: A Song for the Valley

August 11, 2019

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 130

A Song of Ascents.

[1] Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

[2] O Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive

to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

[3] If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,

O Lord, who could stand?

[4] But with you there is forgiveness,

that you may be feared.

[5] I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,

and in his word I hope;

[6] my soul waits for the Lord

more than watchmen for the morning,

more than watchmen for the morning.

[7] O Israel, hope in the LORD!

For with the LORD there is steadfast love,

and with him is plentiful redemption.

[8] And he will redeem Israel

from all his iniquities. (ESV)

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)