LECTIO DIVINA

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


READ THE SCRIPTURE

what is the text saying?


MEDITATE ON ITS MEANING FOR YOU

what jumps out to me personally?


PRAY, BASED ON YOUR MEDITATION

what do I say to the Lord?


CONTEMPLATE ON THE PRESENCE OF GOD

allow His Spirit to wash over you


WHAT ARE THE STEPS FORWARD?

what action plan do I plan to take?

    • exodus 16:31-35

      31 The Israelites called the food manna. It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers. 32 Then Moses said, "This is what the Lord has commanded: Fill a two-quart container with manna to preserve it for your descendants. Then later generations will be able to see the food I gave you in the wilderness when I set you free from Egypt." 33 Moses said to Aaron, "Get a jar and fill it with two quarts of manna. Then put it in a sacred place before the Lord to preserve it for all future generations." 34 Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it in the Ark of the Covenant -- in front of the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. 35 So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived at the land where they would settle. They ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

    • romans 16:17-20

      17 And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people's faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. 18 Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. 19 But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

    • psalm 106:1-12

      1 Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! 

         His faithful love endures forever.

      2 Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?

         Who can ever praise him enough?

      3 There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.

      4 Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people;

         come near and rescue me.

      5 Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones.

         Let me rejoice in the joy of your people;

         let me praise you with those who are your heritage.

      6 Like our ancestors, we have sinned. 

         We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly! 

      7 Our ancestors in Egypt

         were not impressed by the Lord's miraculous deeds.

         They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. 

          Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.

      8 Even so, he saved them ---

         to defend the honor of his name

         and to demonstrate his mighty power.

      9 He commanded the Red Sea to dry up.

         He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.

      10 So he rescued them from their enemies

         and redeemed them from their foes.

      11 Then the water returned and covered their enemies; 

         not one of them survived. 

      12 Then his people believed his promises.

         Then they sang his praise.

    • mark 9:30-50

      Jesus Again Predicts His Death


      30 Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn't want anyone to know he was there, 31 for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, "They Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead." 32 They didn't understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.


      The Greatest in the Kingdom


      33 After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, "What were you discussing out on the road?" 34 But they didn't answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and he said, "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

      36 Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me."


      Using the Name of Jesus


      38 John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn't in our group." 

      39 "Don't stop him!" Jesus said. "No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. 40 Anyone who is not against us is for us. 41 If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.

      42 "But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It's better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. 45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It's better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It's better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 'where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.'


      49 "For everyone will be tested with fire. 50 Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live

      in peace with each other."

    • proverbs 15:16-21

      16 Better to have little, with fear for the Lord,

         than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.

      17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love

         is better than steak with someone you hate.

      18 A hot-tempered person starts fights;

         a cool-tempered person stops them.

      19 A lazy person's way is blocked with briers,

         but the path of the upright is an open highway.

      20 Sensible children bring joy to their father;

         foolish children despise their mother.

      21 Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense;

         a sensible person stays on the right path.

    • JUDGES 14:1-20

      Samson's Riddle


      14 One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. 2 When he returned home, he told his father and mother, "A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me." 3 His father and mother objected. "Isn't there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry? they asked. "Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?" But Samson told his father, "Get her for me! She looks good to me." 4 His father and mother didn't realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time. 

      5 As Samson and his parents were going down to Timnah, a young lion suddenly attacked Samson near the vineyards of Timnah. 6 At that moment the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him, and he ripped the lion's jaws apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as if it were a young goat. But he didn't tell his father or mother about it. 7 When Samson arrived in Timnah, he talked with the woman and was very pleased with her. 

      8 Later, when he returned to Timnah for the wedding, he turned off the path to look at the carcass of the lion. And he found that a swarm of bees had made some honey in the carcass. 9 He scooped some of the honey into his hands and ate it along the way. He also gave some to his father and mother, and they ate it. But he didn't tell them he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion.

      10 As his father was making final arrangements for the marriage, Samson threw a party at Timnah, as was the custom for elite young men. 11 When the bride's parents saw him, they selected thirty young men from the town to be his companions. 

      12 Samson said to them, "Let me tell you a riddle. If you solve my riddle during these seven days of the celebration, I will give you thirty fine linen robes and thirty sets of festive clothing. 13 But if you can't solve it, then you must give me thirty fine linen robes and thirty sets of festive clothing." "All right," they agreed, "let's hear your riddle."

      14 So he said: "Out of the one who eats came something to eat; out of the strong came something sweet." Three days later they were still trying to figure it out. 15 On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, "Entice your husband to explain the riddle for us, or we will burn down your father's house with you in it. Did you invite us to this party just to make us poor?"

      16 So Samson's wife came to him in tears and said, "You don't love me; you hate me! You have given my people a riddle, but you haven't told me the answer." "I haven't even given the answer to my father or mother," he replied. "Why should I tell you?" 17 So she cried whenever she was with him and kept it up for the rest of the celebration. At last, on the seventh day he told her the answer because she was tormenting him with her nagging. Then she explained the riddle to the young me. 

      18 So before sunset on the seventh day, the men of the town came to Samson with their answer: "What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?"

      Samson replied, "If you hadn't plowed with my heifer, you wouldn't have solved my riddle!"

      19 Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. He went down to the town of Ashkelon, killed thirty men, took their belongings, and gave their clothing to the men who had solved his riddle. But Samson was furious about what had happened, and he went back home to live with his father and mother. 20 So his wife was given in marriage to the man who had been Samson's best man at the wedding. 

    • philippians 1:15-21

      15 It's true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn't matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Chris is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. 


      Paul's Life for Christ


      20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

    • psalm 42

      1 As the deer longs for streams of water, 

         so I long for you, O God.

      2 I thirst for God, the living God. 

         When can I go and stand before him?

      3 Day and night I have only tears for food, 

         while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,

         "Where is this God of yours?"

      4 My heart is breaking

         as I remember how it used to be:

         I walked among the crowds of worshippers,

         leading a great procession to the house of God

         singing for joy and giving thanks

         amid the sound of a great celebration! 

      5 Why am I discouraged?

         Why is my heart so sad?

         I will put my hope in God!

         I will praise him again ---

         my Savior and

      6 my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you -- even from

         distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan from the land of Mount Mizar.

      7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweet over me.

      8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me and through each night I sing

         Praying to God who gives me life.

      9 "O God my rock," I cry, "Why have you forgotten me?

         Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?"

      10 Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, "Where is this God of yours?"

      11 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?

         I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again --

         my Savior and my God! 

    • Mark 1:1-16

      1 Then Jesus left Capernaum and went down to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River. Once again crowds gathered around him, and as usual he was teaching them. 

      2 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?”

      3 Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?”

      4 “Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away."

      5 But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6 But ‘God made them male and female’[b] from the beginning of creation. 7 ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8 and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, 9 let no one split apart what God has joined together.” 10 Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again. 11 He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.”


      Jesus Blesses the Children

      13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

      14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

    • PROVERBS 15:22-33

      22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice;

          many advisers bring success.

      23 Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;

          it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

      24 The path of life leads upward for the wise;

          they leave the grave behind.

      25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud,

          but he protects the property of widows.

      26 The Lord detests evil plans,

          but he delights in pure words.

      27 Greed brings grief to the whole family,

          but those who hate bribes will live.

      28 The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;

          the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.

      29 The Lord is far from the wicked,

          but he hears the prayers of the righteous.

      30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;

          good news makes for good health.

      31 If you listen to constructive criticism,

          you will be at home among the wise.

      32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;

          but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

      33 Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom;

          humility precedes honor.

    • DEUTERONOMY 5:1-21

      1 Moses called all the people of Israel together and said, “Listen carefully, Israel. Hear the decrees and regulations I am giving you today, so you may learn them and obey them!

      2 “The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Mount Sinai. 3 The Lord did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today. 4 At the mountain the Lord spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. 5 I stood as an intermediary between you and the Lord, for you were afraid of the fire and did not want to approach the mountain. He spoke to me, and I passed his words on to you. This is what he said:

      6 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

      7 “You must not have any other god but me.

      8 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 9 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 10 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those[b] who love me and obey my commands.

      11 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

      12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your oxen and donkeys and other livestock, and any foreigners living among you. All your male and female servants must rest as you do. 15 Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out with his strong hand and powerful arm. That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day.

      16 “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

      17 “You must not murder.

      18 “You must not commit adultery.

      19 “You must not steal.

      20 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.

      21 “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.


    • CORINTHIANS 5:17-21

      17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!


      18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[a] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

    • PSALM 144

      1 Praise the Lord, who is my rock.

          He trains my hands for war

          and gives my fingers skill for battle.

      2 He is my loving ally and my fortress,

          my tower of safety, my rescuer.

      He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.

          He makes the nations submit to me.

      3 O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them,

          mere mortals that you should think about them?

      4 For they are like a breath of air;

          their days are like a passing shadow.

      5 Open the heavens, Lord, and come down.

          Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.

      6 Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies!

          Shoot your arrows and confuse them!

      7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me;

          rescue me from deep waters,

          from the power of my enemies.

      8 Their mouths are full of lies;

          they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

      9 I will sing a new song to you, O God!

          I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp.

      10 For you grant victory to kings!

          You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.

      11 Save me!

          Rescue me from the power of my enemies.

      Their mouths are full of lies;

          they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

      12 May our sons flourish in their youth

          like well-nurtured plants.

      May our daughters be like graceful pillars,

          carved to beautify a palace.

      13 May our barns be filled

          with crops of every kind.

      May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands,

          even tens of thousands,

      14 and may our oxen be loaded down with produce.

      May there be no enemy breaking through our walls,

          no going into captivity,

          no cries of alarm in our town squares.

      15 Yes, joyful are those who live like this!

          Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.


    • MARK 10:17-31

      The Rich Man

      17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

      18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’”

      20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

      21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

      22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

      23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard[b] to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

      26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.

      27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

      28 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.

      29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”

    • proverbs 16:1-3

      1 We can make our own plans,

          but the Lord gives the right answer.

      2 People may be pure in their own eyes,

          but the Lord examines their motives.

      3 Commit your actions to the Lord,

          and your plans will succeed.

    • exodus 19:7-25

      7 So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. 8 And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the Lord.

      9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you.”

      Moses told the Lord what the people had said. 10 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. 11 Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch. 12 Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death. 13 No hand may touch the person or animal that crosses the boundary; instead, stone them or shoot them with arrows. They must be put to death.’ However, when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, then the people may go up on the mountain.”

      14 So Moses went down to the people. He consecrated them for worship, and they washed their clothes. 15 He told them, “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”

      16 On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply. 20 The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.

      21 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to break through the boundaries to see the Lord, or they will die. 22 Even the priests who regularly come near to the Lord must purify themselves so that the Lord does not break out and destroy them.”

      23 “But Lord,” Moses protested, “the people cannot come up to Mount Sinai. You already warned us. You told me, ‘Mark off a boundary all around the mountain to set it apart as holy.’”

      24 But the Lord said, “Go down and bring Aaron back up with you. In the meantime, do not let the priests or the people break through to approach the Lord, or he will break out and destroy them.”

      25 So Moses went down to the people and told them what the Lord had said.

    • philippians 3:13-4:1

      13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

      15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

      17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

      4 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.

    • psalm 97

      1 The Lord is king!

          Let the earth rejoice!

          Let the farthest coastlands be glad.

      2 Dark clouds surround him.

          Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

      3 Fire spreads ahead of him

          and burns up all his foes.

      4 His lightning flashes out across the world.

          The earth sees and trembles.

      5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

          before the Lord of all the earth.

      6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;

          every nation sees his glory.

      7 Those who worship idols are disgraced—

          all who brag about their worthless gods—

          for every god must bow to him.

      8 Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced,

          and all the towns of Judah are glad

          because of your justice, O Lord!

      9 For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth;

          you are exalted far above all gods.

      10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!

          He protects the lives of his godly people

          and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

      11 Light shines on the godly,

          and joy on those whose hearts are right.

      12 May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord

          and praise his holy name!


    • mark 10:32-45

      Jesus Again Predicts His Death


      32 They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him. 33 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. 34 They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.”


      Jesus Teaches about Serving Others


      35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.”

      36 “What is your request?” he asked.

      37 They replied, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”

      38 But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?”

      39 “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

      Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering. 40 But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

      41 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    • proverbs 16:18-33

      18 Pride goes before destruction,

          and haughtiness before a fall.

      19 Better to live humbly with the poor

          than to share plunder with the proud.

      20 Those who listen to instruction will prosper;

          those who trust the Lord will be joyful.

      21 The wise are known for their understanding,

          and pleasant words are persuasive.

      22 Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it,

          but discipline is wasted on fools.

      23 From a wise mind comes wise speech;

          the words of the wise are persuasive.

      24 Kind words are like honey—

          sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

      25 There is a path before each person that seems right,

          but it ends in death.

      26 It is good for workers to have an appetite;

          an empty stomach drives them on.

      27 Scoundrels create trouble;

          their words are a destructive blaze.

      28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;

          gossip separates the best of friends.

      29 Violent people mislead their companions,

          leading them down a harmful path.

      30 With narrowed eyes, people plot evil;

          with a smirk, they plan their mischief.

      31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;

          it is gained by living a godly life.

      32 Better to be patient than powerful;

          better to have self-control than to conquer a city.

      33 We may throw the dice,

          but the Lord determines how they fall.

    • daniel 3:1-18

      1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then he sent messages to the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up. 3 So all these officials came and stood before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

      4 Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command! 5 When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. 6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

      7 So at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

      8 But some of the astrologers went to the king and informed on the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Long live the king! 10 You issued a decree requiring all the people to bow down and worship the gold statue when they hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments. 11 That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.”

      13 Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”

      16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

    • revelations 18:21-19:10

      21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a huge millstone. He threw it into the ocean and shouted,

      “Just like this, the great city Babylon

          will be thrown down with violence

          and will never be found again.

      22 The sound of harps, singers, flutes, and trumpets

          will never be heard in you again.

      No craftsmen and no trades

          will ever be found in you again.

      The sound of the mill

          will never be heard in you again.

      23 The light of a lamp

          will never shine in you again.

      The happy voices of brides and grooms

          will never be heard in you again.

      For your merchants were the greatest in the world,

          and you deceived the nations with your sorceries.

      24 In your streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people

          and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world.”

      Songs of Victory in Heaven

      19 After this, I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in heaven shouting,

      “Praise the Lord!

          Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.

      2 His judgments are true and just.

          He has punished the great prostitute

      who corrupted the earth with her immorality.

          He has avenged the murder of his servants.”

      3 And again their voices rang out:

      “Praise the Lord!

          The smoke from that city ascends forever and ever!”

      4 Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They cried out, “Amen! Praise the Lord!”

      5 And from the throne came a voice that said,

      “Praise our God,

          all his servants,

      all who fear him,

          from the least to the greatest.”

      6 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:

      “Praise the Lord!

          For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

      7 Let us be glad and rejoice,

          and let us give honor to him.

      For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,

          and his bride has prepared herself.

      8 She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”

          For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.

      9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”

      10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”


    • PSALM 63:1-8

      1 O God, you are my God;

          I earnestly search for you.

      My soul thirsts for you;

          my whole body longs for you

      in this parched and weary land

          where there is no water.

      2 I have seen you in your sanctuary

          and gazed upon your power and glory.

      3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;

          how I praise you!

      4 I will praise you as long as I live,

          lifting up my hands to you in prayer.

      5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.

          I will praise you with songs of joy.

      6 I lie awake thinking of you,

          meditating on you through the night.

      7 Because you are my helper,

          I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.

      8 I cling to you;

          your strong right hand holds me securely.


    • MARK 10:46-52

      Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

      46 Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

      48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

      But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

      49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

      So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” 50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

      51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

      “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

      52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.


    • PROVERBS 17:1-10

      1 Better a dry crust eaten in peace

          than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

      2 A wise servant will rule over the master’s disgraceful son

          and will share the inheritance of the master’s children.

      3 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,

          but the Lord tests the heart.

      4 Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;

          liars pay close attention to slander.

      5 Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;

          those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.

      6 Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;

          parents[a] are the pride of their children.

      7 Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool;

          even less are lies fitting for a ruler.

      8 A bribe is like a lucky charm;

          whoever gives one will prosper!

      9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,

          but dwelling on it separates close friends.

      10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding

          than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.