Monday, May 24, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, May 24, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, May 24, 2021

God’s Spirit Poured Out
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Joel 2:18-29; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Study Note:
In the Greco-Roman world, giving honor to others was done according to status. Believers were to honor others, even those of lower status, above themselves—a radical teaching. Only a mind renewed by the Holy Spirit (v. 2) could possibly do this.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Renewing the Face of the Earth

24 How many are your works, Lord!
      In wisdom you made them all;
      the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
      teeming with creatures beyond number—
      living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
      and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
      to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
      they gather it up;
   when you open your hand,
      they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
      they are terrified;
   when you take away their breath,
      they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
      they are created,
      and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
      may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
      who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
      I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
      as I rejoice in the Lord.

35b Praise the Lord, my soul.

    Praise the Lord.

Verses 24-30 — We are to praise and magnify God for the constant succession of day and night. And see how those are like to the wild beasts, who wait for the twilight, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Does God listen to the language of mere nature, even in ravenous creatures, and shall he not much more interpret favorably the language of grace in his own people, though weak and broken groanings which cannot be uttered? There is the work of every day, which is to be done in its day, which man must apply to every morning, and which he must continue in till evening; it will be time enough to rest when the night comes, in which no man can work. The psalmist wonders at the works of God. The works of art, the more closely they are looked upon, the more rough they appear; the works of nature appear more fine and exact. They are all made in wisdom, for they all answer the end they were designed to serve. Every spring is an emblem of the resurrection, when a new world rises, as it were, out of the ruins of the old one. But man alone lives beyond death. When the Lord takes away his breath, his soul enters on another state, and his body will be raised, either to glory or to misery. May the Lord send forth his Spirit, and new-create our souls to holiness.

Verses 31-35 — Man's glory is fading; God's glory is everlasting: creatures change, but with the Creator there is no variableness. And if mediation on the glories of creation be so sweet to the soul, what greater glory appears to the enlightened mind, when contemplating the great work of redemption! There alone can a sinner perceive ground of confidence and joy in God. While he with pleasure upholds all, governs all, and rejoices in all his works, let our souls, touched by his grace, meditate on and praise him.

A Reading from The Prophets
Joel 2:18-29
God’s Spirit Poured Out

18 Then the Lord was jealous for his land
      and took pity on his people.

19 The Lord replied to them:

   “I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
      enough to satisfy you fully;
   never again will I make you
      an object of scorn to the nations.

20 “I will drive the northern horde far from you,
      pushing it into a parched and barren land;
   its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
      and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
   And its stench will go up;
      its smell will rise.”

   Surely he has done great things!
21    Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
      be glad and rejoice.
   Surely the Lord has done great things!
22    Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
      for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
   The trees are bearing their fruit;
      the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23 Be glad, people of Zion,
      rejoice in the Lord your God,
   for he has given you the autumn rains
      because he is faithful.
   He sends you abundant showers,
      both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
      the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
      the great locust and the young locust,
      the other locusts and the locust swarm—
   my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
      and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
      who has worked wonders for you;
   never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
      that I am the Lord your God,
      and that there is no other;
   never again will my people be shamed.

28 “And afterward,
      I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
   Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
      your old men will dream dreams,
      your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
      I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

The priests and rulers are to appoint a solemn fast. The sinner's supplication is, Spare us, good Lord. God is ready to succour his people; and he waits to be gracious. They prayed that God would spare them, and he answered them. His promises are real answers to the prayers of faith; with him saying and doing are not two things. Some understand these promises figuratively, as pointing to gospel grace, and as fulfilled in the abundant comforts treasured up for believers in the covenant of grace.

A Reading from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Various Gifts the Same Spirit

12:4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.

Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year B. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2021, we will be in Year C. The year which ended at Advent 2020 was Year A. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

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