An Oracle Concerning Cush Watch video
Isaiah 18:1 1 Ah, land of whirring wings
that is beyond the rivers of Cush,
2 which sends ambassadors by the sea,
in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
Go, you swift messengers,
to a nation tall and smooth,
to a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide.
3 All you inhabitants of the world,
you who dwell on the earth,
when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
When a trumpet is blown, hear!
4 For thus the LORD said to me:
“ I will quietly look from my dwelling
like clear heat in sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
5 For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
6 They shall all of them be left
to the birds of prey of the mountains
and to the beasts of the earth.
And the birds of prey will summer on them,
and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.
7 At that time tribute will be brought to the LORD of hosts
from a people tall and smooth,
from a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide,
to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of hosts.
An Oracle concerning Egypt Watch videoIsaiah 19:1 An oracle concerning Egypt.
Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;
and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
2 And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
and they will fight, each against another
and each against his neighbor,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
3 and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
and I will confound their counsel;
and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,
and the mediums and the necromancers;
4 and I will give over the Egyptians
into the hand of a hard master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,
declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
5 And the waters of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will be dry and parched,
6 and its canals will become foul,
and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,
reeds and rushes will rot away.
7 There will be bare places by the Nile,
on the brink of the Nile,
and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,
will be driven away, and will be no more.
8 The fishermen will mourn and lament,
all who cast a hook in the Nile;
and they will languish
who spread nets on the water.
9 The workers in combed flax will be in despair,
and the weavers of white cotton.
10 Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,
and all who work for pay will be grieved.
11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am a son of the wise,
a son of ancient kings”?
12 Where then are your wise men?
Let them tell you
that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
those who are the cornerstones of her tribes
have made Egypt stagger.
14 The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,
and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,
as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15 And there will be nothing for Egypt
that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.
Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed
18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
A Sign Against Egypt and Cush Watch videoIsaiah 20:1 In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it— 2 at that time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3 Then the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush, 4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. 5 Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. 6 And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’ ”
Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon Watch videoIsaiah 21:1 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.
As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
it comes from the wilderness,
from a terrible land.
2 A stern vision is told to me;
the traitor betrays,
and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, O Elam;
lay siege, O Media;
all the sighing she has caused
I bring to an end.
3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
pangs have seized me,
like the pangs of a woman in labor;
I am bowed down so that I cannot hear;
I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
4 My heart staggers; horror has appalled me;
the twilight I longed for
has been turned for me into trembling.
5 They prepare the table,
they spread the rugs,
they eat, they drink.
Arise, O princes;
oil the shield!
6 For thus the Lord said to me:
“Go, set a watchman;
let him announce what he sees.
7 When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
let him listen diligently,
8 Then he who saw cried out:
“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
9 And behold, here come riders,
horsemen in pairs!”
And he answered,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
and all the carved images of her gods
he has shattered to the ground.”
10 O my threshed and winnowed one,
what I have heard from the LORD of hosts,
the God of Israel, I announce to you.
One is calling to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what time of the night?
Watchman, what time of the night?”
12 The watchman says:
“Morning comes, and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
come back again.”
In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge,
O caravans of Dedanites.
14 To the thirsty bring water;
meet the fugitive with bread,
O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15 For they have fled from the swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow,
and from the press of battle.
16 For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end; 17 and the remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.
An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem Watch videoIsaiah 22:1 The oracle concerning the valley of vision.
What do you mean that you have gone up,
all of you, to the housetops,
2 you who are full of shoutings,
tumultuous city, exultant town?
Your slain are not slain with the sword
or dead in battle.
3 All your leaders have fled together;
without the bow they were captured.
All of you who were found were captured,
though they had fled far away.
4 Therefore I said:
“Look away from me;
let me weep bitter tears;
do not labor to comfort me
concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
5 For the Lord GOD of hosts has a day
of tumult and trampling and confusion
in the valley of vision,
a battering down of walls
and a shouting to the mountains.
6 And Elam bore the quiver
with chariots and horsemen,
and Kir uncovered the shield.
7 Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
8 He has taken away the covering of Judah.
12 In that day the Lord GOD of hosts
called for weeping and mourning,
for baldness and wearing sackcloth;
13 and behold, joy and gladness,
killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
eating flesh and drinking wine.
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
14 The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
“Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
says the Lord GOD of hosts.
English Standard Version Bible with Apocrypha
What I'm Reading
Who Created God?
By J. Warner Wallace 9/20/2017
Richard Dawkins, the famous English evolutionary biologist and renowned atheist, revived an objection related to God’s existence in his book, The God Delusion. In the fourth chapter (Why There Almost Certainly Is No God), Dawkins wrote, “…the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable.” In essence, Dawkins offered a restatement of the classic question, “Who created God?” On its face, this seems to be a reasonable question. Christians, after all, claim God created everything we see in our universe (all space, time and matter); He is the cause of our caused cosmos. Skeptics fail to see this as a satisfactory explanation, however, because it seems to beg the question, “If God, created the universe, who (or what) created God?”
Part of the problem lies in the nature of the question itself. If I were to ask you, “What sound does silence make?” you’d start to appreciate the problem. This latter question is nonsensical because silence is “soundless”; silence is, by definition, “the lack of sound”. There’s something equally irrational about the question, “Who created God?” God is, by definition, eternal and uncreated. It is, therefore, illogical to ask, “Who created the uncreated Being we call God?” And, if you really think about it, the existence of an uncreated “first cause” is not altogether unreasonable:
It’s Reasonable to Believe The Universe Was Caused | Famed astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “The Cosmos is everything that ever was, is and will be.” If this is true, we are living in an infinitely old, uncaused universe that requires no first cause to explain its existence. But there are good scientific and philosophical reasons to believe the universe did, in fact, begin to exist. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, the expansion of the universe, the Radiation Echo, and the problem of Infinite Regress cumulatively point to a universe with a beginning. In the classic formulation of the Kalam cosmological argument: (1) whatever begins to exist has a cause, (2) the universe began to exist, therefore, (3) it is reasonable to believe the universe has a cause.
It’s Reasonable to Accept the Existence of An Uncaused “First Cause” | This “first cause” of the universe accounts for the beginning of all space, time and matter. It must, therefore, be non-spatial, a temporal and immaterial. Even more importantly, the first cause must be uncaused. If this was not true, the cause of the universe would not be the “first” cause at all. Theists and atheists alike are looking for the uncaused, first cause of the cosmos in order to avoid the irrational problem of an infinite regress of past causes and effects. It is, therefore, reasonable to accept the existence of an uncaused, first cause.
It’s Reasonable to Believe God Is the Uncaused, “First Cause” | Rationality dictates the ultimate cause of the universe, (even if it isn’t God), must have certain characteristics. In addition to being non-spatial, a temporal, immaterial and eternal (uncaused), it must also be powerful enough to bring everything into existence from nothing. Finally, there is good reason to believe the cause of the universe is personal. Impersonal forces cannot cause (or refuse to cause) at will. The minute an impersonal force exists, its effect is experienced. When the impersonal force of gravity is introduced into an environment, for example, its effect (the gravitational attraction) is felt immediately. If the cause of the universe is simply an impersonal force, its effect (the beginning of the universe) would occur simultaneous with its existence. In other words, the cause of the universe would only be as old as the universe itself. Yet we accept the reasonable existence of an uncaused first cause (one that is not finite like the universe it caused). For this reason, a personal force, capable of willing the beginning of the universe, is the best explanation for the first cause of the cosmos. This cause can be reasonably described as non-spatial, a temporal, immaterial, eternal, all-powerful and personal: descriptive characteristics commonly reserved for the Being we identify as God.
J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of:
Who Knows the Moral Value of a Fetus? Well, I Do.
By Jennifer Hartline 9/17/2017
I lost a baby this week.
I was pregnant. A stunning, surprising, totally unexpected pregnancy. These things just don’t happen at my age, they said. That time in my life was ending, they said. I’m too old for this. The statistics were grim and the odds were not in our favor, they said. This little baby had the cards stacked against him from the start.
And yet … God gave us a new life. And we rejoiced in the gift.
I dreamt of little fingers and toes and that heavenly, intoxicating scent of a new baby’s head. I could already feel the warmth of a soft little body snuggling into my arms. These are the irresistible hopes that make the crushing nausea of early pregnancy worth enduring.
There was a beautiful, flickering little heartbeat. A miracle in the making, hidden away in darkness, yet flashing right there on the screen. Here I am! I’m alive!
The Simple Truth That Can End Abortion
By Michael Brown 9/13/2017
A radio host in Detroit told me he was shocked one day when a caller referred to his child as a “carbon unit.” Yes, a carbon unit. That’s how a dad talked about his own kid.
This is not much different than referring to a baby in the womb as a “mass of cells” or comparing it to a tumor that needs to be removed.
This is the very mentality that underlies the pro-abortion movement. That a child in the womb, growing, developing, moving and kicking, looking more and more like mom or dad (or both) by the day, is not a human being. It is a thing, an appendage to be expelled if not wanted. As expressed by pro-abortion feminist Florence Thomas (speaking of her abortion in France in the mid-1960s), she felt “a relief. An immense relief. This tumor went away, disappeared. I could go back to living.”
If the fetus is nothing more than a mass of cells, a tumor, then the baby (or even the adult) is nothing more than a carbon unit.
NARAL Upset by People “Humanizing Fetuses” | In keeping with this mentality, NARAL (the National Abortion Rights Action League), took strong exception to a silly Doritos commercial during Super Bowl 50 (2016). In the commercial a pregnant woman gets an ultrasound with her husband present. He mindlessly munches Doritos — to his wife’s consternation. Then he dangles one near her belly. We’re led to assume that the baby made a premature exit from the womb, eager to grab that Doritos chip.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is a Senior Contributor to The Stream, and the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Breaking the Stronghold of Food. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.
He became a believer in Jesus 1971 as a sixteen year-old, heroin-shooting, LSD-using Jewish rock drummer. Since then, he has preached throughout America and around the world, bringing a message of repentance, revival, reformation, and cultural revolution. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a visiting or adjunct professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Denver Theological Seminary, the King’s Seminary, and Regent University School of Divinity, and he has contributed numerous articles to scholarly publications, including the Oxford Dictionary of Jewish Religion and the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament.
Dr. Brown is a national and international speaker on themes of spiritual renewal and cultural reformation, and he has debated Jewish rabbis, agnostic professors, and gay activists on radio, TV, and college campuses. He is widely considered to be the world’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist. He and his wife Nancy, who is also a Jewish believer in Jesus, have been married since 1976. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Dr. Michael Brown Books:
- 1 Breaking the Stronghold of Food: How We Conquered Food Addictions and Discovered a New Way of Living
- 2 Can You Be Gay and Christian?: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality
- 3 The Real Kosher Jesus: Revealing the Mysteries of the Hidden Messiah
- 4 In the Line of Fire: 70 Articles from the Front Lines of the Culture Wars
- 5 Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message
- 6 Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide
- 7 Our Hands Are Stained with Blood
- 8 Authentic Fire: A Response to John MacArthur's Strange Fire
- 9 Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: General and Historical Objections, Vol. 1
- 10 A Queer Thing Happened To America: And what a long, strange trip it's been
- 11 Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Messianic Prophecy Objections, Vol. 3
- 12 Go And Sin No More: A Call To Holiness
- 13 Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections Vol. 2
- 14 Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: New Testament Objections (Vol. 4)
- 15 Whatever Happened to the Power of God?/It's Time to Rock the Boat
- 16 The Grace Controversy: Answers to 12 Common Questions
- 17 60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices
- 18 Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus:Traditional Jewish Objections Vol 5
- 19 Israel's Divine Healer
- 20 Whatever Happened to the Power of God
- 21 A Time For Holy Fire: Preparing the Way for Divine Visitation
- 22 How Saved Are We?
- 23 Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation
- 24 Revolution in the Church: Challenging the Religious System with a Call for Radical Change
- 25 What Do Jewish People Think about Jesus?: And Other Questions Christians Ask about Jewish Beliefs, Practices, and History
- 26 From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire: America on the Edge of Revival
- 27 Revolution: Jesus' Call to Change the World
- 28 Let No One Deceive You
- 29 Revolution!: The Call to Holy War
- 30 It's Time to Rock the Boat
- 31 The End of the American Gospel Enterprise
- 32 Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message by Michael L. Brown (2014-01-07)
- 33 The Revival Answer Book
River Of Time
By Ryan Nicholson
This summer, I had the privilege of taking my family to the great northwest. I grew up in Washington state, but moved to Southern California when I was a teenager. I now have three children of my own, Autumn 14, and my two-year old twins Connor and Heidi. My wife and I vacation just outside of Portland, Oregon every year to visit my parents, but this year we did a little more sightseeing than normal. Ryan Nicholson is a follower of Jesus Christ and is married to Crystal. They have three children; Autumn, Connor and Heidi. Ryan is a District Manager for Pepsico.
The day after we arrived in Portland, we headed to a little town called Leavenworth, Washington. I grew up not 30 minutes from there, and spent many a summer playing in the Icicle River that flow behind the quaint Bavarian-style village. Nestled in the mountains, Leavenworth is a picturesque town that I told my wife about on many occasions, and this was the summer my stories became a reality for the rest of my family.
We met up with some close family friends for dinner, and walked around the town, and the next day we headed off to the fabled Icicle River. The river that was so cold it would turn your feet into icicles upon entry. The river that held many of my childhood’s fondest memories. Memories of my parents, brothers, and our long lost dog, playing and being a family.
I was amazed how quickly the sights I saw over 20 years earlier became familiar, as if to have déjà vu with the exception I had family photos to prove this happened before. Following my parents down the winding, two-lane road, my wife by my side, and my children in the back, I was overjoyed to be able to share a part of my past with them. My father turned into an area with easy access to the river, we parked, and we all walked down to the water’s edge.
My two-year old son took an instant liking to throwing rocks; the bigger the better. Albeit, they didn’t go very far. My daughters wanted to test the stories and brave their feet into the waters. With an instant shiver, they jumped out, my wife and parents laughing. My wife ventured out only to find the stories and our children’s reactions were true – the water is that cold.
My mother had a blast playing with the kids, and my father did what he did best and took pictures. “When you’re old and gray like I am, you will appreciate looking back at these pictures and sharing them with your children and grandchildren.” He always said. “So, take lots of pictures.” He would add. But the greatest picture I ever took was not with a camera, or a smartphone, but with the opening and shutting of my eyes, as the river’s waters passed by and reflected me holding my son. It was similar to a picture I took what seems a lifetime ago, where I was in the foreground and my loving father behind me. My life had come full circle, and the same water that painted a picture of a loving father keeping watch over his sons, had just snapped another.
The gravity of the moment didn’t hit me till the trip back home. The river of time stops for no man. Our individual experience with this ever flowing river varies and shapes us. But it isn’t so much the river that shapes our lives, as it is the One who made the river. For storms will come, and the waters will rise, but the One who said, “be still and know that I am God” will always be there for those who acknowledge Him.
That day, the river didn’t reflect what had been, but what was. A loving family, smiled upon by an all mighty, all powerful God, who decided take a picture. I pray twenty years from now, I get another opportunity to take a picture just as sweet, and a second chance to look up into the heavens and say, “thank you Lord for all you have done!”
Ryan Nicholson is a follower of Jesus Christ and is married to Crystal. They have three children; Autumn, Connor and Heidi. Ryan is a District Manager for Pepsico.
Devotionals, notes, poetry and more
Understanding Satan’s role (1)
(Sept 21) Bob Gass
(1 Jn 4:4) 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. ESV
Satan is a fallen angel who wasn’t satisfied to worship God; he wanted to occupy His throne. Angels, like humans, were made to serve and worship God. And they were given free will; otherwise, how could they worship? But Satan said, ‘I will make myself like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:14 NIV 2011 Edition). That got him evicted from heaven: ‘You are brought down…to the depths of the pit’ (Isaiah 14:15 NIV 2011 Edition). And Satan hasn’t changed. He’s as self-centred now as he was then, and he’s just as limited now as he was then. Even when his heart was good, he was inferior to God. God knows everything; angels only know what He reveals. God is everywhere; angels can only be in one place. God is all-powerful; angels are only as powerful as God allows them to be. So, Satan is still subservient to God. And every time he tries to advance his cause, he ends up advancing God’s cause. In The Serpent of Paradise, pastor and author Erwin Lutzer writes: ‘Satan has different roles to play, depending on God’s counsel and purposes… We must bear in mind that he does have frightful powers, but knowing that those can only be exercised under God’s discretion and pleasure, gives us hope. Satan is simply not free to wreak havoc on people at will.’ Satan doesn’t want you to know that; he’d rather you be deceived into thinking of him as an independent force with unlimited power. But he’s not. And he’d rather you’d never read these words: ‘God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil.’
UCB The Word For Today
by Bill Federer
On this day, September 21, 1924, America’s 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, addressed the Holy Name Society in Washington, D.C. He stated: “The worst evil that could be inflicted upon the youth… would be to leave them without restraint… at the mercy of their own uncontrolled inclinations. Under such conditions education would be impossible, and all orderly development… hopeless. I do not need to picture the result.” President Coolidge concluded: “It seems… perfectly plain that… the right to equality, liberty and property… have for their foundation reverence for God. If we could imagine that swept away… our American government could not long survive.”
by P.T. Forsyth, (1848-1921)
CHAPTER I / The Inwardness of Prayer
Prayer is not mere wishing. It is asking—with a will. Our will goes into it. It is energy. Orare est laborare. We turn to an active Giver; therefore we go into action. For we could not pray without knowing and meeting Him in kind. If God has a controversy with Israel, Israel must wrestle with God. Moreover, He is the Giver not only of the answer, but first of the prayer itself. His gift provokes ours. He beseeches us, which makes us beseech Him. And what we ask for chiefly is the power to ask more and to ask better. We pray for more prayer. The true “gift of prayer” is God’s grace before it is our facility.
Thus prayer is, for us, paradoxically, both a gift and a conquest, a grace and a duty. But does that not mean, is it not a special case of the truth, that all duty is a gift, every call on us a blessing, and that the task we often find a burden is really a boon? When we look up from under it it is a load, but those who look down to it from God’s side see it as a blessing. It is like great wings—they increase the weight but also the flight. If we have no duty to do God has shut Himself from us. To be denied duty is to be denied God. No cross no Christ. “When pain ends gain ends too.”
We are so egoistically engrossed about God’s giving of the answer that we forget His gift of the prayer itself. But it is not a question simply of willing to pray, but of accepting and using as God’s will the gift and the power to pray. In every act of prayer we have already begun to do God’s will, for which above all things we pray. The prayer within all prayer is “Thy will be done.” And has that petition not a special significance here? “My prayer is Thy Will. Thou didst create it in me. It is Thine more than mine. Perfect Thine own will”—all that is the paraphrase, from this viewpoint, of “Hear my prayer.” “The will to pray,” we say, “is Thy will. Let that be done both in my petition and in Thy perfecting of it.” The petition is half God’s will. It is God’s will inchoate. “Thy will” (in my prayer) “be done (in Thy answer). It is Thine both to will and to do. Thy will be done in heaven—in the answer, as it is done upon earth—in the asking.”
Prayer has its great end when it lifts us to be more conscious and more sure of the gift than the need, of the grace than the sin. As petition rises out of need or sin, in our first prayer it comes first; but it may fall into a subordinate place when, at the end and height of our worship, we are filled with the fullness of God. “In that day ye shall ask Me nothing.” Inward sorrow is fulfilled in the prayer of petition; inward joy in the prayer of thanksgiving. And this thought helps to deal with the question as to the hearing of prayer, and especially its answer. Or rather as to the place and kind of answer. We shall come one day to a heaven where we shall gratefully know that God’s great refusals were sometimes the true answers to our truest prayer. Our soul is fulfilled if our petition is not.
When we begin to pray we may catch and surprise ourselves in a position like this. We feel to be facing God from a position of independence. If He start from His end we do from ours. We are His vis-a-vis; He is ours. He is an object so far as we are concerned; and we are the like to Him. Of course, He is an object of worship. We do not start on equal terms, march up to Him, as it were, and put our case. We do more than approach Him erect, with courteous self-respect shining through our poverty. We bow down to Him. We worship. But still it is a voluntary, an independent, submission and tribute, so to say. It is a reverence which we make an offer. We present something which is ours to give. If we ask Him to give we feel that we begin the giving in our worship. We are outside each other; and we call, and He graciously comes.
--- Forsyth, P. T. (1848-1921).
The Soul of Prayer
Compiled by Richard S. Adams
Grace is the nourisher of optimism.
"It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace"
Grace is the secret energy of a fortified will.
--- John Henry Jowett
If you are always taking blessings to yourself
and never learn to pour out anything unto the Lord,
other people do not get their horizon enlarged
… through you.
--- Oswald Chambers
What is true religion? It is not the religion which contains most truth in the theological sense of the word. It is not the religion most truly thought out, not that which most closely fits with thought. It is religion which comes to itself most powerfully in prayer. It is the religion in which the soul becomes very sure of God and itself in prayer. Prayer contains the very heart and height of truth, …
--- Forsyth, P. T. (1848-1921).
The Soul of Prayer
Do we not realize that the basic condition for a spiritual walk is to fear our self and its wisdom and to rely absolutely upon the Spirit?
--- Watchman Nee
The Spiritual Man
... from here, there and everywhere
Thanks to Meir Yona
4. Now when hitherto the several parties in the city had been dashing one against another perpetually, this foreign war, now suddenly come upon them after a violent manner, put the first stop to their contentions one against another; and as the seditious now saw with astonishment the Romans pitching three several camps, they began to think of an awkward sort of concord, and said one to another, "What do we here, and what do we mean, when we suffer three fortified walls to be built to coop us in, that we shall not be able to breathe freely? while the enemy is securely building a kind of city in opposition to us, and while we sit still within our own walls, and become spectators only of what they are doing, with our hands idle, and our armor laid by, as if they were about somewhat that was for our good and advantage. We are, it seems, [so did they cry out,] only courageous against ourselves, while the Romans are likely to gain the city without bloodshed by our sedition." Thus did they encourage one another when they were gotten together, and took their armor immediately, and ran out upon the tenth legion, and fell upon the Romans with great eagerness, and with a prodigious shout, as they were fortifying their camp. These Romans were caught in different parties, and this in order to perform their several works, and on that account had in great measure laid aside their arms; for they thought the Jews would not have ventured to make a sally upon them; and had they been disposed so to do, they supposed their sedition would have distracted them. So they were put into disorder unexpectedly; when some of them left their works they were about, and immediately marched off, while many ran to their arms, but were smitten and slain before they could turn back upon the enemy. The Jews became still more and more in number, as encouraged by the good success of those that first made the attack; and while they had such good fortune, they seemed both to themselves and to the enemy to be many more than they really were. The disorderly way of their fighting at first put the Romans also to a stand, who had been constantly used to fight skillfully in good order, and with keeping their ranks, and obeying the orders that were given them; for which reason the Romans were caught unexpectedly, and were obliged to give way to the assaults that were made upon them. Now when these Romans were overtaken, and turned back upon the Jews, they put a stop to their career; yet when they did not take care enough of themselves through the vehemency of their pursuit, they were wounded by them; but as still more and more Jews sallied out of the city, the Romans were at length brought into confusion, and put to flight, and ran away from their camp. Nay, things looked as though the entire legion would have been in danger, unless Titus had been informed of the case they were in, and had sent them succors immediately. So he reproached them for their cowardice, and brought those back that were running away, and fell himself upon the Jews on their flank, with those select troops that were with him, and slew a considerable number, and wounded more of them, and put them all to flight, and made them run away hastily down the valley. Now as these Jews suffered greatly in the declivity of the valley, so when they were gotten over it, they turned about, and stood over against the Romans, having the valley between them, and there fought with them. Thus did they continue the fight till noon; but when it was already a little after noon, Titus set those that came to the assistance of the Romans with him, and those that belonged to the cohorts, to prevent the Jews from making any more sallies, and then sent the rest of the legion to the upper part of the mountain, to fortify their camp.
5. This march of the Romans seemed to the Jews to be a flight; and as the watchman who was placed upon the wall gave a signal by shaking his garment, there came out a fresh multitude of Jews, and that with such mighty violence, that one might compare it to the running of the most terrible wild beasts. To say the truth, none of those that opposed them could sustain the fury with which they made their attacks; but, as if they had been cast out of an engine, they brake the enemies' ranks to pieces, who were put to flight, and ran away to the mountain; none but Titus himself, and a few others with him, being left in the midst of the acclivity. Now these others, who were his friends, despised the danger they were in, and were ashamed to leave their general, earnestly exhorting him to give way to these Jews that are fond of dying, and not to run into such dangers before those that ought to stay before him; to consider what his fortune was, and not, by supplying the place of a common soldier, to venture to turn back upon the enemy so suddenly; and this because he was general in the war, and lord of the habitable earth, on whose preservation the public affairs do all depend. These persuasions Titus seemed not so much as to hear, but opposed those that ran upon him, and smote them on the face; and when he had forced them to go back, he slew them: he also fell upon great numbers as they marched down the hill, and thrust them forward; while those men were so amazed at his courage and his strength, that they could not fly directly to the city, but declined from him on both sides, and pressed after those that fled up the hill; yet did he still fall upon their flank, and put a stop to their fury. In the mean time, a disorder and a terror fell again upon those that were fortifying their camp at the top of the hill, upon their seeing those beneath them running away; insomuch that the whole legion was dispersed, while they thought that the sallies of the Jews upon them were plainly insupportable, and that Titus was himself put to flight; because they took it for granted, that, if he had staid, the rest would never have fled for it. Thus were they encompassed on every side by a kind of panic fear, and some dispersed themselves one way, and some another, till certain of them saw their general in the very midst of an action, and being under great concern for him, they loudly proclaimed the danger he was in to the entire legion; and now shame made them turn back, and they reproached one another that they did worse than run away, by deserting Caesar. So they used their utmost force against the Jews, and declining from the straight declivity, they drove them on heaps into the bottom of the valley. Then did the Jews turn about and fight them; but as they were themselves retiring, and now, because the Romans had the advantage of the ground, and were above the Jews, they drove them all into the valley. Titus also pressed upon those that were near him, and sent the legion again to fortify their camp; while he, and those that were with him before, opposed the enemy, and kept them from doing further mischief; insomuch that, if I may be allowed neither to add any thing out of flattery, nor to diminish any thing out of envy, but to speak the plain truth, Caesar did twice deliver that entire legion when it was in jeopardy, and gave them a quiet opportunity of fortifying their camp.
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)
by D.H. Stern
is a person who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
And now, saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb to be His servant. --- Isaiah 49:5.
The first thing that happens after we have realized our election to God in Christ Jesus is the destruction of our prejudices and our parochial notions and our patriotisms; we are turned into servants of God’s own purpose. The whole human race was created to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever. Sin has switched the human race on to another tack, but it has not altered God’s purpose in the tiniest degree; and when we are born again we are brought into the realization of God’s great purpose for the human race, viz., I am created for God, He made me. This realization of the election of God is the most joyful realization on earth, and we have to learn to rely on the tremendous creative purpose of God. The first thing God will do with us is to “force thro’ the channels of a single heart” the interests of the whole world. The love of God, the very nature of God, is introduced into us, and the nature of Almighty God is focused in John 3:16—“God so loved the world …”
We have to maintain our soul open to the fact of God’s creative purpose, and not muddle it with our own intentions. If we do, God will have to crush our intentions on one side however much it may hurt. The purpose for which the missionary is created is that he may be God’s servant, one in whom God is glorified. When once we realize that through the salvation of Jesus Christ we are made perfectly fit for God, we shall understand why Jesus Christ is so ruthless in His demands. He demands absolute rectitude from His servants, because He has put into them the very nature of God.
Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life.
My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition
the Poetry of RS Thomas
And one said, This man can sing;
Let's listen to him. But the other,
Dirt on his mind, said, No, let's
Queer him. And the first, being weak,
Consented. So the Thing came
Nearer him, and its breath caused
Him to retch, and none knew why.
But he rested for one long month,
And after began to sing
For gladness, and the Thing stood,
Letting him, for a year, for two;
Then put out its raw hand
And touched him, and the wound took
Over, and the nurses wiped off
The poetry from his cracked lips.
Selected poems, 1946-1968
As we read through the Deuteronomy narrative, the death of Moses may seem more tragic to us than it did to the Rabbis. After all, he had led the Israelites for forty years: Why should Moses, of all people, not have the opportunity to cross the Jordan and lead his people, triumphant, into the Promised Land? How could the Rabbis envision Moses dying an easy and enviable death on the east bank of the Jordan?
This Midrash is a classic example of “Rabbinic revisionist history.” The Rabbis who authored the various midrashim took an event from the Bible (or even from post-biblical history) and “rewrote” it to fit their understanding of God, the Jewish people, and history. Thus, the Hanukkah story was transformed by the Rabbis from the way it appears in the Books of the Maccabees—a military victory of a band of Judeans over the Seleucid forces—to a religious triumph of “the few over the many.” In the Talmud, the Rabbis leave out any mention of the armies (or, it’s more accurate to say that they expunged the battle story, for it was by conscious omission), instead highlighting the tale of the miraculous jar of oil that lasted eight days, an account not even mentioned in the Books of the Maccabees.
In our day and age, we rework Jewish history as well. Many people see the birth of the modern state of Israel as compensation for the horrors of the Holocaust. To a certain degree, the impetus for a Jewish state was strengthened by the Shoah. However, we should not forget that the process of creating a homeland was well underway before the Holocaust. Still, to understand the tragedy of European Jewry as the prelude to a modern Israel is a religious statement not unlike that of the Rabbis. We find comfort and consolation in this “final chapter”: The state of Israel, and the people living there, become, in the words of the prophet Zechariah, “a brand plucked from the fire.” God promised us this in the prophet’s day; we have seen it come true in our day.
The challenge to thinking, feeling Jews would appear to be twofold. First, we must understand history dispassionately and not be swayed by sentimentality or religious fervor. Second, taking our cue from the Rabbis, we must “rework” history so as to find meaning and inspiration from the past. Doing one without the other is either overly simplistic or blindingly dogmatic. Striving to read history both dispassionately and creatively is the truly Jewish way.
In Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, candy manufacturer Willy Wonka hides five golden tickets underneath the wrappers of five candy bars, which are then distributed around the world. The lucky people who find the golden tickets will win a tour of Wonka’s top-secret facility.
“He’s brilliant!” cried Grandpa Joe. “He’s a magician! Just imagine what will happen now! The whole world will be searching for those Golden Tickets! Everyone will be buying Wonka’s candy bars in the hope of finding one! He’ll sell more than ever before!”
Wonka was on to one of the great marketing strategies of the modern world: You can sell your simple, ordinary product by enticing people with great “giveaways.” Corn flakes aren’t something to get excited about, but if there’s a prize in the box, pretty soon the cereal is going to fly off the shelf. There are dozens of brands of cola, and many people can’t tell the difference between one and the other. But if you can win a million dollars by finding the right message under the bottle cap, then it’s clear which brand will sell the most.
Rabbi Levi was not working for an advertising firm on Madison Avenue, and he was certainly not interested in selling cereal or soda pop. Though the parable was about small change, the principle involved was of great significance. The question really being addressed was: How do we get people to do things that they don’t necessarily want to do?
Being a keen observer of human behavior, Rabbi Levi knew that it didn’t matter if the issue in question was trivial or important. A person’s health, or even his life, could be on the line; if he doesn’t want to go to the doctor, then all the appeals to logic, or reason, or good sense would fall on deaf ears. Government officials could bemoan the fact that half of the electorate doesn’t even turn out to vote, and could try to increase that number with patriotic appeals or with predictions about the collapse of democracy; if people don’t want to vote, they won’t.
Rabbi Levi’s answer to this dilemma was that you have to offer people a “golden ticket.” You have to find a way to make it worth their while. This answer is, to be honest, a bit disappointing. But it is also realistic. It should be enough for a man to say, “Please help!… I’ve dropped some money … I need a flashlight …” But it isn’t; nobody pays attention. However, if it turns out that there’s a piece of gold somewhere in the alley, then a crowd of people will suddenly materialize. Maybe they think they’ll find the prize and get to keep it; at the very least, a search for gold makes for good entertainment. Sadly, it’s not enough to know right from wrong; we also have to figure out how best to get people to do what’s right.
That means that parents and teachers, bosses and leaders must learn to think a little like advertising executives, pushing a product.
Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living
For the transgression of my people he was stricken.
--- Isaiah 53:8.
When your heart is thus established in Christ and you are an enemy of sin—out of love and not out of fear of punishment—Christ’s sufferings should also be an example for your whole life, and you should meditate on them in a different way. ( The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther Based on the Kaiser Chronological: Edition, With References to the Erlangen and Walch Editions, Vol. 11 (Classic Reprint) ) For until now we have considered Christ’s passion as a sacrament that works in us and we suffer; now we consider that we also work, namely thus: if a day of sorrow or sickness weighs you down, think how trifling that is compared with the thorns and nails of Christ. If you must do or leave undone what is distasteful to you, think how Christ was led here and there, bound and a captive. Does pride attack you? See how your Lord was mocked and disgraced with murderers. Do unchastity and lust thrust themselves against you? Think how bitter it was for Christ to have his tender flesh torn, pierced, and beaten again and again. Do hatred and envy war against you, or do you seek vengeance? Remember how Christ, with many tears and cries, prayed for you and all his enemies—he who indeed had more reason to seek revenge. If trouble or whatever adversity of body or soul afflict you, strengthen your heart and say, “Ah, why then shouldn’t I also suffer a little since my Lord sweat blood in the garden because of anxiety and grief?” That would be a lazy, disgraceful servant who would wish to lie in bed while the Lord was compelled to battle with the pangs of death.
See, you can thus find in Christ strength and comfort against all vice and bad habits. That is the right observance of Christ’s suffering, and that is the fruit of his suffering. And they are called true Christians who incorporate the life and name of Christ into their own lives, as Saint Paul says in Galatians 5:24: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” For Christ’s suffering must be dealt with not in words and a show but in our lives and in truth. Thus Hebrews 12:3: “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart”; and 1 Peter 4:1: “Since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude.”
--- Martin Luther
Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
Any One of Us
Young, athletic scholars often make the best missionaries, especially when, like John Coleridge Patteson, they abandon all for Christ. Patteson, great-nephew of poet Samuel T. Coleridge, was “finely educated” at Oxford where he excelled in sports, especially in rowing. Following graduation he became a curate of the Church of England and soon sailed to New Zealand to assist his missionary friend, Bishop George Selwyn.
Patteson conducted schools for Melanesian Christians, preached the Gospel, and translated the Scriptures. He spoke 23 dialects and translated the New Testament into local languages. In 1861 he was consecrated Bishop of Melanesia, and after 20 years, only 40 of the 800 natives on the chief island, Mota, remained unbaptized.
But European slave traders sullied the atmosphere by sailing among the islands, kidnapping native boys. In all, an estimated 70,000 young men were captured into servitude. Patteson fought the practice tooth and nail; but a fear of Europeans emerged among the islanders, and many held Patteson at arm’s length. Might he, too, be wanting their boys, not for the purposes of educating them, but for enslaving them?
On September 21, 1871 Patteson anchored alongside an island. He spoke to local schoolboys about Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He concluded, saying, “We are all Christians here on this ship. Any one of us might be asked to give up his life for God, just as Stephen was in the Bible. This might happen to any one of us, to you or to me. It might happen today.”
Patteson closed his Bible and went ashore. He was met by a barrage of arrows. Shortly, an unmanned canoe was found drifting in the water. It contained Patteson’s pierced body, covered by a palm with five knotted fronds, showing that Patteson’s life had been taken in exchange for five island boys who had been kidnapped. He was in his mid-forties. His death sparked such protest that South Pacific kidnapping was eventually ended; and his martyrdom inspired many young men who gave their lives to South Seas missionary work.
As Stephen was being stoned to death, he called out, “Lord Jesus, please welcome me!” He knelt down and shouted, “Lord, don’t blame them for what they have done.” Then he died.
--- Acts 7:59,60.
On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - September 21
"I will rejoice over them to do them good." --- Jeremiah 32:41.
How heart-cheering to the believer is the delight which God has in his saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness; and we fear that God’s people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities than admire our graces. But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: that as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delighteth in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars, but we do read that he delighteth in the habitable parts of the earth, and that his delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give his soul delight; nor doth he say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “Thou shalt be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delighteth in thee”; but he does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by his grace. In what strong language he expresses his delight in his people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, “He will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” As he looked upon the world he had made, he said, “It is very good”; but when he beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, his own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer, but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvellous declaration of his love, and sing, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation?”
Evening - September 21
“Gather not my soul with sinners.” --- Psalm 26:9.
Fear made David pray thus, for something whispered, “Perhaps, after all, thou mayst be gathered with the wicked.” That fear, although marred by unbelief, springs, in the main, from holy anxiety, arising from the recollection of past sin. Even the pardoned man will enquire, “What if at the end my sins should be remembered, and I should be left out of the catalogue of the saved?” He recollects his present unfruitfulness—so little grace, so little love, so little holiness, and looking forward to the future, he considers his weakness and the many temptations which beset him, and he fears that he may fall, and become a prey to the enemy. A sense of sin and present evil, and his prevailing corruptions, compel him to pray, in fear and trembling, “Gather not my soul with sinners.” Reader, if you have prayed this prayer, and if your character be rightly described in the Psalm from which it is taken, you need not be afraid that you shall be gathered with sinners. Have you the two virtues which David had—the outward walking in integrity, and the inward trusting in the Lord? Are you resting upon Christ’s sacrifice, and can you compass the altar of God with humble hope? If so, rest assured, with the wicked you never shall be gathered, for that calamity is impossible. The gathering at the judgment is like to like. “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” If, then, thou art like God’s people, thou shalt be with God’s people. You cannot be gathered with the wicked, for you are too dearly bought. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are his for ever, and where he is, there must his people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold thee! Heaven claims thee! Trust in thy Surety and fear not!
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE
Ray Palmer, 1808–1887
In whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in Him. (Ephesians 3:12 RSV)
“My Faith Looks Up to Thee” was written in 1832 by Ray Palmer, a 22-year-old school teacher. Several months after his graduation from Yale University and while still living with the family of the lady who directed the girls’ school where he taught, Palmer wrote the text for this hymn. He had experienced a very discouraging year in which he battled illness and loneliness.
The words for these stanzas were born out of my own soul with very little effort. I recall that I wrote the verses with tender emotion. There was not the slightest thought of writing for another eye, least of all writing a hymn for Christian worship. It is well-remembered that when writing the last line, “Oh, bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!” the thought of the whole work of redemption and salvation was involved in those words, and suggested the theme of eternal praises, and this brought me to a degree of emotion that brought abundant tears.
Two years later, while visiting in Boston, Palmer chanced to meet his friend, Lowell Mason, a well-known name in musical circles during this time. Upon seeing Ray Palmer’s text, Mason stated: “Palmer, you may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best-known to posterity as the author of ‘My Faith Looks Up to Thee’.” Lowell Mason composed a melody for this text, a tune which he called “Olivet” in reference to the hymn’s message. Soon the hymn appeared in its present form in a hymnal edited by Mason. And from that time on this musical expression has had an important place in nearly every hymnal that has been published:
My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine; now hear me when I pray, take all my sin away; O let me from this day be wholly Thine!
May Thy rich grace impart strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire; as Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee pure, warm and changeless be—a living fire!
While life’s dark maze I tread and griefs around me spread, be Thou my guide; bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away, nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.
When ends life’s transient dream, when death’s cold sullen stream shall o’er me roll, Blest Savior, then, in love, fear and distrust remove—O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul.
For Today: Psalm 118:8, 9; Romans 1:17; 5:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 12:9
Reflect on this statement—Faith is simply learning to say “Amen” (so be it!) to God. Express your faith by singing ---
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Thursday, September 21, 2017 | Holy Day
Years 1 & 2
On the same date: St. Matthew, Evening Prayer
Psalms Psalm 119:41–64
Old Testament Isaiah 8:11–20
New Testament Romans 10:1–15
Index of Readings
41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise.
42 Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me,
for I trust in your word.
43 Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your ordinances.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
45 I shall walk at liberty,
for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your decrees before kings,
and shall not be put to shame;
47 I find my delight in your commandments,
because I love them.
48 I revere your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.
49 Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my distress,
that your promise gives me life.
51 The arrogant utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your ordinances from of old,
I take comfort, O LORD.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
those who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs
wherever I make my home.
55 I remember your name in the night, O LORD,
and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me,
for I have kept your precepts.
57 The LORD is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.
58 I implore your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 When I think of your ways,
I turn my feet to your decrees;
60 I hurry and do not delay
to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you,
because of your righteous ordinances.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
64 The earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love;
teach me your statutes.
11 For the LORD spoke thus to me while his hand was strong upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread. 13 But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 He will become a sanctuary, a stone one strikes against; for both houses of Israel he will become a rock one stumbles over—a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. 17 I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18 See, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 Now if people say to you, “Consult the ghosts and the familiar spirits that chirp and mutter; should not a people consult their gods, the dead on behalf of the living, 20 for teaching and for instruction?” surely, those who speak like this will have no dawn!
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
5 Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?
“The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart”
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church
On The Same Day | Holy Day
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Years 1 & 2
On the same date: St. Matthew, Morning Prayer
Psalms Psalm 19, 112
Old Testament Job 28:12–28
New Testament Matthew 13:44–52
Index of Readings
Psalm 19, 112
To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the LORD are sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is pure,
the ordinances of the LORD are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
1 Praise the LORD!
Happy are those who fear the LORD,
who greatly delight in his commandments.
2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
they will be remembered forever.
7 They are not afraid of evil tidings;
their hearts are firm, secure in the LORD.
8 Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked see it and are angry;
they gnash their teeth and melt away;
the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.
12 “But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
13 Mortals do not know the way to it,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It cannot be gotten for gold,
and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The chrysolite of Ethiopia cannot compare with it,
nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20 “Where then does wisdom come from?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’
23 “God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth,
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight,
and apportioned out the waters by measure;
26 when he made a decree for the rain,
and a way for the thunderbolt;
27 then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to humankind,
‘Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church