3rd Sunday of Easter

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Prayer of the Day
Holy and righteous God, you are the author of life, and you adopt us to be your children. Fill us with your words of life, that we may live as witnesses to the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen
It’s rather interesting to see this marked change in Peter.  For only a few weeks earlier he literally denied knowing Jesus.  Now?  He’s a changed man  If only we could be so bold as to speak of these same sentiments.
Psalm 4 (KJ21)

Psalm 4 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! Thou hast set me at large when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will ye love vanity and seek after lies? Selah

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call unto Him.

Stand in awe, and sin not; commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many that say, “Who will show us any good?” Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us.

Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time when their corn and wine increased.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for Thou Lord only, makest me dwell in safety.

John, in his first letter seems to echo the same sentiments that Peter stated in his first real sermon.  We are all children of God, so we must act that way, for if we don’t then the ones watching us will be like “well, look.  That person’s a hypocrite.”  Never mind that they are also.  For we are put on a stool above everyone else and in view of everyone else.  We know we’ve got problems, yet the others refuse to believe it and immediately brand us, once again as hypocrites.
After all we’ve seen in the gospels how the twelve, and now eleven never seemed to quite get it, they finally did.  In reading this I sometimes wonder if it was God’s doing that they never did fully understand until after the fact.  Then again, as we say hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

Year B Easter (April 18th)

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1 John 3:1-7 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.

Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.

And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.

And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin.

Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.

Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

Year B Easter (April 17th)

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Psalm 4 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! Thou hast set me at large when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will ye love vanity and seek after lies? Selah

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call unto Him.

Stand in awe, and sin not; commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many that say, “Who will show us any good?” Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us.

Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time when their corn and wine increased.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for Thou Lord only, makest me dwell in safety.

Year B Easter (April 16th)

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Acts 3:12-19 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, “Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man walk?

13 The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus, whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let Him go.

14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you,

15 and killed the Prince of Life whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

16 And His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know. Yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

17 “And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

18 But those things which God before had shown by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath thus fulfilled.

19 Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Year B Easter (April 15th)

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Acts 3:1-10 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered into the temple.

He, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.

And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, “Look on us.”

And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them.

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, I give thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

And leaping up, he stood and walked and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.

And all the people saw him walking and praising God,

10 and they knew that it was he that sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

Year B Easter (April 14th)

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Daniel 6:1-28 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, who should be over the whole kingdom;

and over these, three presidents, of whom Daniel was first, that the princes might give account unto them and the king should have no damage.

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find no occasion nor fault, inasmuch as he was faithful; neither was there any error or fault found in him.

Then said these men, “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

Then these presidents and princes assembled together before the king, and said thus unto him, “King Darius, live for ever!

All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors and the princes, the counselors and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.”

Therefore King Darius signed the writing and the decree.

10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did formerly.

11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

12 Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king’s decree: “Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any god or man within thirty days, except of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.”

13 Then answered they and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.”

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sorely displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, “Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is: that no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.”

16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said unto Daniel, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee.”

17 And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

18 Then the king went to his palace and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of music brought before him, and his sleep went from him.

19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste unto the den of lions.

20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel; and the king spoke and said to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?”

21 Then said Daniel unto the king, “O king, live for ever!

22 My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me, inasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”

23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions — them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they came to the bottom of the den.

25 Then King Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied unto you.

26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God and steadfast for ever, and His Kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end.

27 He delivereth and rescueth, and He worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Year B Easter (April 13th)

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Daniel 3:1-30 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits and the breadth thereof six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

that at the time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up.

And whoso falleth not down and worshipeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

Therefore at that time when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near and accused the Jews.

They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live for ever!

10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man who shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image;

11 and whoso falleth not down and worshipeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, have not regarded thee. They serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said unto them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that ye do not serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

15 Now if ye be ready so that at the time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made, it is well; but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not fear to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Therefore he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

20 And he commanded the most mighty men who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their breeches, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste and spoke, and said unto his counselors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said unto the king, “True, O king.”

25 He answered and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spoke and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the Most High God, come forth and come hither.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth from the midst of the fire.

27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed nor had the smell of fire passed onto them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not servenor worship any god except their own God.

29 Therefore I make a decree that every people, nation, and language which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces and their houses shall be made a dunghill, because there is no other God who can deliver in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

2nd Sunday of Easter

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Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, with joy we celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection. By the grace of Christ among us, enable us to show the power of the resurrection in all that we say and do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen
In this passage we see how the early believers willingly gave of what they owned for the betterment of the community.  I’ve noticed how socialism and the far end of the spectrum, communism state that they’re of the same mindset, yet at the same time they really aren’t.  That’s forced.  And I’ve noticed when you force someone to do something they don’t want, oh they’ll do it, but not willingly.  If given by the plane desire just to give, then it’s a gift to the rest of the community.  I only wish people would be more open to giving on their own.  If forced, then there’s resentment and the desire to hold on to what one already has.
Psalm 133 (KJ21)

Psalm 133 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard that went down to the skirts of his garments.

It is as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

In John’s first letter we find another creation type of prologue.  Yet at the same time it’s all about the joy of transformation.  That same transformation that manifested itself in how the early believers treated one another in giving of their property for the good of the entire community.  Like I mentioned before, if it’s out of generosity and not force, then the gift is even better for the giver.  For if it’s forced, then it’s not a gift, but a tax and a forced obligation.  Where’s the joy in that?
In John’s gospel we see the full transformation that Jesus went through.  That transformation was the initial reason for the disciples and apostle’s giving nature, for everything that He spoke about was true.  It must have been an awe inspiring experience for the men and most likely women who were gathered together in the upper room.  All we know for certain was that the 11 that were left were there.  Who’s to say others might have been there?  From the gospel it’s just not told.  So we can take it either way.

Year B Easter (April 11th)

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1 John 1-2:2 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life

(for the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that Eternal Life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us);

that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare unto you: that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Year B Easter (April 10th)

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Psalm 133 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard that went down to the skirts of his garments.

It is as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

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