Psalm 26 (CSB)
PRAYER FOR VINDICATION
1 Vindicate me, Lord,
because I have lived with integrity
and have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me;
examine my heart and mind.
3 For your faithful love guides me,
and I live by your truth.
4 I do not sit with the worthless
or associate with hypocrites.
5 I hate a crowd of evildoers,
and I do not sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence
and go around your altar, Lord,
7 raising my voice in thanksgiving
and telling about your wondrous works.
8 Lord, I love the house where you dwell,
the place where your glory resides.
9 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)
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. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them; 4 but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps. 5 When the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’
7 “Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’
9 “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.’