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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February 17 (Daily Scripture)

St. Theodore the General,
Sixth Day of Great Lent

Wisdom 8:19-9:5
Isaiah 62:6-9
Romans 8:28-39
Matthew 10:16-22

Wisdom 8:19-9:5
[19] As a child I was by nature well endowed,
and a good soul fell to my lot;
[20] or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.
[21] But I perceived that I would not possess wisdom
unless God gave her to me —
and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was —
so I appealed to the Lord and besought him,
and with my whole heart I said:

Chapter 9
[1] “O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy,
who hast made all things by thy word,
[2] and by thy wisdom hast formed man,
to have dominion over the creatures thou hast made,
[3] and rule the world in holiness and righteousness,
and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul,
[4] give me the wisdom that sits by thy throne,
and do not reject me from among thy servants.
[5] For I am thy slave and the son of thy maidservant,
a man who is weak and short-lived,
with little understanding of judgment and laws;

Isaiah 62:6-9
[6] Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the LORD in remembrance,
take no rest,
[7] and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth.
[8] The LORD has sworn by his right hand
and by his mighty arm:
“I will not again give your grain
to be food for your enemies,
and foreigners shall not drink your wine
for which you have labored;
[9] but those who garner it shall eat it
and praise the LORD,
and those who gather it shall drink it
in the courts of my sanctuary.”

Romans 8:28-39
[28] We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.
[29] For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.
[30] And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
[31] What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?
[32] He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?
[33] Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies;
[34] who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?
[35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
[36] As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
[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 principalities, 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.

Matthew 10:16-22
[16] “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
[17] Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues,
[18] and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.
[19] When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour;
[20] for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
[21] Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
[22] and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

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

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February 16 (Daily Scripture)

Fifth Day of Great Lent

Deuteronomy 6:4-7:10
Job 6:2-7:13
Isaiah 40:1-8

Deuteronomy 6:4-7:10
[4] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD;
[5] and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
[6] And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart;
[7] and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
[8] And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
[9] And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
[10] “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities, which you did not build,
[11] and houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant, and when you eat and are full,
[12] then take heed lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[13] You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name.
[14] You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are round about you;
[15] for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.
[16] “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.
[17] You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he has commanded you.
[18] And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers
[19] by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has promised.
[20] “When your son asks you in time to come, `What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD our God has commanded you?’
[21] then you shall say to your son, `We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand;
[22] and the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes;
[23] and he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land which he swore to give to our fathers.
[24] And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as at this day.
[25] And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’

Chapter 7
[1] “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Gir’gashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Per’izzites, the Hivites, and the Jeb’usites, seven nations greater and mightier than yourselves,
[2] and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them; then you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them.
[3] You shall not make marriages with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons.
[4] For they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.
[5] But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and hew down their Ashe’rim, and burn their graven images with fire.
[6] “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth.
[7] It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples;
[8] but it is because the LORD loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
[9] Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
[10] and requites to their face those who hate him, by destroying them; he will not be slack with him who hates him, he will requite him to his face.

Job 6:2-7:13
[2] “O that my vexation were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances!
[3] For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
therefore my words have been rash.
[4] For the arrows of the Almighty are in me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
[5] Does the wild ass bray when he has grass,
or the ox low over his fodder?
[6] Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
or is there any taste in the slime of the purslane?
[7] My appetite refuses to touch them;
they are as food that is loathsome to me.
[8] “O that I might have my request,
and that God would grant my desire;
[9] that it would please God to crush me,
that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
[10] This would be my consolation;
I would even exult in pain unsparing;
for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
[11] What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should be patient?
[12] Is my strength the strength of stones,
or is my flesh bronze?
[13] In truth I have no help in me,
and any resource is driven from me.
[14] “He who withholds kindness from a friend
forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
[15] My brethren are treacherous as a torrent-bed,
as freshets that pass away,
[16] which are dark with ice,
and where the snow hides itself.
[17] In time of heat they disappear;
when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
[18] The caravans turn aside from their course;
they go up into the waste, and perish.
[19] The caravans of Tema look,
the travelers of Sheba hope.
[20] They are disappointed because they were confident;
they come thither and are confounded.
[21] Such you have now become to me;
you see my calamity, and are afraid.
[22] Have I said, `Make me a gift’?
Or, `From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?
[23] Or, `Deliver me from the adversary’s hand’?
Or, `Ransom me from the hand of oppressors’?
[24] “Teach me, and I will be silent;
make me understand how I have erred.
[25] How forceful are honest words!
But what does reproof from you reprove?
[26] Do you think that you can reprove words,
when the speech of a despairing man is wind?
[27] You would even cast lots over the fatherless,
and bargain over your friend.
[28] “But now, be pleased to look at me;
for I will not lie to your face.
[29] Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done.
Turn now, my vindication is at stake.
[30] Is there any wrong on my tongue?
Cannot my taste discern calamity?

Chapter 7
[1] “Has not man a hard service upon earth,
and are not his days like the days of a hireling?
[2] Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
and like a hireling who looks for his wages,
[3] so I am allotted months of emptiness,
and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
[4] When I lie down I say, `When shall I arise?’
But the night is long,
and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
[5] My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
[6] My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
and come to their end without hope.
[7] “Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.
[8] The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
while thy eyes are upon me, I shall be gone.
[9] As the cloud fades and vanishes,
so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
[10] he returns no more to his house,
nor does his place know him any more.
[11] “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
[12] Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
that thou settest a guard over me?
[13] When I say, `My bed will comfort me,
my couch will ease my complaint,’

Isaiah 40:1-8
[1] Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
[2] Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
[3] A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
[4] Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
[5] And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
[6] A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
[7] The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people is grass.
[8] The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.

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

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February 15 (Daily Scripture)

Fourth Day of Great Lent

Romans 6:3-14

Romans 6:3-14
[3] Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
[4] We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
[5] For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
[6] We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
[7] For he who has died is freed from sin.
[8] But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
[9] For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
[10] The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
[11] So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.
[13] Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness.
[14] For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

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

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February 14 (Daily Scripture)

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple,
Third Day of Great Lent

Leviticus 12:6-8
Proverbs 8:22-34
Ezekiel 44:1-2
Malachi 3:1-4
Galatians 3:24-29
Luke 2:22-40
Matthew 5:17-20
Mark 13:32-37
Luke 12:49-59
John 1:1-17
Isaiah 24:21-25:8
Acts 7:47-50
Galatians 4:1-7
Luke 2:41-52

Leviticus 12:6-8
[6] “And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering,
[7] and he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her; then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female.
[8] And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”

Proverbs 8:22-34
[22] The LORD created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
[23] Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
[24] When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
[25] Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
[26] before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
[27] When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
[28] when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
[29] when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
[30] then I was beside him, like a master workman;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
[31] rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the sons of men.
[32] And now, my sons, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
[33] Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
[34] Happy is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.

Ezekiel 44:1-2
[1] Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut.
[2] And he said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.

Malachi 3:1-4
[1] “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
[2] But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
“For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;
[3] he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.
[4] Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

Galatians 3:24-29
[24] So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.
[25] But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian;
[26] for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
[27] For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
[29] And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Luke 2:22-40
[22] And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
[23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”)
[24] and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
[26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
[27] And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
[28] he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
[29] “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word;
[30] for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
[31] which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
[32] a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to thy people Israel.”
[33] And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;
[34] and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in
Israel,
and for a sign that is spoken against
[35] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
[36] And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan’u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
[37] and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
[38] And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
[39] And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
[40] And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Matthew 5:17-20
[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.

Mark 13:32-37
[32] “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
[33] Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.
[34] It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
[35] Watch therefore — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning —
[36] lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.
[37] And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.”

Luke 12:49-59
[49] “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!
[50] I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!
[51] Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division;
[52] for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three;
[53] they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
[54] He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming’; and so it happens.
[55] And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.
[56] You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
[57] “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
[58] As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison.
[59] I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.”

John 1:1-17
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] He was in the beginning with God;
[3] all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
[4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
[5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
[6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
[7] He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
[8] He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
[9] The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
[10] He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
[11] He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
[12] But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
[13] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
[14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
[15] (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'”)
[16] And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
[17] For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 24:21-25:8
[21] On that day the LORD will punish
the host of heaven, in heaven,
and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
[22] They will be gathered together
as prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
and after many days they will be punished.
[23] Then the moon will be confounded,
and the sun ashamed;
for the LORD of hosts will reign
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
and before his elders he will manifest his glory.

Chapter 25
[1] O LORD, thou art my God;
I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name;
for thou hast done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
[2] For thou hast made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
it will never be rebuilt.
[3] Therefore strong peoples will glorify thee;
cities of ruthless nations will fear thee.
[4] For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the blast of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
[5] like heat in a dry place.
Thou dost subdue the noise of the aliens;
as heat by the shade of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is stilled.
[6] On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined.
[7] And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.
[8] He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken.

Acts 7:47-50
[47] But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
[48] Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as the prophet says,
[49] `Heaven is my throne,
and earth my footstool.
What house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is the place of my rest?
[50] Did not my hand make all these things?’

Galatians 4:1-7
[1] I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate;
[2] but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.
[3] So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.
[4] But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
[5] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
[6] And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
[7] So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

Luke 2:41-52
[41] Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
[42] And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom;
[43] and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,
[44] but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances;
[45] and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.
[46] After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions;
[47] and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
[48] And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”
[49] And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
[50] And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.
[51] And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
[52] And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.

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

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February 13 (Daily Scripture)

Second Day of Great Lent

Ezekiel 18:20-23
Leviticus 12:6-8
Proverbs 8:22-34
Ezekiel 44:1-2
Malachi 3:1-4
Galatians 3:24-29
Luke 2:22-40

Ezekiel 18:20-23
[20] The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
[21] “But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
[22] None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live.
[23] Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

Leviticus 12:6-8
[6] “And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering,
[7] and he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her; then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female.
[8] And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”

Proverbs 8:22-34
[22] The LORD created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
[23] Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
[24] When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
[25] Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
[26] before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
[27] When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
[28] when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
[29] when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
[30] then I was beside him, like a master workman;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
[31] rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the sons of men.
[32] And now, my sons, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
[33] Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
[34] Happy is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.

Ezekiel 44:1-2
[1] Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut.
[2] And he said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.

Malachi 3:1-4
[1] “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
[2] But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
“For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;
[3] he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.
[4] Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

Galatians 3:24-29
[24] So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.
[25] But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian;
[26] for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
[27] For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
[29] And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Luke 2:22-40
[22] And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
[23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”)
[24] and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
[26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
[27] And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
[28] he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
[29] “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word;
[30] for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
[31] which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
[32] a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to thy people Israel.”
[33] And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;
[34] and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in
Israel,
and for a sign that is spoken against
[35] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
[36] And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan’u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
[37] and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
[38] And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
[39] And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
[40] And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

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

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