February 24 (Daily Scripture)

St. Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem,
Sts. Cyril the Bishop and his mother, Anna,
Thirteenth Day of Great Lent

Proverbs 11:2-11
Isaiah 61:3-7
II Timothy 4:1-8
John 10:11-16

Proverbs 11:2-11
[2] When pride comes, then comes disgrace;
but with the humble is wisdom.
[3] The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
[4] Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
[5] The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,
but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.
[6] The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
[7] When the wicked dies, his hope perishes,
and the expectation of the godless comes to nought.
[8] The righteous is delivered from trouble,
and the wicked gets into it instead.
[9] With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
[10] When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;
and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
[11] By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

Isaiah 61:3-7
[3] to grant to those who mourn in Zion —
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
[4] They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
[5] Aliens shall stand and feed your flocks,
foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
[6] but you shall be called the priests of the LORD,
men shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
and in their riches you shall glory.
[7] Instead of your shame you shall have a double portion,
instead of dishonor you shall rejoice in your lot;
therefore in your land you shall possess a double portion;
yours shall be everlasting joy.

II Timothy 4:1-8
[1] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
[2] preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.
[3] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings,
[4] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
[5] As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.
[6] For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come.
[7] I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
[8] Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

John 10:11-16
[11] I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
[12] He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
[13] He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
[14] I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
[15] as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
[16] And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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February 23 (Daily Scripture)

Twelfth Day of Great Lent

Deuteronomy 7:11-8:1
Job 9:1-10:2
Isaiah 40:9-17

Deuteronomy 7:11-8:1
[11] You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day.
[12] “And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep;
[13] he will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock, in the land which he swore to your fathers to give you.
[14] You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
[15] And the LORD will take away from you all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict upon you, but he will lay them upon all who hate you.
[16] And you shall destroy all the peoples that the LORD your God will give over to you, your eye shall not pity them; neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.
[17] “If you say in your heart, `These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’
[18] you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,
[19] the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out; so will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.
[20] Moreover the LORD your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed.
[21] You shall not be in dread of them; for the LORD your God is in the midst of you, a great and terrible God.
[22] The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.
[23] But the LORD your God will give them over to you, and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed.
[24] And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven; not a man shall be able to stand against you, until you have destroyed them.
[25] The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.
[26] And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house, and become accursed like it; you shall utterly detest and abhor it; for it is an accursed thing.

Chapter 8
[1] “All the commandment which I command you this day you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers.

Job 9:1-10:2
[1] Then Job answered:
[2] “Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be just before God?
[3] If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
[4] He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength
— who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded? —
[5] he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger;
[6] who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
[7] who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
[8] who alone stretched out the heavens,
and trampled the waves of the sea;
[9] who made the Bear and Orion,
the Plei’ades and the chambers of the south;
[10] who does great things beyond understanding,
and marvelous things without number.
[11] Lo, he passes by me, and I see him not;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
[12] Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him?
Who will say to him, `What doest thou’?
[13] “God will not turn back his anger;
beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
[14] How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?
[15] Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
[16] If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
[17] For he crushes me with a tempest,
and multiplies my wounds without cause;
[18] he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
[19] If it is a contest of strength, behold him!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
[20] Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
[21] I am blameless; I regard not myself;
I loathe my life.
[22] It is all one; therefore I say,
he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
[23] When disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.
[24] The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he covers the faces of its judges —
if it is not he, who then is it?
[25] “My days are swifter than a runner;
they flee away, they see no good.
[26] They go by like skiffs of reed,
like an eagle swooping on the prey.
[27] If I say, `I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer,’
[28] I become afraid of all my suffering,
for I know thou wilt not hold me innocent.
[29] I shall be condemned;
why then do I labor in vain?
[30] If I wash myself with snow,
and cleanse my hands with lye,
[31] yet thou wilt plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will abhor me.
[32] For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should come to trial together.
[33] There is no umpire between us,
who might lay his hand upon us both.
[34] Let him take his rod away from me,
and let not dread of him terrify me.
[35] Then I would speak without fear of him,
for I am not so in myself.

Chapter 10
[1] “I loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
[2] I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
let me know why thou dost contend against me.

Isaiah 40:9-17
[9] Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
[10] Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
[11] He will feed his flock like a shepherd,
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
[12] Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
[13] Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
or as his counselor has instructed him?
[14] Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,
and who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
[15] Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the isles like fine dust.
[16] Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
[17] All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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February 22 (Daily Scripture)

Eleventh Day of Great Lent

I Samuel 4:1-18
Proverbs 3:11-4:14
Jeremiah 2:31-3:16

I Samuel 4:1-18
[1] And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines; they encamped at Ebene’zer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek.
[2] The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the field of battle.
[3] And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD put us to rout today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that he may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”
[4] So the people sent to Shiloh, and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin’ehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
[5] When the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded.
[6] And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the LORD had come to the camp,
[7] the Philistines were afraid; for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.
[8] Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness.
[9] Take courage, and acquit yourselves like men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; acquit yourselves like men and fight.”
[10] So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home; and there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.
[11] And the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin’ehas, were slain.
[12] A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes rent and with earth upon his head.
[13] When he arrived, Eli was sitting upon his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out.
[14] When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What is this uproar?” Then the man hastened and came and told Eli.
[15] Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set, so that he could not see.
[16] And the man said to Eli, “I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.” And he said, “How did it go, my son?”
[17] He who brought the tidings answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great slaughter among the people; your two sons also, Hophni and Phin’ehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
[18] When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

Proverbs 3:11-4:14
[11] My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
[12] for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
[13] Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
and the man who gets understanding,
[14] for the gain from it is better than gain from silver
and its profit better than gold.
[15] She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
[16] Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
[17] Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
[18] She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called happy.
[19] The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
[20] by his knowledge the deeps broke forth,
and the clouds drop down the dew.
[21] My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion;
let them not escape from your sight,
[22] and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
[23] Then you will walk on your way securely
and your foot will not stumble.
[24] If you sit down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
[25] Do not be afraid of sudden panic,
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes;
[26] for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
[27] Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
[28] Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it” — when you have it with you.
[29] Do not plan evil against your neighbor
who dwells trustingly beside you.
[30] Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
[31] Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways;
[32] for the perverse man is an abomination to the LORD,
but the upright are in his confidence.
[33] The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the abode of the righteous.
[34] Toward the scorners he is scornful,
but to the humble he shows favor.
[35] The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get disgrace.

Chapter 4
[1] Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight;
[2] for I give you good precepts:
do not forsake my teaching.
[3] When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
[4] he taught me, and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live;
[5] do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Get wisdom; get insight.
[6] Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
[7] The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
[8] Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
[9] She will place on your head a fair garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
[10] Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
[11] I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
[12] When you walk, your step will not be hampered;
and if you run, you will not stumble.
[13] Keep hold of instruction, do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
[14] Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of evil men.

Jeremiah 2:31-3:16
[31] And you, O generation, heed the word of the LORD.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
or a land of thick darkness?
Why then do my people say, `We are free,
we will come no more to thee’?
[32] Can a maiden forget her ornaments,
or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me
days without number.
[33] “How well you direct your course
to seek lovers!
So that even to wicked women
you have taught your ways.
[34] Also on your skirts is found
the lifeblood of guiltless poor;
you did not find them breaking in.
Yet in spite of all these things
[35] you say, `I am innocent;
surely his anger has turned from me.’
Behold, I will bring you to judgment
for saying, `I have not sinned.’
[36] How lightly you gad about,
changing your way!
You shall be put to shame by Egypt
as you were put to shame by Assyria.
[37] From it too you will come away
with your hands upon your head,
for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust,
and you will not prosper by them.

Chapter 3
[1] “If a man divorces his wife
and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?
You have played the harlot with many lovers;
and would you return to me? says the LORD.
[2] Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see!
Where have you not been lain with?
By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
like an Arab in the wilderness.
You have polluted the land
with your vile harlotry.
[3] Therefore the showers have been withheld,
and the spring rain has not come;
yet you have a harlot’s brow,
you refuse to be ashamed.
[4] Have you not just now called to me,
`My father, thou art the friend of my youth —
[5] will he be angry for ever,
will he be indignant to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken,
but you have done all the evil that you could.”
[6] The LORD said to me in the days of King Josi’ah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the harlot?
[7] And I thought, `After she has done all this she will return to me’; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it.
[8] She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the harlot.
[9] Because harlotry was so light to her, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree.
[10] Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, says the LORD.”
[11] And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah.
[12] Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, `Return, faithless Israel, says the LORD.
I will not look on you in anger,
for I am merciful, says the LORD;
I will not be angry for ever.
[13] Only acknowledge your guilt,
that you rebelled against the LORD your God
and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree,
and that you have not obeyed my voice, says the LORD.
[14] Return, O faithless children, says the LORD;
for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
and I will bring you to Zion.
[15] “`And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
[16] And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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February 21 (Daily Scripture)

Tenth Day of Great Lent

Exodus 2:11-22
Joel 2:1-11
Micah 4:1-7

Exodus 2:11-22
[11] One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people.
[12] He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
[13] When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together; and he said to the man that did the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow?”
[14] He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”
[15] When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.
But Moses fled from Pharaoh, and stayed in the land of Mid’ian; and he sat down by a well.
[16] Now the priest of Mid’ian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
[17] The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
[18] When they came to their father Reu’el, he said, “How is it that you have come so soon today?”
[19] They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
[20] He said to his daughters, “And where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”
[21] And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zippo’rah.
[22] She bore a son, and he called his name Gershom; for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”

Joel 2:1-11
[1] Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near,
[2] a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful people;
their like has never been from of old,
nor will be again after them
through the years of all generations.
[3] Fire devours before them,
and behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
but after them a desolate wilderness,
and nothing escapes them.
[4] Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
and like war horses they run.
[5] As with the rumbling of chariots,
they leap on the tops of the mountains,
like the crackling of a flame of fire
devouring the stubble,
like a powerful army
drawn up for battle.
[6] Before them peoples are in anguish,
all faces grow pale.
[7] Like warriors they charge,
like soldiers they scale the wall.
They march each on his way,
they do not swerve from their paths.
[8] They do not jostle one another,
each marches in his path;
they burst through the weapons
and are not halted.
[9] They leap upon the city,
they run upon the walls;
they climb up into the houses,
they enter through the windows like a thief.
[10] The earth quakes before them,
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
[11] The LORD utters his voice
before his army,
for his host is exceedingly great;
he that executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible;
who can endure it?

Micah 4:1-7
[1] It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
[2] and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
[3] He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations afar off;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;
[4] but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and none shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
[5] For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
for ever and ever.
[6] In that day, says the LORD,
I will assemble the lame
and gather those who have been driven away,
and those whom I have afflicted;
[7] and the lame I will make the remnant;
and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion
from this time forth and for evermore.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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February 20 (Daily Scripture)

Ninth Day of Great Lent

I Samuel 1:23-2:26
Proverbs 2:1-3:10
Jeremiah 1:11-2:3

I Samuel 1:23-2:26
[23] Elka’nah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.
[24] And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine; and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh; and the child was young.
[25] Then they slew the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.
[26] And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD.
[27] For this child I prayed; and the LORD has granted me my petition which I made to him.
[28] Therefore I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.”
And they worshiped the LORD there.

Chapter 2
[1] Hannah also prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the LORD;
my strength is exalted in the LORD.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in thy salvation.
[2] “There is none holy like the LORD,
there is none besides thee;
there is no rock like our God.
[3] Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
[4] The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.
[5] Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
[6] The LORD kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
[7] The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low, he also exalts.
[8] He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,
and on them he has set the world.
[9] “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones;
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;
for not by might shall a man prevail.
[10] The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king,
and exalt the power of his anointed.”
[11] Then Elka’nah went home to Ramah. And the boy ministered to the LORD, in the presence of Eli the priest.
[12] Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they had no regard for the LORD.
[13] The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,
[14] and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. So they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
[15] Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw.”
[16] And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.”
[17] Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD; for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
[18] Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy girded with a linen ephod.
[19] And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
[20] Then Eli would bless Elka’nah and his wife, and say, “The LORD give you children by this woman for the loan which she lent to the LORD”; so then they would return to their home.
[21] And the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.
[22] Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
[23] And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
[24] No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.
[25] If a man sins against a man, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the LORD to slay them.
[26] Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.

Proverbs 2:1-3:10
[1] My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
[2] making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
[3] yes, if you cry out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
[4] if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures;
[5] then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
[6] For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
[7] he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
[8] guarding the paths of justice
and preserving the way of his saints.
[9] Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
[10] for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
[11] discretion will watch over you;
understanding will guard you;
[12] delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
[13] who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
[14] who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil;
[15] men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.
[16] You will be saved from the loose woman,
from the adventuress with her smooth words,
[17] who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
[18] for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the shades;
[19] none who go to her come back
nor do they regain the paths of life.
[20] So you will walk in the way of good men
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
[21] For the upright will inhabit the land,
and men of integrity will remain in it;
[22] but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Chapter 3
[1] My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments;
[2] for length of days and years of life
and abundant welfare will they give you.
[3] Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them about your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
[4] So you will find favor and good repute
in the sight of God and man.
[5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
[6] In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
[7] Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
[8] It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
[9] Honor the LORD with your substance
and with the first fruits of all your produce;
[10] then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Jeremiah 1:11-2:3
[11] And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a rod of almond.”
[12] Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
[13] The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.”
[14] Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
[15] For, lo, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the LORD; and they shall come and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
[16] And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.
[17] But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.
[18] And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land.
[19] They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.”

Chapter 2
[1] The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
[2] “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, I remember the devotion of your youth,
your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown.
[3] Israel was holy to the LORD,
the first fruits of his harvest.
All who ate of it became guilty;
evil came upon them, says the LORD.”

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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February 19 (Daily Scripture)

Eighth Day of Great Lent

I Samuel 1:1-23
Proverbs 1:2-33
Jeremiah 1:1-10

I Samuel 1:1-23
[1] There was a certain man of Ramatha’im-zo’phim of the hill country of E’phraim, whose name was Elka’nah the son of Jero’ham, son of Eli’hu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an E’phraimite.
[2] He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Penin’nah. And Penin’nah had children, but Hannah had no children.
[3] Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin’ehas, were priests of the LORD.
[4] On the day when Elka’nah sacrificed, he would give portions to Penin’nah his wife and to all her sons and daughters;
[5] and, although he loved Hannah, he would give Hannah only one portion, because the LORD had closed her womb.
[6] And her rival used to provoke her sorely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.
[7] So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.
[8] And Elka’nah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
[9] After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.
[10] She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly.
[11] And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy maidservant, and remember me, and not forget thy maidservant, but wilt give to thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
[12] As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.
[13] Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard; therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.
[14] And Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunken? Put away your wine from you.”
[15] But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman sorely troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.
[16] Do not regard your maidservant as a base woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”
[17] Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have made to him.”
[18] And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her countenance was no longer sad.
[19] They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elka’nah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her;
[20] and in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the LORD.”
[21] And the man Elka’nah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.
[22] But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the LORD, and abide there for ever.”
[23] Elka’nah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.

Proverbs 1:2-33
[2] That men may know wisdom and instruction,
understand words of insight,
[3] receive instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
[4] that prudence may be given to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth —
[5] the wise man also may hear and increase in learning,
and the man of understanding acquire skill,
[6] to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
[7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
[8] Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and reject not your mother’s teaching;
[9] for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
[10] My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
[11] If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood,
let us wantonly ambush the innocent;
[12] like Sheol let us swallow them alive
and whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
[13] we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with spoil;
[14] throw in your lot among us,
we will all have one purse” —
[15] my son, do not walk in the way with them,
hold back your foot from their paths;
[16] for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
[17] For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird;
[18] but these men lie in wait for their own blood,
they set an ambush for their own lives.
[19] Such are the ways of all who get gain by violence;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
[20] Wisdom cries aloud in the street;
in the markets she raises her voice;
[21] on the top of the walls she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
[22] “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
[23] Give heed to my reproof;
behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you;
I will make my words known to you.
[24] Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
[25] and you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
[26] I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when panic strikes you,
[27] when panic strikes you like a storm,
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
[28] Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
[29] Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
[30] would have none of my counsel,
and despised all my reproof,
[31] therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
and be sated with their own devices.
[32] For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacence of fools destroys them;
[33] but he who listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of evil.”

Jeremiah 1:1-10
[1] The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilki’ah, of the priests who were in An’athoth in the land of Benjamin,
[2] to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josi’ah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
[3] It came also in the days of Jehoi’akim the son of Josi’ah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedeki’ah, the son of Josi’ah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
[4] Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
[5] “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
[6] Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”
[7] But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, `I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you you shall go,
and whatever I command you you shall speak.
[8] Be not afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”
[9] Then the LORD put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
[10] See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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February 18 (Daily Scripture)

Second Sunday of Great Lent,
Sunday of the Expulsion

Luke 4:42-5:11
Isaiah 33:2-22
Romans 12:1-13:10
Matthew 5:17-48

Luke 4:42-5:11
[42] And when it was day he departed and went into a lonely place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them;
[43] but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.”
[44] And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Chapter 5
[1] While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes’aret.
[2] And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
[3] Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
[4] And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
[5] And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
[6] And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking,
[7] they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
[8] But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
[9] For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken;
[10] and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb’edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.”
[11] And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Isaiah 33:2-22
[2] O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for thee.
Be our arm every morning,
our salvation in the time of trouble.
[3] At the thunderous noise peoples flee,
at the lifting up of thyself nations are scattered;
[4] and spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
as locusts leap, men leap upon it.
[5] The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness;
[6] and he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
[7] Behold, the valiant ones cry without;
the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
[8] The highways lie waste,
the wayfaring man ceases.
Covenants are broken,
witnesses are despised,
there is no regard for man.
[9] The land mourns and languishes;
Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
Sharon is like a desert;
and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.
[10] “Now I will arise,” says the LORD,
“now I will lift myself up;
now I will be exalted.
[11] You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble;
your breath is a fire that will consume you.
[12] And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”
[13] Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;
and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
[14] The sinners in Zion are afraid;
trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire?
Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
[15] He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil,
[16] he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him, his water will be sure.
[17] Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;
they will behold a land that stretches afar.
[18] Your mind will muse on the terror:
“Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute?
Where is he who counted the towers?”
[19] You will see no more the insolent people,
the people of an obscure speech which you cannot comprehend,
stammering in a tongue which you cannot understand.
[20] Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!
Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,
whose stakes will never be plucked up,
nor will any of its cords be broken.
[21] But there the LORD in majesty will be for us
a place of broad rivers and streams,
where no galley with oars can go,
nor stately ship can pass.
[22] For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our ruler,
the LORD is our king; he will save us.

Romans 12:1-13:10
[1] I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
[2] Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
[3] For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
[4] For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
[5] so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
[6] Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
[7] if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching;
[8] he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
[9] Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
[10] love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
[11] Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.
[12] Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
[13] Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
[14] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
[15] Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
[16] Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.
[17] Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
[18] If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
[19] Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
[20] No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”
[21] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Chapter 13
[1] Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
[2] Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
[3] For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
[4] for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.
[5] Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
[6] For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
[7] Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
[8] Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
[9] The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
[10] Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Matthew 5:17-48
[17] “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
[18] For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
[19] Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
[20] For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
[21] “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’
[22] But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.
[23] So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
[24] leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
[25] Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
[26] truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
[27] “You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.’
[28] But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
[29] If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
[30] And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
[31] “It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
[32] But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
[33] “Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
[34] But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
[35] or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
[36] And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
[37] Let what you say be simply `Yes’ or `No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
[38] “You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
[39] But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
[40] and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
[41] and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
[42] Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
[43] “You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
[44] But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
[45] so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
[46] For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
[47] And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
[48] You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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