February 23, 2018

Psalm 95

Come! Let’s sing for joy to the Lord!
Let’s shout out praises to our protector who delivers us!
Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving!
Let’s shout out to him in celebration!
For the Lord is a great God,
a great king who is superior to all gods.
The depths of the earth are in his hand,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land.
Come! Let’s bow down and worship!
Let’s kneel before the Lord, our Creator!
For he is our God;
we are the people of his pasture,
the sheep he owns.
Today, if only you would obey him!
He says, “Do not be stubborn like they were at Meribah,
like they were that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors challenged my authority,
and tried my patience, even though they had seen my work.
For forty years I was continually disgusted with that generation,
and I said, ‘These people desire to go astray;
they do not obey my commands.’
So I made a vow in my anger,
‘They will never enter into the resting place I had set aside for them.’”

Psalm 40

For the music director; By David, a psalm.

I relied completely on the Lord,
and he turned toward me
and heard my cry for help.
He lifted me out of the watery pit,
out of the slimy mud.
He placed my feet on a rock
and gave me secure footing.
He gave me reason to sing a new song,
praising our God.
May many see what God has done,
so that they might swear allegiance to him and trust in the Lord!
How blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord
and does not seek help from the proud or from liars!
O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things;
you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us.
No one can thwart you!
I want to declare them and talk about them,
but they are too numerous to recount!
Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern.
You make that quite clear to me!
You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.
Then I say,
“Look! I come!
What is written in the scroll pertains to me.
I want to do what pleases you, my God.
Your law dominates my thoughts.”
I have told the great assembly about your justice.
Look! I spare no words!
O Lord, you know this is true.
I have not failed to tell about your justice;
I spoke about your reliability and deliverance;
I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness.
O Lord, you do not withhold your compassion from me.
May your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me!
For innumerable dangers surround me.
My sins overtake me
so I am unable to see;
they outnumber the hairs of my head
so my strength fails me.
Please be willing, O Lord, to rescue me!
O Lord, hurry and help me!
May those who are trying to snatch away my life
be totally embarrassed and ashamed!
May those who want to harm me
be turned back and ashamed!
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be humiliated and disgraced!
May all those who seek you be happy and rejoice in you!
May those who love to experience your deliverance say continually,
“May the Lord be praised!”
I am oppressed and needy!
May the Lord pay attention to me!
You are my helper and my deliverer!
O my God, do not delay!

Psalm 54

For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song by David. It was written when the Ziphites came and informed Saul: “David is hiding with us.”

O God, deliver me by your name!
Vindicate me by your power!
O God, listen to my prayer!
Pay attention to what I say!
For foreigners attack me;
ruthless men, who do not respect God, seek my life. (Selah)
Look, God is my deliverer!
The Lord is among those who support me.
May those who wait to ambush me be repaid for their evil!
As a demonstration of your faithfulness, destroy them!
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you!
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good!
Surely he rescues me from all trouble,
and I triumph over my enemies.

Psalm 51

For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love!
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!
Wash away my wrongdoing!
Cleanse me of my sin!
For I am aware of my rebellious acts;
I am forever conscious of my sin.
Against you—you above all—I have sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
So you are just when you confront me;
you are right when you condemn me.
Look, I was guilty of sin from birth,
a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
Look, you desire integrity in the inner man;
you want me to possess wisdom.
Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!
May the bones you crushed rejoice!
Hide your face from my sins!
Wipe away all my guilt!
Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!
Do not reject me!
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!
Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!
Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways,
and sinners will turn to you.
Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me!
Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.
O Lord, give me the words!
Then my mouth will praise you.
Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it;
you do not desire a burnt sacrifice.
The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit—
O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject.
Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her!
Fortify the walls of Jerusalem!
Then you will accept the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings;
then bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.

Genesis 40

After these things happened, the cupbearer to the king of Egypt and the royal baker offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, the cupbearer and the baker, so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them.

They spent some time in custody. Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream the same night. Each man’s dream had its own meaning. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” They told him, “We both had dreams, but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me.”

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

“This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent three days. In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before when you were cupbearer. But remember me when it goes well for you, and show me kindness. Make mention of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, for I really was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”

When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread on my head. In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”

Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent three days. In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph—he forgot him.

1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.

Guard against self-deception, each of you. If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise. For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! For everything belongs to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Mark 2:13-22

Jesus went out again by the sea. The whole crowd came to him, and he taught them. As he went along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth. “Follow me,” he said to him. And he got up and followed him. As Jesus was having a meal in Levi’s home, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the experts in the law and the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this he said to them, “Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. So they came to Jesus and said, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they do not fast. But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and at that time they will fast. No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear becomes worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be destroyed. Instead new wine is poured into new wineskins.”