The Cross in Front

Sundays: The Gospels from the Lectionary
Matthew 16:21—28

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Peter has just been given revelation knowledge about who Jesus is: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Now for the first time, Jesus predicts his suffering and death at the hands of the religious authorities. Feel the contrast of Peter’s former confession of faith with the rebuke that he now gives Jesus.

As Peter participates in the pride of Jesus’ adversaries, the heart of the Savior begins to be in passion already. Peter must be shaken by “tough love.” The Lord looks through Peter’s eyes into his soul—the place where war is waged between Peter and the Enemy. “Get behind me, Satan!”

The only way for Satan to get behind you is if you let Jesus take the lead. Let the cross be in front of you today. Greater than the struggle is the victory that Jesus has won. He holds the war prize—your own soul! Do not let pride, unforgiveness and other unrepented sin wrench it from his hand.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Following You with the cross v. 24
Losing life to saving life v. 25
Nothing more precious than life v. 26
Final payment for my deeds v. 27

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for the version for children and families.

This is the first week in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.

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The Bible Close to You

Saturdays: The Sabbath Torah Portions
Deuteronomy 16:18—18:5

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Kings and priests are mentioned in today’s reading. Along with being prophets, in Christ, you participate in all three classes, because you are en-grafted onto his body. Therefore, read this passage by listening to the instructions directed to you in a special way. If the future kings need to read the law every day, how much more must we read, pray, and respond to the Holy Spirit who sets fire in our hearts from the words of Scripture! Is your Bible always close to you?

17:16 is a strong command: “You must never return to Egypt.” It was tempting for the wandering Israelites to forget the slavery in Egypt when they were hungry and thirsty in the desert. So too will you be tempted at times to return to previous forms of slavery and addiction instead of following the inner call of the Spirit to an evermore complete possession of “The Promised Land.”

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Pursuing only justice 16:20
Cleansing my heart with Thy grace 17:7
My inheritance is Thee. 18:2
Placing Thee first before all 18:4

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for the version for children and families.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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Fire in Forgiveness

Fridays: The Gospels
Matthew 18:21-35

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Parts of words have fire in them. The key to today’s reading comes from the word “forgive.” The word has the root, “give” and the prefix, “for.” The prefix comes from the Latin foris meaning “outside.” Those who speak Spanish will recognize the word fuera, which has the same meaning.

What does “forgive,”mean? Simply this. Take the feelings of pain, resentment, frustration, sadness, fear, etc., which are associated with what someone did to you, and “give them outside yourself.” This is a slightly more complicated way of saying, “Let go.” It means that I will no longer allow the other to have power over me by the resentment that lingers all too long in my heart. In this sense, forgiveness has nothing to do with whether the other has apologized or not; that too makes my serenity depend upon the other. Forgiveness is up to you, prompted by the grace of God.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Always open to forgive v. 22
You forgiving all my sins v. 32
From my heart, forgiving all v. 35
Letting go and letting God

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the thirteenth and last week in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We continue reading the Gospel of Matthew.

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