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Old Testament: Daniel 8–9

Daniel 8–9 (Listen)

Daniel's Vision of the Ram and the Goat

In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the citadel, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal. I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.

As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.

Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. 10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and someOr host, that is, some">1 of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. 11 It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. 12 And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression,Or in an act of rebellion">2 and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” 14 And he said to me,Hebrew; Septuagint, Theodotion, Vulgate to him">3 “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

The Interpretation of the Vision

15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” 17 So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.”

18 And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up. 19 He said, “Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end. 20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the goatOr the shaggy goat">4 is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king. 22 As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from hisTheodotion, Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew a">5 nation, but not with his power. 23 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24 His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand. 26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”

27 And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king's business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.

Daniel's Prayer for His People

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us,Or our judges who judged us">6 by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the LORD our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. 14 Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

16 “O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord,Hebrew for the Lord's sake">7 make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”

Gabriel Brings an Answer

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God, 21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.

The Seventy Weeks

24 “Seventy weeksOr sevens; also twice in verse 25 and once in verse 26">8 are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.Or thing, or one">9 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built againOr there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It shall be built again">10 with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. ItsOr His">11 end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,Or seven; twice in this verse">12 and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

Footnotes

[1] 8:10 Or host, that is, some
[2] 8:12 Or in an act of rebellion
[3] 8:14 Hebrew; Septuagint, Theodotion, Vulgate to him
[4] 8:21 Or the shaggy goat
[5] 8:22 Theodotion, Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew a
[6] 9:12 Or our judges who judged us
[7] 9:17 Hebrew for the Lord's sake
[8] 9:24 Or sevens; also twice in verse 25 and once in verse 26
[9] 9:24 Or thing, or one
[10] 9:25 Or there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It shall be built again
[11] 9:26 Or His
[12] 9:27 Or seven; twice in this verse

(ESV)

New Testament: John 8:11–59

John 8:11–59 (Listen)

11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

I Am the Light of the World

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the FatherSome manuscripts he">1 who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slaveFor the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 35">2 to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I Am

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’Some manuscripts your God">3 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”Some manuscripts has Abraham seen you?">4 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Footnotes

[1] 8:16 Some manuscripts he
[2] 8:34 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 35
[3] 8:54 Some manuscripts your God
[4] 8:57 Some manuscripts has Abraham seen you?

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 133

Psalm 133 (Listen)

When Brothers Dwell in Unity

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

133   Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!Or dwell together">1
  It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
  on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!
  It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion!
  For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
    life forevermore.

Footnotes

[1] 133:1 Or dwell together

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 29:24–25

Proverbs 29:24–25 (Listen)

24   The partner of a thief hates his own life;
    he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25   The fear of man lays a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Daniel 6–7

Daniel 6–7 (Listen)

Daniel and the Lions' Den

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

Then these high officials and satraps came by agreementOr came thronging; also verses 11, 15">1 to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declaredAramaic answered and said; also verse 20">2 to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

  for he is the living God,
    enduring forever;
  his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
    and his dominion shall be to the end.
27   He delivers and rescues;
    he works signs and wonders
    in heaven and on earth,
  he who has saved Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared,Aramaic answered and said">3 “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

“As I looked,

  thrones were placed,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
  his clothing was white as snow,
    and the hair of his head like pure wool;
  his throne was fiery flames;
    its wheels were burning fire.
10   A stream of fire issued
    and came out from before him;
  a thousand thousands served him,
    and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
  the court sat in judgment,
    and the books were opened.

11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

13 “I saw in the night visions,

  and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man,
  and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
14   And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
  that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
  his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
  and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel's Vision Interpreted

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within meAramaic within its sheath">4 was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. 16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

19 “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

  there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
    which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
  and it shall devour the whole earth,
    and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
24   As for the ten horns,
  out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
    and another shall arise after them;
  he shall be different from the former ones,
    and shall put down three kings.
25   He shall speak words against the Most High,
    and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
    and shall think to change the times and the law;
  and they shall be given into his hand
    for a time, times, and half a time.
26   But the court shall sit in judgment,
    and his dominion shall be taken away,
    to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
27   And the kingdom and the dominion
    and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
    shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
  his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
    and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’Or their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them">5

28 “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”

Footnotes

[1] 6:6 Or came thronging; also verses 11, 15
[2] 6:16 Aramaic answered and said; also verse 20
[3] 7:2 Aramaic answered and said
[4] 7:15 Aramaic within its sheath
[5] 7:27 Or their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them

(ESV)

New Testament: John 7:53–8:11

John 7:53–8:11 (Listen)

[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.]Some manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11; others add the passage here or after 7:36 or after 21:25 or after Luke 21:38, with variations in the text">1

The Woman Caught in Adultery

53 [[They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

Footnotes

[1] 7:53 Some manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11; others add the passage here or after 7:36 or after 21:25 or after Luke 21:38, with variations in the text

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 132

Psalm 132 (Listen)

The Lord Has Chosen Zion

A Song of Ascents.

132   Remember, O LORD, in David's favor,
    all the hardships he endured,
  how he swore to the LORD
    and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
  “I will not enter my house
    or get into my bed,
  I will not give sleep to my eyes
    or slumber to my eyelids,
  until I find a place for the LORD,
    a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
  Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
    we found it in the fields of Jaar.
  “Let us go to his dwelling place;
    let us worship at his footstool!”
  Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place,
    you and the ark of your might.
  Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
    and let your saints shout for joy.
10   For the sake of your servant David,
    do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
11   The LORD swore to David a sure oath
    from which he will not turn back:
  “One of the sons of your bodyHebrew of your fruit of the womb">1
    I will set on your throne.
12   If your sons keep my covenant
    and my testimonies that I shall teach them,
  their sons also forever
    shall sit on your throne.”
13   For the LORD has chosen Zion;
    he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14   “This is my resting place forever;
    here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15   I will abundantly bless her provisions;
    I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16   Her priests I will clothe with salvation,
    and her saints will shout for joy.
17   There I will make a horn to sprout for David;
    I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18   His enemies I will clothe with shame,
    but on him his crown will shine.”

Footnotes

[1] 132:11 Hebrew of your fruit of the womb

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 29:23

Proverbs 29:23 (Listen)

23   One's pride will bring him low,
    but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Daniel 4–5

Daniel 4–5 (Listen)

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.

  How great are his signs,
    how mighty his wonders!
  His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me. So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation. At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy godsOr Spirit of the holy God; also verses 9, 18">1—and I told him the dream, saying, “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. 10 The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. 17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’ 18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

Daniel Interprets the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! 20 The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 21 whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived—22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. 23 And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’ 24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 26 And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

Nebuchadnezzar's Humiliation

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Restored

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

  for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35   all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
    and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
    and among the inhabitants of the earth;
  and none can stay his hand
    or say to him, “What have you done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

The Handwriting on the Wall

King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his fatherOr predecessor; also verses 11, 13, 18">2 had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king's color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declaredAramaic answered and said; also verse 10">3 to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed.

10 The queen,Or queen mother; twice in this verse">4 because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods.Or Spirit of the holy God">5 In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, 12 because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”

Daniel Interprets the Handwriting

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. 14 I have heard of you that the spirit of the godsOr Spirit of God">6 is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter. 16 But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. 20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21 He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. 22 And you his son,Or successor">7 Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

24 “Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. 26 This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numberedMene sounds like the Aramaic for numbered">8 the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27 TEKEL, you have been weighedTekel sounds like the Aramaic for weighed">9 in the balances and found wanting; 28 PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”Peres (the singular of Parsin) sounds like the Aramaic for divided and for Persia">10

29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. 31  And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

Footnotes

[1] 4:8 Or Spirit of the holy God; also verses 9, 18
[2] 5:2 Or predecessor; also verses 11, 13, 18
[3] 5:7 Aramaic answered and said; also verse 10
[4] 5:10 Or queen mother; twice in this verse
[5] 5:11 Or Spirit of the holy God
[6] 5:14 Or Spirit of God
[7] 5:22 Or successor
[8] 5:26 Mene sounds like the Aramaic for numbered
[9] 5:27 Tekel sounds like the Aramaic for weighed
[10] 5:28 Peres (the singular of Parsin) sounds like the Aramaic for divided and for Persia

(ESV)

New Testament: John 7:1–52

John 7:1–52 (Listen)

Jesus at the Feast of Booths

After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the JewsOr Judeans; Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time">1 were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothersOr brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 10">2 said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am notSome manuscripts add yet">3 going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,Or this man knows his letters">4 when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God'sGreek his">5 will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Can This Be the Christ?

25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

Officers Sent to Arrest Jesus

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”

Rivers of Living Water

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, asOr let him come to me, and let him who believes in me drink. As">6 the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Division Among the People

40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Footnotes

[1] 7:1 Or Judeans; Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time
[2] 7:3 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 10
[3] 7:8 Some manuscripts add yet
[4] 7:15 Or this man knows his letters
[5] 7:17 Greek his
[6] 7:38 Or let him come to me, and let him who believes in me drink. As

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 131

Psalm 131 (Listen)

I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

131   O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
  I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
  But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.
  O Israel, hope in the LORD
    from this time forth and forevermore.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 29:21–22

Proverbs 29:21–22 (Listen)

21   Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
    will in the end find him his heir.The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain">1
22   A man of wrath stirs up strife,
    and one given to anger causes much transgression.

Footnotes

[1] 29:21 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain

(ESV)

Old Testament: Daniel 2–3

Daniel 2–3 (Listen)

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic,The text from this point to the end of chapter 7 is in Aramaic">1 “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.” The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm—if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king's demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declaredAramaic answered and said; also verse 26">2 to Arioch, the king's captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:

  “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    to whom belong wisdom and might.
21   He changes times and seasons;
    he removes kings and sets up kings;
  he gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22   he reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what is in the darkness,
    and the light dwells with him.
23   To you, O God of my fathers,
    I give thanks and praise,
  for you have given me wisdom and might,
    and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
    for you have made known to us the king's matter.”

24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.” 26 The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: 29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. 30 But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.

Daniel Interprets the Dream

31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage,Aramaic by the seed of men">3 but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

Daniel Is Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. 47 The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king's court.

Nebuchadnezzar's Golden Image

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubitsA cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters">4 and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

The Fiery Furnace

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declaredAramaic answered and said; also verses 24, 26">5 to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.Aramaic lacks well and good">6 But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.Or If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and out of your hand, O king">7 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics,The meaning of the Aramaic words rendered cloaks and tunics is uncertain; also verse 27">8 their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set asideAramaic and changed">9 the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Footnotes

[1] 2:4 The text from this point to the end of chapter 7 is in Aramaic
[2] 2:15 Aramaic answered and said; also verse 26
[3] 2:43 Aramaic by the seed of men
[4] 3:1 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[5] 3:9 Aramaic answered and said; also verses 24, 26
[6] 3:15 Aramaic lacks well and good
[7] 3:17 Or If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and out of your hand, O king
[8] 3:21 The meaning of the Aramaic words rendered cloaks and tunics is uncertain; also verse 27
[9] 3:28 Aramaic and changed

(ESV)

New Testament: John 6:22–71

John 6:22–71 (Listen)

I Am the Bread of Life

22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the breadGreek lacks the bread">1 the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 JesusGreek He">2 said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

The Words of Eternal Life

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

Footnotes

[1] 6:58 Greek lacks the bread
[2] 6:59 Greek He

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 130

Psalm 130 (Listen)

My Soul Waits for the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

130   Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
  Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
  If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
  But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.
  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
  my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.
  O Israel, hope in the LORD!
    For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
  And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 29:19–20

Proverbs 29:19–20 (Listen)

19   By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
    for though he understands, he will not respond.
20   Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Daniel 1

Daniel 1 (Listen)

Daniel Taken to Babylon

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal familyHebrew of the seed of the kingdom">1 and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

Daniel's Faithfulness

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. 16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17 As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Footnotes

[1] 1:3 Hebrew of the seed of the kingdom

(ESV)

New Testament: John 6:1–21

John 6:1–21 (Listen)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denariiA denarius was a day's wage for a laborer">1 worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Jesus Walks on Water

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,Greek twenty-five or thirty stadia; a stadion was about 607 feet or 185 meters">2 they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

Footnotes

[1] 6:7 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
[2] 6:19 Greek twenty-five or thirty stadia; a stadion was about 607 feet or 185 meters

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 129

Psalm 129 (Listen)

They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth

A Song of Ascents.

129   “GreatlyOr Often; also verse 2">1 have they afflicted me from my youth”—
    let Israel now say—
  “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,
    yet they have not prevailed against me.
  The plowers plowed upon my back;
    they made long their furrows.”
  The LORD is righteous;
    he has cut the cords of the wicked.
  May all who hate Zion
    be put to shame and turned backward!
  Let them be like the grass on the housetops,
    which withers before it grows up,
  with which the reaper does not fill his hand
    nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
  nor do those who pass by say,
    “The blessing of the LORD be upon you!
    We bless you in the name of the LORD!”

Footnotes

[1] 129:1 Or Often; also verse 2

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 29:18

Proverbs 29:18 (Listen)

18   Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,Or the people are discouraged">1
    but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Footnotes

[1] 29:18 Or the people are discouraged

(ESV)

NIV Daily Manna 

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

NIV Listen

Daily Light 

Morning: Psalm 27:14; Isaiah 35:3–4; Isaiah 41:10; Zephaniah 3:15; Zephaniah 3:17; Revelation 21:3–4

The Lord, is in your midst.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.—Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”—The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.—Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore.”

Psalm 27:14 (Listen)

14   Wait for the LORD;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the LORD!

(ESV)

Isaiah 35:3–4 (Listen)

  Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
  Say to those who have an anxious heart,
    “Be strong; fear not!
  Behold, your God
    will come with vengeance,
  with the recompense of God.
    He will come and save you.”

(ESV)

Isaiah 41:10 (Listen)

10   fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
  I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

(ESV)

Zephaniah 3:15 (Listen)

15   The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
    he has cleared away your enemies.
  The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
    you shall never again fear evil.

(ESV)

Zephaniah 3:17 (Listen)

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

(ESV)

Revelation 21:3–4 (Listen)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling placeOr tabernacle">1 of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,Some manuscripts peoples">2 and God himself will be with them as their God.Some manuscripts omit as their God">3 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Footnotes

[1] 21:3 Or tabernacle
[2] 21:3 Some manuscripts peoples
[3] 21:3 Some manuscripts omit as their God

(ESV)

Evening: Exodus 14:15; 1 Chronicles 19:13; Nehemiah 4:9; Isaiah 35:3–4; Hosea 6:3; Matthew 7:21; Matthew 26:41; John 7:17; Romans 12:11; 1 Corinthians 16:13

“Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.”

“Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”—And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”—“If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God.”—“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord.”

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”—Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.—Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!”

Exodus 14:15 (Listen)

15 The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.

(ESV)

1 Chronicles 19:13 (Listen)

13 Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.”

(ESV)

Nehemiah 4:9 (Listen)

And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

(ESV)

Isaiah 35:3–4 (Listen)

  Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
  Say to those who have an anxious heart,
    “Be strong; fear not!
  Behold, your God
    will come with vengeance,
  with the recompense of God.
    He will come and save you.”

(ESV)

Hosea 6:3 (Listen)

  Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
    his going out is sure as the dawn;
  he will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth.”

(ESV)

Matthew 7:21 (Listen)

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

(ESV)

Matthew 26:41 (Listen)

41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

(ESV)

John 7:17 (Listen)

17 If anyone's will is to do God'sGreek his">1 will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

Footnotes

[1] 7:17 Greek his

(ESV)

Romans 12:11 (Listen)

11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,Or fervent in the Spirit">1 serve the Lord.

Footnotes

[1] 12:11 Or fervent in the Spirit

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 16:13 (Listen)

13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

(ESV)

Morning: Matthew 18:6; Matthew 25:40; Romans 14:16; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 8:21; Galatians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 Peter 2:15; 1 Peter 4:15–16

So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.

Abstain from every form of evil.—We aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man.—For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.—But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.—“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”—“As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Matthew 18:6 (Listen)

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,Greek causes . . . to stumble; also verses 8, 9">1 it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Footnotes

[1] 18:6 Greek causes . . . to stumble; also verses 8, 9

(ESV)

Matthew 25:40 (Listen)

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,Or brothers and sisters">1 you did it to me.’

Footnotes

[1] 25:40 Or brothers and sisters

(ESV)

Romans 14:16 (Listen)

16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 8:9 (Listen)

But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

(ESV)

2 Corinthians 8:21 (Listen)

21 for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man.

(ESV)

Galatians 5:13 (Listen)

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

(ESV)

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (Listen)

22 Abstain from every form of evil.

(ESV)

1 Peter 2:15 (Listen)

15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

(ESV)

1 Peter 4:15–16 (Listen)

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

(ESV)

Evening: Isaiah 60:1–2; Luke 12:35–36; Romans 13:11; Ephesians 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:6–8; 1 Peter 1:13

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

The hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.— So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.—“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master.”

Isaiah 60:1–2 (Listen)

The Future Glory of Israel

60   Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
  but the LORD will arise upon you,
    and his glory will be seen upon you.

(ESV)

Luke 12:35–36 (Listen)

You Must Be Ready

35 “Stay dressed for actionGreek Let your loins stay girded; compare Exodus 12:11">1 and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.

Footnotes

[1] 12:35 Greek Let your loins stay girded; compare Exodus 12:11

(ESV)

Romans 13:11 (Listen)

11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

(ESV)

Ephesians 5:14 (Listen)

14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

  “Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
  and Christ will shine on you.”

(ESV)

1 Thessalonians 5:6–8 (Listen)

So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

(ESV)

1 Peter 1:13 (Listen)

Called to Be Holy

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,Greek girding up the loins of your mind">1 and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Footnotes

[1] 1:13 Greek girding up the loins of your mind

(ESV)

Morning: John 10:29; Romans 8:37–39; Colossians 3:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:18; James 2:5

“No one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”

I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.—The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.—We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

John 10:29 (Listen)

29 My Father, who has given them to me,Some manuscripts What my Father has given to me">1 is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

Footnotes

[1] 10:29 Some manuscripts What my Father has given to me

(ESV)

Romans 8:37–39 (Listen)

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(ESV)

Colossians 3:3 (Listen)

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

(ESV)

2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 (Listen)

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

(ESV)

2 Timothy 1:12 (Listen)

12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.Or what I have entrusted to him; Greek my deposit">1

Footnotes

[1] 1:12 Or what I have entrusted to him; Greek my deposit

(ESV)

2 Timothy 4:18 (Listen)

18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

(ESV)

James 2:5 (Listen)

Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

(ESV)

Evening: Psalm 119:45; John 8:32; John 8:34; John 8:36; Romans 6:18; Romans 7:2; Romans 8:2; Galatians 5:1; Galatians 5:13–14; James 1:25

The perfect law, the law of liberty.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…. Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin…. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery…. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”—Having been set free from sin, [you] have become slaves of righteousness.—Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

The law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.—I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.

Psalm 119:45 (Listen)

45   and I shall walk in a wide place,
    for I have sought your precepts.

(ESV)

John 8:32 (Listen)

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

(ESV)

John 8:34 (Listen)

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slaveFor the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 35">1 to sin.

Footnotes

[1] 8:34 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 35

(ESV)

John 8:36 (Listen)

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

(ESV)

Romans 6:18 (Listen)

18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

(ESV)

Romans 7:2 (Listen)

For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.Greek law concerning the husband">1

Footnotes

[1] 7:2 Greek law concerning the husband

(ESV)

Romans 8:2 (Listen)

For the law of the Spirit of life has set youSome manuscripts me">1 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Footnotes

[1] 8:2 Some manuscripts me

(ESV)

Galatians 5:1 (Listen)

Christ Has Set Us Free

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

(ESV)

Galatians 5:13–14 (Listen)

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

(ESV)

James 1:25 (Listen)

25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

(ESV)

Morning: 1 Samuel 15:22; Proverbs 21:3; Hosea 12:6; Micah 6:8; Mark 12:33; Luke 10:39; Luke 10:42; Philippians 2:13

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?—“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”—“And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

“So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”—Mary… sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching…. “One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”—It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

1 Samuel 15:22 (Listen)

22 And Samuel said,

  “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to listen than the fat of rams.

(ESV)

Proverbs 21:3 (Listen)

  To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

(ESV)

Hosea 12:6 (Listen)

  “So you, by the help of your God, return,
    hold fast to love and justice,
    and wait continually for your God.”

(ESV)

Micah 6:8 (Listen)

  He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the LORD require of you
  but to do justice, and to love kindness,Or steadfast love">1
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Footnotes

[1] 6:8 Or steadfast love

(ESV)

Mark 12:33 (Listen)

33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

(ESV)

Luke 10:39 (Listen)

39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.

(ESV)

Luke 10:42 (Listen)

42 but one thing is necessary.Some manuscripts few things are necessary, or only one">1 Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Footnotes

[1] 10:42 Some manuscripts few things are necessary, or only one

(ESV)

Philippians 2:13 (Listen)

13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

(ESV)

Evening: Genesis 12:7; Job 32:8; Ecclesiastes 3:21; Ecclesiastes 12:7; John 14:2–3; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–14

The spirit returns to God who gave it.

The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.—“But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.”—“The first man Adam became a living being.”—The spirit of man goes upward.

While we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord…. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.—My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.—But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

“In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Genesis 12:7 (Listen)

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

(ESV)

Job 32:8 (Listen)

  But it is the spirit in man,
    the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

(ESV)

Ecclesiastes 3:21 (Listen)

21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

(ESV)

Ecclesiastes 12:7 (Listen)

and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

(ESV)

John 14:2–3 (Listen)

In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?Or In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you">1 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Footnotes

[1] 14:2 Or In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 15:45 (Listen)

45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;Greek a living soul">1 the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Footnotes

[1] 15:45 Greek a living soul

(ESV)

2 Corinthians 5:6 (Listen)

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,

(ESV)

2 Corinthians 5:8 (Listen)

Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

(ESV)

Philippians 1:23 (Listen)

23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

(ESV)

1 Thessalonians 4:13–14 (Listen)

The Coming of the Lord

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

(ESV)

Morning: Romans 12:10; Romans 13:8; Romans 15:1; Galatians 5:13; Galatians 6:1–2; James 5:19–20; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 5:5

Through love serve one another.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.—My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.—Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.—Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.—Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.—Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Romans 12:10 (Listen)

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

(ESV)

Romans 13:8 (Listen)

Fulfilling the Law Through Love

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

(ESV)

Romans 15:1 (Listen)

The Example of Christ

15 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

(ESV)

Galatians 5:13 (Listen)

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

(ESV)

Galatians 6:1–2 (Listen)

Bear One Another's Burdens

Brothers,Or Brothers and sisters; also verse 18">1 if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Footnotes

[1] 6:1 Or Brothers and sisters; also verse 18

(ESV)

James 5:19–20 (Listen)

19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

(ESV)

1 Peter 1:22 (Listen)

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,

(ESV)

1 Peter 5:5 (Listen)

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

(ESV)

Evening: Genesis 3:19; Job 19:26; Job 21:23; Job 21:25–26; Psalm 16:9; Psalm 39:4; Psalm 90:12; Ecclesiastes 12:7; 1 Corinthians 15:42–44; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Philippians 3:20–21

The dust returns to the earth as it was.

What is sown is perishable…. It is sown in dishonor…. It is sown in weakness…. It is sown a natural body.—The first man was from the earth, a man of dust.

“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”—One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure…. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity. They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.

My flesh… dwells secure.—“And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”—The Lord Jesus Christ… will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!”—So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Genesis 3:19 (Listen)

19   By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
  till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
  for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.”

(ESV)

Job 19:26 (Listen)

26   And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet inOr without">1 my flesh I shall see God,

Footnotes

[1] 19:26 Or without

(ESV)

Job 21:23 (Listen)

23   One dies in his full vigor,
    being wholly at ease and secure,

(ESV)

Job 21:25–26 (Listen)

25   Another dies in bitterness of soul,
    never having tasted of prosperity.
26   They lie down alike in the dust,
    and the worms cover them.

(ESV)

Psalm 16:9 (Listen)

  Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole beingHebrew my glory">1 rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.

Footnotes

[1] 16:9 Hebrew my glory

(ESV)

Psalm 39:4 (Listen)

  “O LORD, make me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting I am!

(ESV)

Psalm 90:12 (Listen)

12   So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.

(ESV)

Ecclesiastes 12:7 (Listen)

and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 15:42–44 (Listen)

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 15:47 (Listen)

47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

(ESV)

Philippians 3:20–21 (Listen)

20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

(ESV)

    Stemley Baptist Church
    399 Rock Church Road, Talladega, Al 35160