Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sermon - The Greatest Story Ever Told


You may listen to the sermon here.

PART ONE[1] [2] [3]
          In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.[4] And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.[5] God created man in His own image; male and female He created them.[6] God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.[7]
          The Lord God commanded, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”[8]  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.[9] When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.[10] Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God.  But the Lord God called, “Adam, where are you?[11] If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”[12]
          The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people, and your father’s household to the land I will show you.[13] I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you. I will bless those who bless you; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”[14] Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.[15] The Lord said, “I am God Almighty. Walk before me faithfully and be blameless.”[16]
          Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. “The fire and the wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb.”[17]
          God called to Moses from within the bush. And Moses said, “Here I am.”[18] The Lord said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.[19] So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.[20] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM’ has sent me to you.[21] Now go; I will help you.”[22]
          Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel that the head of each family must choose a lamb. They are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the house.[23] When I see the blood, I will pass over you.[24] Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go.”[25] By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light.[26] Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you.[27] Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.[28] My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”[29]
          As Pharaoh approached,[30] Moses said, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”[31] The Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground.[32]
          And God spoke all these words:[33] “You shall have no other gods before me.[34] You shall not make for yourself an idol.[35] You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.[36] Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.[37] Honor your father and your mother.[38] You shall not murder.[39] You shall not commit adultery.[40] You shall not steal.[41] You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.[42] You shall not covet.”[43]
          The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace.[44] The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey.[45]
I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God. Be holy, because I am holy.[46] Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.[47] Hear, O Israel: The Lord Our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.[48] This day I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.[49] Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.[50]  Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.[51]
          Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”[52] The Lord said to Samuel, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”[53] Then David said to Saul, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.[54] All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s.”[55] So, David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone.[56] David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.[57]
          I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. So shall I be saved from my enemies.[58] And He shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds.[59]
          Do not be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.[60] Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.[61]
“If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”[62] For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.[63]
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.[64] Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.[65] I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end, He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.[66]
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth![67]  The heavens declare the glory of God.[68] “Be still and know that I am God.”[69]
I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”[70] This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.[71] He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.[72] Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.[73] Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.[74] Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.[75] From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised.[76]
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him?[77] May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, o Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.[78]
I will lift up my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.[79] He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.[80] May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.[81]
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. My cup runs over.[82] As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.[83] Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.[84] Restore us O God. Make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.[85] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.[86]
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?[87] You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.[88] I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.[89] God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.[90] Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.  “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”[91]
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love.  Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.[92] Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.[93] For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.[94] As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.[95]
O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit and when I rise. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts.[96]
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.[97] Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.[98] Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.[99] Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.[100]
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict.[101] Pride goes before destruction.[102] A friend loves at all times.[103] Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.[104]
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.[105] Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.[106] Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.[107]
Love is as strong as death. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.[108]
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”[109]
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”[110]
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[111] The wolf will live with the lamb, and a little child will lead them.[112]
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.[113] Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.[114]
Comfort my people. The grass withers and the flowers fail, but the word of our God stands forever. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout. Lift it up, do not be afraid. Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God.” He tends His flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.[115] Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.[116]
Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.[117]
He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, every one, to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.[118]
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy, and eat! Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”[119]
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear.[120] Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.[121] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, to comfort all who mourn.[122]
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.[123] I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind.[124] For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. You will find me when you seek me with all your heart.[125] I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.[126] This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel: I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”[127]
I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.[128]
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”[129] Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.[130] Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.[131] Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-ending stream.[132] They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.[133] He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.[134]
The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.[135] Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.[136] He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.[137] Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion. Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you![138]

PART TWO
This is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[139] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.[140] The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.[141] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”[142]
Jesus was baptized.[143] The Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and a voice came from heaven: “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”[144]
Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.[145] 
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.[146] The people were amazed at His teaching, because He taught them as one with authority.[147] Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[148]
          And Jesus said:
·       You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”[149]
·       If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.[150] Love your enemies.”[151]
·       Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”[152]
·       Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”[153]
·       Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.[154]  Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find.”[155]
·       Do to others what you what have them do to you.”[156]
·       Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”[157]
·       It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”[158]
·       Take courage. It is I.[159] Do not be afraid, just believe!”[160]
·       Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”[161]
·       Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”[162]
·       The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”[163]
·       Whoever would come after me must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”[164]
·       If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move.[165] With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”[166]
·       Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”[167]
·       The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”[168]
·       Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”[169]
·       Whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.”[170]
·       I tell you the truth. No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[171] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”[172]
·       Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.[173] I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.[174] I am the light of the world: whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.”[175]
·       If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”[176]
·       If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine, and you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”[177]
·       I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”[178]
·       I am the good Shepherd.”[179]
·       I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”[180]
·        A new command I give you: Love one another.”[181] 
·       Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again, that were I am, you may be also.[182] I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[183]
·       Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”[184]
·       I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in me bears much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing. I have told you this so that your joy may be full.[185]
·       And when the Spirit comes, He will guide you into all truth.[186]
·       I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”[187]
They went to a place called Gethsemane.[188] He fell to the ground and prayed, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”[189] They took Him to a place called Golgotha.[190] There they crucified Him.[191] Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”[192] Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” And He breathed His last.[193] At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.[194] When the centurion saw all that had happened, he exclaimed, “Surely, this was the Son of God!”[195]
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb.[196] An angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as He said.”[197]
Then Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.[198] All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.[199] And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”[200]
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.[201]
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.[202] Through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through Him, everyone who believes is justified[203] through the grace of our Lord.[204] Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.[205]
I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.[206] For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed.[207] This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.[208] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.[209] God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.[210] Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.[211] For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.[212] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[213] For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[214] Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.[215] For in this hope we were saved.[216] And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.[217] 
If God is for us, who can be against us?[218] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.[219] It does not depend on man’s desire or effort but on God’s mercy.[220] If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.[221] 
I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.[222] Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.[223] Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.[224] Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block in your brother’s way.[225] Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.[226]
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but for us who are being saved, it is the power of God.[227] The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.[228] Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? You are not your own; you were bought with a price.[229] No temptation has seized you except what is common to mankind, and God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He will provide a way out so that you can stand.[230] 
Love is patient. Love is kind.[231] Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.[232] 
Since by a man came death, by a man came also the resurrection of the dead.[233] The last enemy to be destroyed is death.[234] Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.[235] Where, o death, is your sting? Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.[236]
He anointed us and set His seal of ownership on us and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.[237] We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.[238] If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come![239] God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.[240] God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.[241]
I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, for Christ lives in me.[242] The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.[243] Let us not become weary in doing good.[244] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us.[245] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God,[246] for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.[247] Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.[248]
I thank my God every time I remember you, being confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.[249] For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.[250] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,[251] who, being in very nature God, made Himself nothing, being made in human likeness. He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.[252]
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.[253] Rejoice in the Lord always.[254] Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.[255] I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,[256] and my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.[257]
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.[258] For in Christ all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form.[259] He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code that was against us and that stood opposed to us, He took it away, nailing it to the cross.[260] Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.[261] Pray without ceasing.[262] Avoid every kind of evil.[263] Never tire of doing what is right.[264] For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.[265]
I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.[266] When the kindness and love of God our savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.[267]
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.[268] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.[269] Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.[270]
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.[271] Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.[272] God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”[273]
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.[274] Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.[275] Come near to God, and He will come near to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.[276]
In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power.[277] You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.[278] Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.[279] Make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness knowledge, and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control perseverance, and to perseverance godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.[280]
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.[281] Grow in the grace and knowledge or our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.[282]
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.[283] We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands.[284] How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are![285] Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God, because God is love.[286] Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.[287] And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life.[288]
To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now, and forevermore.[289]
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in.[290] 
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.[291] Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.[292] Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd.[293] The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.[294] Hallelujah![295]
I saw heaven standing open, and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. His name is the Word of God.[296] He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.[297]  There will be no night there.[298]
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come.[299] He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus. 
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.[300]


[1] All references herein are to the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise indicated.

[2] Many passages have been edited for length without, I hope, altering their context or meaning.

[3] Of course, many choices had to be made in what is included, and the reader will doubtless wish that different verses had been included. My hope is that, despite inevitable disagreement about what should be included, you join with me in rejoicing in the overwhelming message of these scriptures.

[4] Genesis 1:1
[5] Genesis 1:3
[6] Genesis 1:27 New American Standard Version (NAS)
[7] Genesis 1:31
[8] Genesis 2:16-17
[9] Genesis 3:4
[10] Genesis 3:6
[11] Genesis 3:8-9
[12] Genesis 4:7
[13] Genesis 12:1
[14] Genesis 12:2-3
[15] Genesis 15:6
[16] Genesis 17:1
[17] Genesis 22:6-8
[18] Exodus 3:4
[19] Exodus 3:6-7
[20] Exodus 3:10
[21] Exodus 3:14
[22] Exodus 4:12
[23] Exodus 12:1, 3, 7
[24] Exodus 12:13
[25] Exodus 12:31-32
[26] Exodus 13:21
[27] Exodus 16:4
[28] Exodus 17:6
[29] Exodus 33:14
[30] Exodus 14:10
[31] Exodus 14:13
[32] Exodus 14:21-22
[33] Exodus 20:1
[34] Exodus 20:3
[35] Exodus 20:4 (NAS)
[36] Exodus 20:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
[37] Exodus 20:8 (ESV)
[38] Exodus 20:12
[39] Exodus 20:13
[40] Exodus 20:14
[41] Exodus 20:15
[42] Exodus 20:16 (ESV)
[43] Exodus 20:17
[44] Numbers 6:24-26
[45] Numbers 14:7-8
[46] Leviticus 11:45
[47] Deuteronomy 4:2
[48] Deuteronomy 6:4-6
[49] Deuteronomy 30:19
[50] Joshua 1:9
[51] Joshua 24:15
[52] 1 Samuel 3:10
[53] 1 Samuel 16:7
[54] 1 Samuel 17:34, 37
[55] 1 Samuel 17:47
[56] 1 Samuel 17:50
[57] 2 Samuel 5:10 (ESV)
[58] 2 Samuel 22:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
[59] 2 Samuel 23:4 (NKJV)
[60] 2 Kings 6:16
[61] 1 Chronicles 16:34
[62] 2 Chronicles 7:14
[63] 2 Chronicles 16:9
[64] Job 1:21 (ESV)
[65] Job 13:15
[66] Job 19:25-26
[67] Psalm 8:1 (ESV)
[68] Psalm 19:1
[69] Psalm 46:10
[70] Psalm 122:1
[71] Psalm 118:24 (ESV)
[72] Psalm 40:3
[73] Psalm 96:3
[74] Psalm 29:2
[75] Psalm 100:4
[76] Psalm 113:3 King James Version (KJV)
[77] Psalm 8:3-4 (NKJV)
[78] Psalm 19:14 (NAS)
[79] Psalm 121:1 (KJV)
[80] Psalm 121:4
[81] Psalm 20:1.4
[82] Psalm 23:1, 4-5 (NKJV)
[83] Psalm 42:1
[84] Psalm 73:25-26
[85] Psalm 80:3
[86] Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
[87] Psalm 27:1
[88] Psalm 32:7
[89] Psalm 40:1
[90] Psalm 46:1
[91] Psalm 91:1, 5, 11, 14
[92] Psalm 51:1,7
[93] Psalm 51:1, 7, 10-13
[94] Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)
[95] Psalm 103:12
[96] Psalm 139:1, 2, 7 ,9-10, 13-14, 23
[97] Proverbs 1:7
[98] Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
[99] Proverbs 3:9
[100] Proverbs 4:23
[101] Proverbs 6:16-19
[102] Proverbs 16:18
[103] Proverbs 17:17
[104] Proverbs 22:6
[105] Ecclesiastes 11:1
[106] Ecclesiastes 12:1
[107] Ecclesiastes 12:13
[108] Song of Songs 8:6-7
[109] Isaiah 1:18
[110] Isaiah 6:8
[111] Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
[112] Isaiah 11:6
[113] Isaiah 26:3
[114] Isaiah 35:3-6
[115] Isaiah 40:1, 8-9, 11
[116] Isaiah 40:28-31 (NKJV)
[117] Isaiah 43:1-3
[118] Isaiah 53:3,5-6 (KJV)
[119] Isaiah 55:1, 6, 8, 12
[120] Isaiah 59:1
[121] Isaiah 60:1
[122] Isaiah 61:1-2
[123] Jeremiah 2:13
[124] Jeremiah 17:10
[125] Jeremiah 29:11, 13
[126] Jeremiah 31:3
[127] Jeremiah 31:33-34
[128] Lamentations 3:21-23
[129] Hosea 6:6
[130] Joel 2:13
[131] Joel 2:32
[132] Amos 5:24
[133] Micah 4:3
[134] Micah 6:8
[135] Habakkuk 2:20
[136] Habakkuk 3:17-18
[137] Zephaniah 3:17-18
[138] Zechariah 9:9
[139] Mark 1:1 (NAS)
[140] John 1:1
[141] John 1:14 (NAS)
[142] Luke 2:13-14 (KJV)
[143] Luke 3:21
[144] Mathew 3:16-17; Luke 3:22
[145] Matthew 4:19-20
[146] Matthew 4:23
[147] Mark 1:22
[148] Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29
[149] Matthew 5:14-16
[150] Matthew 5:39; Luke 6:29
[151] Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27
[152] Matthew 5:48
[153] Matthew 6:21
[154] Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31 (ESV)
[155] Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9
[156] Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31
[157] Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8
[158] Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31
[159] Matthew 14:27; Mark 6:50
[160] Mark 5:36
[161] Luke 7:50
[162] Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
[163] Matthew 13:44
[164] Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23
[165] Matthew 17:21
[166] Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27
[167] Matthew 20:26, 28; Mark 10:43
[168] Luke 19:10
[169] Matthew 22:37-39; Mark 12:30-31
[170] Matthew 25:40
[171] John 3:3
[172] John 3:16-17 (NKJV)
[173] John 4:13-14
[174] John 6:35
[175] John 8:12
[176] John 8:19
[177] John 8:31-32 (NAS)
[178] John 10:10 (KJV)
[179] John 10:11
[180] John 11:25 (KJV)
[181] John 13:34
[182] John 14:1-3 (KJV)
[183] John 14:6
[184] John 14:9
[185] John 15:5-6, 11 (NAS)
[186] John 16:13
[187] John 16:33
[188] Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32
[189] Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42
[190] Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17
[191] Mark 15:24; John 19:18
[192] Luke 23:34
[193] Luke 23:46
[194] Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38
[195] Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39
[196] Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1
[197] Matthew 28:5-6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:5-6
[198] Luke 24:36; John 20:19
[199] Matthew 28:19-20 (NAS)
[200] Acts 1:8
[201] John 21:25
[202] Acts 4:12
[203] Acts 13:38-39
[204] Acts 15:11
[205] Acts 16:31
[206] Acts 20:24
[207] Romans 1:17
[208] Romans 3:22-24
[209] Romans 5:1
[210] Romans 5:9
[211] Romans 5:20
[212] Romans 6:23
[213] Romans 8:1
[214] Romans 8:15
[215] Romans 8:17
[216] Romans 8:24
[217] Romans 8:28
[218] Romans 8:31
[219] Romans 8:37-39
[220] Romans 9:16
[221] Romans 10:9
[222] Romans 12:1 (KJV)
[223] Romans 12:2
[224] Romans 12:21
[225] Romans 14:13
[226] Romans 15:7
[227] 1 Corinthians 1:18
[228] 1 Corinthians 1:25
[229] 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
[230] 1 Corinthians 10:13
[231] 1 Corinthians 13:4
[232] 1 Corinthians 13:7-8 (NAS)
[233] 1 Corinthians 15:21 (NAS)
[234] 1 Corinthians 15:26
[235] 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
[236] 1 Corinthians 15:55, 57
[237] 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
[238] 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
[239] 2 Corinthians 5:17
[240] 2 Corinthians 5:21
[241] 2 Corinthians 9:8
[242] Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
[243] Galatians 5:22-23
[244] Galatians 6:9
[245] Ephesians 2:8-10
[246] Ephesians 4:32 – 5:1
[247] Ephesians 5:8
[248] Ephesians 5:21
[249] Philippians 1:3, 6
[250] Philippians 1:21
[251] Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
[252] Philippians 2:6-11
[253] Philippians 3:8
[254] Philippians 4:4
[255] Philippians 4:6-7
[256] Philippians 4:13
[257] Philippians 4:19
[258] Colossians 1:15
[259] Colossians 2:9
[260] Colossians 2:13-14
[261] Colossians 3:12-16
[262] 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NAS)
[263] 1 Thessalonians 5:22
[264] 2 Thessalonians 3:13
[265] 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
[266] 2 Timothy 1:12 (KJV)
[267] Titus 3:4-5
[268] Hebrews 1:3
[269] Hebrews 4:15-16
[270] Hebrews 10:25
[271] Hebrews 11:1
[272] Hebrews 12:2
[273] Hebrews 13:5
[274] James 1:17
[275] James 1:22
[276] James 4:8, 10
[277] 1 Peter 1:3-5
[278] 1 Peter 2:9
[279] 1 Peter 5:7
[280] 2 Peter 1:5-7
[281] 2 Peter 3:8-9
[282] 2 Peter 3:18
[283] 1 John 1:9
[284] 1 John 2:3
[285] 1 John 3:1
[286] 1 John 4:7-8
[287] 1 John 5:1
[288] 1 John 5:11-12
[289] Jude 24-25
[290] Revelation 3:20 (NAS)
[291] Revelation 4:8
[292] Revelation 5:12
[293] Revelation 7:16-17
[294] Revelation 11:15
[295] Revelation 19:1
[296] Revelation 19:11, 13
[297] Revelation 21:4
[298] Revelation 21:25 (ESV)
[299] Revelation 22:17
[300] Revelation 22:20-21