Week 43: September 17 - September 23, 2017

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Friday, September 22nd, 2017

  • 1 This Week's Theme
  • 2 Preparing Our Hearts
  • 3 Praising Our God
  • 4 Listening to His Voice
  • 5 Responding in Faith
  • 6 Departing to Serve
  • 7 For Your Weekly Journey
  • Wise: Abigail

    1 Samuel 25.1-42

    On the event of Samuel’s death and burial at Ramah, David traveled through the Maon desert (v. 1; cf. 23.24). In the midst of his trouble and travels, he remembered Nabal, a person who owned 1,000 goats and 3,000 sheep, making him a person of considerable means and wealth at that time (25.2-3). Having done what he could to protect the interests and livestock of Nabal’s herds (v. 7; cf. vv. 15-16, 21), David requested that Nabal provide rations for him and his men while they were in the wilderness. Remarkably, Nabal, instead of being gracious, showed David complete disdain, and refused to give him any help or aid. This lack of gratitude infuriated David to the point that he gathered around 400 men to make Nabal surrender to his request.

    Abigail, Nabal’s wife, was told of her husband’s affront to David. “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is deter­mined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him” (1 Sam. 25.14-17).

    Abigail sensed the danger, and to remedy the situation she took supplies to meet David and his men’s needs. On meeting David, she begged him not to punish her husband for she argued that he was as his name indicated: a fool (nab-al, “foolish”). She affirmed that God would eventually make him king, and killing her foolish husband would only soil his conscience. David was persuaded by her intervention, and accepted her supplies. Her wisdom was shortly proved true for after a night of drunken partying, Nabal found out about his foolish dealing with David and how close he was to death. He was so shocked by it that he had a heart attack, and then died ten days later. David saw this as God’s working, and being impressed by Abigail’s character and beauty, proposed to her and took her as his wife. Abigail demonstrated keen insight and real wisdom in dealing with David and saving Nabal from destruction; her discernment is admirable, and should be cultivated by those who wish to be used by God effectively.

  • Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

    Father, as Abigail demonstrated both wisdom and humility in her dealing with her husband and David, so we wish to use discernment in every phase of our life and ministry. She was sensitive, articulate, and open, and her wisdom saved the lives of her husband and many of his servants. Grant to us a heart of wisdom like hers, that we may know what to say and to do in the midst of challenging times. In your name we pray, amen.

    Call to Worship  

    Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.

  • Te Deum Laudamus

    You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

    The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

    You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

    Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

    Gloria Patri

    Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen. 

  • Chronological Reading for the Day

    Friday: John 11.38-57; Luke 17.11-18.8

    Lectionary Readings

    Psalm:Ps. 114

    OT:Exod. 14.19-31

    Gospel: Matt. 18.21-35

    NT:Rom. 14.1-12

    (Click here for all readings)

  • The Apostles' Creed

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

    *In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

    Prayers of Confession
    Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

    Assurance of Pardon
    Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

    Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
    Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

    --Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

    Doxology (and/or closing song)
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
    Praise Him all creatures here below;
    Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
    Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

  • Benediction  
    Lord Jesus, in the midst of difficult and tough situations, we need to know what to say, how to act, and what to do. Your wisdom can lead us, and we can act in harmony with the truth of your word, if you will teach us by your Spirit. Help us to know how to respond, even as Abigail did, averting disaster and honoring your name. In your name we pray, amen.

    Affirmation from the Psalms
    Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. [6] He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. [7] Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! [8] Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. [9] For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land. [10] In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. [11] But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

    ~ Psalm 37.5-11

    Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
    Lord Jesus, teach us your wisdom that we might know what to say and how to act in the evil day.

  • Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus

    Pondering the Deep Things of God

    Luke 1.46-56, 26-38

    Book Reading

    Sanders, Ministry at the Margins

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