Lessons                                                                       Bread of Life                                                                22 July 2023

Isaiah 44:6–8

6Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel

          and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

"I am the first and I am the last;

          besides me there is no god.

7Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.

          Let him declare and set it before me,

since I appointed an ancient people.

          Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.

8Fear not, nor be afraid;

          have I not told you from of old and declared it?

          And you are my witnesses!

Is there a God besides me?

          There is no Rock; I know not any."


Psalm 119:57–64


57The Lord is my | portion;*

          I promise to | keep your words.

58I entreat your favor with | all my heart;*

          be gracious to me according to your | promise.

59When I think | on my ways,*

          I turn my feet to your testi- | monies;

60I hasten and do | not delay*

          to keep your com- | mandments.

61Though the cords of the wicked en- | snare me,*

          I do not for- | get your law.

62At midnight I rise to | praise you,*

          because of your just and righ- | teous decrees.

63I am a companion of all who | fear you,*

          of those who keep your | precepts.

64The earth, O Lord, is full of your | steadfast love;*

          teach me your | statutes!

Romans 8:18–27

          18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing 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 hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

          26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43

          24[Jesus] put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' 28He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?' 29But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'" . . .

          36Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." 37He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."