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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

Genesis 48:1) After this, Joseph was told, "Behold, your father is ill." So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2) And it was told to Jacob, "Your son Joseph has come to you." Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed. 3) And Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4) and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ 5) And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. 6) And the children that you fathered after them shall be yours. They shall be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7) As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)." 8) When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, "Who are these?" 9) Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given me here." And he said, "Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them." 10) Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11) And Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also." 12) Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13) And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him. 14) And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). 15) And he blessed Joseph and said,
"The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
16) the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."
17) When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18) And Joseph said to his father, "Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head." 19) But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations." 20) So he blessed them that day, saying,
"By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’"
Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21) Then Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22) Moreover, I have given to you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes

"Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate." (The Cost of Discipleship)

"When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh." (The Cost of Discipleship)

"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children."

"We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer."

"We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself."

"If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction."

"A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol"

"In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others." (Letters and Papers from Prison)

"Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him." (Letters and Papers from Prison)

"Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ." (The Cost of Discipleship)

"Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are." (The Cost of Discipleship)

"time is the most valuable thing that we have, because it is the most irrevocable." (Letters and Papers from Prison)

"I'm still discovering, right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing, we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God."

Joseph Interprets Two Prisoners' Dreams

Genesis 40:1) Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. 2) And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3) and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. 4) The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody. 5) And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. 6) When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. 7) So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, "Why are your faces downcast today?" 8) They said to him, "We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them." And Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me." 9) So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, "In my dream there was a vine before me, 10) and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11) Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand." 12) Then Joseph said to him, "This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13) In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 14) Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15) For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit." 16) When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, "I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17) and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head." 18) And Joseph answered and said, "This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19) In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you." 20) On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21) He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand. 22) But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23) Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Good Figs and the Bad Figs

Jeremiah 24:1) After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, together with the officials of Judah, the craftsmen, and the metal workers, and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me this vision: behold, two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. 2) One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. 3) And the Lord said to me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" I said, "Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten." 4) Then the word of the Lord came to me: 5) "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6) I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not uproot them. 7) I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. 8) "But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. 9) I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10) And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers."

Martin Luther on Death

What is our death but a night's sleep? For as through sleepy all weariness and faintness pass away and cease, and the powers of the spirit come back again, so that in the morning we arise fresh and strong and joyous; so at the Last Day we shall rise again as if we had only slept a night, and shall be fresh and strong.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2) a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3) a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4) a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5) a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6) a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7) a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8) a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

The Ten Commandments

Exodus20:1) And God spoke all these words, saying,
2) "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3) "You shall have no other gods before me.
4) "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5) You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6) but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7) "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9) Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10) but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12) "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13) "You shall not murder.
14) "You shall not commit adultery.
15) "You shall not steal.
16) "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17) "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."
18) Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19) and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." 20) Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin." 21) The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ask, Seek, Knock

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25) And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26) He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" 27) And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." 28) And he said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." 29) But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30) Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31) Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32) So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33) But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34) He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35) And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36) Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" 37) He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."

Jonah's Prayer

Jonah 2:1) Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2) saying,

"I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
3) For you cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
4) Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
5) The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
6) at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.
7) When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
8) Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
9) But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!"

10) And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Widow of Zarephath

1 Kings 17:8) Then the word of the Lord came to him {Elijah}, 9) "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you." 10) So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink." 11) And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." 12) And she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die." 13) And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14) For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’" 15) And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16) The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:1) Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2) And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. 3) And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4) And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5) He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6) And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7) The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. 8) He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9) If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us." 10) And the Philistine said, "I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together." 11) When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. 12) Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. 13) The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14) David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, 15) but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. 16) For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. 17)And Jesse said to David his son, "Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18)Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them." 19)Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20)And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21)And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22)And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23)As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. 24)All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25)And the men of Israel said, "Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father's house free in Israel." 26)And David said to the men who stood by him, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" 27)And the people answered him in the same way, "So shall it be done to the man who kills him." 28)Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, "Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle." 29)And David said, "What have I done now? Was it not but a word?" 30)And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before. 31)When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32)And David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." 33)And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth." 34)But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35)I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36)Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God." 37)And David said, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you!" 38)Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39)and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, "I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them." So David put them off. 40)Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. 41)And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42)And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43)And the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44)The Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field." 45)Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46)This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47)and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand." 48)When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49)And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 50)So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51)Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52)And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53)And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54)And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent. 55)As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is this youth?" And Abner said, "As your soul lives, O king, I do not know." 56)And the king said, "Inquire whose son the boy is." 57)And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58)And Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, young man?" And David answered, "I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the
words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from
the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

Psalm 18:1) I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2) The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3) I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
4) The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
5) the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6) In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7) Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8) Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9) He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10) He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11) He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12) Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
13) The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
14) And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15) Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16) He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
17) He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
18) They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
19) He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
20) The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21) For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22) For all his rules were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23) I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
24) So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25) With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26) with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27) For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28) For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
29) For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30) This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
31) For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32) the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
33) He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
34) He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35) You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
36) You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
37) I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38) I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
39) For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40) You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed.
41) They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42) I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
43) You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
44) As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
45) Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.
46) The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47) the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48) who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.
49) For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50) Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.

Let Your Glory Be over All the Earth

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.
Psalm 57:1) Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
2) I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3) He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
4) My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5) Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
6) They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7) My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8) Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9) I will give thanks to you,
O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10) For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
11) Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1) "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2) Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3) For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4) but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5) As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6) But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7) Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8) And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9) But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10) And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11) Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12) But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13) Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Sacrifices Pleasing to God

Hebrews 13:1) Let brotherly love continue. 2) Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3) Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4) Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5) Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 6) So we can confidently say,
"The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Burning Bush

Exodus 3:1) Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2) And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3) And Moses said, "I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned." 4) When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." 5) Then he said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." 6) And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 7) Then the Lord said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8) and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9) And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10) Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt." 11) But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" 12) He said, "But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain. 13) Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?" 14) God said to Moses, "I am who I am." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’" 15) God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16) Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17) and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey."’ 18) And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19) But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20) So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. 21) And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22) but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Salt and Light

Matthew 5:13) “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 14) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15) Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

To the Church in Laodicea

14) “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. 15) “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16) So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17) For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18) I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19) Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21) The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Ephesians 2:13