are the Scripture readings as scheduled in the "Revised Common
Lectionary," an ecumenical schedule of readings of Holy Scripture. Our
sermons are based on these readings.
24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Proper 9 (14), Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, (Year A)
24:34 So he said, "I am Abraham's servant.
24:35 The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has
given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and
24:36 And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and
he has given him all that he has.
24:37 My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son
from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live;
24:38 but you shall go to my father's house, to my kindred, and get a wife for
24:42 "I came today to the spring, and said, 'O LORD, the God of my master
Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going!
24:43 I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes
out to draw, to whom I shall say, "Please give me a little water from your
jar to drink,"
24:44 and who will say to me, "Drink, and I will draw for your camels
also" --let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's
24:45 "Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah
coming out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring,
and drew. I said to her, 'Please let me drink.'
24:46 She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I
will also water your camels.' So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
24:47 Then I asked her, 'Whose daughter are you?' She said, 'The daughter of
Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' So I put the ring on her nose,
and the bracelets on her arms.
24:48 Then I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the
God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the
daughter of my master's kinsman for his son.
24:49 Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and
if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the
24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this
man?" She said, "I will."
24:59 So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham's
servant and his men.
24:60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "May you, our sister,
become thousands of myriads; may your offspring gain possession of the gates of
24:61 Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the
man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
24:62 Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb.
24:63 Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he
saw camels coming.
24:64 And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from
24:65 and said to the servant, "Who is the man over there, walking in the
field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." So she
took her veil and covered herself.
24:66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
24:67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent. He took Rebekah, and
she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his
This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
45:10 Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your people and
your father's house,
45:11 and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him;
45:12 the people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the
45:13 with all kinds of wealth. The princess is decked in her chamber with
45:14 in many-colored robes she is led to the king; behind her the virgins, her
45:15 With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the
45:16 In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons; you will make
them princes in all the earth.
45:17 I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the
peoples will praise you forever and ever.
Proper 9 (14), (Year A)
7:15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do
the very thing I hate.
7:16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.
7:17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can
will what is right, but I cannot do it.
7:19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.
7:20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that
dwells within me.
7:21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies
close at hand.
7:22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self,
7:23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making
me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
Proper 9 (14), Pentecost 6 (Year A)
11:16 "But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children
sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
11:17 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you
did not mourn.'
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a
11:19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton
and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is
vindicated by her deeds."
11:25 At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and
earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent
and have revealed them to infants;
11:26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the
Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to
whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
11:28 "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light."
Reader: This is the Gospel of the Lord; Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
During these summer months the Lectionary often seems to be taking in vast
amounts of Scripture just to progress through large sections of the Bible.
These gives the preacher particular challenge to keep some continuity from week
to week. If the preacher starts early, prays a lot, and is willing to step back
and keep the large picture in view, the plan of God in the Word makes its way
to the forefront.
You may remember during the 40 days following the celebration of the
Resurrection of Jesus we read about the marriage customs of ancient Israel. One
thing we learned was the father of the bridegroom often sent an emissary out to
find a bride for his son. Then when a suitable candidate was found, the
emissary brought her to the bridegroom's father for approval. This was the
subject of today's first reading. The Lectionary is developing the story of the
Chosen People for our study. Today we see a servant in Abraham's household
being sent to find a suitable bride for his only son, Isaac. Notice the
expectant faith of Abraham and the servant. The servant expects the events to
go exactly as had been indicated by the instructions of Abraham. Each
miraculous event unfolds exactly as planned. The servant completely trusts the
results of the testing to find God's Will and takes Rebekah back to Abraham and
Isaac. She becomes Isaac's wife.
The psalm today is about the royal wedding. Now, lets see, what royal wedding
might that be referring to? That is correct, The Marriage Feast Of The Lamb at
the conclusion of the Church Age. The royal wedding is when God tells Jesus it
is time to go and retrieve the Bride, the Church. So, once again this weekend
we see an example of a biblical TYPE. The going and finding the bride for Isaac
is parallel to the Holy Spirit working as the emissary for Jesus the bridegroom
and taking us heart by heart to God for approval, which God has extended to all
who call upon the Name of Jesus for salvation. Of course one question we ask
ourselves is how do we individually and collectively measure up as candidates
to be the Bride of Christ? This brings us to the second reading.
Last week we discussed the origins of evil. We made it clear that God did not
create evil, nor did God introduce sin into the world. Once humanity had opted
for evil, the god of this world, Satan, went to work to cause what he still
believes will be an eternal rebellion. Satan clearly desires to rule the
universe and to dispose of God. Perhaps that sounds ridiculous to you. It
should, for never is the creature greater than its creator. However, we must
remember that Satan's entire being is deception, lies, and untruth.
Perhaps you dislike hearing us present Satan as the god of this world. First,
notice we are spelling god with a small 'g'. By this we mean Satan has only the
authority that is given him by his volunteers, those who pledge allegiance to
Satan and shut down the influence on their lives of the Holy Spirit. Shocking
as it sounds, we are given authority by God to push God aside in our eternal
destiny and tell God to go away, that we choose to be spouses of Satan, rather
than God. We must see and admit that the Christian Scriptures also give this
This word in the Greek Scriptures that is translated as god, prince, ruler of
this world is:
Present participle of G757; a first (in rank or power):-chief (ruler),
magistrate, prince, ruler.
Many of us were not told Satan is the god of this world, even though it is in
the Bible. Not telling all the truth is the same as lying to us. No wonder we
have walked around so confused for so many years trying to understand how there
could be so much evil in the world when we were being taught Jesus was king of
the world! Jesus is NOT KING of this world system!!! In His own words, He said:
John 18:36-37: Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My
kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be
delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." 37Pilate
therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?"
Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was
born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness
to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.
John 14:30; 29"And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does
come to pass, you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the
ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me."
John 16:11; 11"… of judgment, because the ruler of this world is
2 Corinthians 4:4 4 "In whom the godG2316 of this world hath blinded the
minds of them which believe not, …" In this case the Greek Word for
"god" is: G2316
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity;
figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very:-X exceeding, God, god [-ly, -
The usage of "theos" for "god of this world" is an
unmistakable word of great power and authority to show Satan's place in the
sinful world system we are so familiar with.
Satan is also known in Scripture as the "prince of the power of the
air…" in Ephesians 2:2. "Prince" is a translation of the same
Greek Word # 758, archon.
The notes in my New Scofield Reference Bible at Revelation 20:10 also indicate;
"To him, under God, was committed upon earth the power of death."
Hebrews 2:14 14" Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and
blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might
destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and release those
who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."
Satan still has access to God and he uses this to be our accuser before God,
ever believing he will convince god that this clay creation of humanity will
ultimately reject God. Revelation 12: 10; 10"Then I heard a loud voice
saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our
God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren,
who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down."
Keep in mind, John is seeing what will happen in the FUTURE! Therefore, Satan
is currently accusing us before God!
The fact that so many so-called Christian institutions and so-called churches
do not teach the people about the realities and the workings of Satan in our
modern world clearly shows the great deception of the Garden of Eden is alive
Now we are ready to look at the second reading again. Please open your NRSV's
to page 157 of your Christian Testament, Romans 7:15-25. To be honest with you,
I wonder if this text hasn't be manipulated over the years to fit
denominational dogma. I say this because Paul seems to be indicating a sense of
powerlessness over sin. He writes: "I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I
do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that
do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells
within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do
it…." I wonder if Paul was teaching what life is like without the Holy
Spirit for the natural man.
We are never helpless to the power of sin if the Trinity live within us.
"You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because he
who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4) I have
taught many lessons on the reality of the entire Trinity making their home
within us. If a person gives their heart and soul over to the Holy Spirit then
they become a "temple" a "house" an "earthen vessel of
the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19 19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the
Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
23 John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me,
he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and
make Our home with him."
John 15:4-7 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him,
bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide
in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and
throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My
words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Every week at Ray Of Hope Church we proclaim the words of Jesus that give a
very strong testimony to our belief in His tremendous power; John 14:12-14
"Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works
that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to
God. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that God may be glorified in the
Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."
Some of you aren't going to like what I am about to point out, but perhaps Paul
had not heard these promises of Christ, since Paul did not have the privilege
of following Jesus in the flesh. According to my New Scofield Reference Bible,
page 1267, the Gospel of John was written between 85-90 A.D. The Book of
Romans, according to the New Scofield Reference Bible was written between 57-58
A.D. Perhaps, and I am saying PERHAPS Paul didn't personally understand the
power of Christ living physically within us considering the words of Jesus
actually weren't written down by John for about 28 years after the Book of
Romans. Think about 28 years. I mean really imagine 28 years ago in all of your
lives and grasp what I am saying.
The Holy Spirit is our teacher. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate.
John 16:12-13 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear
them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you
into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He
hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come."
Many times I have said that I believe we absolutely should not stand in awe of
the Apostles. The Holy Spirit is there to guide and teach us. So what can we
learn from these words of Jesus?
We learn that indeed Christ in us is stronger than Satan in the world. We learn
that Christ in us makes no room for Satan to be in us. Jesus said, a house
divided against itself cannot stand. We learn that the Holy Spirit making our
beings the very temple of the Holy Spirit means divinity is in us and therefore
Christ is working through us from inside to influence the world outside around
Our community feels very powerless in the face of the constant oppression of
homophobia and all the other phobias thrown at us. It does feel disempowering.
If you have seen the movie "Philadelphia," you are familiar with the
scene where homophobia is so strong in the courtroom that it weakens the
defendant who is battling homophobia in the corporate world, that he collapses
during the trial. Every time we hear the word 'faggot,' 'fem,' etc., we feel a
powerful blow to our emotional stability. Every time we read of another church
authority that has made a decision against gay people in the Christian Church,
we feel that same attack of weakness come over us. What these experiences
amount to is evil accosting our well being. Those who do not know the Holy
Spirit, and the power available to fight evil, feel defeated and used and
overcome by such experiences. Those who do know the power of the Holy Spirit do
not realize we do not have to be victimized like this. The Holy Spirit is
powerful and certainly able to overcome the influence of evil in our lives.
Jesus demonstrated authority over evil many times in the Scripture and then
assured us that we would be able to do the same things he did. This is why I
question Paul's statements in today's second reading.
We live in a society that wants to portray everyone as a victim of something,
someone, or circumstances. Unfortunately there is an entire profession that
depends on our remaining victims. Unfortunately some professionals in that area
do not teach people how to move beyond being a victim to recovery and
redemption. Some professionals actually espouse a theory that says once a
person has been a victim they see the rest of their lives through the eyes of
their victim status.
Jesus disagrees with that approach. If that were His approach, then He would
have never come to earth to show us the power of redemption over damnation,
resurrection over death. We were victims of sin. Sin ruled over our lives
producing death. We all came out of DEATHSTYLES! Last week we learned that we
were all enslaved to sin, which leads to death, until we accepted Jesus Christ
into our lives as Sovereign.
Christ doesn't work on just our lives after death, Christ wants to redeem our
lives on a daily basis, our daily problems, our usual struggles. The power to
overcome evil is within us and any of us can get out of our deathstyles if we
choose to. The choice, the responsibility is ours.
Flip Wilson used to be known for saying, "The devil made me do it,"
and all of America laughed. Well, Flip, I hope that wasn't really true for you.
We realize that with Christ in us, the devil can't MAKE us do anything.
However, (Phil. 4:13) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
Let's say that together: "I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me." Let's say it again: "I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me." What things? "All things!" Say it
again; "All things!"
So let us move on then, in the power of CHRIST, Christ within us. In that way
we will learn how to exercise the power of Christ over satan in our lives and
stop the victimization that satan has over the un-reborn life. Praise God for
the power of Christ in us.
We go forth in the Name of Christ.
TOTUS TUUS! Totally Yours, Lord Jesus Christ.
May Almighty God bless all of us, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit, Amen.