Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, June 30, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Psalm 18:1-6, 43-50; 1 Chronicles 10:1-14; Mark 9:14-29 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
Life Lessons:
One day, the Lord says, “Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear” (Is. 45:23)—and they shall all say, “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:11).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 18:1-6, 43-50
Steadfast Love to God’s Anointed


1 I love you, Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
     my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
     my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
     and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
     the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
     the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
     I cried to my God for help.
  From his temple he heard my voice;
     my cry came before him, into his ears.

43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
      you have made me the head of nations.
   People I did not know now serve me,
44    foreigners cower before me;
      as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
      they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
      Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
      who subdues nations under me,
48    who saves me from my enemies.
   You exalted me above my foes;
      from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
      I will sing the praises of your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
      he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
      to David and to his descendants forever.


Commentary
Verses 1-19 — The first words, "I love you, Lord, my strength," are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did.

Verses 43-50 — Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.


From the Historical books of the Old Testament
1 Chronicles 10:1-14
Jonathan’s Death


10:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him.

4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and abuse me.”

But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.
5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died. 6 So Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together.

7 When all the Israelites in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news among their idols and their people. 10 They put his armor in the temple of their gods and hung up his head in the temple of Dagon.

11 When all the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men went and took the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones under the great tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

Commentary
Here in sublime and graphic language is recounted the story of the death of the king chosen by men. It is a terrible picture of a man of magnificent capability going down to utter ruin. Routed by his enemies, he died by his own hand in the midst of the field of defeat.

The reason for such failure is clearly declared. He trespassed against God, and then sought counsel of one who had a familiar spirit. Magnificent indeed was the ruin, but it was ruin. Saul was a man than whom no other had greater opportunities, but his failure was disastrous. Of good standing in the nation, distinctly called and commissioned by God, honored with the friendship of Samuel, surrounded by a band of men whose hearts God had touched, everything was in his favor. From the beginning he failed; step by step he declined in conduct and character, until he went out, dragging his nation into such confusion as threatened its very existence (G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible).


From the Gospels
Mark 9:14-29
Jesus Heals a Child


9:14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered.
22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Commentary
The father of the suffering youth reflected on the want of power in the disciples; but Christ will have him reckon the disappointment to the want of faith. Very much is promised to our believing. If thou canst believe, it is possible that thy hard heart may be softened, thy spiritual diseases may be cured; and, weak as thou art, thou mayest be able to hold out to the end. Those that complain of unbelief, must look up to Christ for grace to help them against it, and his grace will be sufficient for them. Whom Christ cures, he cures effectually. But Satan is unwilling to be driven from those that have been long his slaves, and, when he cannot deceive or destroy the sinner, he will cause him all the terror that he can. The disciples must not think to do their work always with the same ease; some services call for more than ordinary pains.



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. www.commontexts.org. 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.

The Morning Prayer for Wednesday, June 30, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, June 30, 2021


At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Matthew 11:25 (NIV)

Lord our God, we thank you for your Word, which is light and strength to us. We thank you for all you give us. We thank you that we may be counted among the simple-hearted, among the children. We do not want to be anything great in the world. We want only to be with you as your children, helpless little children, watched over by you, the Creator and Father of all. Grant us your blessing. Help us in all that is good and right, also in our daily work, so that we can be your children and do what you have commanded. May your name be honored at all times, your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who have wronged us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, June 30, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Wednesday, June 30, 2021


Zechariah 14:9
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
Life Lessons:
One day, the Lord says, “Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear” (Is. 45:23)—and they shall all say, “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:11).

Read all of Zechariah Chapter 14

Listen to Zechariah Chapter 14


Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Life Lessons from Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, June 29, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Psalm 18:1-6, 43-50; 1 Samuel 31:1-13; 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
Life Lessons:
God’s plans for us are always for our good (Rom. 12:1, 2). Although we may endure times of adversity, we always have hope because of His amazing lovingkindness toward us (Rom. 8:28). And if we patiently and obediently wait for Him, He will most certainly fulfill His promises to us and purposes for us in a way that’s above and beyond all that we ask or imagine (Ps. 138:8; Eph. 3:20).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 18:1-6, 43-50
Steadfast Love to God’s Anointed


1 I love you, Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
     my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
     my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
     and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
     the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
     the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
     I cried to my God for help.
  From his temple he heard my voice;
     my cry came before him, into his ears.

43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
      you have made me the head of nations.
   People I did not know now serve me,
44    foreigners cower before me;
      as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
      they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
      Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
      who subdues nations under me,
48    who saves me from my enemies.
   You exalted me above my foes;
      from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
      I will sing the praises of your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
      he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
      to David and to his descendants forever.


Commentary
Verses 1-19 — The first words, "I love you, Lord, my strength," are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did.

Verses 43-50 — Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.


From the Historical books of the Old Testament
1 Samuel 31:1-13
Saul and His Sons Die


31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.

4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.”

But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.
5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. 6 So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.

7 When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. 10 They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

Commentary
Verses 1-7 — We cannot judge of the spiritual or eternal state of any by the manner of their death; for in that, there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked. Saul, when sorely wounded, and unable to resist or to flee, expressed no concern about his never-dying soul; but only desired that the Philistines might not insult over him, or put him to pain, and he became his own murderer. As it is the grand deceit of the devil, to persuade sinners, under great difficulties, to fly to this last act of desperation, it is well to fortify the mind against it, by a serious consideration of its sinfulness before God, and its miserable consequences in society. But our security is not in ourselves. Let us seek protection from Him who keeps Israel. Let us watch and pray; and take unto us the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Verses 8-13 — The Scripture makes no mention what became of the souls of Saul and his sons, after they were dead; but of their bodies only: secret things belong not to us. It is of little consequence by what means we die, or what is done with our dead bodies. If our souls are saved, our bodies will be raised incorruptible and glorious; but not to fear His wrath, who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell, is the extreme of folly and wickedness. How useless is the respect of fellow-creatures to those who are suffering the wrath of God! While pompous funerals, grand monuments, and he praises of men, honor the memory of the deceased, the soul may be suffering in the regions of darkness and despair! Let us seek that honor which comes from God only.


From the Epistles of the New Testament
2 Corinthians 9:1-5
Voluntary Gifts Not Extortion


9:1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

Commentary
When we would have others do good, we must act toward them prudently and tenderly, and give them time. Christians should consider what is for the credit of their profession, and endeavor to adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in all things. The duty of ministering to the saints is so plain, that there would seem no need to exhort Christians to it; yet self-love contends so powerfully against the love of Christ, that it is often necessary to stir up their minds by way of remembrance.



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. www.commontexts.org. 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.

The Morning Prayer for Tuesday, June 29, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Tuesday, June 29, 2021


But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

Lord God, we glorify your name. How we wish our voices could ring out over all the world, telling of the great things you have done for us, praising you that we can come to you in Jesus Christ, that we can worship, honor, and thank you for all your goodness! Safeguard all your children so that they hold to faith and remain true to the message of the gospel. May we thank and praise you for all you have done this day and for your working in the hearts of many people who are still unknown to us. Your Spirit rules and calls people, to bring them to you, the Father in heaven. Watch over us and continue to bless us. Help us who belong to your people, and protect us through the night. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Tuesday, June 29, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Tuesday, June 29, 2021


Psalm 138:8
The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
Life Lessons:
God’s plans for us are always for our good (Rom. 12:1, 2). Although we may endure times of adversity, we always have hope because of His amazing lovingkindness toward us (Rom. 8:28). And if we patiently and obediently wait for Him, He will most certainly fulfill His promises to us and purposes for us in a way that’s above and beyond all that we ask or imagine (Ps. 138:8; Eph. 3:20).

Read all of Psalm 138

Listen to Psalm 138


Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Life Lessons from Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes.

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, June 28, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, June 28, 2021
Psalm 18:1-6, 43-50; 1 Samuel 23:14-18; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Life Lessons:
Some people believe that because God does not want anyone to perish, He will not allow anyone to be condemned to hell. However, the Lord gave us the free will to either choose or reject the way He has provided for salvation. Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was sufficient to save everyone, but John 3:18 tells us, “
whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 18:1-6, 43-50
Steadfast Love to God’s Anointed


1 I love you, Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
     my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
     my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
     and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
     the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
     the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
     I cried to my God for help.
  From his temple he heard my voice;
     my cry came before him, into his ears.

43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
      you have made me the head of nations.
   People I did not know now serve me,
44    foreigners cower before me;
      as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
      they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
      Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
      who subdues nations under me,
48    who saves me from my enemies.
   You exalted me above my foes;
      from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
      I will sing the praises of your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
      he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
      to David and to his descendants forever.


Commentary
Verses 1-19 — The first words, "I love you, Lord, my strength," are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did.

Verses 43-50 — Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.


From the Historical books of the Old Testament
1 Samuel 23:14-18
David Will be King


23:14 David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.

15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.

Commentary
David made no attempt against Saul; he kept God's way, waited God's time, and was content to secure himself in woods and wildernesses. Let it make us think the worse of this world, which often gives such bad treatment to its best men: let it make us long for that kingdom where goodness shall for ever be in glory, and holiness in honor. We find Jonathan comforting David. As a pious friend, he directed him to God, the Foundation of his comfort. As a self-denying friend, he takes pleasure in the prospect of David's advancement to the throne. As a constant friend, he renewed his friendship with him. Our covenant with God should be often renewed, and therein our communion with him kept up. If the converse of one friend, at one meeting, gives comfort and strengthens our hearts, what may not be expected from the continual supports and powerful love of the Savior of sinners, the covenanted Friend of believers!


From the Epistles of the New Testament
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
The Administration of Generous Gifts


8:16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

Commentary
The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honor from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.



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. www.commontexts.org. 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.

The Morning Prayer for Monday, June 28, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Monday, June 28, 2021


All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Lord God, we thank you for all you reveal in your creation so that our lives may be fruitful. Reveal your wisdom and strength among people everywhere so that death and destruction do not have their way, but your will, your love, your mercy shall prevail. Let our age learn that power belongs to you and not to men, and that you will at last fulfill all your promises of good. Your day of justice and holiness will break in, and all misery will be removed through your great mercy. Watch over us as you have done till this hour, and keep us safe during the night. Be present and carry out your will wherever there is misfortune. May your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Monday, June 28, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Monday, June 28, 2021


2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Life Lessons:
Some people believe that because God does not want anyone to perish, He will not allow anyone to be condemned to hell. However, the Lord gave us the free will to either choose or reject the way He has provided for salvation. Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was sufficient to save everyone, but John 3:18 tells us, “whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Read all of 2 Peter Chapter 3

Listen to 2 Peter Chapter 3


Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Life Lessons from Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Bible Readings and Prayers for Sunday, June 27, 2021

 

The Sunday Bible Readings and Prayers
Sunday, June 27, 2021
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Woman with Issue
The Woman with the issue of blood spent 12 years trying to get well. She knew all about rejection, shame, and isolation. Come and meet this courageous woman from Mark 5 and learn like she did, that meeting Jesus is a risk worth taking.

Introduction & Theme

Today’s texts address the reality of human suffering: lives lost in battle, the debilitating cost of chronic disease, the death of a child, the cry of despair. God comes to those in pain with healing and grace, restoring life and hope, offering the abundance of steadfast love, bringing peace to troubled souls. This is the vision of living in shalom, a world of God’s peace, where all find healing and peace and where everyone has enough to thrive. In response to God’s amazing gifts, we are called to build that community as we live generous lives, offering from our abundance, that others might simply live.

Opening Prayer

Lord of healing and mercy, remind us again of your power to heal our lives from fears and mistrust. Open our hearts to believe in your restorative power and your great compassion for us. Give us healing and make us agents of peace for you in this, your World. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Merciful Lord, we are so fearful these days. We encounter economic situations which threaten to destroy our lives; we encounter anger, fear and hostility, and we feel as though we are about to drown. We want to place our trust in you, but so many times before, when we have trusted others, we have been let down. Help us to truly trust your mercy and love. Heal and forgive our fears and sins. Open our hearts to receive your mercy and help us to become your disciples. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Feel the touch of Christ on your heart! You are healed and forgiven! Rejoice! God is with you now and always! Amen.

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
Life Lessons:
Many people refuse to believe in Christ because they do not want to give up control of their lives. However, anything we hold too tightly, we will lose. In the end times, people will despair of the lives they’ve fought so hard to keep. God does not desire for anyone to perish, so He will use even severe pain to get our attention and urge us back to Him.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Historical books of the Old Testament
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
Lamentation Over Saul and Jonathan


1:1 After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days.

17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):

19 “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
      How the mighty have fallen!

20 “Tell it not in Gath,
      proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
   lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
      lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

21 “Mountains of Gilboa,
      may you have neither dew nor rain,
      may no showers fall on your terraced fields.
   For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
      the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.

22 “From the blood of the slain,
      from the flesh of the mighty,
   the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
      the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 Saul and Jonathan—
      in life they were loved and admired,
      and in death they were not parted.
   They were swifter than eagles,
      they were stronger than lions.

24 “Daughters of Israel,
      weep for Saul,
   who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
      who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!
      Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
      you were very dear to me.
   Your love for me was wonderful,
      more wonderful than that of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen!
      The weapons of war have perished!”


Commentary
Kasheth, or "the bow," probably was the title of this mournful, funeral song. David does not commend Saul for what he was not; and says nothing of his piety or goodness. Jonathan was a dutiful son, Saul an affectionate father, therefore dear to each other. David had reason to say, that Jonathan's love to him was wonderful. Next to the love between Christ and his people, that affection which springs form it, produces the strongest friendship. The trouble of the Lord's people, and triumphs of his enemies, will always grieve true believers, whatever advantages they may obtain by them.


From the Psalter
Psalm 130
Out of the Depths Have I Called


1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2    Lord, hear my voice.
  Let your ears be attentive
     to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
     Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
     so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
     and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
     more than watchmen wait for the morning,
     more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
     for with the Lord is unfailing love
     and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
     from all their sins.


Commentary
Verses 1-4 — The only way of relief for a sin-entangled soul, is by applying to God alone. Many things present themselves as diversions, many things offer themselves as remedies, but the soul finds that the Lord alone can heal. And until men are sensible of the guilt of sin, and quit all to come at once to God, it is in vain for them to expect any relief. The Holy Ghost gives to such poor souls a fresh sense of their deep necessity, to stir them up in earnest applications, by the prayer of faith, by crying to God. And as they love their souls, as they are concerned for the glory of the Lord, they are not to be wanting in this duty. Why is it that these matters are so long uncertain with them? Is it not from sloth and despondency that they content themselves with common and customary applications to God? Then let us up and be doing; it must be done, and it is attended with safety. We are to humble ourselves before God, as guilty in his sight. Let us acknowledge our sinfulness; we cannot justify ourselves, or plead not guilty. It is our unspeakable comfort that there is forgiveness with him, for that is what we need. Jesus Christ is the great Ransom; he is ever an Advocate for us, and through him we hope to obtain forgiveness. There is forgiveness with thee, not that thou mayest be presumed upon, but that thou mayest be feared. The fear of God often is put for the whole worship of God. The only motive and encouragement for sinners is this, that there is forgiveness with the Lord.

Verses 5-8 — It is for the Lord that my soul waits, for the gifts of his grace, and the working of his power. We must hope for that only which he has promised in his word. Like those who wish to see the dawn, being very desirous that light would come long before day; but still more earnestly does a good man long for the tokens of God's favor, and the visits of his grace. Let all that devote themselves to the Lord, cheerfully stay themselves on him. This redemption is redemption from all sin. Jesus Christ saves his people from their sins, both from the condemning and from the commanding power of sin. It is plenteous redemption; there is an all-sufficient fullness in the Redeemer, enough for all, enough for each; therefore enough for me, says the believer. Redemption from sin includes redemption from all other evils, therefore it is a plenteous redemption, through the atoning blood of Jesus, who shall redeem his people from all their sins. All that wait on God for mercy and grace, are sure to have peace.


From Paul's Second Epistle to the Corinthians
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Excel in Generosity Following Jesus


8:7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

Commentary
Verses 7-9 — Faith is the root; and as without faith it is not possible to please God, Hebrews 11:6, so those who abound in faith, will abound in other graces and good works also; and this will work and show itself by love. Great talkers are not always the best doers; but these Corinthians were diligent to do, as well as to know and talk well. To all these good things the apostle desires them to add this grace also, to abound in charity to the poor. The best arguments for Christian duties, are drawn from the grace and love of Christ. Though he was rich, as being God, equal in power and glory with the Father, yet he not only became man for us, but became poor also. At length he emptied himself, as it were, to ransom their souls by his sacrifice on the cross. From what riches, blessed Lord, to what poverty didst thou descend for our sakes! and to what riches hast thou advanced us through thy poverty! It is our happiness to be wholly at thy disposal.

Verses 10-15 — Good purposes are like buds and blossoms, pleasant to behold, and give hopes of good fruit; but they are lost, and signify nothing without good deeds. Good beginnings are well; but we lose the benefit, unless there is perseverance. When men purpose that which is good, and endeavor, according to their ability, to perform also, God will not reject them for what it is not in their power to do. But this scripture will not justify those who think good meanings are enough, or that good purposes, and the mere profession of a willing mind, are enough to save. Providence gives to some more of the good things of this world, and to some less, that those who have abundance might supply others who are in want. It is the will of God, that by our mutual supplying one another, there should be some sort of equality; not such a leveling as would destroy property, for in such a case there could be no exercise of charity. All should think themselves concerned to relieve those in want. This is shown from the gathering and giving out the manna in the wilderness, Exodus 16:18. Those who have most of this world, have no more than food and raiment; and those who have but little of this world, seldom are quite without them.


Today’s Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43
Christ Heals a Woman and Jairus’ Daughter

Mark 5:21-43

5:21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him.
25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.
41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Commentary
Verses 21-34 — A despised gospel will go where it will be better received. One of the rulers of a synagogue earnestly besought Christ for a little daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying. Another cure was wrought by the way. We should do good, not only when in the house, but when we walk by the way, Deuteronomy 6:7. It is common with people not to apply to Christ till they have tried in vain all other helpers, and find them, as certainly they will, physicians of no value. Some run to diversions and gay company; others plunge into business, or even into intemperance; others go about to establish their own righteousness, or torment themselves by vain superstitions. Many perish in these ways; but none will ever find rest to the soul by such devices; while those whom Christ heals of the disease of sin, find in themselves an entire change for the better. As secret acts of sin, so secret acts of faith, are known to the Lord Jesus. The woman told all the truth. It is the will of Christ that his people should be comforted, and he has power to command comfort to troubled spirits. The more simply we depend on Him, and expect great things from him, the more we shall find in ourselves that he is become our salvation. Those who, by faith, are healed of their spiritual diseases, have reason to go in peace.

Verses 35-43 — We may suppose Jairus hesitating whether he should ask Christ to go on or not, when told that his daughter was dead. But have we not as much occasion for the grace of God, and the comfort of his Spirit, for the prayers of our ministers and Christian friends, when death is in the house, as when sickness is there? Faith is the only remedy against grief and fear at such a time. Believe the resurrection, then fear not. He raised the dead child to life by a word of power. Such is the gospel call to those who are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is by the word of Christ that spiritual life is given. All who saw it, and heard of it, admired the miracle, and Him that wrought it. Though we cannot now expect to have our dead children or relatives restored, we may hope to find comfort under our trials.


Here end the Readings

The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed
  • We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
  • And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
  • And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Communion

Holy Communion
A nondenominational serving of bread and wine

Benediction

Beloved of God, healed and forgiven, blessed and strengthened: go forth to be a blessing to others, proclaiming the love and mercy of God in all that you do and say! Amen.

Drenched
A chance encounter… a changed life… God's unmerited favor. This parable shows that God's love is unconditional, his grace unceasing, and his forgiveness readily available for each of us.


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. www.commontexts.org. 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.

The Morning Prayer for Sunday, June 27, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Sunday, June 27, 2021


But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Lord God, help us to be holy as you are holy, and free us from all the earthly things that try to torment us. Grant us your Spirit so that we do what is right. May we always hold your hand confidently. Protect your children everywhere on earth, and help them do what is right even if the whole world does what is wrong. Help us, so that all we do becomes holy and pleasing in your sight. Let your grace grow among us and among the nations, and let your hand be strong to bring in your day, your day when everything is made new. May your name be kept holy, your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Sunday, June 27, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Sunday, June 27, 2021


Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
Life Lessons:
Many people refuse to believe in Christ because they do not want to give up control of their lives. However, anything we hold too tightly, we will lose. In the end times, people will despair of the lives they’ve fought so hard to keep. God does not desire for anyone to perish, so He will use even severe pain to get our attention and urge us back to Him.

Read all of Matthew 16

Listen to Matthew 16

Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Life Lessons from Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, June 26, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Psalm 130; 1 Samuel 20:27-42; Luke 4:31-37 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Life Lessons:
The Lord loves to redeem our lives from distress. When others step in to take vengeance for us, they are not helping us; rather, they are sinning against the Lord (Lev. 19:17, 18; Ps. 18:47, 48; Rom. 12:19; 1 Thess. 4:6).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 130
Out of the Depths Have I Called


1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2    Lord, hear my voice.
  Let your ears be attentive
     to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
     Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
     so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
     and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
     more than watchmen wait for the morning,
     more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
     for with the Lord is unfailing love
     and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
     from all their sins.


Commentary
Verses 1-4 — The only way of relief for a sin-entangled soul, is by applying to God alone. Many things present themselves as diversions, many things offer themselves as remedies, but the soul finds that the Lord alone can heal. And until men are sensible of the guilt of sin, and quit all to come at once to God, it is in vain for them to expect any relief. The Holy Ghost gives to such poor souls a fresh sense of their deep necessity, to stir them up in earnest applications, by the prayer of faith, by crying to God. And as they love their souls, as they are concerned for the glory of the Lord, they are not to be wanting in this duty. Why is it that these matters are so long uncertain with them? Is it not from sloth and despondency that they content themselves with common and customary applications to God? Then let us up and be doing; it must be done, and it is attended with safety. We are to humble ourselves before God, as guilty in his sight. Let us acknowledge our sinfulness; we cannot justify ourselves, or plead not guilty. It is our unspeakable comfort that there is forgiveness with him, for that is what we need. Jesus Christ is the great Ransom; he is ever an Advocate for us, and through him we hope to obtain forgiveness. There is forgiveness with thee, not that thou mayest be presumed upon, but that thou mayest be feared. The fear of God often is put for the whole worship of God. The only motive and encouragement for sinners is this, that there is forgiveness with the Lord.

Verses 5-8 — It is for the Lord that my soul waits, for the gifts of his grace, and the working of his power. We must hope for that only which he has promised in his word. Like those who wish to see the dawn, being very desirous that light would come long before day; but still more earnestly does a good man long for the tokens of God's favor, and the visits of his grace. Let all that devote themselves to the Lord, cheerfully stay themselves on him. This redemption is redemption from all sin. Jesus Christ saves his people from their sins, both from the condemning and from the commanding power of sin. It is plenteous redemption; there is an all-sufficient fullness in the Redeemer, enough for all, enough for each; therefore enough for me, says the believer. Redemption from sin includes redemption from all other evils, therefore it is a plenteous redemption, through the atoning blood of Jesus, who shall redeem his people from all their sins. All that wait on God for mercy and grace, are sure to have peace.


From the Historical books of the Old Testament
1 Samuel 20:27-42
Jonathan Helps David Escape


20:27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”

28 Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”

32 “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.

34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”

41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.

42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

Commentary
Verses 27-34 — None were more constant than David in attending holy duties; nor had he been absent, but self-preservation obliged him to withdraw. In great peril present opportunities for Divine ordinances may be waved. But it is bad for us, except in case of necessity, to omit any opportunity of statedly attending on them. Jonathan did wisely and well for himself and family, to secure an interest in David, yet for this he is blamed. It is good to take God's people for our people. It will prove to our advantage at last, however it may now be thought against our interest. Saul was outrageous. What savage beasts, and worse, does anger make men!

Verses 35-42 — The separation of two such faithful friends was grievous to both, but David's case was the more deplorable, for David was leaving all his comforts, even those of God's sanctuary. Christians need not sorrow, as men without hope; but being one with Christ, they are one with each other, and will meet in his presence ere long, to part no more; to meet where all tears shall be wiped from their eyes.


From the Gospel of Luke
Luke 4:31-37
The Man with an Unclean Spirit


4:31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.

33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Commentary
Christ's preaching much affected the people; and a working power went with it to the consciences of men. These miracles showed Christ to be a controller and conqueror of Satan, a healer of diseases. Where Christ gives a new life, in recovery from sickness, it should be a new life, spent more than ever in his service, to his glory. Our business should be to spread abroad Christ's fame in every place, to beseech him in behalf of those diseased in body or mind, and to use our influence in bringing sinners to him, that his hands may be laid upon them for their healing. He cast the devils out of many who were possessed. We were not sent into this world to live to ourselves only, but to glorify God, and to do good in our generation. The people sought him, and came unto him. A desert is no desert, if we are with Christ there. He will continue with us, by his word and Spirit, and extend the same blessings to other nations, till, throughout the earth, the servants and worshippers of Satan are brought to acknowledge him as the Christ, the Son of God, and to find redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.



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. www.commontexts.org. 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.