bookmark_borderJune 9, 2020

Psalm 75 (CSB)

Psalm 75

GOD JUDGES THE WICKED

For the choir director: “Do Not Destroy.” A psalm of Asaph. A song. 

We give thanks to you, God; 

we give thanks to you, for your name is near. 

People tell about your wondrous works. 

“When I choose a time, 

I will judge fairly. 

When the earth and all its inhabitants shake, 

I am the one who steadies its pillars. 

Selah

I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ 

and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn. 

Do not lift up your horn against heaven 

or speak arrogantly.’ ” 

Exaltation does not come 

from the east, the west, or the desert, 

for God is the Judge: 

He brings down one and exalts another. 

For there is a cup in the Lord’s hand, 

full of wine blended with spices, and he pours from it. 

All the wicked of the earth will drink, 

draining it to the dregs. 

As for me, I will tell about him forever; 

I will sing praise to the God of Jacob. 

10 “I will cut off all the horns of the wicked, 

but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”

Proverbs 14:22–25 (CSB)

22 Don’t those who plan evil go astray? 

But those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness. 

23 There is profit in all hard work, 

but endless talk leads only to poverty. 

24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, 

but the foolishness of fools produces foolishness. 

25 A truthful witness rescues lives, 

but one who utters lies is deceitful.

Luke 21:29–22:30 (CSB)

THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE

29 Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they put out leaves you can see for yourselves and recognize that summer is already near. 31 In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

THE NEED FOR WATCHFULNESS

34 “Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly 35 like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.” 

37 During the day, he was teaching in the temple, but in the evening he would go out and spend the night on what is called the Mount of Olives. 38 Then all the people would come early in the morning to hear him in the temple. 

THE PLOT TO KILL JESUS

22 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put him to death, because they were afraid of the people. 

Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was numbered among the Twelve. He went away and discussed with the chief priests and temple police how he could hand him over to them. They were glad and agreed to give him silver. So he accepted the offer and started looking for a good opportunity to betray him to them when the crowd was not present. 

PREPARATION FOR PASSOVER

Then the Day of Unleavened Bread came when the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” 

“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him. 

10 “Listen,” he said to them, “when you’ve entered the city, a man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him into the house he enters. 11 Tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?” ’ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished room upstairs. Make the preparations there.” 

13 So they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. 

THE FIRST LORD’S SUPPER

14 When the hour came, he reclined at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 Then he said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 

19 And he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 

20 In the same way he also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But look, the hand of the one betraying me is at the table with me. 22 For the Son of Man will go away as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 

23 So they began to argue among themselves which of them it could be who was going to do it. 

THE DISPUTE OVER GREATNESS

24 Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. 25 But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who have authority over them have themselves called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 It is not to be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you should become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. 27 For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. 28 You are those who stood by me in my trials. 29 I bestow on you a kingdom, just as my Father bestowed one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. And you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

bookmark_borderJune 8, 2020

Psalm 74 (CSB)

Psalm 74

PRAYER FOR ISRAEL

Maskil of Asaph. 

Why have you rejected us forever, God? 

Why does your anger burn 

against the sheep of your pasture? 

Remember your congregation, 

which you purchased long ago 

and redeemed as the tribe for your own possession. 

Remember Mount Zion where you dwell. 

Make your way to the perpetual ruins, 

to all that the enemy has destroyed in the sanctuary. 

Your adversaries roared in the meeting place 

where you met with us. 

They set up their emblems as signs. 

It was like men in a thicket of trees, 

wielding axes, 

then smashing all the carvings 

with hatchets and picks. 

They set your sanctuary on fire; 

they utterly desecrated 

the dwelling place of your name. 

They said in their hearts, 

“Let us oppress them relentlessly.” 

They burned every place throughout the land 

where God met with us.,

There are no signs for us to see. 

There is no longer a prophet. 

And none of us knows how long this will last. 

10 God, how long will the enemy mock? 

Will the foe insult your name forever? 

11 Why do you hold back your hand? 

Stretch out your right hand and destroy them! 

12 God my King is from ancient times, 

performing saving acts on the earth. 

13 You divided the sea with your strength; 

you smashed the heads of the sea monsters in the water; 

14 you crushed the heads of Leviathan; 

you fed him to the creatures of the desert. 

15 You opened up springs and streams; 

you dried up ever-flowing rivers. 

16 The day is yours, also the night; 

you established the moon and the sun. 

17 You set all the boundaries of the earth; 

you made summer and winter. 

18 Remember this: the enemy has mocked the Lord, 

and a foolish people has insulted your name. 

19 Do not give to beasts the life of your dove; 

do not forget the lives of your poor people forever. 

20 Consider the covenant, 

for the dark places of the land are full of violence. 

21 Do not let the oppressed turn away in shame; 

let the poor and needy praise your name. 

22 Rise up, God, champion your cause! 

Remember the insults 

that fools bring against you all day long. 

23 Do not forget the clamor of your adversaries, 

the tumult of your opponents that goes up constantly.

Proverbs 14:15–21 (CSB)

15 The inexperienced one believes anything, 

but the sensible one watches his steps. 

16 A wise person is cautious and turns from evil, 

but a fool is easily angered and is careless. 

17 A quick-tempered person acts foolishly, 

and one who schemes is hated. 

18 The inexperienced inherit foolishness, 

but the sensible are crowned with knowledge. 

19 The evil bow before those who are good, 

and the wicked, at the gates of the righteous. 

20 A poor person is hated even by his neighbor, 

but there are many who love the rich. 

21 The one who despises his neighbor sins, 

but whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy.

Luke 21:5–28 (CSB)

DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE PREDICTED

As some were talking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, “These things that you see—the days will come when not one stone will be left on another that will not be thrown down.”

SIGNS OF THE END OF THE AGE

“Teacher,” they asked him, “so when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 

Then he said, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Don’t follow them. When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. Indeed, it is necessary that these things take place first, but the end won’t come right away.” 

10 Then he told them: “Nation will be raised up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be violent earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven.12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you. They will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to bear witness. 14 Therefore make up your minds not to prepare your defense ahead of time, 15 for I will give you such words and a wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will even be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will kill some of you. 17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name, 18 but not a hair of your head will be lost. 19 By your endurance, gain your lives.

THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM

20 “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that its desolation has come near. 21 Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Those inside the city must leave it, and those who are in the country must not enter it, 22 because these are days of vengeance to fulfill all the things that are written. 23 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for there will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will be killed by the sword, and be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 

THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN

25 “Then there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and there will be anguish on the earth among nations bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.”

bookmark_borderJune 3, 2020

Psalm 73 (CSB)

BOOK III

(Psalms 73–89)

Psalm 73

GOD’S WAYS VINDICATED

A psalm of Asaph. 

God is indeed good to Israel, 

to the pure in heart. 

But as for me, my feet almost slipped; 

my steps nearly went astray. 

For I envied the arrogant; 

I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 

They have an easy time until they die, 

and their bodies are well fed.,

They are not in trouble like others; 

they are not afflicted like most people. 

Therefore, pride is their necklace, 

and violence covers them like a garment. 

Their eyes bulge out from fatness; 

the imaginations of their hearts run wild. 

They mock, and they speak maliciously; 

they arrogantly threaten oppression. 

They set their mouths against heaven, 

and their tongues strut across the earth. 

10 Therefore his people turn to them 

and drink in their overflowing words.,

11 The wicked say, “How can God know? 

Does the Most High know everything?” 

12 Look at them—the wicked! 

They are always at ease, 

and they increase their wealth. 

13 Did I purify my heart 

and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? 

14 For I am afflicted all day long 

and punished every morning. 

15 If I had decided to say these things aloud, 

I would have betrayed your people.,

16 When I tried to understand all this, 

it seemed hopeless,

17 until I entered God’s sanctuary. 

Then I understood their destiny. 

18 Indeed, you put them in slippery places; 

you make them fall into ruin. 

19 How suddenly they become a desolation! 

They come to an end, swept away by terrors. 

20 Like one waking from a dream, 

Lord, when arising, you will despise their image. 

21 When I became embittered 

and my innermost being was wounded, 

22 I was stupid and didn’t understand; 

I was an unthinking animal toward you. 

23 Yet I am always with you; 

you hold my right hand. 

24 You guide me with your counsel, 

and afterward you will take me up in glory.,

25 Who do I have in heaven but you? 

And I desire nothing on earth but you. 

26 My flesh and my heart may fail, 

but God is the strength of my heart, 

my portion forever. 

27 Those far from you will certainly perish; 

you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 

28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good. 

I have made the Lord God my refuge, 

so I can tell about all you do.

Proverbs 14:12–14 (CSB)

12 There is a way that seems right to a person, 

but its end is the way to death. 

13 Even in laughter a heart may be sad, 

and joy may end in grief. 

14 The disloyal one will get what his conduct deserves, 

and a good one, what his deeds deserve.

Luke 20:41–21:4 (CSB)

THE QUESTION ABOUT THE CHRIST

41 Then he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the son of David? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms:

The Lord declared to my Lord,

‘Sit at my right hand

43 until I make your enemies your footstool.’,

44 David calls him ‘Lord’; how then can the Christ be his son?”

WARNING AGAINST THE SCRIBES

45 While all the people were listening, he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets.47 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.”

THE WIDOW’S GIFT

21 He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins., “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”

bookmark_borderJune 2, 2020

Psalm 72 (CSB)

Psalm 72

A PRAYER FOR THE KING

Of Solomon. 

God, give your justice to the king 

and your righteousness to the king’s son. 

He will judge your people with righteousness 

and your afflicted ones with justice. 

May the mountains bring well-being to the people 

and the hills, righteousness. 

May he vindicate the afflicted among the people, 

help the poor, 

and crush the oppressor. 

May they fear you while the sun endures 

and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 

May the king be like rain that falls on the cut grass, 

like spring showers that water the earth. 

May the righteous flourish in his days 

and well-being abound 

until the moon is no more. 

May he rule from sea to sea 

and from the Euphrates 

to the ends of the earth. 

May desert tribes kneel before him 

and his enemies lick the dust. 

10 May the kings of Tarshish 

and the coasts and islands bring tribute, 

the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 

11 Let all kings bow in homage to him, 

all nations serve him. 

12 For he will rescue the poor who cry out 

and the afflicted who have no helper. 

13 He will have pity on the poor and helpless 

and save the lives of the poor. 

14 He will redeem them from oppression and violence, 

for their lives are precious in his sight. 

15 May he live long! 

May gold from Sheba be given to him. 

May prayer be offered for him continually, 

and may he be blessed all day long. 

16 May there be plenty of grain in the land; 

may it wave on the tops of the mountains. 

May its crops be like Lebanon. 

May people flourish in the cities 

like the grass of the field. 

17 May his name endure forever; 

as long as the sun shines, 

may his fame increase. 

May all nations be blessed by him 

and call him blessed. 

18 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, 

who alone does wonders. 

19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; 

the whole earth is filled with his glory. 

Amen and amen. 

20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are concluded.

Proverbs 14:8–11 (CSB)

The sensible person’s wisdom is to consider his way, 

but the stupidity of fools deceives them. 

Fools mock at making reparation, 

but there is goodwill among the upright. 

10 The heart knows its own bitterness, 

and no outsider shares in its joy. 

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, 

but the tent of the upright will flourish.

Luke 20:1–40 (CSB)

THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHALLENGED

20 One day as he was teaching the people in the temple and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, came and said to him: “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?” 

He answered them, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or of human origin?” 

They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know its origin. 

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

THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD OWNER

Now he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers so that they might give him some fruit from the vineyard. But the farmers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent yet another servant, but they beat that one too, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third, but they wounded this one too and threw him out. 

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him.’ 

14 “But when the tenant farmers saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those farmers and give the vineyard to others.” 

But when they heard this they said, “That must never happen!” 

17 But he looked at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture:,

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone?,

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever it falls, it will shatter him.”

19 Then the scribes and the chief priests looked for a way to get their hands on him that very hour, because they knew he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 

GOD AND CAESAR

20 They watched closely and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, so that they could catch him in what he said, to hand him over to the governor’s rule and authority. 21 They questioned him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and you don’t show partiality, but teach truthfully the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 

23 But detecting their craftiness, he said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” 

“Caesar’s,” they said. 

25 “Well then,” he told them, “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 

26 They were not able to catch him in what he said in public, and being amazed at his answer, they became silent. 

THE SADDUCEES AND THE RESURRECTION

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up and questioned him: 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother has a wife, and dies childless, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother., 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife and died without children. 30 Also the second 31 and the third took her. In the same way, all seven died and left no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.” 

34 Jesus told them, “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 For they can no longer die, because they are like angels and are children of God, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 Moses even indicated in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are raised, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob., 38 He is not the God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to him.”

Luke 20:1–40 (CSB)

THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHALLENGED

20 One day as he was teaching the people in the temple and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, came and said to him: “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?” 

He answered them, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or of human origin?” 

They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know its origin. 

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

THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD OWNER

Now he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers so that they might give him some fruit from the vineyard. But the farmers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent yet another servant, but they beat that one too, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third, but they wounded this one too and threw him out. 

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him.’ 

14 “But when the tenant farmers saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those farmers and give the vineyard to others.” 

But when they heard this they said, “That must never happen!” 

17 But he looked at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture:,

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone?,

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever it falls, it will shatter him.”

19 Then the scribes and the chief priests looked for a way to get their hands on him that very hour, because they knew he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 

GOD AND CAESAR

20 They watched closely and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, so that they could catch him in what he said, to hand him over to the governor’s rule and authority. 21 They questioned him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and you don’t show partiality, but teach truthfully the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 

23 But detecting their craftiness, he said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” 

“Caesar’s,” they said. 

25 “Well then,” he told them, “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 

26 They were not able to catch him in what he said in public, and being amazed at his answer, they became silent. 

THE SADDUCEES AND THE RESURRECTION

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up and questioned him: 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother has a wife, and dies childless, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother., 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife and died without children. 30 Also the second 31 and the third took her. In the same way, all seven died and left no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.” 

34 Jesus told them, “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 For they can no longer die, because they are like angels and are children of God, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 Moses even indicated in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are raised, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob., 38 He is not the God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to him.”

bookmark_borderJune 1, 2020

Proverbs 14:5–7 (CSB)

An honest witness does not deceive, 

but a dishonest witness utters lies. 

A mocker seeks wisdom and doesn’t find it, 

but knowledge comes easily to the perceptive. 

Stay away from a foolish person; 

you will gain no knowledge from his speech.

Luke 19:28–48 (CSB)

THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

28 When he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples 30 and said, “Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say this: ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 

32 So those who were sent left and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 

34 “The Lord needs it,” they said. 35 Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their clothes on the colt, they helped Jesus get on it. 36 As he was going along, they were spreading their clothes on the road. 37 Now he came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen: 

38 Blessed is the King who comes

in the name of the Lord.,

Peace in heaven 

and glory in the highest heaven! 

39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 

40 He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out.”

JESUS’S LOVE FOR JERUSALEM

41 As he approached and saw the city, he wept for it, 42 saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come on you when your enemies will build a barricade around you, surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44 They will crush you and your children among you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in your midst, because you did not recognize the time when God visited you.”

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

45 He went into the temple and began to throw out those who were selling, 46 and he said, “It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!”,

47 Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to kill him, 48 but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard.

bookmark_borderMay 28, 2020

Proverbs 13:23–25 (CSB)

23 The uncultivated field of the poor yields abundant food, 

but without justice, it is swept away. 

24 The one who will not use the rod hates his son, 

but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently. 

25 A righteous person eats until he is satisfied, 

but the stomach of the wicked is empty.

Luke 18:15–34 (CSB)

BLESSING THE CHILDREN

15 People were bringing infants to him so he might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 Jesus, however, invited them: “Let the little children come to me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

18 A ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother.,

21 “I have kept all these from my youth,” he said. 

22 When Jesus heard this, he told him, “You still lack one thing: Sell all you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 After he heard this, he became extremely sad, because he was very rich. 

POSSESSIONS AND THE KINGDOM

24 Seeing that he became sad, Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 

26 Those who heard this asked, “Then who can be saved?” 

27 He replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Then Peter said, “Look, we have left what we had and followed you.” 

29 So he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left a house, wife or brothers or sisters, parents or children because of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more at this time, and eternal life in the age to come.” 

THE THIRD PREDICTION OF HIS DEATH

31 Then he took the Twelve aside and told them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. Everything that is written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For he will be handed over to the Gentiles, and he will be mocked, insulted, spit on; 33 and after they flog him, they will kill him, and he will rise on the third day.”

34 They understood none of these things. The meaning of the saying, was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

bookmark_borderMay 27, 2020

Psalm 70 (CSB)

Psalm 70

A CALL FOR DELIVERANCE

For the choir director. Of David. To bring remembrance. 

God, hurry to rescue me. 

Lord, hurry to help me! 

Let those who seek to kill me 

be disgraced and confounded; 

let those who wish me harm 

be turned back and humiliated. 

Let those who say, “Aha, aha!” 

retreat because of their shame. 

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

let those who love your salvation 

continually say, “God is great!” 

I am oppressed and needy; 

hurry to me, God. 

You are my help and my deliverer; 

Lord, do not delay.

Proverbs 13:19–22 (CSB)

19 Desire fulfilled is sweet to the taste, 

but to turn from evil is detestable to fools. 

20 The one who walks with the wise will become wise, 

but a companion of fools will suffer harm. 

21 Disaster pursues sinners, 

but good rewards the righteous. 

22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren, 

but the sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

Luke 17:11–18:14 (CSB)

TEN MEN HEALED

11 While traveling to Jerusalem, he passed between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with leprosy,met him. They stood at a distance 13 and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 

14 When he saw them, he told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were cleansed. 

15 But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. 16 He fell facedown at his feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan. 

17 Then Jesus said, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.”,

THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM

20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; 21 no one will say, ‘See here!’ or ‘There!’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

22 Then he told the disciples: “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you won’t see it. 23 They will say to you, ‘See there!’ or ‘See here!’ Don’t follow or run after them. 24 For as the lightning flashes from horizon to horizon and lights up the sky, so the Son of Man will be in his day. 25 But first it is necessary that he suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man: 27 People went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: People went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, a man on the housetop, whose belongings are in the house, must not come down to get them. Likewise the man who is in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to make his life secure, will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”

37 “Where, Lord?” they asked him. 

He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there also the vultures will be gathered.” 

THE PARABLE OF THE PERSISTENT WIDOW

18 Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up. “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect people. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 

“For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so that she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’ ” 

Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them? I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” 

THE PARABLE OF THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX COLLECTOR

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth, of everything I get.’ 

13 “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me,, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

bookmark_borderMay 26, 2020

Psalm 69 (CSB)

Psalm 69

A PLEA FOR RESCUE

For the choir director: according to “The Lilies.” Of David. 

Save me, God, 

for the water has risen to my neck. 

I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; 

I have come into deep water, 

and a flood sweeps over me. 

I am weary from my crying; 

my throat is parched. 

My eyes fail, looking for my God. 

Those who hate me without cause 

are more numerous than the hairs of my head; 

my deceitful enemies, who would destroy me, 

are powerful. 

Though I did not steal, I must repay. 

God, you know my foolishness, 

and my guilty acts are not hidden from you. 

Do not let those who put their hope in you 

be disgraced because of me, 

Lord God of Armies; 

do not let those who seek you 

be humiliated because of me, 

God of Israel. 

For I have endured insults because of you, 

and shame has covered my face. 

I have become a stranger to my brothers 

and a foreigner to my mother’s sons 

because zeal for your house has consumed me, 

and the insults of those who insult you 

have fallen on me. 

10 I mourned and fasted, 

but it brought me insults. 

11 I wore sackcloth as my clothing, 

and I was a joke to them. 

12 Those who sit at the city gate talk about me, 

and drunkards make up songs about me. 

13 But as for me, Lord, 

my prayer to you is for a time of favor. 

In your abundant, faithful love, God, 

answer me with your sure salvation. 

14 Rescue me from the miry mud; don’t let me sink. 

Let me be rescued from those who hate me 

and from the deep water. 

15 Don’t let the floodwaters sweep over me 

or the deep swallow me up; 

don’t let the Pit close its mouth over me. 

16 Answer me, Lord, 

for your faithful love is good. 

In keeping with your abundant compassion, 

turn to me. 

17 Don’t hide your face from your servant, 

for I am in distress. 

Answer me quickly! 

18 Come near to me and redeem me; 

ransom me because of my enemies. 

19 You know the insults I endure—

my shame and disgrace. 

You are aware of all my adversaries. 

20 Insults have broken my heart, 

and I am in despair. 

I waited for sympathy, 

but there was none; 

for comforters, but found no one. 

21 Instead, they gave me gall for my food, 

and for my thirst 

they gave me vinegar to drink. 

22 Let their table set before them be a snare, 

and let it be a trap for their allies. 

23 Let their eyes grow too dim to see, 

and let their hips continually quake. 

24 Pour out your rage on them, 

and let your burning anger overtake them. 

25 Make their fortification desolate; 

may no one live in their tents. 

26 For they persecute the one you struck 

and talk about the pain of those you wounded. 

27 Charge them with crime on top of crime; 

do not let them share in your righteousness. 

28 Let them be erased from the book of life 

and not be recorded with the righteous. 

29 But as for me—poor and in pain—

let your salvation protect me, God. 

30 I will praise God’s name with song 

and exalt him with thanksgiving. 

31 That will please the Lord more than an ox, 

more than a bull with horns and hooves. 

32 The humble will see it and rejoice. 

You who seek God, take heart! 

33 For the Lord listens to the needy 

and does not despise 

his own who are prisoners. 

34 Let heaven and earth praise him, 

the seas and everything that moves in them, 

35 for God will save Zion 

and build up the cities of Judah. 

They will live there and possess it. 

36 The descendants of his servants will inherit it, 

and those who love his name will live in it.

Proverbs 13:16–18 (CSB)

16 Every sensible person acts knowledgeably, 

but a fool displays his stupidity. 

17 A wicked envoy falls into trouble, 

but a trustworthy courier brings healing. 

18 Poverty and disgrace come to those 

who ignore discipline, 

but the one who accepts correction will be honored.

Luke 17:1–10 (CSB)

WARNINGS FROM JESUS

17 He said to his disciples, “Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” 

FAITH AND DUTY

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. 

“Which one of you having a servant tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did what was commanded?10 In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are worthless servants; we’ve only done our duty.’ ”

bookmark_borderMay 25, 2020

Proverbs 13:12–15 (CSB)

12 Hope delayed makes the heart sick, 

but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. 

13 The one who has contempt for instruction will pay the penalty, 

but the one who respects a command will be rewarded. 

14 A wise person’s instruction is a fountain of life, 

turning people away from the snares of death. 

15 Good sense wins favor, 

but the way of the treacherous never changes.

Luke 16:14–31 (CSB)

KINGDOM VALUES

14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and scoffing at him. 15 And he told them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly admired by people is revolting in God’s sight. 

16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urgently invited to enter it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the law to drop out. 

18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and everyone who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. 

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS

19 “There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day. 20 But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was lying at his gate. 21 He longed to be filled with what fell from the rich man’s table, but instead the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side., The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side. 24 ‘Father Abraham!’ he called out, ‘Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this flame!’ 

25 “ ‘Son,’ Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.’ 

27 “ ‘Father,’ he said, ‘then I beg you to send him to my father’s house—28 because I have five brothers—to warn them, so they won’t also come to this place of torment.’ 

29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 

30 “ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 

31 “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

bookmark_borderMay 22, 2020

Psalm 68 (CSB)

Psalm 68

GOD’S MAJESTIC POWER

For the choir director. A psalm of David. A song. 

God arises. His enemies scatter, 

and those who hate him flee from his presence. 

As smoke is blown away, 

so you blow them away. 

As wax melts before the fire, 

so the wicked are destroyed before God. 

But the righteous are glad; 

they rejoice before God and celebrate with joy. 

Sing to God! Sing praises to his name. 

Exalt him who rides on the clouds—

his name is the Lord—and celebrate before him. 

God in his holy dwelling is 

a father of the fatherless 

and a champion of widows. 

God provides homes for those who are deserted. 

He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, 

but the rebellious live in a scorched land. 

God, when you went out before your people, 

when you marched through the desert, 

Selah

the earth trembled and the skies poured rain 

before God, the God of Sinai, 

before God, the God of Israel. 

You, God, showered abundant rain; 

you revived your inheritance when it languished. 

10 Your people settled in it; 

God, you provided for the poor by your goodness. 

11 The Lord gave the command; 

a great company of women brought the good news: 

12 “The kings of the armies flee—they flee!” 

She who stays at home divides the spoil. 

13 While you lie among the sheep pens, 

the wings of a dove are covered with silver, 

and its feathers with glistening gold. 

14 When the Almighty scattered kings in the land, 

it snowed on Zalmon.,

15 Mount Bashan is God’s towering mountain; 

Mount Bashan is a mountain of many peaks. 

16 Why gaze with envy, you mountain peaks, 

at the mountain God desired for his abode? 

The Lord will dwell there forever! 

17 God’s chariots are tens of thousands, 

thousands and thousands; 

the Lord is among them in the sanctuary 

as he was at Sinai. 

18 You ascended to the heights, taking away captives; 

you received gifts from people, 

even from the rebellious, 

so that the Lord God might dwell there.,

19 Blessed be the Lord! 

Day after day he bears our burdens; 

God is our salvation. 

Selah

20 Our God is a God of salvation, 

and escape from death belongs to the Lord my Lord. 

21 Surely God crushes the heads of his enemies, 

the hairy brow of one who goes on in his guilty acts. 

22 The Lord said, “I will bring them back from Bashan; 

I will bring them back from the depths of the sea 

23 so that your foot may wade in blood 

and your dogs’ tongues may have their share 

from the enemies.” 

24 People have seen your procession, God, 

the procession of my God, 

my King, in the sanctuary. 

25 Singers lead the way, 

with musicians following; 

among them are young women 

playing tambourines. 

26 Bless God in the assemblies; 

bless the Lord from the fountain of Israel. 

27 There is Benjamin, the youngest, leading them, 

the rulers of Judah in their assembly, 

the rulers of Zebulun, the rulers of Naphtali. 

28 Your God has decreed your strength. 

Show your strength, God, 

you who have acted on our behalf. 

29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem, 

kings will bring tribute to you. 

30 Rebuke the beast in the reeds, 

the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. 

Trample underfoot those with bars of silver. 

Scatter the peoples who take pleasure in war. 

31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt; 

Cush will stretch out its hands to God. 

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; 

sing praise to the Lord, 

Selah

33 to him who rides in the ancient, highest heavens. 

Look, he thunders with his powerful voice! 

34 Ascribe power to God. 

His majesty is over Israel, 

his power is among the clouds. 

35 God, you are awe-inspiring in your sanctuaries. 

The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. 

Blessed be God!

Proverbs 13:9–11 (CSB)

The light of the righteous shines brightly, 

but the lamp of the wicked is put out. 

10 Arrogance leads to nothing but strife, 

but wisdom is gained by those who take advice. 

11 Wealth obtained by fraud will dwindle, 

but whoever earns it through labor will multiply it.

Luke 15:8–16:13 (CSB)

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN

“Or what woman who has ten silver coins,, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!’ 10 I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” 

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SON

11 He also said: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. 14 After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. 15 Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to eat his fill from the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one would give him anything. 17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired workers.” ’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 

22 “But the father told his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate. 

25 “Now his older son was in the field; as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he summoned one of the servants, questioning what these things meant. 27 ‘Your brother is here,’ he told him, ‘and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “Then he became angry and didn’t want to go in. So his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 But he replied to his father, ‘Look, I have been slaving many years for you, and I have never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ 

31 “ ‘Son,’ he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ” 

THE PARABLE OF THE DISHONEST MANAGER

16 Now he said to the disciples: “There was a rich man who received an accusation that his manager was squandering his possessions. So he called the manager in and asked, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you can no longer be my manager.’ 

“Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do since my master is taking the management away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig; I’m ashamed to beg. I know what I’ll do so that when I’m removed from management, people will welcome me into their homes.’ 

“So he summoned each one of his master’s debtors. ‘How much do you owe my master?’ he asked the first one. 

“ ‘A hundred measures of olive oil,’ he said. 

“ ‘Take your invoice,’ he told him, ‘sit down quickly, and write fifty.’ 

“Next he asked another, ‘How much do you owe?’ 

“ ‘A hundred measures of wheat,’ he said. 

“ ‘Take your invoice,’ he told him, ‘and write eighty.’ 

“The master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the children of this age are more shrewd than the children of light in dealing with their own people. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of worldly wealth, so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings. 10 Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. 11 So if you have not been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with what is genuine? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”