bookmark_borderJan 20, 2020

Psalm 10 (CSB)

Psalm 10

NEED FOR GOD’S JUSTICE

Lord,, why do you stand so far away? 

Why do you hide in times of trouble?

In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue their victims; 

let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; 

the one who is greedy curses and despises the Lord. 

In all his scheming, 

the wicked person arrogantly thinks,

“There’s no accountability,

since there’s no God.”

His ways are always secure; 

your lofty judgments have no effect on him;

he scoffs at all his adversaries.

He says to himself, “I will never be moved—

from generation to generation without calamity.”

Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth; 

trouble and malice are under his tongue.

He waits in ambush near settlements; 

he kills the innocent in secret places.

His eyes are on the lookout for the helpless;

he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. 

He lurks in order to seize a victim;

he seizes a victim and drags him in his net.

10 So he is oppressed and beaten down; 

helpless people fall because of the wicked one’s strength.

11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten; 

he hides his face and will never see.”

12 Rise up, Lord God! Lift up your hand. 

Do not forget the oppressed.

13 Why has the wicked person despised God? 

He says to himself, “You will not demand an account.”

14 But you yourself have seen trouble and grief, 

observing it in order to take the matter into your hands.

The helpless one entrusts himself to you;

you are a helper of the fatherless.

15 Break the arm of the wicked, evil person, 

until you look for his wickedness,

but it can’t be found.

16 The Lord is King forever and ever; 

the nations will perish from his land.

17 Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble; 

you will strengthen their hearts.

You will listen carefully,

18 doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed 

so that mere humans from the earth may terrify them no more.

Proverbs 2:12–15 (CSB)

12 It will rescue you from the way of evil—

from anyone who says perverse things,

13 from those who abandon the right paths 

to walk in ways of darkness,

14 from those who enjoy doing evil 

and celebrate perversion,

15 whose paths are crooked, 

and whose ways are devious.

Matthew 9:14–31 (CSB)

A QUESTION ABOUT FASTING

14 Then John’s disciples came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 

15 Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests be sad while the groom is with them? The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one patches an old garment with unshrunk cloth, because the patch pulls away from the garment and makes the tear worse. 17 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” 

A GIRL RESTORED AND A WOMAN HEALED

18 As he was telling them these things, suddenly one of the leaders came and knelt down before him, saying, “My daughter just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 So Jesus and his disciples got up and followed him. 

20 Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years approached from behind and touched the end of his robe, 21 for she said to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I’ll be made well.”,

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Have courage, daughter,” he said. “Your faith has saved you.”, And the woman was made well from that moment. 

23 When Jesus came to the leader’s house, he saw the flute players and a crowd lamenting loudly. 24 “Leave,” he said, “because the girl is not dead but asleep.” And they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. 26 Then news of this spread throughout that whole area. 

HEALING THE BLIND

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 

28 When he entered the house, the blind men approached him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” 

They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”

29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus warned them sternly, “Be sure that no one finds out.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him throughout that whole area.

bookmark_borderJan 17, 2020

Psalm 9 (CSB)

Psalm 9

CELEBRATION OF GOD’S JUSTICE

For the choir director: according to Muth-labben. A psalm of David. 

I will thank the Lord with all my heart; 

I will declare all your wondrous works.

I will rejoice and boast about you; 

I will sing about your name, Most High.

When my enemies retreat, 

they stumble and perish before you.

For you have upheld my just cause; 

you are seated on your throne as a righteous judge.

You have rebuked the nations: 

You have destroyed the wicked;

you have erased their name forever and ever.

The enemy has come to eternal ruin. 

You have uprooted the cities,

and the very memory of them has perished.

But the Lord sits enthroned forever; 

he has established his throne for judgment.

And he judges the world with righteousness; 

he executes judgment on the nations with fairness.

The Lord is a refuge for the persecuted, 

a refuge in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name trust in you 

because you have not abandoned

those who seek you, Lord. 

11 Sing to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; 

proclaim his deeds among the nations.

12 For the one who seeks an accounting 

for bloodshed remembers them;

he does not forget the cry of the oppressed.

13 Be gracious to me, Lord; 

consider my affliction at the hands of those who hate me.

Lift me up from the gates of death,

14 so that I may declare all your praises. 

I will rejoice in your salvation

within the gates of Daughter Zion.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they made; 

their foot is caught in the net they have concealed.

16 The Lord has made himself known; 

he has executed justice,

snaring the wicked

by the work of their hands.

Higgaion. Selah

17 The wicked will return to Sheol—

all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy will not always be forgotten; 

the hope of the oppressed will not perish forever.

19 Rise up, Lord! Do not let mere humans prevail; 

let the nations be judged in your presence.

20 Put terror in them, Lord; 

let the nations know they are only humans.

Selah

Proverbs 2:10–11 (CSB)

10 For wisdom will enter your heart, 

and knowledge will delight you.

11 Discretion will watch over you, 

and understanding will guard you.

Matthew 8:5–27 (CSB)

A CENTURION’S FAITH

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, pleading with him, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony.” 

He said to him, “Am I to come and heal him?”

“Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 

10 Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith. 11 I tell you that many will come from east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that very moment. 

HEALINGS AT CAPERNAUM

14 Jesus went into Peter’s house and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 So he touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and began to serve him. 16 When evening came, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick, 17 so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 

He himself took our weaknesses

and carried our diseases.,

THE COST OF FOLLOWING JESUS

18 When Jesus saw a large crowd, around him, he gave the order to go to the other side of the sea. 19 A scribe approached him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 

20 Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 

21 “Lord,” another of his disciples said, “first let me go bury my father.” 

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” 

WIND AND WAVES OBEY JESUS

23 As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves—but Jesus kept sleeping. 25 So the disciples came and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!” 

26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”

bookmark_borderJan 16, 2020

Proverbs 2:6–9 (CSB)

For the Lord gives wisdom; 

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He stores up success for the upright; 

He is a shield for those who live with integrity

so that he may guard the paths of justice 

and protect the way of his faithful followers.

Then you will understand righteousness, justice, 

and integrity—every good path.

Matthew 8:5–27 (CSB)

A CENTURION’S FAITH

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, pleading with him, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony.” 

He said to him, “Am I to come and heal him?”

“Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 

10 Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith. 11 I tell you that many will come from east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that very moment. 

HEALINGS AT CAPERNAUM

14 Jesus went into Peter’s house and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 So he touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and began to serve him. 16 When evening came, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick, 17 so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 

He himself took our weaknesses

and carried our diseases.,

THE COST OF FOLLOWING JESUS

18 When Jesus saw a large crowd, around him, he gave the order to go to the other side of the sea. 19 A scribe approached him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 

20 Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 

21 “Lord,” another of his disciples said, “first let me go bury my father.” 

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” 

WIND AND WAVES OBEY JESUS

23 As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves—but Jesus kept sleeping. 25 So the disciples came and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!” 

26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”

bookmark_borderJan 15, 2020

Psalm 8 (CSB)

Psalm 8

GOD’S GLORY, HUMAN DIGNITY

For the choir director: on the Gittith. A psalm of David. 

Lord, our Lord, 

how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!

You have covered the heavens with your majesty.,

From the mouths of infants and nursing babies, 

you have established a stronghold

on account of your adversaries

in order to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I observe your heavens, 

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you set in place,

what is a human being that you remember him, 

a son of man that you look after him?

You made him little less than God,

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; 

you put everything under his feet:

all the sheep and oxen, 

as well as the animals in the wild,

the birds of the sky, 

and the fish of the sea

that pass through the currents of the seas.

Lord, our Lord, 

how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!

Proverbs 2:1–5 (CSB)

WISDOM’S WORTH

My son, if you accept my words 

and store up my commands within you,

listening closely to wisdom 

and directing your heart to understanding;

furthermore, if you call out to insight 

and lift your voice to understanding,

if you seek it like silver 

and search for it like hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and discover the knowledge of God.

Matthew 7:24–8:4 (CSB)

THE TWO FOUNDATIONS

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.” 

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes. 

A MAN CLEANSED

When he came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. Right away a man with leprosy came up and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 

Reaching out his hand, Jesus touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Then Jesus told him, “See that you don’t tell anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

bookmark_borderJan 14, 2020

Psalm 7 (CSB)

Psalm 7

PRAYER FOR JUSTICE

Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite. 

Lord my God, I seek refuge in you; 

save me from all my pursuers and rescue me

or they will tear me like a lion, 

ripping me apart with no one to rescue me.

Lord my God, if I have done this, 

if there is injustice on my hands,

if I have done harm to one at peace with me 

or have plundered my adversary without cause,

may an enemy pursue and overtake me; 

may he trample me to the ground

and leave my honor in the dust.

Selah

Rise up, Lord, in your anger; 

lift yourself up against the fury of my adversaries;

awake for me;,

you have ordained a judgment.

Let the assembly of peoples gather around you; 

take your seat on high over it.

The Lord judges the peoples; 

vindicate me, Lord, 

according to my righteousness and my integrity.

Let the evil of the wicked come to an end, 

but establish the righteous.

The one who examines the thoughts and emotions

is a righteous God.

10 My shield is with God, 

who saves the upright in heart.

11 God is a righteous judge 

and a God who shows his wrath every day.

12 If anyone does not repent, 

he will sharpen his sword;

he has strung his bow and made it ready.

13 He has prepared his deadly weapons; 

he tips his arrows with fire.

14 See, the wicked one is pregnant with evil, 

conceives trouble, and gives birth to deceit.

15 He dug a pit and hollowed it out 

but fell into the hole he had made.

16 His trouble comes back on his own head; 

his own violence comes down on top of his head.

17 I will thank the Lord for his righteousness; 

I will sing about the name of the Lord Most High.

Proverbs 1:33 (CSB)

33 But whoever listens to me will live securely 

and be undisturbed by the dread of danger.”

Matthew 7:12–23 (CSB)

12 Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

ENTERING THE KINGDOM

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. 

15 “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!,,

bookmark_borderJan 13, 2020

Proverbs 1:28–32 (CSB)

28 Then they will call me, but I won’t answer; 

they will search for me, but won’t find me.

29 Because they hated knowledge, 

didn’t choose to fear the Lord, 

30 were not interested in my counsel, 

and rejected all my correction,

31 they will eat the fruit of their way 

and be glutted with their own schemes.

32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, 

and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Matthew 6:25–7:11 (CSB)

THE CURE FOR ANXIETY

25 “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith? 31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 

DO NOT JUDGE

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye. Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces. 

ASK, SEARCH, KNOCK

“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.

bookmark_borderJan 10, 2020

Psalm 6 (CSB)

Psalm 6

A PRAYER FOR MERCY

For the choir director: with stringed instruments, according to Sheminith. A psalm of David. 

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; 

do not discipline me in your wrath.

Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am weak;,

heal me, Lord, for my bones are shaking; 

my whole being is shaken with terror. 

And you, Lord—how long? 

Turn, Lord! Rescue me; 

save me because of your faithful love.

For there is no remembrance of you in death; 

who can thank you in Sheol?

I am weary from my groaning; 

with my tears I dampen my bed

and drench my couch every night.

My eyes are swollen from grief; 

they grow old because of all my enemies.

Depart from me, all evildoers, 

for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 

The Lord has heard my plea for help; 

the Lord accepts my prayer. 

10 All my enemies will be ashamed and shake with terror; 

they will turn back and suddenly be disgraced.

Proverbs 1:24–27 (CSB)

24 Since I called out and you refused, 

extended my hand and no one paid attention,

25 since you neglected all my counsel 

and did not accept my correction,

26 I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity. 

I will mock when terror strikes you,

27 when terror strikes you like a storm 

and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,

when trouble and stress overcome you.

Matthew 6:1–24 (CSB)

HOW TO GIVE

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven. So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.,

HOW TO PRAY

“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you., When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

“Therefore, you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven, 

your name be honored as holy.

10 Your kingdom come. 

Your will be done 

on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, 

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And do not bring us into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.,

14 “For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses. 

HOW TO FAST

16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive, so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

GOD AND POSSESSIONS

19 “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

bookmark_borderJan 9, 2020

Psalm 5 (CSB)

Psalm 5

THE REFUGE OF THE RIGHTEOUS

For the choir director: with the flutes. A psalm of David.

Listen to my words, Lord; 

consider my sighing.

Pay attention to the sound of my cry, 

my King and my God,

for I pray to you.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; 

in the morning I plead my case to you and watch expectantly.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; 

evil cannot dwell with you.

The boastful cannot stand in your sight; 

you hate all evildoers.

You destroy those who tell lies; 

the Lord abhors violent and treacherous people. 

But I enter your house 

by the abundance of your faithful love;

I bow down toward your holy temple

in reverential awe of you.

Lord, lead me in your righteousness 

because of my adversaries;

make your way straight before me.

For there is nothing reliable in what they say; 

destruction is within them;

their throat is an open grave;

they flatter with their tongues.

10 Punish them, God; 

let them fall by their own schemes.

Drive them out because of their many crimes,

for they rebel against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; 

let them shout for joy forever.

May you shelter them,

and may those who love your name boast about you.

12 For you, Lord, bless the righteous one; 

you surround him with favor like a shield.

Proverbs 1:20–23 (CSB)

WISDOM’S PLEA

20 Wisdom calls out in the street; 

she makes her voice heard in the public squares.

21 She cries out above the commotion; 

she speaks at the entrance of the city gates:

22 “How long, inexperienced ones, will you love ignorance? 

How long will you mockers enjoy mocking

and you fools hate knowledge?

23 If you respond to my warning,,

then I will pour out my spirit on you

and teach you my words.

Matthew 5:33–48 (CSB)

TELL THE TRUTH

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord., 34 But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, because it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. 36 Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.

GO THE SECOND MILE

38 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth., 39 But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what are you doing out of the ordinary?, Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

bookmark_borderJan 8, 2020

Proverbs 1:17–19 (CSB)

17 It is useless to spread a net 

where any bird can see it,

18 but they set an ambush to kill themselves; 

they attack their own lives.

19 Such are the paths of all who make profit dishonestly; 

it takes the lives of those who receive it.

Matthew 5:21–32 (CSB)

MURDER BEGINS IN THE HEART

21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder,, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment.22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire., 23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him to the court, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny.

ADULTERY BEGINS IN THE HEART

27 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery., 28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. 

DIVORCE PRACTICES CENSURED

31 “It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce., 32 But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

bookmark_borderJan 7, 2020

Psalm 4 (CSB)

Psalm 4

A NIGHT PRAYER

For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

Answer me when I call, 

God, who vindicates me.,

You freed me from affliction;

be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

How long, exalted ones, will my honor be insulted? 

How long will you love what is worthless

and pursue a lie?

Selah

Know that the Lord has set apart 

the faithful for himself;

the Lord will hear when I call to him. 

Be angry and do not sin; 

on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.

Selah

Offer sacrifices in righteousness,

and trust in the Lord. 

Many are asking, “Who can show us anything good?” 

Let the light of your face shine on us, Lord. 

You have put more joy in my heart 

than they have when their grain and new wine abound.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace, 

for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety.

Proverbs 1:14–16 (CSB)

14 Throw in your lot with us, 

and we’ll all share the loot”—

15 my son, don’t travel that road with them 

or set foot on their path,

16 because their feet run toward evil 

and they hurry to shed blood.

Matthew 5:2–20 (CSB)

Then he began to teach them, saying: 

THE BEATITUDES

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the humble,

for they will inherit the earth. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled. 

Blessed are the merciful, 

for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, 

for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they will be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, 

for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 

11 “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. 12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

BELIEVERS ARE SALT AND LIGHT

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

CHRIST FULFILLS THE LAW

17 “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.