bookmark_border28 Feb, 2020

Psalm 29 (CSB)

Psalm 29

THE VOICE OF THE LORD

A psalm of David.

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, 

ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; 

worship the Lord

in the splendor of his holiness.,

The voice of the Lord is above the waters. 

The God of glory thunders—

the Lord, above the vast water, 

the voice of the Lord in power, 

the voice of the Lord in splendor. 

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; 

the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon. 

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, 

and Sirion, like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes flames of fire. 

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; 

the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth,

and strips the woodlands bare.

In his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; 

the Lord sits enthroned, King forever. 

11 The Lord gives his people strength; 

the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Proverbs 6:6–9 (CSB)

LAZINESS

Go to the ant, you slacker! 

Observe its ways and become wise.

Without leader, administrator, or ruler, 

it prepares its provisions in summer; 

it gathers its food during harvest.

How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? 

When will you get up from your sleep?

Matthew 26:69–27:10 (CSB)

PETER DENIES HIS LORD

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl approached him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean too.” 

70 But he denied it in front of everyone: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

71 When he had gone out to the gateway, another woman saw him and told those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene!” 

72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 

73 After a little while those standing there approached and said to Peter, “You really are one of them, since even your accent gives you away.” 

74 Then he started to curse and to swear with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed, 75 and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. 

JESUS HANDED OVER TO PILATE

27 When daybreak came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put him to death. After tying him up, they led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. 

JUDAS HANGS HIMSELF

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,” he said. 

“What’s that to us?” they said. “See to it yourself!” So he threw the silver into the temple and departed. Then he went and hanged himself. 

The chief priests took the silver and said, “It’s not permitted to put it into the temple treasury, since it is blood money.” They conferred together and bought the potter’s field with it as a burial place for foreigners. Therefore that field has been called “Blood Field” to this day. Then what was spoken through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him whose price was set by the Israelites, 10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.,

bookmark_borderFeb 27, 2020

Psalm 28 (CSB)

Psalm 28

MY STRENGTH

Of David.

Lord, I call to you; 

my rock, do not be deaf to me.

If you remain silent to me,

I will be like those going down to the Pit.

Listen to the sound of my pleading 

when I cry to you for help,

when I lift up my hands

toward your holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked, 

with the evildoers,

who speak in friendly ways with their neighbors

while malice is in their hearts.

Repay them according to what they have done—

according to the evil of their deeds.

Repay them according to the work of their hands;

give them back what they deserve.

Because they do not consider 

what the Lord has done 

or the work of his hands,

he will tear them down and not rebuild them.

Blessed be the Lord, 

for he has heard the sound of my pleading.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; 

my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

Therefore my heart celebrates,

and I give thanks to him with my song.

The Lord is the strength of his people; 

he is a stronghold of salvation for his anointed.

Save your people, bless your possession, 

shepherd them, and carry them forever.

Proverbs 6:4–5 (CSB)

Don’t give sleep to your eyes 

or slumber to your eyelids.

Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, 

like a bird from a hunter’s trap.,

Matthew 26:36–68 (CSB)

THE PRAYER IN THE GARDEN

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

42 Again, a second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And he came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open. 

44 After leaving them, he went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? See, the time is near. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up; let’s go. See, my betrayer is near.” 

JUDAS’S BETRAYAL OF JESUS

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob with swords and clubs was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had given them a sign: “The one I kiss, he’s the one; arrest him.” 49 So immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 

50 “Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”

Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested him. 51 At that moment one of those with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword. He struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his ear. 

52 Then Jesus told him, “Put your sword back in its place because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and he will provide me here and now with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?” 

55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture me? Every day I used to sit, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. 56 But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away. 

JESUS FACES THE SANHEDRIN

57 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened. 58 Peter was following him at a distance right to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and was sitting with the servants to see the outcome. 

59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death, 60 but they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two who came forward 61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ” 

62 The high priest stood up and said to him, “Don’t you have an answer to what these men are testifying against you?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 

64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”,

65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? See, now you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66 What is your decision?” 

They answered, “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who was it that hit you?”

bookmark_border26 Feb, 2020

Proverbs 6:1–3 (CSB)

FINANCIAL ENTANGLEMENTS

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor 

or entered into an agreement with a stranger,

you have been snared by the words of your mouth 

trapped by the words from your mouth.

Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, 

for you have put yourself in your neighbor’s power:

Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor.

Matthew 26:17–35 (CSB)

BETRAYAL AT THE PASSOVER

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 

18 “Go into the city to a certain man,” he said, “and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your place with my disciples.’ ” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20 When evening came, he was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 

23 He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl—he will betray me. 24 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.” 

25 Judas, his betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” 

“You have said it,” he told him. 

THE FIRST LORD’S SUPPER

26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 

PETER’S DENIAL PREDICTED

31 Then Jesus said to them, “Tonight all of you will fall away because of me, for it is written: 

I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.,

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

33 Peter told him, “Even if everyone falls away because of you, I will never fall away.” 

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to him, “tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

35 “Even if I have to die with you,” Peter told him, “I will never deny you,” and all the disciples said the same thing.

bookmark_border25 Feb, 2020

Psalm 27 (CSB)

Psalm 27

MY STRONGHOLD

Of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—

whom should I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—

whom should I dread?

When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, 

my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.

Though an army deploys against me, 

my heart will not be afraid;

though a war breaks out against me,

I will still be confident.

I have asked one thing from the Lord; 

it is what I desire:

to dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

gazing on the beauty of the Lord

and seeking him in his temple.

For he will conceal me in his shelter 

in the day of adversity;

he will hide me under the cover of his tent;

he will set me high on a rock.

Then my head will be high 

above my enemies around me;

I will offer sacrifices in his tent with shouts of joy.

I will sing and make music to the Lord. 

Lord, hear my voice when I call; 

be gracious to me and answer me.

My heart says this about you: 

“Seek his face.”

Lord, I will seek your face. 

Do not hide your face from me; 

do not turn your servant away in anger.

You have been my helper;

do not leave me or abandon me,

God of my salvation.

10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, 

the Lord cares for me. 

11 Because of my adversaries, 

show me your way, Lord, 

and lead me on a level path.

12 Do not give me over to the will of my foes, 

for false witnesses rise up against me,

breathing violence.

13 I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness 

in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord; 

be strong, and let your heart be courageous.

Wait for the Lord.

Proverbs 5:20–23 (CSB)

20 Why, my son, would you lose yourself 

with a forbidden woman

or embrace a wayward woman?

21 For a man’s ways are before the Lord’s eyes, 

and he considers all his paths.

22 A wicked man’s iniquities will trap him; 

he will become tangled in the ropes of his own sin.

23 He will die because there is no discipline, 

and be lost because of his great stupidity.

Matthew 26:17–35 (CSB)

BETRAYAL AT THE PASSOVER

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 

18 “Go into the city to a certain man,” he said, “and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your place with my disciples.’ ” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20 When evening came, he was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 

23 He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl—he will betray me. 24 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.” 

25 Judas, his betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” 

“You have said it,” he told him. 

THE FIRST LORD’S SUPPER

26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 

PETER’S DENIAL PREDICTED

31 Then Jesus said to them, “Tonight all of you will fall away because of me, for it is written: 

I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.,

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

33 Peter told him, “Even if everyone falls away because of you, I will never fall away.” 

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to him, “tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

35 “Even if I have to die with you,” Peter told him, “I will never deny you,” and all the disciples said the same thing.

bookmark_borderFeb 24, 2020

Psalm 26 (CSB)

Psalm 26

PRAYER FOR VINDICATION

Of David.

Vindicate me, Lord, 

because I have lived with integrity

and have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 

Test me, Lord, and try me; 

examine my heart and mind.

For your faithful love guides me, 

and I live by your truth.

I do not sit with the worthless 

or associate with hypocrites.

I hate a crowd of evildoers, 

and I do not sit with the wicked.

I wash my hands in innocence 

and go around your altar, Lord, 

raising my voice in thanksgiving 

and telling about your wondrous works.

Lord, I love the house where you dwell, 

the place where your glory resides.

Do not destroy me along with sinners, 

or my life along with men of bloodshed

10 in whose hands are evil schemes 

and whose right hands are filled with bribes.

11 But I live with integrity; 

redeem me and be gracious to me.

12 My foot stands on level ground; 

I will bless the Lord in the assemblies.

Proverbs 5:15–19 (CSB)

ENJOY MARRIAGE

15 Drink water from your own cistern, 

water flowing from your own well.

16 Should your springs flow in the streets, 

streams in the public squares?

17 They should be for you alone 

and not for you to share with strangers.

18 Let your fountain be blessed, 

and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.

19 A loving deer, a graceful doe—

let her breasts always satisfy you;

be lost in her love forever.

Matthew 24:36–25:30 (CSB)

NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR HOUR

36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels of heaven nor the Son—except the Father alone. 37 As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 38 For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. 39 They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. This is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding grain with a hand mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. 44 This is why you are also to be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

FAITHFUL SERVICE TO CHRIST

45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and starts to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 that servant’s master will come on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them; but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps. When the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 

“In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’ 

“Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 

“The wise ones answered, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Go instead to those who sell oil, and buy some for yourselves.’ 

10 “When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. 11 Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’ 

12 “He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you!’ 

13 “Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour.

THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, depending on each one’s ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately 16 the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. 17 In the same way the man with two earned two more. 18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. 

19 “After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I’ve earned five more talents.’ 

21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’

22 “The man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.’ 

23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ 

24 “The man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a harsh man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 

26 “His master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, 27 then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received my money back with interest when I returned. 

28 “ ‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

bookmark_borderFeb 21, 2020

Proverbs 5:13–14 (CSB)

13 I didn’t obey my teachers 

or listen closely to my instructors.

14 I am on the verge of complete ruin 

before the entire community.”

Matthew 23:37–24:35 (CSB)

JESUS’S LAMENTING OVER JERUSALEM

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’!”,

DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE PREDICTED

24 As Jesus left and was going out of the temple, his disciples came up and called his attention to its buildings. He replied to them, “Do you see all these things? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here on another that will not be thrown down.” 

SIGNS OF THE END OF THE AGE

While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 

Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of labor pains.

PERSECUTIONS PREDICTED

“Then they will hand you over to be persecuted, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 Then many will fall away, betray one another, and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), 16 “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 A man on the housetop must not come down to get things out of his house, 18 and a man in the field must not go back to get his coat. 19 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days! 20 Pray that your escape may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For at that time there will be great distress,, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again. 22 Unless those days were cut short, no one would be saved. But those days will be cut short because of the elect.

23 “If anyone tells you then, ‘See, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Over here!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Take note: I have told you in advance. 26 So if they tell you, ‘See, he’s in the wilderness!’ don’t go out; or, ‘See, he’s in the storerooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather.

THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. 

THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE

32 “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize that he is near—at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

bookmark_borderFeb 20, 2020

Psalm 25 (CSB)

Psalm 25

DEPENDENCE ON THE LORD

Of David.

Lord, I appeal to you.,

My God, I trust in you. 

Do not let me be disgraced;

do not let my enemies gloat over me.

No one who waits for you 

will be disgraced;

those who act treacherously without cause

will be disgraced.

Make your ways known to me, Lord; 

teach me your paths.

Guide me in your truth and teach me, 

for you are the God of my salvation;

I wait for you all day long.

Remember, Lord, your compassion 

and your faithful love,

for they have existed from antiquity.,

Do not remember the sins of my youth 

or my acts of rebellion;

in keeping with your faithful love, remember me

because of your goodness, Lord. 

The Lord is good and upright; 

therefore he shows sinners the way.

He leads the humble in what is right 

and teaches them his way.

10 All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth 

to those who keep his covenant and decrees.

11 Lord, for the sake of your name, 

forgive my iniquity, for it is immense.

12 Who is this person who fears the Lord? 

He will show him the way he should choose.

13 He will live a good life, 

and his descendants will inherit the land.,

14 The secret counsel of the Lord

is for those who fear him,

and he reveals his covenant to them.

15 My eyes are always on the Lord, 

for he will pull my feet out of the net.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, 

for I am alone and afflicted.

17 The distresses of my heart increase;,

bring me out of my sufferings.

18 Consider my affliction and trouble, 

and forgive all my sins.

19 Consider my enemies; they are numerous, 

and they hate me violently.

20 Guard me and rescue me; 

do not let me be put to shame,

for I take refuge in you.

21 May integrity and what is right 

watch over me,

for I wait for you.

22 God, redeem Israel, from all its distresses.

Proverbs 5:9–12 (CSB)

Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others 

and your years to someone cruel;

10 strangers will drain your resources, 

and your hard-earned pay will end up in a foreigner’s house.

11 At the end of your life, you will lament 

when your physical body has been consumed,

12 and you will say, “How I hated discipline, 

and how my heart despised correction.

Matthew 22:23–23:36 (CSB)

THE SADDUCEES AND THE RESURRECTION

23 That same day some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up to him and questioned him: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, if a man dies, having no children, his brother is to marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother., 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first got married and died. Having no offspring, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second also, and the third, and so on to all seven. 27 Last of all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, then, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had married her.” 

29 Jesus answered them, “You are mistaken, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. 31 Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God: 32 I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?, He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 

33 And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching. 

THE PRIMARY COMMANDS

34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 

37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.,38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself., 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

THE QUESTION ABOUT THE CHRIST

41 While the Pharisees were together, Jesus questioned them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” 

They replied, “David’s.”

43 He asked them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’: 

44 The Lord declared to my Lord,

‘Sit at my right hand

until I put your enemies under your feet’?,,

45 “If David calls him ‘Lord,’ how then can he be his son?” 46 No one was able to answer him at all, and from that day no one dared to question him anymore. 

RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES DENOUNCED

23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples: “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. They do everything to be seen by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels., They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues,greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people. 

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters. Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 You are not to be called instructors either, because you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in.,

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make one convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as fit for hell as you are! 

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever takes an oath by the temple, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath by the gold of the temple is bound by his oath.’ 17 Blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 Also, ‘Whoever takes an oath by the altar, it means nothing; but whoever takes an oath by the gift that is on it is bound by his oath.’ 19 Blind people! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?20 Therefore, the one who takes an oath by the altar takes an oath by it and by everything on it. 21 The one who takes an oath by the temple takes an oath by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And the one who takes an oath by heaven takes an oath by God’s throne and by him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, and yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. 24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, but gulp down a camel! 

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside of it may also become clean. 

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of impurity. 28 In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we wouldn’t have taken part with them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors’ sins!

33 “Snakes! Brood of vipers! How can you escape being condemned to hell?, 34 This is why I am sending you prophets, sages, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 So all the righteous blood shed on the earth will be charged to you, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all these things will come on this generation.

bookmark_borderFeb 19, 2020

Psalm 24 (CSB)

Psalm 24

THE KING OF GLORY

A psalm of David.

The earth and everything in it, 

the world and its inhabitants,

belong to the Lord; 

for he laid its foundation on the seas 

and established it on the rivers.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? 

Who may stand in his holy place?

The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, 

who has not appealed to what is false,

and who has not sworn deceitfully.

He will receive blessing from the Lord, 

and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Such is the generation of those who inquire of him, 

who seek the face of the God of Jacob.,

Selah

Lift up your heads, you gates! 

Rise up, ancient doors!

Then the King of glory will come in.

Who is this King of glory? 

The Lord, strong and mighty, 

the Lord, mighty in battle. 

Lift up your heads, you gates! 

Rise up, ancient doors!

Then the King of glory will come in.

10 Who is he, this King of glory? 

The Lord of Armies, 

he is the King of glory.

Selah

Proverbs 5:1–8 (CSB)

AVOID SEDUCTION

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; 

listen closely to my understanding

so that you may maintain discretion 

and your lips safeguard knowledge.

Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey 

and her words are smoother than oil,

in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood 

and as sharp as a double-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death; 

her steps head straight for Sheol.

She doesn’t consider the path of life; 

she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.

So now, sons, listen to me, 

and don’t turn away from the words from my mouth.

Keep your way far from her. 

Don’t go near the door of her house.

Matthew 21:33–22:22 (CSB)

THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD OWNER

33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner, who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. He leased it to tenant farmers and went away. 34 When the time came to harvest fruit, he sent his servants to the farmers to collect his fruit. 35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Again, he sent other servants, more than the first group, and they did the same to them. 37 Finally, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 

38 “But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?” 

41 “He will completely destroy those terrible men,” they told him, “and lease his vineyard to other farmers who will give him his fruit at the harvest.” 

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: 

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

This is what the Lord has done

and it is wonderful in our eyes?,

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruit. 44 Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will shatter him.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew he was speaking about them. 46 Although they were looking for a way to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because the people regarded him as a prophet. 

THE PARABLE OF THE WEDDING BANQUET

22 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come. Again, he sent out other servants and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: See, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged, and he sent out his troops, killed those murderers, and burned down their city. 

“Then he told his servants, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go then to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ 10 So those servants went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. 11 When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

GOD AND CAESAR

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to trap him by what he said., 16 So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are truthful and teach truthfully the way of God. You don’t care what anyone thinks nor do you show partiality., 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 

18 Perceiving their malicious intent, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” They brought him a denarius. 20 “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked them. 

21 “Caesar’s,” they said to him. 

Then he said to them, “Give, then, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

bookmark_borderFeb 18, 2020

Psalm 23 (CSB)

Psalm 23

THE GOOD SHEPHERD

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; 

I have what I need.

He lets me lie down in green pastures; 

he leads me beside quiet waters.

He renews my life; 

he leads me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even when I go through the darkest valley, 

I fear no danger,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me 

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me 

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

as long as I live.,

Proverbs 4:25–27 (CSB)

25 Let your eyes look forward; 

fix your gaze straight ahead.

26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, 

and all your ways will be established.

27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left; 

keep your feet away from evil.

Matthew 21:18–32 (CSB)

THE BARREN FIG TREE

18 Early in the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, he went up to it and found nothing on it except leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” At once the fig tree withered. 

20 When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and said, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 

21 Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” 

THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHALLENGED

23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?” 

24 Jesus answered them, “I will also ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Did John’s baptism come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” 

They discussed it among themselves, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we’re afraid of the crowd, because everyone considers John to be a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” 

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

THE PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘My son, go work in the vineyard today.’

29 “He answered, ‘I don’t want to,’ but later he changed his mind and went. 30 Then the man went to the other and said the same thing. ‘I will, sir,’ he answered, but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” 

They said, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him. Tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; but you, when you saw it, didn’t even change your minds then and believe him.

bookmark_borderFeb 14, 2020

Psalm 22 (CSB)

Psalm 22

FROM SUFFERING TO PRAISE

For the choir director: according to “The Deer of the Dawn.” A psalm of David.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? 

Why are you so far from my deliverance

and from my words of groaning?

My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, 

by night, yet I have no rest.

But you are holy, 

enthroned on the praises of Israel.

Our fathers trusted in you; 

they trusted, and you rescued them.

They cried to you and were set free; 

they trusted in you and were not disgraced.

But I am a worm and not a man, 

scorned by mankind and despised by people.

Everyone who sees me mocks me; 

they sneer and shake their heads:

“He relies on the Lord; 

let him save him;

let the Lord rescue him, 

since he takes pleasure in him.”

It was you who brought me out of the womb, 

making me secure at my mother’s breast.

10 I was given over to you at birth; 

you have been my God from my mother’s womb.

11 Don’t be far from me, because distress is near 

and there’s no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me; 

strong ones of Bashan encircle me.

13 They open their mouths against me—

lions, mauling and roaring.

14 I am poured out like water, 

and all my bones are disjointed;

my heart is like wax,

melting within me.

15 My strength is dried up like baked clay; 

my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.

You put me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have surrounded me; 

a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;

they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I can count all my bones; 

people look and stare at me.

18 They divided my garments among themselves, 

and they cast lots for my clothing.

19 But you, Lord, don’t be far away. 

My strength, come quickly to help me.

20 Rescue my life from the sword, 

my only life from the power of these dogs.

21 Save me from the lion’s mouth, 

from the horns of wild oxen.

You answered me!

22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters; 

I will praise you in the assembly.

23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! 

All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!

All you descendants of Israel, revere him!

24 For he has not despised or abhorred 

the torment of the oppressed.

He did not hide his face from him

but listened when he cried to him for help.

25 I will give praise in the great assembly 

because of you;

I will fulfill my vows

before those who fear you.,

26 The humble will eat and be satisfied; 

those who seek the Lord will praise him. 

May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth will remember 

and turn to the Lord. 

All the families of the nations

will bow down before you,

28 for kingship belongs to the Lord; 

he rules the nations.

29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; 

all those who go down to the dust

will kneel before him—

even the one who cannot preserve his life.

30 Their descendants will serve him; 

the next generation will be told about the Lord.

31 They will come and declare his righteousness; 

to a people yet to be born

they will declare what he has done.

Proverbs 4:23–24 (CSB)

23 Guard your heart above all else, 

for it is the source of life.

24 Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, 

and don’t let your lips talk deviously.

Matthew 20:29–21:17 (CSB)

TWO BLIND MEN HEALED

29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 There were two blind men sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd demanded that they keep quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 

32 Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 

33 “Lord,” they said to him, “open our eyes.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed him. 

THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

21 When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there with her colt. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them at once.” 

This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: 

Tell Daughter Zion,

“See, your King is coming to you,

gentle, and mounted on a donkey,

and on a colt,

the foal of a donkey.”,

The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. They brought the donkey and its colt; then they laid their clothes on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their clothes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. Then the crowds who went ahead of him and those who followed shouted: 

Hosanna to the Son of David! 

Blessed is he who comes in the name

of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven! 

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in an uproar, saying, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” 

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

12 Jesus went into the temple, and threw out all those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves!”,

CHILDREN PRAISE JESUS

14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonders that he did and the children shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” 

Jesus replied, “Yes, have you never read: 

You have prepared praise

from the mouths of infants and nursing babies?”

17 Then he left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.