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video     Isaiah 40     1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.

3  A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4  Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5  And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

The Word of God Stands Forever

6  A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7  The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8  The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

9  Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10  Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11  He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

12  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
13  Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD,
or what man shows him his counsel?
14  Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
15  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
16  Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17  All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18  To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
19  An idol! A craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
20  He who is too impoverished for an offering
chooses wood that will not rot;
he seeks out a skillful craftsman
to set up an idol that will not move.

21  Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23  who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24  Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25  To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26  Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
and because he is strong in power,
not one is missing.

27  Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28  Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29  He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30  Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31  but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Fear Not, for I Am with You

video     Isaiah 41     1 Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
let us together draw near for judgment.

2  Who stirred up one from the east
whom victory meets at every step?
He gives up nations before him,
so that he tramples kings underfoot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
like driven stubble with his bow.
3  He pursues them and passes on safely,
by paths his feet have not trod.
4  Who has performed and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the LORD, the first,
and with the last; I am he.

5  The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
the ends of the earth tremble;
they have drawn near and come.
6  Everyone helps his neighbor
and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
7  The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,
and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.

8  But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
9  you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
10  fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11  Behold, all who are incensed against you
shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
shall be as nothing and shall perish.
12  You shall seek those who contend with you,
but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
shall be as nothing at all.
13  For I, the LORD your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

14  Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15  Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
16  you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the LORD;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

17  When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18  I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
19  I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
20  that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21  Set forth your case, says the LORD;
bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
22  Let them bring them, and tell us
what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are,
that we may consider them,
that we may know their outcome;
or declare to us the things to come.
23  Tell us what is to come hereafter,
that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do harm,
that we may be dismayed and terrified.
24  Behold, you are nothing,
and your work is less than nothing;
an abomination is he who chooses you.

25  I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name;
he shall trample on rulers as on mortar,
as the potter treads clay.
26  Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know,
and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”?
There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed,
none who heard your words.
27  I was the first to say to Zion, “Behold, here they are!”
and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news.
28  But when I look, there is no one;
among these there is no counselor
who, when I ask, gives an answer.
29  Behold, they are all a delusion;
their works are nothing;
their metal images are empty wind.

The LORD’s Chosen Servant

video     Isaiah 42     1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2  He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3  a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4  He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.

5  Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6  “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7  to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8  I am the LORD; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
9  Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”

Sing to theLORD a New Song

10  Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
11  Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12  Let them give glory to the LORD,
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
13  The LORD goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
he cries out, he shouts aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.

14  For a long time I have held my peace;
I have kept still and restrained myself;
now I will cry out like a woman in labor;
I will gasp and pant.
15  I will lay waste mountains and hills,
and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn the rivers into islands,
and dry up the pools.
16  And I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.
17  They are turned back and utterly put to shame,
who trust in carved idols,
who say to metal images,
“You are our gods.”

Israel’s Failure to Hear and See

18  Hear, you deaf,
and look, you blind, that you may see!
19  Who is blind but my servant,
or deaf as my messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as my dedicated one,
or blind as the servant of the LORD?
20  He sees many things, but does not observe them;
his ears are open, but he does not hear.
21  The LORD was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,
to magnify his law and make it glorious.
22  But this is a people plundered and looted;
they are all of them trapped in holes
and hidden in prisons;
they have become plunder with none to rescue,
spoil with none to say, “Restore!”
23  Who among you will give ear to this,
will attend and listen for the time to come?
24  Who gave up Jacob to the looter,
and Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,
in whose ways they would not walk,
and whose law they would not obey?
25  So he poured on him the heat of his anger
and the might of battle;
it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;
it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.

Israel’s Only Savior

video     Isaiah 43     1 But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3  For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
4  Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
5  Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
6  I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
7  everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

8  Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
9  All the nations gather together,
and the peoples assemble.
Who among them can declare this,
and show us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,
and let them hear and say, It is true.
10  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
11  I, I am the LORD,
and besides me there is no savior.
12  I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and I am God.
13  Also henceforth I am he;
there is none who can deliver from my hand;
I work, and who can turn it back?”

14  Thus says the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and bring them all down as fugitives,
even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
15  I am the LORD, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your King.”

16  Thus says the LORD,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
17  who brings forth chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18  “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19  Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
20  The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21  the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.

22  “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23  You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,
or honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
or wearied you with frankincense.
24  You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins;
you have wearied me with your iniquities.

25  “I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
26  Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
27  Your first father sinned,
and your mediators transgressed against me.
28  Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,
and deliver Jacob to utter destruction
and Israel to reviling.

Israel the LORD’s Chosen

video     Isaiah 44     1 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
2  Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3  For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4  They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
5  This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
and name himself by the name of Israel.”

Besides Me There Is No God

6  Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7  Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
8  Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”

The Folly of Idolatry

     9 All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.

     12 The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

     18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

The LORD Redeems Israel

21  Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22  I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.

23  Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;
shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
and will be glorified in Israel.

24  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
25  who frustrates the signs of liars
and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,
26  who confirms the word of his servant
and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
and I will raise up their ruins’;
27  who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;
I will dry up your rivers’;
28  who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’ ”

English Standard Version Bible with Apocrypha

  • Buried Mark 15:42-47
  • Tomb Mark 16:1-8
  • Mark's End Mark 16:9-20

     Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     Celebrate yourself - God does!
     (Oct 5)    Bob Gass

     ‘He celebrates and sings because of you.’

(Zep 3:17) 17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. ESV

     Some of us think so little of ourselves that we’d rather be in a bad relationship than none at all. Being around people doesn’t guarantee you won’t feel lonely. Actually, being with the wrong people guarantees you’ll end up feeling empty and used. Until you overcome your fear of being alone and wait for God to give you the right relationships, you’ll continue to feel lonely. Sometimes loneliness is more about not liking yourself than about not having people around who like you. Otherwise, why would you spend so much energy avoiding rejection instead of building healthy relationships? Perhaps you think if you don’t get involved you won’t get hurt. Or you’re afraid to open up in case people criticise you for sharing anything personal. Such anxieties just contribute to your sense of isolation. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, ‘What you picture in your mind, your mind will go to work to accomplish. When you change your pictures, you automatically change your performance.’ So: 1) You need a true picture of how God sees you. Paul says, ‘Because of what Christ has done we have become gifts…God…delights in’ (Ephesians 1:11 TLB). Zephaniah writes, ‘He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.’ 2) You need a true picture of yourself. David said, ‘You…put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvellous!’ (Psalm 139:13-14 CEV). Having these two pictures clearly in mind stops you from operating with a devalued self-image, and enables you to ask for what you need in a relationship.

Jer 1-2
1 Thess 4

UCB The Word For Today

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     He entered Yale College at age 13 and graduated with honors. He became a pastor, and his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” started the Great Awakening, a revival that swept America, uniting the colonies prior to the Revolution. He became President of Yale College. His name was Jonathan Edwards, born this day, October 5, 1703. Jonathan married Sarah Pierrepont, and their descendants included: a U.S. Vice-President, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, and nearly 100 missionaries.

American Minute

The Soul of Prayer
     by P.T. Forsyth, (1848-1921)

     Truly the course of events has been the answer to this question easier than at first. We are driven by events to believe that a great moral blindness has befallen Germany; that its God, ceasing to be Christian, has become but Semitic; that it has lost the sense of the great imponderables; that the idolatry of the State has barrack-bound the conscience of the Church and stilled that witness of the kingdom of God which beards kings and even beheads them. We are forced to think that the cause of righteousness has passed from its hands with the passing from them of humanity, with the submersion of the idea of God’s kingdom in nationality or the cult of race, with the worship of force, mammon, fright, and ruthlessness, with the growth of national cynicism in moral things, and with the culture of a withering, self-searing hate which is the nemesis of mortal sin, and which even God cannot use as He can use anger, but must surely judge. This people has sinned against its own soul, and abjured the kingdom of God. That settles our prayer for victory. We must pray for the side more valuable for the kingdom of God—much as we have to confess.

     It would more than repay much calamity if we were moved and enlarged to a surer sense, a greater use, and a franker confession of the power of prayer for life, character, and history. There is plenty of discussion of the present situation, historic, ethical, or political, and much of it is competent, and even deep. There is much speculation about the situation after the War, at home and abroad. But its greatest result may be the discredit of elegant, paltering, and feeble types of religion, the end of the irreligious wits and fribbles, and the rise of a new moral seriousness and a new spiritual realism. Many will be moved, in what seems the failure of civilization, to a new reliance on the Church, and especially on the more historic, ethical, and positive Churches, which have survived the paganism of culture and which ride the waves of storm. Yet even these impressions can evaporate unless they are fixed by action. And the action that fixes them in their own kind is prayer—prayer which is really action. A religion of prosperity grows dainty, petty, sentimental, and but pseudo-heroic. We unlearn our fathers’ creed that religion is, above all things, an act, that worship is the greatest act of which man is capable, and that true worship culminates in the supreme labour, and even sorrow, of real prayer. This is man at his utmost; and it has for it near neighbours all the great things that men or nations do. But when a nation must go to righteous war it embarks on one of the very greatest acts of its life, especially if its very existence as a servant of God’s kingdom hang on it. A state of war is really the vast and prolonged act of a corporate soul, with a number of minor acts organized into it. It is capable of being offered to a God whose kingdom is a public campaign moving through history, and coming by the faith, toil, peril, sacrifice, grief, and glory of nations, as well as the hearts and souls. It is not possible to separate moral acts so great and solemn as the act of prayer (especially common and corporate prayer) and the act of war; nor to think them severed in the movement, judgment, and purpose of the Eternal. And we are forced into paradox again. The deeper we go down into the valley of decision the higher we must rise (if we are to possess and command our souls) into the mount of prayer, and we must hold up the hands of those whose chief concern is to prevail with God. If we win we shall have a new sense of power amid all our loss and weakness; but what we shall need most of all if the power to use that power, and to protest us from our victory and its perilous sequels, whether of pride or poverty. And if we do not win we shall need it more. There will be much to sober us either way, more perhaps than ever before in our history.

     But that is not all, and it is not enough. As Christian people we need something to sanctify that very sobering and to do for the new moral thoughtfulness itself what that does for the peace-bred levity of the natural man. For such a purpose there is no agent like prayer—serious, thinking, private prayer, or prayer in groups, in small, grave, congenial, understanding groups—prayer with the historic sense, church-nurtured and Bible-fed. Public prayer by all means, but, apart from liturgical form, the more open the occasions and the larger the company the more hard it may be to secure for such prayer the right circumstances or the right lead. Public facility is apt to outstrip the real intimacy and depth with God. While on the other hand, the prayer that freely rises and aptly flows in our audience of God may be paralyzed in an audience of men. So that public prayer does not always reflect the practice of private petition as the powerful factor it is in Christian life and history. It does not always suggest a door opened in heaven, the insight or fellowship of eternal yet historic powers in awful orbits. It does not always do justice to our best private prayer, to private prayer made a business and suffused with as much sacred mind as goes to the more secular side even of the Christian life. Should ministers enlist? it is asked. But to live in true and concrete prayer is to be a combatant in the War, as well as a statesman after it, if statesmen ought to see the whole range of forces at work. The saintly soldier still needs the soldier saint. Yet so much prayer has ceased to be a matter of thought, will, or conflict, and religion therefore has become so otiose, that it is not easy even for the Christian public to take such a saying as more than a phrase. This is but one expression of a general scepticism, both in the Church and out, about prayer, corporate or private, as power with God, and therefore as momentous in the affairs of life and history. But momentous and effectual it must be. Other things being equal, a voluntary and convinced army is worth more than a conscript one. So to know that we are morally right means worlds for our shaping of the things that face us and must be met; and we are never so morally right as in proficient prayer with the Holy One and the Just. It has, therefore, a vast effect on the course of things if we believe at all in their moral destiny. More is wrought by it than the too wise world wots; and all the more as it is the prayer of a great soul or a great Church. It is a power behind thrones, and it neutralizes, at the far end, the visible might of armies and their victories. It settles at last whether morality or machinery is to rule the world. If it lose battles, it wins in the long historic campaign. Whereas, if we have no such action with God, we lose delicacy of perception in the finer forces of affairs; we are out of touch and understanding with the final control in things, the power that is working to the top always; we become dense in regard to the subtle but supreme influences that take the generals and chancellors by surprise; and we are at the mercy of the sleepless action of the kingdom of evil on the world. It is a fatal thing to under estimate the enemy; and it is in Christian prayer, seriously and amply pursued, that the soul really learns to gauge evil’s awful and superhuman power in affairs. I am speaking not only of the single soul, perhaps at the moment not chiefly, but of the soul and prayer of a society like the true Church or a sobered people. The real power of prayer in history is not a fusillade of praying units of whom Christ is the chief, but it is the corporate action of a Saviour-Intercessor and His community, a volume and energy of prayer organized in a Holy Spirit and in the Church the Spirit creates. The saints shall thus judge the world and control life. Neither for the individual nor for the Church is true prayer an enclave in life’s larger and more actual course. It is not a sacred enclosure, a lodge in some vast wilderness. That is the weak side of pietism. But, however intimate, it is in the most organic and vital context of affairs, private and public, if all things work together, deeply and afar, for the deep and final kingdom of God. Its constant defeat of our egoism means the victory of our social unity and its weal. For the egoist neither prays nor loves. On the other hand, such prayer recalls us from a distraught altruism, teeming with oddities, and frayed down to atomism by the variety of calls upon it; because the prayer is the supreme energy of a loving will and believing soul engaged with the Love that binds the earth, the sun, and all the stars. So far it is from being the case that love to God has no sphere outside love to man that our love to man perishes unless it is fed by the love that spends itself on God in prayer, and is lifted thereby to a place and a sway not historic only, but cosmic.

--- Forsyth, P. T. (1848-1921).

The Soul of Prayer

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

Certain thoughts are prayers.
There are moments when,
whatever be the attitude of the body,
the soul is on its knees.
--- Victor Hugo

The higher goal of spiritual living
is not to amass a wealth of information,
but to face sacred moments.
--- Abraham Joshua Heschel

Those who deny freedom deserve it not for themselves; and under a just God, cannot long retain it.
--- Abraham Lincoln

... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     CHAPTER 11.

     How The Jews Were Crucified Before The Walls Of The City Concerning Antiochus Epiphanes; And How The Jews Overthrew The Banks That Had Been Raised By The Romans.

     1. So now Titus's banks were advanced a great way, notwithstanding his soldiers had been very much distressed from the wall. He then sent a party of horsemen, and ordered they should lay ambushes for those that went out into the valleys to gather food. Some of these were indeed fighting men, who were not contented with what they got by rapine; but the greater part of them were poor people, who were deterred from deserting by the concern they were under for their own relations; for they could not hope to escape away, together with their wives and children, without the knowledge of the seditious; nor could they think of leaving these relations to be slain by the robbers on their account; nay, the severity of the famine made them bold in thus going out; so nothing remained but that, when they were concealed from the robbers, they should be taken by the enemy; and when they were going to be taken, they were forced to defend themselves for fear of being punished; as after they had fought, they thought it too late to make any supplications for mercy; so they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more: yet it did not appear to be safe for him to let those that were taken by force go their way, and to set a guard over so many he saw would be to make such as great deal them useless to him. The main reason why he did not forbid that cruelty was this, that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight, out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies.

     2. But so far were the seditious from repenting at this sad sight, that, on the contrary, they made the rest of the multitude believe otherwise; for they brought the relations of those that had deserted upon the wall, with such of the populace as were very eager to go over upon the security offered them, and showed them what miseries those underwent who fled to the Romans; and told them that those who were caught were supplicants to them, and not such as were taken prisoners. This sight kept many of those within the city who were so eager to desert, till the truth was known; yet did some of them run away immediately as unto certain punishment, esteeming death from their enemies to be a quiet departure, if compared with that by famine. So Titus commanded that the hands of many of those that were caught should be cut off, that they might not be thought deserters, and might be credited on account of the calamity they were under, and sent them in to John and Simon, with this exhortation, that they would now at length leave off [their madness], and not force him to destroy the city, whereby they would have those advantages of repentance, even in their utmost distress, that they would preserve their own lives, and so find a city of their own, and that temple which was their peculiar. He then went round about the banks that were cast up, and hastened them, in order to show that his words should in no long time be followed by his deeds. In answer to which the seditious cast reproaches upon Caesar himself, and upon his father also, and cried out, with a loud voice, that they contemned death, and did well in preferring it before slavery; that they would do all the mischief to the Romans they could while they had breath in them; and that for their own city, since they were, as he said, to be destroyed, they had no concern about it, and that the world itself was a better temple to God than this. That yet this temple would be preserved by him that inhabited therein, whom they still had for their assistant in this war, and did therefore laugh at all his threatenings, which would come to nothing, because the conclusion of the whole depended upon God only. These words were mixed with reproaches, and with them they made a mighty clamor.

     3. In the mean time Antiochus Epiphanes came to the city, having with him a considerable number of other armed men, and a band called the Macedonian band about him, all of the same age, tall, and just past their childhood, armed, and instructed after the Macedonian manner, whence it was that they took that name. Yet were many of them unworthy of so famous a nation; for it had so happened, that the king of Commagene had flourished more than any other kings that were under the power of the Romans, till a change happened in his condition; and when he was become an old man, he declared plainly that we ought not to call any man happy before he is dead. But this son of his, who was then come thither before his father was decaying, said that he could not but wonder what made the Romans so tardy in making their attacks upon the wall. Now he was a warlike man, and naturally bold in exposing himself to dangers; he was also so strong a man, that his boldness seldom failed of having success. Upon this Titus smiled, and said he would share the pains of an attack with him. However, Antiochus went as he then was, and with his Macedonians made a sudden assault upon the wall; and, indeed, for his own part, his strength and skill were so great, that he guarded himself from the Jewish darts, and yet shot his darts at them, while yet the young men with him were almost all sorely galled; for they had so great a regard to the promises that had been made of their courage, that they would needs persevere in their fighting, and at length many of them retired, but not till they were wounded; and then they perceived that true Macedonians, if they were to be conquerors, must have Alexander's good fortune also.

          The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Flavius Josephus Translator: William Whiston

The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)

Proverbs 26:17
     by D.H. Stern

17     Like someone who grabs a dog by the ears
     is a passer-by who mixes in a fight not his own.

Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
My Utmost For The Highest
     A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers

                The bias of degeneration

     Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. ---
Romans 5:12.

     The Bible does not say that God punished the human race for one man’s sin; but that the disposition of sin, viz., my claim to my right to myself, entered into the human race by one man, and that another Man took on Him the sin of the human race and put it away (
Heb. 9:26)—an infinitely profounder revelation. The disposition of sin is not immorality and wrong-doing, but the disposition of self-realization—I am my own god. This disposition may work out in decorous morality or in indecorous immorality, but it has the one basis, my claim to my right to myself. When Our Lord faced men with all the forces of evil in them, and men who were clean living and moral and upright, He did not pay any attention to the moral degradation of the one or to the moral attainment of the other; He looked at something we do not see, viz., the disposition.

     Sin is a thing I am born with and I cannot touch it; God touches sin in Redemption. In the Cross of Jesus Christ God redeemed the whole human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a man responsible for having the heredity of sin. The condemnation is not that I am born with a heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to let Him do so, from that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation. “And this is the judgment” (the critical moment) “that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light.”

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

     the Poetry of R.S. Thomas


What to do? It's the old boredom
  Come again: indolent grass,
  Wind creasing the water
  Hardly at all; a bird floating
  Round and round. For one hour
  I have known Eden, the still place
  We hunger for. My hand lay
  Innocent; the mind was idle.

Nothing has changed; the day goes on
  With its business, watching itself
  In a calm mirror. Yet I know now
  I am ready for the sly tone
  Of the serpent, ready to climb
  My branches after the same fruit.

Selected poems, 1946-1968

Two Isaiahs?
     Teaacher's Commentary

     Some argue that the second half of Isaiah was written by a person other than Isaiah the son of Amoz. There is a dramatic change in theme and emphasis. But the real reason for postulating two Isaiahs lays in the refusal of liberal scholars to accept the supernatural. Isaiah spoke of Babylon before that city was capital of a world power. He even named Cyrus, the Persian who overcame Babylon. Only God could have known ahead of time.

     Why do conservatives maintain the unity of this great book?

• The Jews treated this book as a unity and believed
     wrote it.
• New Testament writers who quote
Isaiah treat passages
     from the first and second halves the same.
• Jesus, given the “scroll of the Prophet
Isaiah” read from
61:1–2 (Luke 4:17–19).
• Similar passages occur in both parts of the book
1:15 with 59:3; 30:26 with 60:19).
• The book maintains a strong theological unity, and uses
     terms and names of God in both sections unique to
• Prophetic utterances often foretell distant events. The
     predictive elements in
Isaiah are in full harmony with
     the Bible’s general supernaturalism.
• The two-Isaiah theory was not introduced until the 18th
     century. It was offered by antisupernaturalists to explain
     away the predictive accuracy of the book. That view has
     no basis in history, nor is compelling evidence found in

     How good to know that in the Word of God we have revealed truth. The God who speaks through Isaiah was well able to tell the future then, and still speaks to us today.


     This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from Me there is no God. Who then is like Me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before Me what has happened since I established My ancient people, and what is yet to come—yes, let him foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.

Isaiah 40 we move into the second half of Isaiah, and immediately burst into a fresh and joyful world. A tone of optimism and celebration pervades these last chapters of the prophet’s work. We hear that tone in the very first words of Isaiah 40:

     In this half of
Isaiah the prophet seems to look back on judgment past. The prospect of terror is gone. Now comes the promised joy. Isaiah looks beyond even the Babylonian Captivity of Judah, still a hundred years in his future. There Isaiah sees Babylon’s power shattered by Cyrus of Persia (Isa. 45–46). He looks even beyond this to the restoration of all things. In prophetic vision Isaiah sees history’s end, when God will say to His redeemed people:

     Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.… To give drink to My people, My chosen, the people I formed for Myself that they may proclaim My praise.
Isaiah 43:18–21.

     In the new world, former things will not be remembered or come to mind. God will make all things new.
Isaiah 44:6–8.

The Teacher's Commentary

Take Heart
     October 5

     By the breath of God frost is given. --- Job 37:10. KJV

     The leaves are down. (500 selected sermons) The warmth has gone out of the air. The birds have winged southward. The landscape has been scarred by the autumnal equinox. Another element now comes to bless and adorn and instruct the world. It is the frost. The palaces of this king are far up in the Arctic, glittering winter palaces of ice, [and] from those hard, white, portals King Frost descends and waves his silvery scepter over our temperate zone. You already feel his breath in the night wind. By most considered an enemy, the frost is a friend, charged with lessons potent and tremendous.

     There are passages of Scripture that once were enigmas and impossible for you to understand, but the frosts of trouble after awhile exposed the full meaning to your soul. You said, “I do not see why David keeps rolling over in his Psalms the story of how he was pursued and persecuted.” He describes himself as surrounded by bees. You think, What an exaggeration for him to exclaim, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord” (
Ps. 130:1). There is so much lamentation in his writings you think he overdoes it. But after awhile the frost comes upon you in the shape of persecution, and you are pierced with censure, wounded with defamation, and stung with lies in swarms [that] are buzzing about your ears, and at last you understand what David meant.

     For a long while a disproportionate amount of the Bible seemed given to consolation. Why page after page and chapter after chapter taken up with comforts [and] consolations? The Book seems like an apothecary, one-half of the shelves occupied with soothing salves. But after a while, bankruptcy, sickness, and bereavement. Now the consolatory parts of the Bible do not seem disproportionate. You want something off almost all the shelves of that sacred dispensary. What has uncovered to you the usefulness of so much of the Bible that was hidden before? The frosts have been fulfilling their mission.

     Thank God for frosts. What helped make Milton the greatest of poets? The frost of blindness. What helped make Washington the greatest of generals? The frost of Valley Forge. Special trials fit for special work.

     Without complaint, take the hard knocks. It will not take long for God to make up to you in the next world for all you have suffered in this. Trouble comes for beneficial purpose, and on the coldest nights the aurora is brightest in the northern heavens.

--- T. DeWitt Talmage

Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers

On This Day   October 5
     Toothpicks & Oranges

     The Tower of London, sitting forbiddingly on the Thames, is a small village within impregnable walls. It has served as a palace, a fortress, and, more ominously, a prison. Here a young Catholic named John Gerard suffered for his faith during the reign of Protestant Queen Elizabeth I.

     He was a Jesuit priest, educated on the Continent, who began covertly performing priestly work in England at age 18, moving from place to place one step ahead of the law. He was eventually captured and taken to the Clink, a prison so infamous that its name lives to this day. For three years he was kept there, sometimes chained, often attempting to escape. Then he was moved to the Tower.

     One of the buildings there, the White Tower, contains a deep vault without windows or outer doors. There in the eerie glow of flickering torches, Gerard was hung by his hands for hours, day after day. When he fainted, he was revived and the torture reapplied. His arms swelled monstrously, his whole body throbbed, his bones screamed, and his hands became so damaged he couldn’t even feed himself.

     The torture was finally suspended for a while. The young priest did finger exercises, and within three weeks he could again feed himself. Soon he asked for oranges and toothpicks. The toothpicks became pens. Orange juice became ink, visible only when heated. Messages flew back and forth. A rope, a boat, and outside helpers were recruited. On October 5, 1597 Gerard climbed through a hole to the roof of Cradle Tower, threw a rope over the side, and slid down it, wincing as it mutilated his hands. Friends whisked him to a hiding place outside London.

     He was soon back at his clandestine priestly work, always a mere step from recapture. Finally it became untenable for him to stay in England, and he sadly slipped out of the country in the retinue of the Spanish and Dutch ambassadors. He labored in Rome until July 27, 1637, when he passed away at age 73. He is known today as one of an elite handful of people who outwitted the Tower of London.

     Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge.
--- Job 11:13-16.

On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - October 5

     “He arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights.” --- 1 Kings 19:8.

     All the strength supplied to us by our gracious God is meant for service, not for wantonness or boasting. When the prophet Elijah found the cake baked on the coals, and the cruse of water placed at his head, as he lay under the juniper tree, he was no gentleman to be gratified with dainty fare that he might stretch himself at his ease; far otherwise, he was commissioned to go forty days and forty nights in the strength of it, journeying towards Horeb, the mount of God. When the Master invited the disciples to “Come and dine” with him, after the feast was concluded he said to Peter, “Feed my sheep”; further adding, “Follow me.” Even thus it is with us; we eat the bread of heaven, that we may expend our strength in the Master’s service. We come to the passover, and eat of the paschal lamb with loins girt, and staff in hand, so as to start off at once when we have satisfied our hunger. Some Christians are for living on Christ, but are not so anxious to live for Christ. Earth should be a preparation for heaven; and heaven is the place where saints feast most and work most. They sit down at the table of our Lord, and they serve him day and night in his temple. They eat of heavenly food and render perfect service. Believer, in the strength you daily gain from Christ labour for him. Some of us have yet to learn much concerning the design of our Lord in giving us his grace. We are not to retain the precious grains of truth as the Egyptian mummy held the wheat for ages, without giving it an opportunity to grow: we must sow it and water it. Why does the Lord send down the rain upon the thirsty earth, and give the genial sunshine? Is it not that these may all help the fruits of the earth to yield food for man? Even so the Lord feeds and refreshes our souls that we may afterwards use our renewed strength in the promotion of his glory.

          Evening - October 5

     “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” --- Mark 16:16.

     Mr. MacDonald asked the inhabitants of the island of St. Kilda how a man must be saved. An old man replied, “We shall be saved if we repent, and forsake our sins, and turn to God.” “Yes,” said a middle-aged female, “and with a true heart too.” “Aye,” rejoined a third, “and with prayer”; and, added a fourth, “It must be the prayer of the heart.” “And we must be diligent too,” said a fifth, “in keeping the commandments.” Thus, each having contributed his mite, feeling that a very decent creed had been made up, they all looked and listened for the preacher’s approbation, but they had aroused his deepest pity. The carnal mind always maps out for itself a way in which self can work and become great, but the Lord’s way is quite the reverse. Believing and being baptized are no matters of merit to be gloried in—they are so simple that boasting is excluded, and free grace bears the palm. It may be that the reader is unsaved—what is the reason? Do you think the way of salvation as laid down in the text to be dubious? How can that be when God has pledged his own word for its certainty? Do you think it too easy? Why, then, do you not attend to it? Its ease leaves those without excuse who neglect it. To believe is simply to trust, to depend, to rely upon Christ Jesus. To be baptized is to submit to the ordinance which our Lord fulfilled at Jordan, to which the converted ones submitted at Pentecost, to which the jailer yielded obedience the very night of his conversion. The outward sign saves not, but it sets forth to us our death, burial, and resurrection with Jesus, and, like the Lord’s Supper, is not to be neglected. Reader, do you believe in Jesus? Then, dear friend, dismiss your fears, you shall be saved. Are you still an unbeliever, then remember there is but one door, and if you will not enter by it you will perish in your sins.

Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

Amazing Grace
     October 5


     Mary E. Maxwell, 20th century

     If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)

     A vessel He will make of you, if small or great, ’twill surely do—
     Great joy and peace will always fill the one who’s yielded to His will.
--- Unknown

     To be a channel of the purposes of God is the highest calling in life. Every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift for this work (1 Peter 4:10). When we use that gift, our own lives are blessed and enriched by God as we bless others. For instance, after a visit to a nursing home or an invalid person, we often come away spiritually rejuvenated. Ministering to the needs of others is one of the best remedies for self-centeredness and joyless living.

     Our ministry to others, however, is always based on what we have first received and experienced from God. We can never give out spiritual nourishment until we have first taken it in ourselves. Our experiences of suffering can be used to equip us to help others who suffer as we do. Difficulties can either make us bitter or they can fill us with a compassion and sensitivity for the hurts of others. People who are hurting can sense when we really understand and care for them in Christian love.

     Our Lord is seeking representatives who realize their insufficiencies but are willing to be a channel filled with His power and love. That’s the vessel He can use.

     How I praise Thee, precious Savior, that Thy love laid hold of me;
     Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me that I might Thy channel be.

     Emptied that thou shouldest fill me, a clean vessel in Thy hand,
     with no pow’r but as Thou givest graciously with each command.

     Witnessing Thy pow’r to save me, setting free from self and sin,
     Thou who boughtest to possess me, in Thy fullness, Lord, come in.

     Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit hearts that full surrender know,
     that the streams of living water from our inner man may flow.

     Chorus: Channels only, blessed Master—but with all Thy wondrous pow’r
     flowing thru us, thou canst use us ev’ry day and ev’ry hour.

     For Today: Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 4:1–7; Galatians 5:13; 2 Timothy 2:14–26; James 1:22

     Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your particular gift in channeling God’s love to others. Share an encouraging, comforting word with someone you know is hurting. Use this musical message to help ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Thursday, October 5, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 21, Thursday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 105:1–22
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 105:23–45
Old Testament     2 Kings 18:28–37
New Testament     1 Corinthians 9:1–15
Gospel     Matthew 7:22–29

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 105:1–22

1 O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Seek the LORD and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
5 Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,
6 O offspring of his servant Abraham,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

7 He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He is mindful of his covenant forever,
of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as your portion for an inheritance.”

12 When they were few in number,
of little account, and strangers in it,
13 wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
14 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
15 saying, “Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.”

16 When he summoned famine against the land,
and broke every staff of bread,
17 he had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 His feet were hurt with fetters,
his neck was put in a collar of iron;
19 until what he had said came to pass,
the word of the LORD kept testing him.
20 The king sent and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
21 He made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all his possessions,
22 to instruct his officials at his pleasure,
and to teach his elders wisdom.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 105:23–45

23 Then Israel came to Egypt;
Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.
24 And the LORD made his people very fruitful,
and made them stronger than their foes,
25 whose hearts he then turned to hate his people,
to deal craftily with his servants.

26 He sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron whom he had chosen.
27 They performed his signs among them,
and miracles in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and made the land dark;
they rebelled against his words.
29 He turned their waters into blood,
and caused their fish to die.
30 Their land swarmed with frogs,
even in the chambers of their kings.
31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
and gnats throughout their country.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
and lightning that flashed through their land.
33 He struck their vines and fig trees,
and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came,
and young locusts without number;
35 they devoured all the vegetation in their land,
and ate up the fruit of their ground.
36 He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
the first issue of all their strength.

37 Then he brought Israel out with silver and gold,
and there was no one among their tribes who stumbled.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed,
for dread of them had fallen upon it.
39 He spread a cloud for a covering,
and fire to give light by night.
40 They asked, and he brought quails,
and gave them food from heaven in abundance.
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed through the desert like a river.
42 For he remembered his holy promise,
and Abraham, his servant.

43 So he brought his people out with joy,
his chosen ones with singing.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations,
and they took possession of the wealth of the peoples,
45 that they might keep his statutes
and observe his laws.
Praise the LORD!

Old Testament
2 Kings 18:28–37

28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you rely on the LORD by saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then every one of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree, and drink water from your own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey, that you may live and not die. Do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, The LORD will deliver us. 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered its land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the countries have delivered their countries out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’ ”

36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 9:1–15

9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to our food and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who at any time pays the expenses for doing military service? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not get any of its milk?

8 Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law also say the same? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Or does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was indeed written for our sake, for whoever plows should plow in hope and whoever threshes should thresh in hope of a share in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we still more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is sacrificed on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this so that they may be applied in my case. Indeed, I would rather die than that—no one will deprive me of my ground for boasting!

Matthew 7:22–29

22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church

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Mark 8:22-26 Jesus vs Blindness
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Mark 9:2-8 The Unveiled Son
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Mark 9:9-13 When Does Elijah Come?
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Mark 9:14-29 All Things Possible
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Pt 1 Mark 10:1-12 Truth About Divorce
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Pt 2 Mark 10:1-12 Truth About Divorce
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Mark 10:13-16 Little Children
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Mark 10:17-22 Rich Young Ruler
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Mark 10:23-31 Spiritual Wealth
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Mark 10:32-34 Messianic Suffering
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Mark 10:35-45 Being a Slave
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Mark 10:46-52 Final Miracle of Mercy
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Mark 11:1-11 False Coronation of the True King
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Mark 11:12-21 Nothing but Leaves
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Mark 11:22-25 Necessities for Effective Prayer
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Mark 13:14-23 The Future Tribulation
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Mark 13:24-27 Coming in the Clouds
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Mark 14:3-16 Players in the Drama of the Cross 2
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Mark 14:17-26 The New Passover
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Mark 14:27-31 The Prophecy of Failure
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Mark 14:32-42 The Agony of the Cup
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Mark 14:43-52 Judas’s Betrayal
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Mark 14:53-65 Miscarriage of Justice
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Mark 14:66-72 Peter's Denial
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Mark 15:1-15 Pilate Before Jesus
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Mark 15:16-21 The Shameful Scorn
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Mark 15:22-32 Blasphemers
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Mark 15:33-41 God Visits Calvary
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