Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

  1. Even when it results in “chains”
  2. Even when motives are questionable
SERMON TEXT:  Philippians 1:12–18a

I want you to know, brothers, that the things which happened to me actually took place to advance the gospel. And so it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to all the rest, that I am in chains because of Christ. And, through my chains, the majority of the brothers in the Lord have become much more confident about daring to speak the word of God fearlessly. Some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, and others out of good will. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, but thinking they can cause trouble for me while I am in chains. What does it matter? Only this, that in every way, whether for outward appearance or for the truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.

Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Numbers 11:16, 24-29

Christian Worship Supplemental Lectionary—Evangelical Heritage Version So the LORD said to Moses, “Gather seventy men from the elders of Israel for me, men whom you know to be elders and officers for the people. Take them to the Tent of Meeting and make them stand there with you.” Moses went out and told the people the LORD’s words. He gathered seventy men from the elders of the people and had them stand all around the tent. The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him. He took from the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do it again. Two men, however, remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other was Medad. They were listed among the elders, but they had not gone out to the tent. The Spirit rested on them, and they prophesied back in the camp. A young man ran and reported this to Moses. He said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide from his youth, answered, “My lord Moses, stop them!” Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? If only all of the LORD’s people were prophets so that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”

SECOND LESSON:  Philippians 1:12–18a

See Sermon Text

VERSE OF THE DAY:  John 20:31

These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

GOSPEL: Mark 9:38–50

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name. We tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not try to stop him, because no one who does a miracle in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil about me. Whoever is not against us is for us. Amen I tell you: Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, will certainly not lose his reward. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall into sin, it would be better for him if he were thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around his neck. If your hand causes you to fall into sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed, than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, ‘where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ If your foot causes you to fall into sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ If your eye causes you to fall into sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good. But if the salt loses its flavor, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”