bookmark_borderFeb 13, 2020

Proverbs 4:18–22 (CSB)

18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, 

shining brighter and brighter until midday.

19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; 

they don’t know what makes them stumble.

THE STRAIGHT PATH

20 My son, pay attention to my words; 

listen closely to my sayings.

21 Don’t lose sight of them; 

keep them within your heart.

22 For they are life to those who find them, 

and health to one’s whole body.

Matthew 19:16–20:28 (CSB)

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

16 Just then someone came up and asked him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” 

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” he said to him. “There is only one who is good. If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he asked him. 

Jesus answered: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother; and love your neighbor as yourself.,

20 “I have kept all these,” the young man told him. “What do I still lack?” 

21 “If you want to be perfect,” Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 

22 When the young man heard that, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions. 

POSSESSIONS AND THE KINGDOM

23 Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and asked, “Then who can be saved?” 

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Then Peter responded to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you. So what will there be for us?” 

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields because of my name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD WORKERS

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the workers on one denarius, he sent them into his vineyard for the day. When he went out about nine in the morning, he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He said to them, ‘You also go into my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. About noon and about three, he went out again and did the same thing. Then about five he went and found others standing around and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’ 

“ ‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him. 

“ ‘You also go into my vineyard,’ he told them. When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.’ 

“When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius. 10 So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. 11 When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: 12 ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day’s work and the burning heat.’

13 “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? 14 Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what is mine? Are you jealous because I’m generous?’,

16 “So the last will be first, and the first last.”,

THE THIRD PREDICTION OF HIS DEATH

17 While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside privately and said to them on the way, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death. 19 They will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and on the third day he will be raised.”

SUFFERING AND SERVICE

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons approached him with her sons. She knelt down to ask him for something. 21 “What do you want?” he asked her. 

“Promise,” she said to him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right and the other on your left, in your kingdom.”

22 Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”,

“We are able,” they said to him.

23 He told them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right and left is not mine to give; instead, it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the ten disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. 26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

bookmark_borderFeb 12, 2020

Psalm 21 (CSB)

Psalm 21

THE KING’S VICTORY

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

Lord, the king finds joy in your strength. 

How greatly he rejoices in your victory!

You have given him his heart’s desire 

and have not denied the request of his lips.

Selah

For you meet him with rich blessings; 

you place a crown of pure gold on his head.

He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—

length of days forever and ever.

His glory is great through your victory; 

you confer majesty and splendor on him.

You give him blessings forever; 

you cheer him with joy in your presence.

For the king relies on the Lord; 

through the faithful love of the Most High

he is not shaken.

Your hand will capture all your enemies; 

your right hand will seize those who hate you.

You will make them burn 

like a fiery furnace when you appear;

the Lord will engulf them in his wrath, 

and fire will devour them.

10 You will wipe their progeny from the earth 

and their offspring from the human race.,

11 Though they intend to harm you 

and devise a wicked plan, they will not prevail.

12 Instead, you will put them to flight 

when you ready your bowstrings to shoot at them.

13 Be exalted, Lord, in your strength; 

we will sing and praise your might.

Proverbs 4:14–17 (CSB)

14 Keep off the path of the wicked; 

don’t proceed on the way of evil ones.

15 Avoid it; don’t travel on it. 

Turn away from it, and pass it by.

16 For they can’t sleep 

unless they have done what is evil;

they are robbed of sleep

unless they make someone stumble.

17 They eat the bread of wickedness 

and drink the wine of violence.

Matthew 18:21–19:15 (CSB)

THE PARABLE OF THE UNFORGIVING SERVANT

21 Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?” 

22 “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.

23 “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle accounts, one who owed ten thousand talents was brought before him. 25 Since he did not have the money to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt.

26 “At this, the servant fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 Then the master of that servant had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. 

28 “That servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii., He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’ 

29 “At this, his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 But he wasn’t willing. Instead, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. 31 When the other servants saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. 32 Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And because he was angry, his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to you unless every one of you forgives his brother or sister from your heart.”

THE QUESTION OF DIVORCE

19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees approached him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?” 

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that he who created them in the beginning made them male and female,, and he also said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and 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.” 

“Why then,” they asked him, “did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?” 

He told them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts, but it was not like that from the beginning. I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery.”,

10 His disciples said to him, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it’s better not to marry.” 

11 He responded, “Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who is able to accept it should accept it.” 

BLESSING THE CHILDREN

13 Then children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, “Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”, 15 After placing his hands on them, he went on from there.

bookmark_borderFeb 11, 2020

Psalm 20 (CSB)

Psalm 20

DELIVERANCE IN BATTLE

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

May the Lord answer you in a day of trouble; 

may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.

May he send you help from the sanctuary 

and sustain you from Zion.

May he remember all your offerings 

and accept your burnt offering.

Selah

May he give you what your heart desires 

and fulfill your whole purpose.

Let us shout for joy at your victory 

and lift the banner in the name of our God.

May the Lord fulfill all your requests. 

Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; 

he will answer him from his holy heaven

with mighty victories from his right hand.

Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, 

but we take pride in the name of the Lord our God. 

They collapse and fall, 

but we rise and stand firm.

Lord, give victory to the king! 

May he answer us on the day that we call.

Proverbs 4:10–13 (CSB)

TWO WAYS OF LIFE

10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, 

and you will live many years.

11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; 

I am guiding you on straight paths.

12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered; 

when you run, you will not stumble.

13 Hold on to instruction; don’t let go. 

Guard it, for it is your life.

Matthew 18:1–20 (CSB)

WHO IS THE GREATEST?

18 At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “So who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child and had him stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one child like this in my name welcomes me. 

“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 drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses will inevitably come, but woe to that person by whom the offense comes. If your hand or your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellfire.,

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP

10 “See to it that you don’t despise one of these little ones, because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of my Father in heaven., 12 What do you think? If someone has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go and search for the stray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over that sheep more than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 In the same way, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish. 

RESTORING A BROTHER

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother.16 But if he won’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established., 17 If he doesn’t pay attention to them, tell the church., If he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.”

bookmark_borderFeb 10, 2020

Proverbs 4:7–9 (CSB)

Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. 

And whatever else you get, get understanding.

Cherish her, and she will exalt you; 

if you embrace her, she will honor you.

She will place a garland of favor on your head; 

she will give you a crown of beauty.”

Matthew 17:14–27 (CSB)

THE POWER OF JESUS OVER A DEMON

14 When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him. 15 “Lord,” he said, “have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” 

17 Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and from that moment the boy was healed. 

19 Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 

20 “Because of your little faith,” he told them. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”,

THE SECOND PREDICTION OF HIS DEATH

22 As they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.” And they were deeply distressed. 

PAYING THE TEMPLE TAX

24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” 

25 “Yes,” he said. 

When he went into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tariffs or taxes? From their sons or from strangers?”,

26 “From strangers,” he said. 

“Then the sons are free,” Jesus told him. 27 “But, so we won’t offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and take the first fish that you catch. When you open its mouth you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to them for me and you.”

bookmark_borderFeb 6-7, 2020

Psalm 18–19 (CSB)

Psalm 18

PRAISE FOR DELIVERANCE

For the choir director. Of the servant of the Lord, David, who spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from the grasp of all his enemies and from the power of Saul. He said: 

I love you, Lord, my strength. 

The Lord is my rock, 

my fortress, and my deliverer,

my God, my rock where I seek refuge,

my shield and the horn of my salvation,

my stronghold.

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, 

and I was saved from my enemies.

The ropes of death were wrapped around me; 

the torrents of destruction terrified me.

The ropes of Sheol entangled me; 

the snares of death confronted me.

I called to the Lord in my distress, 

and I cried to my God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth shook and quaked; 

the foundations of the mountains trembled;

they shook because he burned with anger.

Smoke rose from his nostrils, 

and consuming fire came from his mouth;

coals were set ablaze by it.,

He bent the heavens and came down, 

total darkness beneath his feet.

10 He rode on a cherub and flew, 

soaring on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his hiding place, 

dark storm clouds his canopy around him.

12 From the radiance of his presence, 

his clouds swept onward with hail and blazing coals.

13 The Lord thundered from heaven; 

the Most High made his voice heard.,

14 He shot his arrows and scattered them; 

he hurled lightning bolts and routed them.

15 The depths of the sea became visible, 

the foundations of the world were exposed,

at your rebuke, Lord, 

at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high 

and took hold of me;

he pulled me out of deep water.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy 

and from those who hated me,

for they were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, 

but the Lord was my support. 

19 He brought me out to a spacious place; 

he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord rewarded me 

according to my righteousness;

he repaid me

according to the cleanness of my hands.

21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord

and have not turned from my God to wickedness.

22 Indeed, I let all his ordinances guide me 

and have not disregarded his statutes.

23 I was blameless toward him 

and kept myself from my iniquity.

24 So the Lord repaid me 

according to my righteousness,

according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 With the faithful 

you prove yourself faithful,

with the blameless

you prove yourself blameless,

26 with the pure 

you prove yourself pure;

but with the crooked

you prove yourself shrewd.

27 For you rescue an oppressed people, 

but you humble those with haughty eyes.

28 Lord, you light my lamp; 

my God illuminates my darkness.

29 With you I can attack a barricade, 

and with my God I can leap over a wall.

30 God—his way is perfect; 

the word of the Lord is pure. 

He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God besides the Lord? 

And who is a rock? Only our God.

32 God—he clothes me with strength 

and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer 

and sets me securely on the heights.,

34 He trains my hands for war; 

my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You have given me the shield of your salvation; 

your right hand upholds me,

and your humility exalts me.

36 You make a spacious place beneath me for my steps, 

and my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursue my enemies and overtake them; 

I do not turn back until they are wiped out.

38 I crush them, and they cannot get up; 

they fall beneath my feet.

39 You have clothed me with strength for battle; 

you subdue my adversaries beneath me.

40 You have made my enemies retreat before me;,

I annihilate those who hate me.

41 They cry for help, but there is no one to save them—

they cry to the Lord, but he does not answer them. 

42 I pulverize them like dust before the wind; 

I trample them like mud in the streets.

43 You have freed me from the feuds among the people; 

you have appointed me the head of nations;

a people I had not known serve me.

44 Foreigners submit to me cringing; 

as soon as they hear they obey me.

45 Foreigners lose heart 

and come trembling from their fortifications.

46 The Lord lives—blessed be my rock! 

The God of my salvation is exalted.

47 God—he grants me vengeance 

and subdues peoples under me.

48 He frees me from my enemies. 

You exalt me above my adversaries;

you rescue me from violent men.

49 Therefore I will give thanks to you among the nations, Lord; 

I will sing praises about your name.

50 He gives great victories to his king; 

he shows loyalty to his anointed,

to David and his descendants forever.

Psalm 19

THE WITNESS OF CREATION AND SCRIPTURE

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God, 

and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour out speech; 

night after night they communicate knowledge.

There is no speech; there are no words; 

their voice is not heard.

Their message has gone out to the whole earth, 

and their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun.

It is like a bridegroom coming from his home; 

it rejoices like an athlete running a course.

It rises from one end of the heavens 

and circles to their other end;

nothing is hidden from its heat.

The instruction of the Lord is perfect, 

renewing one’s life;

the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, 

making the inexperienced wise.

The precepts of the Lord are right, 

making the heart glad;

the command of the Lord is radiant, 

making the eyes light up.

The fear of the Lord is pure, 

enduring forever;

the ordinances of the Lord are reliable 

and altogether righteous.

10 They are more desirable than gold—

than an abundance of pure gold;

and sweeter than honey

dripping from a honeycomb.

11 In addition, your servant is warned by them, 

and in keeping them there is an abundant reward.

12 Who perceives his unintentional sins? 

Cleanse me from my hidden faults.

13 Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; 

do not let them rule me.

Then I will be blameless

and cleansed from blatant rebellion.

14 May the words of my mouth 

and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to you,

Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 4:1–6 (CSB)

A FATHER’S EXAMPLE

Listen, sons, to a father’s discipline, 

and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,

for I am giving you good instruction. 

Don’t abandon my teaching.

When I was a son with my father, 

tender and precious to my mother,

he taught me and said: 

“Your heart must hold on to my words.

Keep my commands and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding; 

don’t forget or turn away from the words from my mouth.

Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; 

love her, and she will guard you.

Matthew 15:32–17:13 (CSB)

FEEDING OF THE FOUR THOUSAND

32 Jesus called his disciples and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with me three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, otherwise they might collapse on the way.” 

33 The disciples said to him, “Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place to feed such a crowd?” 

34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked them. 

“Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.”

35 After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. They collected the leftover pieces—seven large baskets full. 38 Now there were four thousand men who had eaten, besides women and children. 39 After dismissing the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.,

THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND THE SADDUCEES

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and tested him, asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away. 

The disciples reached the other shore, and they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus told them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

They were discussing among themselves, “We didn’t bring any bread.” 

Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many baskets you collected? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many large baskets you collected? 11 Why is it you don’t understand that when I told you, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,’ it wasn’t about bread?”12 Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the leaven in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

PETER’S CONFESSION OF THE MESSIAH

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi,, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 

15 “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?” 

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 

17 Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he gave the disciples orders to tell no one that he was the Messiah. 

HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION PREDICTED

21 From then on Jesus began to point out to his disciples that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to you!” 

23 Jesus turned and told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.”

TAKE UP YOUR CROSS

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. 26 For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

THE TRANSFIGURATION

17 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here. If you want, I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown and were terrified. 

Jesus came up, touched them, and said, “Get up; don’t be afraid.” When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone. 

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 

10 So the disciples asked him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 

11 “Elijah is coming and will restore everything,” he replied., 12 “But I tell you: Elijah has already come, and they didn’t recognize him. On the contrary, they did whatever they pleased to him. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them about John the Baptist.

bookmark_borderFeb 5, 2020

Proverbs 3:33–35 (CSB)

33 The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked, 

but he blesses the home of the righteous;

34 He mocks those who mock, 

but gives grace to the humble.

35 The wise will inherit honor, 

but he holds up fools to dishonor.

Matthew 15:10–31 (CSB)

DEFILEMENT IS FROM WITHIN

10 Summoning the crowd, he told them, “Listen and understand: 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth—this defiles a person.”

12 Then the disciples came up and told him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 

13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. 14 Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

15 Then Peter said, “Explain this parable to us.” 

16 “Do you still lack understanding?” he asked. 17 “Don’t you realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a person.19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander.20 These are the things that defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”

A GENTILE MOTHER’S FAITH

21 When Jesus left there, he withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.” 

23 Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples approached him and urged him, “Send her away because she’s crying out after us.” 

24 He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

25 But she came, knelt before him, and said, “Lord, help me!” 

26 He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 

28 Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was healed. 

HEALING MANY PEOPLE

29 Moving on from there, Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee. He went up on a mountain and sat there, 30 and large crowds came to him, including the lame, the blind, the crippled, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they gave glory to the God of Israel.

bookmark_borderFeb 4, 2020

Psalm 17 (CSB)

Psalm 17

A PRAYER FOR PROTECTION

A prayer of David.

Lord, hear a just cause; 

pay attention to my cry;

listen to my prayer—

from lips free of deceit.

Let my vindication come from you, 

for you see what is right.

You have tested my heart; 

you have examined me at night.

You have tried me and found nothing evil;

I have determined that my mouth will not sin.

Concerning what people do: 

by the words from your lips

I have avoided the ways of the violent.

My steps are on your paths; 

my feet have not slipped.

I call on you, God, 

because you will answer me;

listen closely to me; hear what I say.

Display the wonders of your faithful love, 

Savior of all who seek refuge

from those who rebel against your right hand.

Protect me as the pupil of your eye; 

hide me in the shadow of your wings

from the wicked who treat me violently, 

my deadly enemies who surround me.

10 They are uncaring;,

their mouths speak arrogantly.

11 They advance against me; now they surround me. 

They are determined

to throw me to the ground.

12 They are like a lion eager to tear, 

like a young lion lurking in ambush.

13 Rise up, Lord! 

Confront him; bring him down.

With your sword, save me from the wicked.

14 With your hand, Lord, save me from men, 

from men of the world

whose portion is in this life:

You fill their bellies with what you have in store;

their sons are satisfied,

and they leave their surplus to their children.

15 But I will see your face in righteousness; 

when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.,

Proverbs 3:29–32 (CSB)

29 Don’t plan any harm against your neighbor, 

for he trusts you and lives near you.

30 Don’t accuse anyone without cause, 

when he has done you no harm.

31 Don’t envy a violent man 

or choose any of his ways;

32 for the devious are detestable to the Lord, 

but he is a friend to the upright.

Matthew 14:22–15:9 (CSB)

WALKING ON THE WATER

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear. 

27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” 

29 He said, “Come.” 

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 

MIRACULOUS HEALINGS

34 When they had crossed over, they came to shore at Gennesaret. 35 When the men of that place recognized him, they alerted the whole vicinity and brought to him all who were sick. 36 They begged him that they might only touch the end of his robe, and as many as touched it were healed. 

THE TRADITION OF THE ELDERS

15 Then Jesus was approached by Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, who asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.”,

He answered them, “Why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition? For God said: Honor your father and your mother;, and, Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death., But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple,” he does not have to honor his father.’ In this way, you have nullified the word of God because of your tradition. Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said: 

This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me.

They worship me in vain,

teaching as doctrines human commands.”,

bookmark_borderFeb 3, 2020

Psalm 16 (CSB)

Psalm 16

CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD

Miktam of David. 

Protect me, God, for I take refuge in you. 

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; 

I have nothing good besides you.”,

As for the holy people who are in the land, 

they are the noble ones.

All my delight is in them.

The sorrows of those who take another god 

for themselves will multiply;

I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

and I will not speak their names with my lips.

Lord, you are my portion 

and my cup of blessing;

you hold my future.

The boundary lines have fallen for me 

in pleasant places;

indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who counsels me—

even at night when my thoughts trouble me.,

I always let the Lord guide me. 

Because he is at my right hand,

I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad 

and my whole being rejoices;

my body also rests securely.

10 For you will not abandon me to Sheol; 

you will not allow your faithful one to see decay.

11 You reveal the path of life to me; 

in your presence is abundant joy;

at your right hand are eternal pleasures.

Proverbs 3:25–28 (CSB)

25 Don’t fear sudden danger 

or the ruin of the wicked when it comes,

26 for the Lord will be your confidence 

and will keep your foot from a snare.

TREAT OTHERS FAIRLY

27 When it is in your power, 

don’t withhold good from the one to whom it belongs.

28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go away! Come back later. 

I’ll give it tomorrow”—when it is there with you.

Matthew 13:51–14:21 (CSB)

THE STOREHOUSE OF TRUTH

51 “Have you understood all these things?”

They answered him, “Yes.”

52 “Therefore,” he said to them, “every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom treasures new and old.”

REJECTION AT NAZARETH

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he left there. 54 He went to his hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does he get all these things?” 57 And they were offended by him. 

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household.” 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. 

JOHN THE BAPTIST BEHEADED

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus. “This is John the Baptist,” he told his servants. “He has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 

For Herod had arrested John, chained him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, since John had been telling him, “It’s not lawful for you to have her.” Though Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd since they regarded John as a prophet. 

When Herod’s birthday celebration came, Herodias’s daughter danced before them and pleased Herod. So he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she answered, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” Although the king regretted it, he commanded that it be granted because of his oaths and his guests. 10 So he sent orders and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came, removed the corpse, buried it, and went and reported to Jesus. 

FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND

13 When Jesus heard about it, he withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd, had compassion on them, and healed their sick. 

15 When evening came, the disciples approached him and said, “This place is deserted, and it is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 

16 “They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.” 

17 “But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to him. 

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces. 21 Now those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.