2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah[a] was doing, he sent word by his[b] disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers[c] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
Jesus Praises John the Baptist
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? Someone[d] dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet?[e] Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening[a] the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Final Exhortation and Doxology
14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.[b]
TODAY’S POA: MAKE THOSE COOKIES, DELIVER THOSE COOKIES, GO2 WORK…
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. 4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; 7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free; 8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”[a]3 And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4 But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” 5 He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed the Lord; and the Lord[b] reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7 Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him. 13 Then the Lord[c] said to Abram, “Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years; 14 but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,
14 I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters,[a] that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15 Nevertheless on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished[b] through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God,[c] so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news[d] of Christ. 20 Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news,[e] not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”
1 In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord, and in your help how greatly he exults! 2 You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips.Selah 3 For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold on his head. 4 He asked you for life; you gave it to him— length of days forever and ever. 5 His glory is great through your help; splendor and majesty you bestow on him. 6 You bestow on him blessings forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence. 7 For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
8 Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you. 9 You will make them like a fiery furnace when you appear. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them. 10 You will destroy their offspring from the earth, and their children from among humankind. 11 If they plan evil against you, if they devise mischief, they will not succeed. 12 For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.
13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.
Today, I want to share with you a story that I hope will help you become aware of your environment. I also hope that this awareness will empower you to be RESOURCEFUL to complete your goal no matter what obstacle is thrown in front of you.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY THAT HAPPENED TO ME…
If you know me, you are aware that I like volunteering. Planting trees, picking up highway trash, operating Lionel Trains during Christmas for kids, writing articles for my hometown. I love volunteering so much that I recently joined ROTARY INTERNATIONAL: WHOSE MOTTO IS SERVICE ABOVE SELF.
Well… it was this past summer…
I volunteered to represent the Historical Society located in Hershey, PA at a market held for the community in downtown Hershey PA… I sent an email to the woman managing the community table… She replied and thanked me and complimented me on being so reliable and interested in community affairs.
IT WAS ON… I HAD TO MAKE THIS TABLE AWESOME!!!
I went into the Historical Society Museum on the Wednesday before the event to gather items and prepare my table.
SOME ITEMS I GRABBED:
A Table Cloth with the non-profit’s organization on it…
I gathered the items together and put them into a Trolley Shed since I was going to pick them up early in the morning Saturday…
OR SO I THOUGHT…
THE TROLLEY SHED…
This was an old waiting station used for a trolley that was once used for public transportation in Hershey in 1904-1946. IT IS THE SIZE OF A TOOL SHED AND WAS BUILT TO PROTECT THOSE WANTING A RIDE ON THE MACHINE… I WAS TOLD THAT THIS TROLLEY SHED WAS DONATED BY THE HOTEL HERSHEY TO THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY… so it was placed on the grounds of the museum.
I WAS BEING RESOURCEFUL and locked the items I was going to show the community in it…
Fast forward two days…
I was going to work… I WORK AT HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD…
My car wouldn’t start… I had to get my Mom to give me a ride to Hershey from Bainbridge in Lancaster County… OOO, BY THE WAY… SHE WAS GOING AWAY FOR THE WEEKEND TO ATTEND A WEDDING IN VA… THIS MEANT AFTER MY WORK SHIFT THAT ENDED AT 11:30 PM I WOULD NOT HAVE A PLACE TO STAY.
IT WAS SUMMER AT HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD. TO SAY IT WAS BUSY IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. The last thing on my mind was where am I going to stay the night.
My RESOURCEFULNESS kicked in…
I checked my pockets and realized I had the Keys to that locked Trolley Shed…
(YEAH) that’s where i slept…
Those pillows made of my old high school’s class pennants were awesome when it came to time to sleep.
EVEN-THOUGH IT WAS SUMMER, THERE SEEMED TO BE A CHILL IN THE AIR. (THAT TABLECLOTH MADE FOR AN EXCELLENT BLANKET)
I DID NOT CALL OFF OF WORK NOR DID I MISS THAT VOLUNTEERING EVENT. I was aware of my environment and enacted my RESOURCEFULNESS.
I hope that my story encourages at least one of you to not let things you can’t control worry you… i.e. non-starting car… and empowers you to be resourceful in the things you can control.
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”[a]3 This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9 Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”