Welcome from Pastor Marty

Peter W. MartyI want to personally welcome you to the joy of St. Paul life. Here is a community filled with people who delight in being together and worshiping together. St. Paul draws worshipers from all over the Quad-Cities region, and followers from across the country. People come to ask deep questions. To discover new depths of meaning.

Just walk in the doors of St. Paul. You’ll discover a place abuzz with people sharing in each others’ lives. We call that the joy of community. You’ll notice that our meaning comes from a Lord who graces every day. We call that living in faith.

Are you looking for a place to center your spiritual life? A place to belong? People to grow alongside and make a difference in the world? Friendships that could change your life? I invite you to explore St. Paul – where we rely on the greatest gifts ever handed out: faith, hope, and love.

It’s my good fortune to work alongside a remarkably talented staff. You’ll find that St. Paul people are second-to-none in dedication and involvement. You can benefit from the same stimulating setting.

Drop in, won’t you? Seven days a week, the St. Paul campus hums with activity. Worship here is – well, there’s nothing quite like it – a Christ-centered experience geared to changing lives. Our mission outreach stretches adventurously – into the Quad Cities and around the globe. Come and take in the joy and the meaning we refer to as “St. Paul.”

Peter W. Marty
Senior Pastor

Exodus 19:2-8

2When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain.3Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel:4‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.5‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;6and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

7So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD had commanded him.8All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.

Psalm 100

1Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.

2Serve the LORD with gladness;

Come before Him with joyful singing.

3Know that the LORD Himself is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4Enter His gates with thanksgiving

And His courts with praise.

Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

5For the LORD is good;

His lovingkindness is everlasting

And His faithfulness to all generations.

Romans 5:1-8

Results of Justification

1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Matthew 9:35-10:23

35Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

36Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.37Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.38“Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

The Twelve Disciples; Instructions for Service

1Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;4Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans;6but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.7“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’8“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.9“Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,10or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support.11“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.12“As you enter the house, give it your greeting.13“If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.14“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.15“Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

A Hard Road before Them

16“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.17“But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;18and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.19“But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.20“For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.22“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

23“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

The Meaning of Discipleship

Jeremiah 20:7-13

7O LORD, You have deceived me and I was deceived;

You have overcome me and prevailed.

I have become a laughingstock all day long;

Everyone mocks me.

8For each time I speak, I cry aloud;

I proclaim violence and destruction,

Because for me the word of the LORD has resulted

In reproach and derision all day long.

9But if I say, “I will not remember Him

Or speak anymore in His name,”

Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire

Shut up in my bones;

And I am weary of holding it in,

And I cannot endure it.

10For I have heard the whispering of many,

“Terror on every side!

Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!”

All my trusted friends,

Watching for my fall, say:

“Perhaps he will be deceived, so that we may prevail against him

And take our revenge on him.”

11But the LORD is with me like a dread champion;

Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.

They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed,

With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.

12Yet, O LORD of hosts, You who test the righteous,

Who see the mind and the heart;

Let me see Your vengeance on them;

For to You I have set forth my cause.

13Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD!

For He has delivered the soul of the needy one

From the hand of evildoers.

Psalm 69:7-18

7Because for Your sake I have borne reproach;

Dishonor has covered my face.

8I have become estranged from my brothers

And an alien to my mother’s sons.

9For zeal for Your house has consumed me,

And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

10When I wept in my soul with fasting,

It became my reproach.

11When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword to them.

12Those who sit in the gate talk about me,

And I am the song of the drunkards.

13But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time;

O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness,

Answer me with Your saving truth.

14Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink;

May I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters.

15May the flood of water not overflow me

Nor the deep swallow me up,

Nor the pit shut its mouth on me.

16Answer me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good;

According to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me,

17And do not hide Your face from Your servant,

For I am in distress; answer me quickly.

18Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it;

Ransom me because of my enemies!

Romans 6:1-11

Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God

1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;7for he who has died is freed from sin.

8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 10:24-39

24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.25“It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

26“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.27“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.28“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.29“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.30“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31“So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

32“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.33“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.35“For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAWAGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;36and A MANS ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

37“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.38“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.39“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

The Reward of Service

Jeremiah 28:5-9

5Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who were standing in the house of the LORD,6and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the LORD do so; may the LORD confirm your words which you have prophesied to bring back the vessels of the LORDS house and all the exiles, from Babylon to this place.7“Yet hear now this word which I am about to speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people!8“The prophets who were before me and before you from ancient times prophesied against many lands and against great kingdoms, of war and of calamity and of pestilence.9“The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, then that prophet will be known as one whom the LORD has truly sent.”

Psalm 89:1-18

1I will sing of the lovingkindness of the LORD forever;

To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth.

2For I have said, “Lovingkindness will be built up forever;

In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.”

3“I have made a covenant with My chosen;

I have sworn to David My servant,

4I will establish your seed forever

And build up your throne to all generations.”

Selah.

5The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD;

Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.

6For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD?

Who among the sons of the mighty is like the LORD,

7A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,

And awesome above all those who are around Him?

8O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD?

Your faithfulness also surrounds You.

9You rule the swelling of the sea;

When its waves rise, You still them.

10You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain;

You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

11The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;

The world and all it contains, You have founded them.

12The north and the south, You have created them;

Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Your name.

13You have a strong arm;

Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted.

14Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;

Lovingkindness and truth go before You.

15How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!

O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance.

16In Your name they rejoice all the day,

And by Your righteousness they are exalted.

17For You are the glory of their strength,

And by Your favor our horn is exalted.

18For our shield belongs to the LORD,

And our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Romans 6:12-23

12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.14For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 10:40-42

40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.41“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.42“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Zephaniah 9:9-12

Psalm 145:8-14

8The LORD is gracious and merciful;

Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.

9The LORD is good to all,

And His mercies are over all His works.

10All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,

And Your godly ones shall bless You.

11They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom

And talk of Your power;

12To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts

And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14The LORD sustains all who fall

And raises up all who are bowed down.

Romans 7:15-25

15For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.16But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.17So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.19For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.20But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

21I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.22For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,23but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.24Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Matthew 11:16-30

16“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children,17and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’18“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’19“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

The Unrepenting Cities

20Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.22“Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.23“And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.24“Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”

Come to Me

25At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.26“Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.27“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.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.30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Isaiah 55:10-13

10“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

And do not return there without watering the earth

And making it bear and sprout,

And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;

It will not return to Me empty,

Without accomplishing what I desire,

And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

12“For you will go out with joy

And be led forth with peace;

The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,

And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

13“Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,

And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,

And it will be a memorial to the LORD,

For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

Psalm 65:1-13

1There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God,

And to You the vow will be performed.

2O You who hear prayer,

To You all men come.

3Iniquities prevail against me;

As for our transgressions, You forgive them.

4How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You

To dwell in Your courts.

We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,

Your holy temple.

5By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation,

You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;

6Who establishes the mountains by His strength,

Being girded with might;

7Who stills the roaring of the seas,

The roaring of their waves,

And the tumult of the peoples.

8They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;

You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.

9You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;

You greatly enrich it;

The stream of God is full of water;

You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.

10You water its furrows abundantly,

You settle its ridges,

You soften it with showers,

You bless its growth.

11You have crowned the year with Your bounty,

And Your paths drip with fatness.

12The pastures of the wilderness drip,

And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.

13The meadows are clothed with flocks

And the valleys are covered with grain;

They shout for joy, yes, they sing.

Romans 8:1-11

Deliverance from Bondage

1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.10If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Matthew 13:1-23

Jesus Teaches in Parables

1That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.2And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

3And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;4and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.5“Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.6“But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.7“Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.8“And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.9“He who has ears, let him hear.”

An Explanation

10And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”11Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.12“For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.13“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.14“In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUTWILL NOT UNDERSTAND;

YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;

15FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,

WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,

AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,

OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,

HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,

AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,

AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

16“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.17“For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Sower Explained

18“Hear then the parable of the sower.19“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.20“The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;21yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.22“And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.23“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Tares among Wheat

Isaiah 44:6-8

6“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:

‘I am the first and I am the last,

And there is no God besides Me.

7‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it;

Yes, let him recount it to Me in order,

From the time that I established the ancient nation.

And let them declare to them the things that are coming

And the events that are going to take place.

8‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid;

Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?

And you are My witnesses.

Is there any God besides Me,

Or is there any other Rock?

I know of none.’”

The Folly of Idolatry

Psalm 86:11-17

11Teach me Your way, O LORD;

I will walk in Your truth;

Unite my heart to fear Your name.

12I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,

And will glorify Your name forever.

13For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,

And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,

And a band of violent men have sought my life,

And they have not set You before them.

15But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

16Turn to me, and be gracious to me;

Oh grant Your strength to Your servant,

And save the son of Your handmaid.

17Show me a sign for good,

That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,

Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Romans 8:12-25

12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Our Victory in Christ

Matthew 13:24-43

24Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.25“But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.26“But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.27“The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’28“And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’29“But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.30‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Mustard Seed

31He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;32and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THEAIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”

The Leaven

33He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

34All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable.35This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;

I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OFTHE WORLD.”

The Tares Explained

36Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”37And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,38and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.40“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.41“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,42and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43“Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THESUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Hidden Treasure

1 Kings 3:5-12

5In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”

Solomon’s Prayer

6Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.7“Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.8“Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.9“So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

God’s Answer

10It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.11God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice,12behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.

Psalm 119:129-136

129Your testimonies are wonderful;

Therefore my soul observes them.

130The unfolding of Your words gives light;

It gives understanding to the simple.

131I opened my mouth wide and panted,

For I longed for Your commandments.

132Turn to me and be gracious to me,

After Your manner with those who love Your name.

133Establish my footsteps in Your word,

And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.

134Redeem me from the oppression of man,

That I may keep Your precepts.

135Make Your face shine upon Your servant,

And teach me Your statutes.

136My eyes shed streams of water,

Because they do not keep Your law.

Tsadhe.

Romans 8:26-39

26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36Just as it is written,

“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;

WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”

37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 13:31-52

31He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;32and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THEAIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”

The Leaven

33He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

34All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable.35This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;

I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OFTHE WORLD.”

The Tares Explained

36Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”37And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,38and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.40“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.41“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,42and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43“Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THESUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Hidden Treasure

44“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

A Costly Pearl

45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,46and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

A Dragnet

47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;48and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.49“So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous,50and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51“Have you understood all these things?” They *said to Him, “Yes.”52And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

Jesus Revisits Nazareth