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In our recent church survey, respondents indicated that they would like help in fostering the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading and contemplative prayer/meditation. 

Try this practice: pray the Collect every day this week. Read and meditate upon the Epistle and Gospel and ponder the questions to apply the Word to your life.

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Collect - a short, structured prayer that collects or gathers up our various thoughts and desires to bring them before God.

Epistle - literally, 'sent news.' A passage from a book of the New Testament in the form of a letter from an early Christian writer.

Gospel - literally, 'good news.' A story from the life of Jesus Christ; a passage from one of the four Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

The Collect (Contemporary)

Almighty God, you show to those who are in error the light of your truth, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Collect (Traditional)

ALMIGHTY God, who showest to them that be in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness: Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may forsake those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Is there something in your life that is contrary to your professed faith in Jesus? a habit? a thought pattern? a desire? anger? envy? pride? (see v. 11 in the Epistle below). Whatever it is for you, ask God to help you forsake it.
  • How might Jesus be calling you to follow in a way that is more agreeable to your faith in him?

Epistle: 1 Peter 2:11-17

[11] Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. [12] Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

[13] Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, [14] or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. [15] For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. [16] Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. [17] Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (ESV)

  • Is there anything in your life that is currently waging war against your soul (v.11)?
  • How can you keep your conduct in the world honourable (v.12)?
  • We tend to think of freedom as the ability to do whatever we want at any given time. But this is a false and empty understanding of freedom, because left to our own devices, we tend to indulge the passions of the flesh which wage war against our souls (v.11). As Christians, our service to God is true and perfect freedom, because that's how we live in a way that's agreeable to how God made us (v. 16). Living as a servant of God is how you become the person God wants you to be, which is also the person you really want to become deep down.   

Gospel: John 16:16–22

[Jesus said to his disciples,][16] “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” [17] So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” [18] So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” [19] Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? [20] Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. [21] When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. [22] So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. (ESV)

  • On the night before his death, Jesus reassures his friends and followers that though he would leave them for a short time in his death, they would see him again after a little while when he rose from the dead on the third day.
  • For us, we await the return of Jesus on the last day when he will come to heal and renew the world. Though we seem to be waiting for a long time, on that day we will see how it was in fact but a little while. 
  • Are you currently experiencing sorrow in your life? It will be only a little while before Jesus comes to your aid. He is always nearby, waiting for your call to assist you in your struggle to endure and your struggle to forsake those things that are contrary to your profession. Your sorrow will be turned to joy.

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Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.

 


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