We are back from camp and the electrical issues have been mostly worked out. This week is VBS and we continue with reading from what I would call the less popular books, at this point you may be reading some stories that you have not heard before. If you are, sit with them for a while and ask yourself what do these stories tell you about God, and your relationship with God.
Here is what we are doing each day.
Monday: Salvation History
Tuesday: Historical Criticism
Wednesday: Reader Response
Thursday: Law and Gospel
Friday: Textual Criticism
Saturday: Sabbath—just read and pray
Aug2ThuAugust 2, 2018
[Rev 2:1-29 RSV] 1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: 'The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 "'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false; 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicola'itans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.' 8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: 'The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 9 "'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.' 12 "And to the angel of the church in Per'gamum write: 'The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. 13 "'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; you hold fast my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days of An'tipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality. 15 So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicola'itans. 16 Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.' 18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyati'ra write: 'The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 "'I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jez'ebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyati'ra, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay upon you any other burden; 25 only hold fast what you have, until I come. 26 He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'
[Neh 3:1-32 RSV] 1 Then Eli'ashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors; they consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hanan'el. 2 And next to him the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built. 3 And the sons of Hassena'ah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 4 And next to them Mer'emoth the son of Uri'ah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them Meshul'lam the son of Berechi'ah, son of Meshez'abel repaired. And next to them Zadok the son of Ba'ana repaired. 5 And next to them the Teko'ites repaired; but their nobles did not put their necks to the work of their Lord. 6 And Joi'ada the son of Pase'ah and Meshul'lam the son of Besodei'ah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 7 And next to them repaired Melati'ah the Gib'eonite and Jadon the Mero'nothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, who were under the jurisdiction of the governor of the province Beyond the River. 8 Next to them Uz'ziel the son of Harhai'ah, goldsmiths, repaired. Next to him Hanani'ah, one of the perfumers, repaired; and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Next to them Rephai'ah the son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired. 10 Next to them Jedai'ah the son of Haru'maph repaired opposite his house; and next to him Hattush the son of Hashabnei'ah repaired. 11 Malchi'jah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pa'hath-mo'ab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallo'hesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters. 13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zano'ah repaired the Valley Gate; they rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall, as far as the Dung Gate. 14 Malchi'jah the son of Rechab, ruler of the district of Beth-hacche'rem, repaired the Dung Gate; he rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 15 And Shallum the son of Colho'zeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate; he rebuilt it and covered it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars; and he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king's garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David. 16 After him Nehemi'ah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired to a point opposite the sepulchres of David, to the artificial pool, and to the house of the mighty men. 17 After him the Levites repaired: Rehum the son of Bani; next to him Hashabi'ah, ruler of half the district of Kei'lah, repaired for his district. 18 After him their brethren repaired: Bav'vai the son of Hen'adad, ruler of half the district of Kei'lah; 19 next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section opposite the ascent to the armory at the Angle. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zab'bai repaired another section from the Angle to the door of the house of Eli'ashib the high priest. 21 After him Mer'emoth the son of Uri'ah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eli'ashib to the end of the house of Eli'ashib. 22 After him the priests, the men of the Plain, repaired. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azari'ah the son of Ma-asei'ah, son of Anani'ah repaired beside his own house. 24 After him Bin'nui the son of Hen'adad repaired another section, from the house of Azari'ah to the Angle 25 and to the corner. Palal the son of Uzai repaired opposite the Angle and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard. After him Pedai'ah the son of Parosh 26 and the temple servants living on Ophel repaired to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. 27 After him the Teko'ites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel. 28 Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house. After him Shemai'ah the son of Shecani'ah, the keeper of the East Gate, repaired. 30 After him Hanani'ah the son of Shelemi'ah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshul'lam the son of Berechi'ah repaired opposite his chamber. 31 After him Malchi'jah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner. 32 And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.
[Psa 97:1-12 RSV] 1 The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 2 Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. 4 His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory. 7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; all gods bow down before him. 8 Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of thy judgments, O God. 9 For thou, O LORD, art most high over all the earth; thou art exalted far above all gods. 10 The LORD loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
From Pastor Tim
Law and Gospel
Today we hear the admonition of the first 4 of the 7 churches in Asia, Jesus will go and address each of these in time, but today we hear the first four. Remember when he is speaking to them he is talking to the churches, people who believe and hold on to the faith in Jesus Christ. Yet the words he speaks is a constant laying of the law. The law not only brings us to faith, it also returns us again and again to repentance. We hear this in the comments that Jesus makes, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Too often we fall into the thought that the law is only for those who do not know Jesus, yet we miss the mark just as often when we know Jesus, sometimes we are tempted more because Satan doesn’t want productive people working for God. Yet again and again the warnings given are trying to move the people back towards Christ and salvation. I hope you hear that in the book of Revelation, we must despair of our own works and cling to Christ—then we work in his name and for his glory.
We are reading through the Bible in order to celebrate the anniversary of the reformation, we would invite you to join us where ever we are, or you could just start reading daily. Remember Luther wanted to get Scripture into the hand of everyone so they would grow to know God better. Join us!