February 26, Great Barekendan (Daily Scripture)

Isaiah 58:1-14
False and True Worship
1 Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practised righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgements,
they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’ Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day, and oppress all your workers.
4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10 if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.
12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honourable; if you honour it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Romans 13:11-14:25
An Urgent Appeal
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers;
12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light;
13 let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy.
14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Do Not Judge Another
1 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions.
2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.
3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.
4 Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.
6 Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.
7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.
8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God.
11 For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
12 So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
Do Not Make Another Stumble
13 Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another.
14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.
15 If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died.
16 So do not let your good be spoken of as evil.
17 For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
18 The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval.
19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification.
20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat;
21 it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble.
22 The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve.
23 But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Matthew 6:1-21
Concerning Almsgiving
1 ‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 ‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Concerning Prayer
5 ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 ‘Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Concerning Fasting
16 ‘And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18 so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Concerning Treasures
19 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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February 25 (Daily Scripture)

Ezekiel 3:16-19
16 At the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me:
17 Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’, and you give them no warning, and do not speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand.
19 But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity; but you will have saved your life.

2 Corinthians 6:1-14
1 As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.
2 For he says, ‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!
3 We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,
4 but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,
5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger;
6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love,
7 truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;
8 in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;
9 as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed;
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you.
12 There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours.
13 In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.
The Temple of the Living God
14 Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?

Matthew 12:22-32
Jesus and Beelzebul
22 Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see.
23 All the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Can this be the Son of David?’
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.’
25 He knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
27 If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property, without first tying up the strong man? Then indeed the house can be plundered.
30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
31 Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

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February 24 (Daily Scripture)

Titus 3:1-15
Maintain Good Deeds
1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone.
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another.
4 But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
6 This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 The saying is sure. I desire that you insist on these things, so that those who have come to believe in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works; these things are excellent and profitable to everyone.
9 But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
10 After a first and second admonition, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions,
11 since you know that such a person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned.
Final Messages and Benediction
12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
13 Make every effort to send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way, and see that they lack nothing.
14 And let people learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.
15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with all of you.

John 8:21-30
Jesus Foretells His Death
21 Again he said to them, ‘I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.’
22 Then the Jews said, ‘Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’
23 He said to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.
24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.’
25 They said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Why do I speak to you at all?
26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.’
27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.
28 So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me.
29 And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.’
30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

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February 23, St. Vartan (Daily Scripture)

Wisdom 3:1-8
The Destiny of the Righteous
1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.
2 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
3 and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.
4 For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality.
5 Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
6 like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt-offering he accepted them.
7 In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble.
8 They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever.

Isaiah 49:8-9
Zion’s Children to Be Brought Home
8 Thus says the Lord: In a time of favour I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages;
9 saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out’, to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ They shall feed along the ways, on all the bare heights shall be their pasture;

Hebrews 12:1-7
The Example of Jesus
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children—‘My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him;
6 for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.’
7 Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?

Luke 6:20-26
Blessings and Woes
20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22 ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.
23 Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24 ‘But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
25 ‘Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. ‘Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
26 ‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

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February 22 (Daily Scripture)

Titus 1:12-2:10
12 It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, ‘Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.’
13 That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith,
14 not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth.
15 To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted.
16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Teach Sound Doctrine
1 But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine.
2 Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.
3 Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behaviour, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good,
4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
7 Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity,
8 and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.
9 Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to answer back,
10 not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Saviour.

John 8:12-20
Jesus the Light of the World
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’
13 Then the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.’
14 Jesus answered, ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one.
16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.
17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid.
18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.’
19 Then they said to him, ‘Where is your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’
20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

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February 21 (Daily Scripture)

Wisdom 5:16-23
16 Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord,
because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them.
17 The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armour, and will arm all creation to repel his enemies;
18 he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and wear impartial justice as a helmet;
19 he will take holiness as an invincible shield,
20 and sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against his frenzied foes.
21 Shafts of lightning will fly with true aim, and will leap from the clouds to the target, as from a well-drawn bow,
22 and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them;
23 a mighty wind will rise against them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.

Isaiah 35:1-2
The Return of the Redeemed to Zion
1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus 2 it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

Isaiah 61:6-7
6 but you shall be called priests of the Lord, you shall be named ministers of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.
7 Because their shame was double, and dishonour was proclaimed as their lot, therefore they shall possess a double portion; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

1 Peter 1:3-9
A Living Hope
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials,
7 so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Luke 12:4-10
Exhortation to Fearless Confession
4 ‘I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more.
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.
7 But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 ‘And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;
9 but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.
10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

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February 20 (Daily Scripture)

Zechariah 8:1-3
God’s Promises to Zion
1 The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying:
2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath.
3 Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain.

Romans 8:28-39
28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, 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 firstborn within a large family.
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.
God’s Love in Christ Jesus
31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?
33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted 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 convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 15:17-21
17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
The World’s Hatred
18 ‘If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you.
20 Remember the word that I said to you, “Servants are not greater than their master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
21 But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

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