Thursday, December 7

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.

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Amos 4:6-13

6 “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
    and lack of bread in all your places,
    yet you did not return to me,”
    declares the Lord.
7 “I also withheld the rain from you
    when there were yet three months to the harvest;
    I would send rain on one city,
    and send no rain on another city;
    one field would have rain,
    and the field on which it did not rain would wither;
8 so two or three cities would wander to another city
    to drink water, and would not be satisfied;
    yet you did not return to me,”
    declares the Lord.
9 “I struck you with blight and mildew;
    your many gardens and your vineyards,
    your fig trees and your olive trees the locust devoured;
    yet you did not return to me,”
    declares the Lord.
10 “I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
    I killed your young men with the sword,
    and carried away your horses,
    and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
    yet you did not return to me,”
    declares the Lord.
11 “I overthrew some of you,
    as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
    and you were as a brand plucked out of the burning;
    yet you did not return to me,”
    declares the Lord.
12 “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
    because I will do this to you,
    prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
13 For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind,
    and declares to man what is his thought,
    who makes the morning darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth—
    the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

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2 Peter 3:11-18

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

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Matthew 21:33-46

33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

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English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.



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