Overflowing

Psalm 23:5b-6
“You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Luke 6:38
“Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Gracious God, you have blessed us with the infinitely extravagant gift of your friendship.

overflowingYou do not measure your generosity by our small cups.  You pour out peace with a heavy hand, joy splashes and soaks us, hope spills over.

Teach us to love without restraint.  By your Spirit may our unfailing kindness to others exceed all we have received from the hands of our neighbours.

Because of Christ we come to you, who poured himself into the cup of suffering to fill us to overflowing with an abundant life.

Listen to ‘The King of Love’ by High Street Hymns

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Seeds

Mark 4:26-28
“[Jesus] also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like.  A man scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.’”

1 Corinthians 3:5b-7
“…the Lord has assigned each to his task.  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

Isaiah 55:10-11
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Lord of life, on the third day of creation you adorned the earth with the beauty of spring.

seedsThe fields and gardens obey your word alone, flourishing only at your command.  Your kingdom grows and produces fruit in the mysterious seasons of the Spirit.

Help us plant your word generously and water your work abundantly.  Allow us to trust in your life-giving touch for the harvest.

In the name of Jesus we pray, the seed sown in the dark grave and raised by your power to fill the storehouses of heaven.

Listen to ‘How Vast the Benefits Divine’ by Psalms and Hymns

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Freedom

Isaiah 42:6b-7
“I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”

Acts 16:25-30
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted, ‘Don’t harm yourself!  We are all here!’  The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’”

John 18:38-40a
“‘What is truth?’  Pilate asked.  With this he went out again to the Jews and said, ‘…it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover.  Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?’  They shouted back, ‘No, not him!  Give us Barabbas!’”

Mighty God, you sing freedom from the heights of glory.

freedomIf we are imprisoned in body, you call us to free those held captive in soul.  You lock the righteous to the sinner to proclaim salvation in dark places.

Bend open the bars of our hearts and release us from our chains.  Give us courage to lay down our lives for those condemned by the world but not forgotten by you.

In the name of Christ we pray, who stepped forward to a prisoner’s execution so that we might know the truth and be saved.

Listen to ‘To God be the Glory’ by Redeemer Music

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Costly Water

2 Samuel 23:15-17a
“David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!’  So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.  But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. ‘Far be it from me, O Lord, to do this!’ he said.  ‘Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?’  And David would not drink it.”

Isaiah 55:1
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

Revelation 21:6b
“To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.”

Righteous Redeemer, you are worthy of the highest devotion, honour and allegiance.

Yet as the servant King, you entered the battle on our behalf.  You beckon to the thirsty, and we drink the water of life cupped in your pierced hands.

costlyPour into us the free gift that cost your Son everything.  Let us fully taste the joy and peace that flavours salvation’s springs.

We pray this in the name of Bethlehem’s greatest well, Jesus Christ, who risked and lost his life for us, but rose to quench our deepest thirst.

Listen to ‘Grace Greater Than Our Sin‘ by Summit Church

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Honey

Numbers 14:6-8
“Joshua…and Caleb…who were among those who had explored the land…said to the entire Israelite assembly, ‘The land we passed through is exceedingly good.  If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.’”

Mark 1:4, 6-7
“And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And this was his message:  ‘After me will come one more powerful than I…’”

Psalm 19:9-10
“The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.  The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.”

Father God, you guide your people with the sweetness of your word.

honey As a sign of the promised land and Christ’s new kingdom, you sustained the faithful with gifts of goodness.  You feed our souls with blessings of pure nectar.

Whet our appetites for the satisfaction found in repentance and obedience.  Let us taste sweet drops of grace, truth and love.

Thank you for the hope found in the name of Jesus, who tasted death that he might offer us abundant gifts of milk and honey.

Listen to ‘Tis So Sweet’ by Dave Hunt

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Close Behind

Psalm 139:5
“You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

John 20:13-14
“[The angels] asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’  ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’  At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.”

Isaiah 58:8-9a
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”

Eternal God, you spread the invisible shield of your hands around your loved ones.

close behindWhen we step into a troubling future with precarious faith, we look back to find you faithfully within arm’s reach.  When our past threatens to attack, you guard our way.

Help us trust that though you may delay confirmation, you will securely hem us in.  Teach us to follow the unrecognized yet reassuring presence at our burdened shoulder.

Thank you that we find the resurrected Christ behind us, as close as a tear-filled turn.  It is in his name that we pray.

Listen to ‘Poor Sinner Dejected with Fear’ featuring MP Jones and Katy Bowser

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Trumpets

Joshua 6:15-17a, 20
“On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.  The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, ‘Shout!  For the Lord has given you the city!  The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord.’…When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in and they took the city.”

Revelation 11:15
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’”

Psalm 47:5-7
“God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.  Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.”

Great and mighty King, you reign without rival and your victory is complete.

trumpetsWe march in faith that the battle is won.  With confidence we anticipate the day of trumpets when the realm of darkness falls forever.

Stir our timid hearts to shout your praise.  Strengthen our voices to herald the coming of your everlasting kingdom.

Because of Christ we sing grateful adoration; announced by the seventh angel, conqueror on the seventh day.

Listen to ‘Let the Seventh Angel Sound’ by Sojourn

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