There are lots of ways to read the Bible, this is one way that we like to stop and reflect on scripture.


take 60 seconds (or more) in silent preparation for sacred reading


listen to the text by reading out loud slowly and repeat up to 3x if desired


reflect on - what word, words, phrase, or sentence speaks to you from the text, then write them down


pray as responding to the words, phrase, sentence that God has stirred within you


rest in the presence of God, allowing the words revealed to take root

  • PROVERBS 8:22-36

    22 “The Lord formed me from the beginning,

       before he created anything else.

    23 I was appointed in ages past,

       at the very first, before the earth began.

    24 I was born before the oceans were created,

       before the springs bubbled forth their waters.

    25 Before the mountains were formed,

       before the hills, I was born—

    26 before he had made the earth and fields

       and the first handfuls of soil.

    27 I was there when he established the heavens,

       when he drew the horizon on the oceans.

    28 I was there when he set the clouds above,

       when he established springs deep in the earth.

    29 I was there when he set the limits of the seas,

       so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.

    And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,

    30     I was the architect at his side.

    I was his constant delight,

       rejoicing always in his presence.

    31 And how happy I was with the world he created;

       how I rejoiced with the human family!

    32 “And so, my children,[a] listen to me,

       for all who follow my ways are joyful.

    33 Listen to my instruction and be wise.

       Don’t ignore it.

    34 Joyful are those who listen to me,

       watching for me daily at my gates,

       waiting for me outside my home!

    35 For whoever finds me finds life

       and receives favor from the Lord.

    36 But those who miss me injure themselves.

       All who hate me love death.”

  • EXODUS 28:29-30

    29 “In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece[a] over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the Lord.30 Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord.

  • TITUS 1:4-9

    4 I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share.

    May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.

    Titus’s Work in Crete

    5 I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you. 6 An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife,[a] and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. 7 A church leader[b] is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker,[c] violent, or dishonest with money.

    8 Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. 9 He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

  • PSALM 115

    1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us,

       but to your name goes all the glory

       for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

    2 Why let the nations say,

       “Where is their God?”

    3 Our God is in the heavens,

       and he does as he wishes.

    4 Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,

       shaped by human hands.

    5 They have mouths but cannot speak,

       and eyes but cannot see.

    6 They have ears but cannot hear,

       and noses but cannot smell.

    7 They have hands but cannot feel,

       and feet but cannot walk,

       and throats but cannot make a sound.

    8 And those who make idols are just like them,

       as are all who trust in them.

    9 O Israel, trust the Lord!

       He is your helper and your shield.

    10 O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the Lord!

       He is your helper and your shield.

    11 All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!

       He is your helper and your shield.

    12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us.

       He will bless the people of Israel

       and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

    13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,

       both great and lowly.

    14 May the Lord richly bless

       both you and your children.

    15 May you be blessed by the Lord,

       who made heaven and earth.

    16 The heavens belong to the Lord,

       but he has given the earth to all humanity.

    17 The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord,

       for they have gone into the silence of the grave.

    18 But we can praise the Lord

       both now and forever!

    Praise the Lord!

  • JOHN 6:30-58

    30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[a]”

    32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

    34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

    35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

    41 Then the people[b] began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

    43 But Jesus replied, “Stop complaining about what I said. 44 For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up. 45 As it is written in the Scriptures,[c] ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 (Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)

    47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

    52 Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.

    53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”

  • PROVERBS 9:1-6

    1 Wisdom has built her house;

       she has carved its seven columns.

    2 She has prepared a great banquet,

       mixed the wines, and set the table.

    3 She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.

       She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.

    4 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple.

       To those who lack good judgment, she says,

    5 “Come, eat my food,

       and drink the wine I have mixed.

    6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;

       learn to use good judgment.”

  • JOEL 2:18-20, 28-32

    The Lord’s Promise of Restoration

    18 Then the Lord will pity his people

       and jealously guard the honor of his land.

    19 The Lord will reply,

    “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil,

       enough to satisfy your needs.

    You will no longer be an object of mockery

       among the surrounding nations.

    20 I will drive away these armies from the north.

       I will send them into the parched wastelands.

    Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea,

       and those at the rear into the Mediterranean.[a]

    The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land.”

    Surely the Lord has done great things!

    The Lord’s Promise of His Spirit

    28 [a]“Then, after doing all those things,

       I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.

    Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

       Your old men will dream dreams,

       and your young men will see visions.

    29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit

       even on servants—men and women alike.

    30 And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth—

       blood and fire and columns of smoke.

    31 The sun will become dark,

       and the moon will turn blood red

       before that great and terrible[b] day of the Lord arrives.

    32 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord

       will be saved,

    for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape,

       just as the Lord has said.

    These will be among the survivors

       whom the Lord has called.

  • 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27

    One Body with Many Parts

    12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[a] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[b]

    14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

    18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

    22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

    27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

  • PSALM 104:24-35

    24 O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!

       In wisdom you have made them all.

       The earth is full of your creatures.

    25 Here is the ocean, vast and wide,

       teeming with life of every kind,

       both large and small.

    26 See the ships sailing along,

       and Leviathan,[a] which you made to play in the sea.

    27 They all depend on you

       to give them food as they need it.

    28 When you supply it, they gather it.

       You open your hand to feed them,

       and they are richly satisfied.

    29 But if you turn away from them, they panic.

       When you take away their breath,

       they die and turn again to dust.

    30 When you give them your breath,[b] life is created,

       and you renew the face of the earth.

    31 May the glory of the Lord continue forever!

       The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!

    32 The earth trembles at his glance;

       the mountains smoke at his touch.

    33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.

       I will praise my God to my last breath!

    34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,

       for I rejoice in the Lord.

    35 Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;

       let the wicked disappear forever.

    Let all that I am praise the Lord.

    Praise the Lord!

  • JOHN 6:60-71

    Many Disciples Desert Jesus

    60 Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”

    61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

    66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

    68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.[a]”

    70 Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.

  • PROVERBS 9:7-12

    7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.

       Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.

    8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;

       they will only hate you.

    But correct the wise,

       and they will love you.

    9 Instruct the wise,

       and they will be even wiser.

    Teach the righteous,

       and they will learn even more.

    10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.

       Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

    11 Wisdom will multiply your days

       and add years to your life.

    12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.

       If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

  • NUMBERS 9:15-23

    The Fiery Cloud

    15 On the day the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it.[a] But from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle looked like a pillar of fire. 16 This was the regular pattern—at night the cloud that covered the Tabernacle had the appearance of fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. 18 In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord’s command wherever he told them to go. Then they remained in their camp as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. 19 If the cloud remained over the Tabernacle for a long time, the Israelites stayed and performed their duty to the Lord. 20 Sometimes the cloud would stay over the Tabernacle for only a few days, so the people would stay for only a few days, as the Lord commanded. Then at the Lord’s command they would break camp and move on. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only overnight and lifted the next morning. But day or night, when the cloud lifted, the people broke camp and moved on. 22 Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. 23 So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.

  • 1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-5

    Paul’s Message of Wisdom

    2 When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.[b] 2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

  • PSALM 20

    For the choir director: A psalm of David.

    1 In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.

       May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.

    2 May he send you help from his sanctuary

       and strengthen you from Jerusalem.[a]

    3 May he remember all your gifts

       and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Interlude

    4 May he grant your heart’s desires

       and make all your plans succeed.

    5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory

       and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.

    May the Lord answer all your prayers.

    6 Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed king.

       He will answer him from his holy heaven

       and rescue him by his great power.

    7 Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,

       but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.

    8 Those nations will fall down and collapse,

       but we will rise up and stand firm.

    9 Give victory to our king, O Lord!

       Answer our cry for help.

  • JOHN 7:1-13

    Jesus and His Brothers

    7 After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. 2 But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, 3 and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! 4 You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

    6 Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime.7 The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.8 You go on. I’m not going[a] to this festival, because my time has not yet come.”9 After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.

    Jesus Teaches Openly at the Temple

    10 But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. 11 The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him. 12 There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, “He’s a good man,” but others said, “He’s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.” 13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.

  • PROVERBS 10:6-13

    6 The godly are showered with blessings;

       the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

    7 We have happy memories of the godly,

       but the name of a wicked person rots away.

    8 The wise are glad to be instructed,

       but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

    9 People with integrity walk safely,

       but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.

    10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble,

       but a bold reproof promotes peace.[a]

    11 The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;

       the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

    12 Hatred stirs up quarrels,

       but love makes up for all offenses.

    13 Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding,

       but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.

  • 1 SAMUEL 2:18-21

    18 But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the Lord. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest.[a] 19 Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice. 20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord.[b]” 21 And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

  • ACTS 15:1-21

    The Council at Jerusalem

    1 While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers[a]: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted.

    4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. 5 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”

    6 So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. 7 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers[b] with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

    12 Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

    13 When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me.14 Peter[c] has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. 15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written:

    16 ‘Afterward I will return

       and restore the fallen house[d] of David.

    I will rebuild its ruins

       and restore it,

    17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord,

       including the Gentiles—

       all those I have called to be mine.

    The Lord has spoken—

    18     he who made these things known so long ago.’[e]

    19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. 21 For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.”

  • PSALM 99

    The Lord is king!

       Let the nations tremble!

    He sits on his throne between the cherubim.

       Let the whole earth quake!

    2 The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,[a]

       exalted above all the nations.

    3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.

       Your name is holy!

    4 Mighty King, lover of justice,

       you have established fairness.

    You have acted with justice

       and righteousness throughout Israel.[b]

    5 Exalt the Lord our God!

       Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!

    6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests;

       Samuel also called on his name.

    They cried to the Lord for help,

       and he answered them.

    7 He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,

       and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.

    8 O Lord our God, you answered them.

       You were a forgiving God to them,

       but you punished them when they went wrong.

    9 Exalt the Lord our God,

       and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,

       for the Lord our God is holy!

  • JOHN 7:14-24

    14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people[a] were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked.

    16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. 19 Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.”

    20 The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?”

    21 Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. 22 But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23 For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

  • PROVERBS 10:18-21

    18 Hiding hatred makes you a liar;

       slandering others makes you a fool.

    19 Too much talk leads to sin.

       Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

    20 The words of the godly are like sterling silver;

       the heart of a fool is worthless.

    21 The words of the godly encourage many,

       but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

  • 1 Samuel 7:3-15

    3 Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord.

    5 Then Samuel told them, “Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.”

    6 So they gathered at Mizpah and, in a great ceremony, drew water from a well and poured it out before the Lord. They also went without food all day and confessed that they had sinned against the Lord. (It was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel’s judge.)

    7 When the Philistine rulers heard that Israel had gathered at Mizpah, they mobilized their army and advanced. The Israelites were badly frightened when they learned that the Philistines were approaching. 8 “Don’t stop pleading with the Lord our God to save us from the Philistines!” they begged Samuel. 9 So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered him.

    10 Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. But the Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them. 11 The men of Israel chased them from Mizpah to a place below Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way.

    12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and didn’t invade Israel again for some time. And throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the Lord’s powerful hand was raised against the Philistines.  14 The Israelite villages near Ekron and Gath that the Philistines had captured were restored to Israel, along with the rest of the territory that the Philistines had taken. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites in those days. 15 Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life.

  • Revelation 21:1-8

    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

    3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

    5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

    8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

  • Psalm 108

    1 My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! 2 Wake up, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. 3 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. 4 For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth. 6 Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power. 7 God has promised this by his holiness: “I will divide up Shechem with joy. I will measure out the valley of Succoth. 8 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh, too. Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors, and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings. 9 But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant, and I will wipe my feet on Edom and shout in triumph over Philistia.” 10 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will bring me victory over Edom? 11 Have you rejected us, O God? Will you no longer march with our armies? 12 Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. 13 With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.

  • John 7:25-32

    25 Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? 27 But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.”

    28 While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I’m not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him. 29 But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you.” 30 Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.

    31 Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”

    32 When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were whispering such things, they and the leading priests sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus.

  • Proverbs 10:27-32

    27 Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. 28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing 29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked. 30 The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land. 31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. 32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

  • 1 Samuel 13:23-14:23

    23 The pass at Micmash had meanwhile been secured by a contingent of the Philistine army. One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.” But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing.

    2 Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree at Migron. 3 Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the ephod, the priestly vest. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord who had served at Shiloh. No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp. 4 To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh. 5The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba. 6 “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

    7 “Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.”

    8 “All right, then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.”

    11 When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, “Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!” 12 Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!”

    “Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the Lordwill help us defeat them!”

    13 So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind them. 14 They killed some twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre.

    15 Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.

    Israel Defeats the Philistines

    16 Saul’s lookouts in Gibeah of Benjamin saw a strange sight—the vast army of Philistines began to melt away in every direction. 17 “Call the roll and find out who’s missing,” Saul ordered. And when they checked, they found that Jonathan and his armor bearer were gone.

    18 Then Saul shouted to Ahijah, “Bring the ephod here!” For at that time Ahijah was wearing the ephod in front of the Israelites. 19 But while Saul was talking to the priest, the confusion in the Philistine camp grew louder and louder. So Saul said to the priest, “Never mind; let’s get going!”

    20 Then Saul and all his men rushed out to the battle and found the Philistines killing each other. There was terrible confusion everywhere. 21 Even the Hebrews who had previously gone over to the Philistine army revolted and joined in with Saul, Jonathan, and the rest of the Israelites. 22 Likewise, the men of Israel who were hiding in the hill country of Ephraim joined the chase when they saw the Philistines running away. 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day, and the battle continued to rage even beyond Beth-aven.

  • Revelation 21:22-22:5

    22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

    3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

  • Psalm 53

    1 Only fools say in their hearts,

       “There is no God.”

    They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;

       not one of them does good!

    2 God looks down from heaven

       on the entire human race;

    he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,

       if anyone seeks God.

    3 But no, all have turned away;

       all have become corrupt.

    No one does good,

       not a single one!

    4 Will those who do evil never learn?

       They eat up my people like bread

       and wouldn’t think of praying to God.

    5 Terror will grip them,

       terror like they have never known before.

    God will scatter the bones of your enemies.

       You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

    6 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?

       When God restores his people,

       Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

  • John 7:33-52

    33 But Jesus told them, “I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me. 34 You will search for me but not find me. And you cannot go where I am going.”

    35 The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. “Where is he planning to go?” they asked. “Is he thinking of leaving the country and going to the Jews in other lands? Maybe he will even teach the Greeks! 36 What does he mean when he says, ‘You will search for me but not find me,’ and ‘You cannot go where I am going’?” 37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

    40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” 43 So the crowd was divided about him. 44 Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.

    45 When the Temple guards returned without having arrested Jesus, the leading priests and Pharisees demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”

    46 “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded.

    47 “Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked. 48 “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? 49 This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”

    50 Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. 51 “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked.

    52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes[f] from Galilee!”

  • Proverbs 11:1-3

    1 The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights. 2 Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 3 Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.