bookmark_borderApr 7, 2020

Psalm 46 (CSB)

Psalm 46

GOD OUR REFUGE

For the choir director. A song of the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.

God is our refuge and strength, 

a helper who is always found

in times of trouble.

Therefore we will not be afraid, 

though the earth trembles

and the mountains topple

into the depths of the seas,

though its water roars and foams 

and the mountains quake with its turmoil.

Selah

There is a river—

its streams delight the city of God,

the holy dwelling place of the Most High.

God is within her; she will not be toppled. 

God will help her when the morning dawns.

Nations rage, kingdoms topple; 

the earth melts when he lifts his voice.

The Lord of Armies is with us; 

the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Selah

Come, see the works of the Lord, 

who brings devastation on the earth.

He makes wars cease throughout the earth. 

He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces;

he sets wagons ablaze.

10 “Stop your fighting, and know that I am God, 

exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”

11 The Lord of Armies is with us; 

the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Selah

Mark 14:26–50 (CSB)

26 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 

PETER’S DENIAL PREDICTED

27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will fall away, because it is written:

I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep will be scattered.,

28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

29 Peter told him, “Even if everyone falls away, I will not.” 

30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to him, “today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

31 But he kept insisting, “If I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” And they all said the same thing. 

THE PRAYER IN THE GARDEN

32 Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he told his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” 35 He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? 38 Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation., The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Once again he went away and prayed, saying the same thing. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Then he came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The time has come. See, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up; let’s go. See, my betrayer is near.” 

JUDAS’S BETRAYAL OF JESUS

43 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. With him was a mob, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 His betrayer had given them a signal. “The one I kiss,” he said, “he’s the one; arrest him and take him away under guard.” 45 So when he came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 They took hold of him and arrested him. 47 One of those who stood by drew his sword, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. 

48 Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture me? 49 Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”

50 Then they all deserted him and ran away.

bookmark_borderApr 6, 2020

Proverbs 8:34–36 (CSB)

34 Anyone who listens to me is happy, 

watching at my doors every day,

waiting by the posts of my doorway.

35 For the one who finds me finds life 

and obtains favor from the Lord, 

36 but the one who misses me harms himself; 

all who hate me love death.”

Mark 14:3–25 (CSB)

THE ANOINTING AT BETHANY

While he was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,, as he was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured it on his head. But some were expressing indignation to one another: “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor.” And they began to scold her. 

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for me. You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” 

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 And when they heard this, they were glad and promised to give him money. So he started looking for a good opportunity to betray him. 

PREPARATION FOR PASSOVER

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover so that you may eat it?” 

13 So he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” ’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. 

BETRAYAL AT THE PASSOVER

17 When evening came, he arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.” 

19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one by one, “Surely not I?” 

20 He said to them, “It is one of the Twelve—the one who is dipping bread in the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.” 

THE FIRST LORD’S SUPPER

22 As they were eating, he took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant,, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new, in the kingdom of God.”

bookmark_borderApril 3, 2020

Psalm 45 (CSB)

Psalm 45

A ROYAL WEDDING SONG

For the choir director: according to “The Lilies.” A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A love song. 

My heart is moved by a noble theme 

as I recite my verses to the king;

my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most handsome of men; 

grace flows from your lips.

Therefore God has blessed you forever.

Mighty warrior, strap your sword at your side. 

In your majesty and splendor—

in your splendor ride triumphantly 

in the cause of truth, humility, and justice.

May your right hand show your awe-inspiring acts.

Your sharpened arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; 

the peoples fall under you.

Your throne, God, is forever and ever; 

the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; 

therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy

more than your companions.

Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume all your garments; 

from ivory palaces harps bring you joy.

Kings’ daughters are among your honored women; 

the queen, adorned with gold from Ophir,

stands at your right hand.

10 Listen, daughter, pay attention and consider: 

forget your people and your father’s house,

11 and the king will desire your beauty. 

Bow down to him, for he is your lord.

12 The daughter of Tyre, the wealthy people, 

will seek your favor with gifts.

13 In her chamber, the royal daughter is all glorious, 

her clothing embroidered with gold.

14 In colorful garments she is led to the king; 

after her, the virgins, her companions, are brought to you.

15 They are led in with gladness and rejoicing; 

they enter the king’s palace.

16 Your sons will succeed your ancestors; 

you will make them princes throughout the land.

17 I will cause your name to be remembered for all generations; 

therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

Proverbs 8:30–33 (CSB)

30 I was a skilled craftsman beside him. 

I was his delight every day,

always rejoicing before him.

31 I was rejoicing in his inhabited world, 

delighting in the children of Adam.

32 “And now, sons, listen to me; 

those who keep my ways are happy.

33 Listen to instruction and be wise; 

don’t ignore it.

Mark 13:28–14:2 (CSB)

THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE

28 “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near—at the door. 

30 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR HOUR

32 “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son—but only the Father.

33 “Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming.

34 “It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his servants, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. 35 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. 36 Otherwise, when he comes suddenly he might find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!” 

THE PLOT TO KILL JESUS

14 It was two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a cunning way to arrest Jesus and kill him. “Not during the festival,” they said, “so that there won’t be a riot among the people.”

bookmark_borderApril 2, 2020

Psalm 44 (CSB)

Psalm 44

ISRAEL’S COMPLAINT

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. 

God, we have heard with our ears—

our ancestors have told us—

the work you accomplished in their days,

in days long ago:

In order to plant them, 

you displaced the nations by your hand;

in order to settle them,

you brought disaster on the peoples.

For they did not take the land by their sword—

their arm did not bring them victory—

but by your right hand, your arm,

and the light of your face,

because you were favorable toward them.

You are my King, my God, 

who ordains victories for Jacob.

Through you we drive back our foes; 

through your name we trample our enemies.

For I do not trust in my bow, 

and my sword does not bring me victory.

But you give us victory over our foes 

and let those who hate us be disgraced.

We boast in God all day long; 

we will praise your name forever.

Selah

But you have rejected and humiliated us; 

you do not march out with our armies.

10 You make us retreat from the foe, 

and those who hate us

have taken plunder for themselves.

11 You hand us over to be eaten like sheep 

and scatter us among the nations.

12 You sell your people for nothing; 

you make no profit from selling them.

13 You make us an object of reproach to our neighbors, 

a source of mockery and ridicule to those around us.

14 You make us a joke among the nations, 

a laughingstock among the peoples.

15 My disgrace is before me all day long, 

and shame has covered my face,

16 because of the taunts of the scorner and reviler, 

because of the enemy and avenger.

17 All this has happened to us, 

but we have not forgotten you

or betrayed your covenant.

18 Our hearts have not turned back; 

our steps have not strayed from your path.

19 But you have crushed us in a haunt of jackals 

and have covered us with deepest darkness.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God 

and spread out our hands to a foreign god,

21 wouldn’t God have found this out, 

since he knows the secrets of the heart?

22 Because of you we are being put to death all day long; 

we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.

23 Wake up, Lord! Why are you sleeping? 

Get up! Don’t reject us forever!

24 Why do you hide 

and forget our affliction and oppression?

25 For we have sunk down to the dust; 

our bodies cling to the ground.

26 Rise up! Help us! 

Redeem us because of your faithful love.

Mark 13:3–27 (CSB)

SIGNS OF THE END OF THE AGE

While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 

Jesus told them, “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be alarmed; these things must take place, but it is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

PERSECUTIONS PREDICTED

“But you, be on your guard! They will hand you over to local courts,, and you will be flogged in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them. 10 And it is necessary that the gospel be preached to all nations. 11 So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say, but say whatever is given to you at that time, for it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 

12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 You will be hated by everyone because of my name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

14 “When you see the abomination of desolation, standing where it should not be” (let the reader understand), “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 A man on the housetop must not come down or go in to get anything out of his house, 16 and a man in the field must not go back to get his coat. 17 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days! 

18 “Pray it won’t happen in winter. 19 For those will be days of tribulation, the kind that hasn’t been from the beginning of creation until now and never will be again. 20 If the Lord had not cut those days short, no one would be saved. But he cut those days short for the sake of the elect, whom he chose.

21 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘See, here is the Messiah! See, there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 And you must watch! I have told you everything in advance. 

THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; 25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 He will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

bookmark_borderApril 1, 2020

Proverbs 8:17–29 (CSB)

17 I love those who love me, 

and those who search for me find me.

18 With me are riches and honor, 

lasting wealth and righteousness.

19 My fruit is better than solid gold, 

and my harvest than pure silver.

20 I walk in the ways of righteousness, 

along the paths of justice,

21 giving wealth as an inheritance to those who love me, 

and filling their treasuries.

22 “The Lord acquired me 

at the beginning of his creation,

before his works of long ago.

23 I was formed before ancient times, 

from the beginning, before the earth began.

24 I was born 

when there were no watery depths

and no springs filled with water.

25 Before the mountains 

were established, prior to the hills, I was given birth—

26 before he made the land, the fields, 

or the first soil on earth.

27 I was there when he established the heavens, 

when he laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean,

28 when he placed the skies above, 

when the fountains of the ocean gushed out,

29 when he set a limit for the sea 

so that the waters would not violate his command,

when he laid out the foundations of the earth.

Mark 12:38–13:2 (CSB)

WARNING AGAINST THE SCRIBES

38 He also said in his teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who want greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.” 

THE WIDOW’S GIFT

41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. 43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had—all she had to live on.”

DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE PREDICTED

13 As he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look! What massive stones! What impressive buildings!” 

Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another—all will be thrown down.”

bookmark_borderMar 31, 2020

Psalm 43 (CSB)

Psalm 43

Vindicate me, God, and champion my cause 

against an unfaithful nation;

rescue me from the deceitful and unjust person.

For you are the God of my refuge. 

Why have you rejected me?

Why must I go about in sorrow

because of the enemy’s oppression?

Send your light and your truth; let them lead me. 

Let them bring me to your holy mountain,

to your dwelling place.

Then I will come to the altar of God, 

to God, my greatest joy.

I will praise you with the lyre,

God, my God.

Why, my soul, are you so dejected? 

Why are you in such turmoil?

Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,

my Savior and my God.

Mark 11:15–12:37 (CSB)

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

15 They came to Jerusalem, and he went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. 17 He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”,

18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching. 

19 Whenever evening came, they would go out of the city. 

THE BARREN FIG TREE IS WITHERED

20 Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 

22 Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.24 Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for—believe that you have received, it and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”

THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHALLENGED

27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?” 

29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.” 

31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ ”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” 

And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” 

THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD OWNER

12 He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from them. But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant to them, and they hit him on the head and treated him shamefully. Then he sent another, and they killed that one. He also sent many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He still had one to send, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenant farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner, of the vineyard do? He will come and kill the farmers and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this Scripture:

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

11 This came about from the Lord

and is wonderful in our eyes?”

12 They were looking for a way to arrest him but feared the crowd because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. So they left him and went away. 

GOD AND CAESAR

13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to Jesus to trap him in his words. 14 When they came, they said to him, “Teacher, we know you are truthful and don’t care what anyone thinks, nor do you show partiality but teach the way of God truthfully. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” 

15 But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius, to look at.” 16 They brought a coin. “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked them. 

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him. 

THE SADDUCEES AND THE RESURRECTION

18 Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and questioned him: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife behind but no child, that man should take the wife and raise up offspring for his brother., 20 There were seven brothers. The first married a woman, and dying, left no offspring. 21 The second also took her, and he died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 None of the seven left offspring. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be, since the seven had married her?” 

24 Jesus spoke to them, “Isn’t this the reason why you’re mistaken: you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised—haven’t you read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God said to him: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?, 27 He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken.” 

THE PRIMARY COMMANDS

28 One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which command is the most important of all?” 

29 Jesus answered, “The most important is Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.,, 31 The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself., There is no other command greater than these.” 

32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, teacher. You have correctly said that he is one, and there is no one else except him. 33 And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 

34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to question him any longer. 

THE QUESTION ABOUT THE CHRIST

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he asked, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David?36 David himself says by the Holy Spirit:

The Lord declared to my Lord,

‘Sit at my right hand

until I put your enemies under your feet.’,

37 David himself calls him ‘Lord’; how then can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

bookmark_borderMar 27, 2020

Psalm 42 (CSB)

BOOK II

(Psalms 42–72)

Psalm 42

LONGING FOR GOD

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. 

As a deer longs for flowing streams, 

so I long for you, God.

I thirst for God, the living God. 

When can I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my food day and night, 

while all day long people say to me,

“Where is your God?”

I remember this as I pour out my heart: 

how I walked with many,

leading the festive procession to the house of God,

with joyful and thankful shouts.

Why, my soul, are you so dejected? 

Why are you in such turmoil?

Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,

my Savior and my God.

I am deeply depressed; 

therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan

and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; 

all your breakers and your billows have swept over me.

The Lord will send his faithful love by day; 

his song will be with me in the night—

a prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God, my rock, 

“Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I go about in sorrow

because of the enemy’s oppression?”

10 My adversaries taunt me, 

as if crushing my bones,

while all day long they say to me,

“Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you so dejected? 

Why are you in such turmoil?

Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,

my Savior and my God.

Mark 10:46–11:14 (CSB)

A BLIND MAN HEALED

46 They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many warned him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!” 

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” 

So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; he’s calling for you.” 50 He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 

51 Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want me to do for you?” 

Rabboni,”, the blind man said to him, “I want to see.” 

52 Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road. 

THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

11 When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’ ” 

So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go. 

They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it. Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted: 

Hosanna!

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord!,

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom 

of our father David!

Hosanna in the highest heaven! 

11 He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. 

THE BARREN FIG TREE IS CURSED

12 The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to find out if there was anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard it.

bookmark_borderMar 26, 2020

Psalm 41 (CSB)

Psalm 41

VICTORY IN SPITE OF BETRAYAL

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

Happy is one who is considerate of the poor; 

the Lord will save him in a day of adversity. 

The Lord will keep him and preserve him; 

he will be blessed in the land.

You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies.

The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed; 

you will heal him on the bed where he lies.

I said, “Lord, be gracious to me; 

heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

My enemies speak maliciously about me: 

“When will he die and be forgotten?”

When one of them comes to visit, he speaks deceitfully; 

he stores up evil in his heart;

he goes out and talks.

All who hate me whisper together about me; 

they plan to harm me.

“Something awful has overwhelmed him, 

and he won’t rise again from where he lies!”

Even my friend in whom I trusted, 

one who ate my bread,

has raised his heel against me.

10 But you, Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up; 

then I will repay them.

11 By this I know that you delight in me: 

my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.

12 You supported me because of my integrity 

and set me in your presence forever.

13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 

from everlasting to everlasting.

Amen and amen.

Proverbs 8:12–16 (CSB)

12 I, wisdom, share a home with shrewdness 

and have knowledge and discretion.

13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil. 

I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct,

and perverse speech.

14 I possess good advice and sound wisdom; 

I have understanding and strength.

15 It is by me that kings reign 

and rulers enact just law;

16 by me, princes lead, 

as do nobles and all righteous judges.

Mark 10:13–45 (CSB)

BLESSING THE CHILDREN

13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive, the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 After taking them in his arms, he laid his hands on them and blessed them. 

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud;honor your father and mother.”,

20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.” 

21 Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions. 

POSSESSIONS AND THE KINGDOM

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

24 The disciples were astonished at his words. Again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 

26 They were even more astonished, saying to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 

27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.” 

28 Peter began to tell him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

THE THIRD PREDICTION OF HIS DEATH

32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were astonished, but those who followed him were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them the things that would happen to him. 33 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 and they will mock him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him, and he will rise after three days.”

SUFFERING AND SERVICE

35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask you.” 

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them. 

37 They answered him, “Allow us to sit at your right and at your left in your glory.” 

38 Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39 “We are able,” they told him. 

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with.40 But to sit at my right or left is not mine to give; instead, it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 

41 When the ten disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”,

bookmark_borderMar 25, 2020

Proverbs 8:8–11 (CSB)

All the words from my mouth are righteous; 

none of them are deceptive or perverse.

All of them are clear to the perceptive, 

and right to those who discover knowledge.

10 Accept my instruction instead of silver, 

and knowledge rather than pure gold.

11 For wisdom is better than jewels, 

and nothing desirable can equal it.

Mark 9:38–10:12 (CSB)

IN HIS NAME

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.” 

39 “Don’t stop him,” said Jesus, “because there is no one who will perform a miracle in my name who can soon afterward speak evil of me. 40 For whoever is not against us is for us. 41 And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ—truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward.

WARNINGS FROM JESUS

42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 

43 “And if your hand causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell, the unquenchable fire., 45 And if your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge 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, 48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.,, 50 Salt is good, but if the salt should lose its flavor, how can you season it? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” 

THE QUESTION OF DIVORCE

10 He set out from there and went to the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Then crowds converged on him again, and as was his custom he taught them again. 

Some Pharisees came to test him, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 

He replied to them, “What did Moses command you?” 

They said, “Moses permitted us to write divorce papers and send her away.” 

But Jesus told them, “He wrote this command for you because of the hardness of your hearts. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female., For this reason a man will leave his father and motherand the two will become one flesh., So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10 When they were in the house again, the disciples questioned him about this matter. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

bookmark_borderMar 24, 2020

Psalm 40 (CSB)

Psalm 40

THANKSGIVING AND A CRY FOR HELP

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

I waited patiently for the Lord, 

and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.

He brought me up from a desolate pit, 

out of the muddy clay,

and set my feet on a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth, 

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and they will trust in the Lord. 

How happy is anyone 

who has put his trust in the Lord

and has not turned to the proud

or to those who run after lies!

Lord my God, you have done many things—

your wondrous works and your plans for us;

none can compare with you.

If I were to report and speak of them,

they are more than can be told.

You do not delight in sacrifice and offering; 

you open my ears to listen.

You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering.

Then I said, “See, I have come; 

in the scroll it is written about me.

I delight to do your will, my God, 

and your instruction is deep within me.”

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; 

see, I do not keep my mouth closed—

as you know, Lord. 

10 I did not hide your righteousness in my heart; 

I spoke about your faithfulness and salvation;

I did not conceal your constant love and truth

from the great assembly.

11 Lord, you do not withhold your compassion from me. 

Your constant love and truth will always guard me.

12 For troubles without number have surrounded me; 

my iniquities have overtaken me; I am unable to see.

They are more than the hairs of my head,

and my courage leaves me.

13 Lord, be pleased to rescue me; 

hurry to help me, Lord. 

14 Let those who intend to take my life 

be disgraced and confounded.

Let those who wish me harm

be turned back and humiliated.

15 Let those who say to me, “Aha, aha!” 

be appalled because of their shame.

16 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; 

let those who love your salvation continually say,

“The Lord is great!” 

17 I am oppressed and needy; 

may the Lord think of me.

You are my helper and my deliverer;

my God, do not delay.

Proverbs 8:5–7 (CSB)

Learn to be shrewd, you who are inexperienced; 

develop common sense, you who are foolish.

Listen, for I speak of noble things, 

and what my lips say is right.

For my mouth tells the truth, 

and wickedness is detestable to my lips.

Mark 9:2–37 (CSB)

THE TRANSFIGURATION

After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transfigured in front of them, and his clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here. Let us set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—because he did not know what to say, since they were terrified. 

A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him!” 

Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. 

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept this word to themselves, questioning what “rising from the dead” meant. 

11 Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 

12 “Elijah does come first and restores all things,” he replied. “Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did whatever they pleased to him, just as it is written about him.” 

THE POWER OF FAITH OVER A DEMON

14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes disputing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were amazed and ran to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing with them about?” 

17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.” 

19 He replied to them, “You unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 So they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, it immediately threw the boy into convulsions. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has this been happening to him?” Jesus asked his father. 

“From childhood,” he said. 22 “And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 

23 Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” 

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: Come out of him and never enter him again.” 

26 Then it came out, shrieking and throwing him into terrible convulsions. The boy became like a corpse, so that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus, taking him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. 

28 After he had gone into the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 

29 And he told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.”,

THE SECOND PREDICTION OF HIS DEATH

30 Then they left that place and made their way through Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know it. 31 For he was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after he is killed, he will rise three days later.” 32 But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask him. 

WHO IS THE GREATEST?

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”34 But they were silent, because on the way they had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, he called the Twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and servant of all.”36 He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me does not welcome me, but him who sent me.”