This Week’s Sermon and Resources

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

September 19 & 20, 2020

“Preventing Spiritual Drift” 1 Kings 19:1-11

Old Testament Reading: 1 Kings 19:1-11 (NIV “84) (sermon text)
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the
sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so
severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3 Elijah was afraid
and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself
went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he
might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5
Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up
and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a
jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the LORD came back a second
time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up
and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached
Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the
LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for
the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put
your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11
The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is
about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks
before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the
LORD was not in the earthquake.

New Testament Reading: Philippians 1:12-14, 19-30 (NIV “84)
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the
gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else
that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been
encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. 19 for I know that through
your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for
my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient
courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For
to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful
labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart
and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and
joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on
account of me. 27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand
firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any
way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be
saved– and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on
him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and
now hear that I still have.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:1-16 (NIV)  1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told
them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He
went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6 About the eleventh
hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing
here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them,
‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his
foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on
to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius.
10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them
also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12
‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to
us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them,
‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and
go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do
what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be
first, and the first will be last.”

For the Word of God is active and alive.

The Book of Hebrews, Chapter 4, Verse 12