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?

    • john 13:1-17

      1 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.


      6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

      7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

      8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

      Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

      9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

      10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

      12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

    • JOHN 18:1-19:42

      1 After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. 2 Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. 3 The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove. 4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. 5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said “I am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! 7 Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8 “I told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” 9 He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.” 10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”


      Jesus at the High Priest’s House

      12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they took him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”


      Peter’s First Denial

      15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus. 16 Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. 17 The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?” “No,” he said, “I am not.”

      18 Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.


      The High Priest Questions Jesus

      19 Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. 20 Jesus replied, “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple, where the people[e] gather. I have not spoken in secret. 21 Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said.”

      22 Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. “Is that the way to answer the high priest?” he demanded.

      23 Jesus replied, “If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth, why are you beating me?” 24 Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest.


      Peter’s Second and Third Denials

      25 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?”

      He denied it, saying, “No, I am not.” 26 But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?” 27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.


      Jesus’ Trial before Pilate

      28 Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor.[f] His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. 29 So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?” 30 “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted. 31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them.

      “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die.) 33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. 34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” 37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” 38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. 39 But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?” 40 But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)


      Jesus Sentenced to Death

      19 Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 2 The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. 3 “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” 6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.” 7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9 He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” 11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” 12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” 13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!” 15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. 16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.


      The Crucifixion

      So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth,[k] the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. 21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did. 25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.


      The Death of Jesus

      28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe.) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,”37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”


      The Burial of Jesus

      38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds[r] of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

    • GENESIS 1:1-19

      1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day. 6 Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” 7 And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. 8 God called the space “sky.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day. 9 Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day. 14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

    • 1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-58

      50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:


      “Death is swallowed up in victory.

      55 O death, where is your victory?

          O death, where is your sting?”

      56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 

      57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.


      58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

    • PSALM 118:1-2

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

          His faithful love endures forever.

      2 Let all Israel repeat:

          “His faithful love endures forever.”

    • MATTHEW 6:5-15

      Teaching about Prayer and Fasting

      5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this:


      Our Father in heaven,

          may your name be kept holy.

      10 May your Kingdom come soon.

      May your will be done on earth,

          as it is in heaven.

      11 Give us today the food we need,

      12 and forgive us our sins,

          as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

      13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,

          but rescue us from the evil one.

      14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    • PROVERBS 10:7-12

      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.

      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.

    • DANIEL 3:1-30

      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.”


      The Blazing Furnace

      19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.


      24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”


      “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.


      25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”


      26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”


      So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!


      28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”


      30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.

    • 1 JOHN 2:12-17

      12 I am writing to you who are God’s children

          because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.
      13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith
          because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
      I am writing to you who are young in the faith
          because you have won your battle with the evil one.
      14 I have written to you who are God’s children
          because you know the Father.
      I have written to you who are mature in the faith
          because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
      I have written to you who are young in the faith
          because you are strong.
      God’s word lives in your hearts,
          and you have won your battle with the evil one.

      Do Not Love This World
      15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

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    • PSALM 135

      1 Praise the name of the Lord!

          Praise him, you who serve the Lord,

      2 you who serve in the house of the Lord,

          in the courts of the house of our God.

      3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;

          celebrate his lovely name with music.

      4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,

          Israel for his own special treasure.

      5 I know the greatness of the Lord—

          that our Lord is greater than any other god.

      6 The Lord does whatever pleases him

          throughout all heaven and earth,

          and on the seas and in their depths.

      7 He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.

          He sends the lightning with the rain

          and releases the wind from his storehouses.

      8 He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home,

          both people and animals.

      9 He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt

          against Pharaoh and all his people.

      10 He struck down great nations

          and slaughtered mighty kings—

      11 Sihon king of the Amorites,

          Og king of Bashan,

          and all the kings of Canaan.

      12 He gave their land as an inheritance,

          a special possession to his people Israel.

      13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever;

          your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.

      14 For the Lord will give justice to his people

          and have compassion on his servants.

      15 The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold,

          shaped by human hands.

      16 They have mouths but cannot speak,

          and eyes but cannot see.

      17 They have ears but cannot hear,

          and mouths but cannot breathe.

      18 And those who make idols are just like them,

          as are all who trust in them.

      19 O Israel, praise the Lord!

          O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the Lord!

      20 O Levites, praise the Lord!

          All you who fear the Lord, praise the Lord!

      21 The Lord be praised from Zion,

          for he lives here in Jerusalem.

      Praise the Lord!

    • MATTHEW 6:19-34

      Teaching about Money and Possessions

      19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.


      22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!


      24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.


      25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?


      28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?


      31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.


      34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

    • PROVERBS 10:17-21

      17 People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life,

          but those who ignore correction will go astray.

      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.

    • JEREMIAH 30:1-11

      1 The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Write down for the record everything I have said to you, Jeremiah. 3 For the time is coming when I will restore the fortunes of my people of Israel and Judah. I will bring them home to this land that I gave to their ancestors, and they will possess it again. I, the Lord, have spoken!”


      4 This is the message the Lord gave concerning Israel and Judah. 5 This is what the Lord says:

      “I hear cries of fear;

          there is terror and no peace.

      6 Now let me ask you a question:

          Do men give birth to babies?

      Then why do they stand there, ashen-faced,

          hands pressed against their sides

          like a woman in labor?

      7 In all history there has never been such a time of terror.

          It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel.[a]

          Yet in the end they will be saved!

      8 For in that day,”

          says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

      “I will break the yoke from their necks

          and snap their chains.

      Foreigners will no longer be their masters.

      9     For my people will serve the Lord their God

      and their king descended from David—

          the king I will raise up for them.

      10 “So do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant;

          do not be dismayed, Israel,”

          says the Lord.

      “For I will bring you home again from distant lands,

          and your children will return from their exile.

      Israel will return to a life of peace and quiet,

          and no one will terrorize them.

      11 For I am with you and will save you,”

          says the Lord.

      “I will completely destroy the nations where I have scattered you,

          but I will not completely destroy you.

      I will discipline you, but with justice;

          I cannot let you go unpunished.”

    • 2 JOHN 1:1-6

      1 This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth— 2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. 3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.


      Live in the Truth

      4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded. 5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

    • PSALM 150

      1 Praise God in his sanctuary;

          praise him in his mighty heaven!

      2 Praise him for his mighty works;

          praise his unequaled greatness!

      3 Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;

          praise him with the lyre and harp!

      4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;

          praise him with strings and flutes!

      5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals;

          praise him with loud clanging cymbals.

      6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!

      Praise the Lord!

    • MATTHEW 7:1-12

      1 "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.


      3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.


      6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.


      Effective Prayer

      7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.


      9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.


      The Golden Rule

      12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

    • PROVERBS 11:24-28

      24 Give freely and become more wealthy;

          be stingy and lose everything.

      25 The generous will prosper;

          those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

      26 People curse those who hoard their grain,

          but they bless the one who sells in time of need.

      27 If you search for good, you will find favor;

          but if you search for evil, it will find you!

      28 Trust in your money and down you go!

          But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.

    • SAMUEL 16:1-13

      1 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”


      2 But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”


      “Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”


      4 So Samuel did as the Lord instructed. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town came trembling to meet him. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?”


      5 “Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too.


      6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”


      7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


      8 Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” 9 Next Jesse summoned Shimea,[a] but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” 10 In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”


      “There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”


      “Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”


      12 So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.


      And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”


      13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

    • REVELATION 7:13-17

      13 Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”


      14 And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”


      Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.


      15 “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne

          and serve him day and night in his Temple.

      And he who sits on the throne

          will give them shelter.

      16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty;

          they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.

      17 For the Lamb on the throne

          will be their Shepherd.

      He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.

          And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

    • PSALM 95

      1 Come, let us sing to the Lord!

          Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

      2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving.

          Let us sing psalms of praise to him.

      3 For the Lord is a great God,

          a great King above all gods.

      4 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth

          and the mightiest mountains.

      5 The sea belongs to him, for he made it.

          His hands formed the dry land, too.

      6 Come, let us worship and bow down.

          Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,

      7     for he is our God.

      We are the people he watches over,

          the flock under his care.

      If only you would listen to his voice today!

      8 The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,

          as they did at Massah in the wilderness.

      9 For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,

          even though they saw everything I did.

      10 For forty years I was angry with them, and I said,

      ‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me.

          They refuse to do what I tell them.’

      11 So in my anger I took an oath:

          ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”

    • MATTHEW 7:13-20

      The Narrow Gate

      13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.


      The Tree and Its Fruit

      15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

    • PROVERBS 12:8-11

      8 A sensible person wins admiration,

          but a warped mind is despised.

      9 Better to be an ordinary person with a servant

          than to be self-important but have no food.

      10 The godly care for their animals,

          but the wicked are always cruel.

      11 A hard worker has plenty of food,

          but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.