Monday, January 17, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, January 17, 2022

Live in Harmony With One Another

The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, January 17, 2022
Psalm 145; Isaiah 54:1-8; Romans 12:9-21
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm is a monumental praise psalm, a fit summary of all David had learned about God during a long lifetime of following hard after the Almighty. This psalm was recited twice in the morning and once in the evening service in Jewish practice. The Talmud commends all who repeat it three times a day as having a share in the world to come.

In our reading in the book of Isaiah, the Lord addresses Jerusalem in its state of separation from the Lord, which leads to terrible consequences. Superficially, verse 1 compares Jerusalem to barren Sarah versus Hagar, but it could also compare final Israel with Israel before the Lord rejected her. This passage makes one wonder whether the initial barrenness of three patriarchal wives was a sign that Israel as a nation would be barren for much of its existence.

Our reading in Romans is a list of numerous brief, bullet-pointed commands. Taken together, they paint a picture of what the living-sacrifice Christian life should look like. The unifying theme of the list is setting ourselves aside to effectively love and serve the Lord, each other, and even our enemies. We must serve with enthusiasm and focus, mastering our emotions to rejoice in our future and be patient in our present. We must refuse to sink to evil’s level in taking revenge and instead overcome evil by doing good to those who harm us.

In our verse of the day, Paul is saying that it is one thing to read about how to live the Christian life amid a crooked and perverse culture, but it is something else to live in such a culture. As children of God, we are to become shining as lights in a dark and dismal world. We are to hold fast to the Word of life, and everything we do is to be done without complaining or questioning the providence of God.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Philippians 2:14-16

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
God intends that His children act as beacons of light in this dark world—showing the way to spiritual safety for those who are lost (Matt. 5:14–16). But if our behavior is characterized by corruption, complaining, and self-centeredness, we will not differ from unbelievers—there will be nothing to recommend us or Christ in whom we believe for salvation.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 145
Praise God’s Faithfulness

1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
     I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
     and extol your name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
     his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
     they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
     and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
     and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
     and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
     slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The Lord is good to all;
     he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
      your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
      and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
      and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
      and your dominion endures through all generations.

   The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
      and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
      and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
      and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
      and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
      and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
      to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
      he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
      but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
      Let every creature praise his holy name
      for ever and ever.


David extols the power, goodness, and mercy of the Lord (vv. 1-9). The glory of God's kingdom, and his care of those that love him (vv. 10-21).

Verses 1-9: Those who, under troubles and temptations, abound in fervent prayer, shall in due season abound in grateful praise, which is the true language of holy joy. Especially we should speak of God's wondrous work of redemption, while we declare his greatness. For no deliverance of the Israelites, nor the punishment of sinners, so clearly proclaims the justice of God, as the cross of Christ exhibits it to the enlightened mind. It may be truly said of our Lord Jesus Christ, that his words are words of goodness and grace; his works are works of goodness and grace. He is full of compassion; hence he came into the world to save sinners. When on earth, he showed his compassion both to the bodies and souls of men, by healing the one, and making wise the other. He is of great mercy, a merciful High Priest, through whom God is merciful to sinners.

Verses 10-21: All God's works show forth his praises. He satisfies the desire of every living thing, except the unreasonable children of men, who are satisfied with nothing. He does good to all the children of men; his own people in a special manner. Many children of God, who have been ready to fall into sin, to fall into despair, have tasted his goodness in preventing their falls, or recovering them speedily by his graces and comforts. And with respect to all that are heavy laden under the burden of sin, if they come to Christ by faith, he will ease them, he will raise them. He is very ready to hear and answer the prayers of his people. He is present every where; but in a special way he is nigh to them, as he is not to others. He is in their hearts, and dwells there by faith, and they dwell in him. He is nigh to those that call upon him, to help them in all times of need. He will be nigh to them, that they may have what they ask, and find what they seek, if they call upon him in truth and sincerity. And having taught men to love his name and holy ways, he will save them from the destruction of the wicked. May we then love his name, and walk in his ways, while we desire that all flesh should bless his holy name for ever and ever.

From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Isaiah 54:1-8
God is Married to Israel

1 “Sing, barren woman,
     you who never bore a child;
  burst into song, shout for joy,
     you who were never in labor;
  because more are the children of the desolate woman
     than of her who has a husband,”
  says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
     stretch your tent curtains wide,
     do not hold back;
  lengthen your cords,
     strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
     your descendants will dispossess nations
     and settle in their desolate cities.

4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
     Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
  You will forget the shame of your youth
     and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
5 For your Maker is your husband—
     the Lord Almighty is his name—
  the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
     he is called the God of all the earth.
6 The Lord will call you back
     as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
  a wife who married young,
     only to be rejected,” says your God.
7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you,
     but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
8 In a surge of anger
     I hid my face from you for a moment,
  but with everlasting kindness
     I will have compassion on you,”
     says the Lord your Redeemer.


The increase of the church by the conversion of the Jews and Gentiles (vv. 1-5). Its certain deliverance (vv. 6-8).

Verses 1-5: Observe the low state of religion in the world, for a long time before Christianity was brought in. But by preaching the gospel, multitudes were converted from idols to the living God. This is matter of great rejoicing to the church. The bounds of the church were extended. Though its state on earth is but mean and movable, like a tent or tabernacle, it is sometimes a growing state, and must be enlarged as the family increases. But the more numerous the church grows, the more she must fortify herself against errors and corruptions. Thy Maker is thy Husband. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, the Mediator of the covenant made with the Old Testament church. Long he had been called the God of Israel; but now he shall be called the God of the whole earth. And he will cleanse from sin, and cause every true believer to rejoice in this sacred union. We never can enough admire this mercy, or duly value this privilege.

Verses 6-8: As God is slow to anger, so he is swift to show mercy. And how sweet the returns of mercy would be, when God should come and comfort them! He will have mercy on them. God's gathering his people takes rise from his mercy, not any merit of theirs; and it is with great mercies, with everlasting kindness. The wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the kindness everlasting.

From the Epistles
Romans 12:9-21
Live in Harmony With One Another

12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Exhortations to various duties (vv. 9-16). And to peaceable conduct towards all men, with forbearance and benevolence (vv. 17-21).

Verses 9-16: The professed love of Christians to each other should be sincere, free from deceit, and unmeaning and deceitful compliments. Depending on Divine grace, they must detest and dread all evil, and love and delight in whatever is kind and useful. We must not only do that which is good, but we must cleave to it. All our duty towards one another is summed up in one word, love. This denotes the love of parents to their children; which is more tender and natural than any other; unforced, unconstrained. And love to God and man, with zeal for the gospel, will make the wise Christian diligent in all his wordly business, and in gaining superior skill. God must be served with the spirit, under the influences of the Holy Spirit. He is honored by our hope and trust in him, especially when we rejoice in that hope. He is served, not only by working for him, but by sitting still quietly, when he calls us to suffer. Patience for God's sake, is true piety. Those that rejoice in hope, are likely to be patient in tribulation. We should not be cold in the duty of prayer, nor soon weary of it. Not only must there be kindness to friends and brethren, but Christians must not harbor anger against enemies. It is but mock love, which rests in words of kindness, while our brethren need real supplies, and it is in our power to furnish them. Be ready to entertain those who do good: as there is occasion, we must welcome strangers. Bless, and curse not. It means thorough good will; not, bless them when at prayer, and curse them at other times; but bless them always, and curse not at all. True Christian love will make us take part in the sorrows and joys of each other. Labor as much as you can to agree in the same spiritual truths; and when you come short of that, yet agree in affection. Look upon worldly pomp and dignity with holy contempt. Do not mind it; be not in love with it. Be reconciled to the place God in his providence puts you in, whatever it be. Nothing is below us, but sin. We shall never find in our hearts to condescend to others, while we indulge conceit of ourselves; therefore that must be mortified.

Verses 17-21: Since men became enemies to God, they have been very ready to be enemies one to another. And those that embrace religion, must expect to meet with enemies in a world whose smiles seldom agree with Christ's. Recompense to no man evil for evil. That is a brutish recompense, befitting only animals, which are not conscious of any being above them, or of any existence hereafter. And not only do, but study and take care to do, that which is amiable and creditable, and recommends religion to all with whom you converse. Study the things that make for peace; if it be possible, without offending God and wounding conscience. Avenge not yourselves. This is a hard lesson to corrupt nature, therefore a remedy against it is added. Give place unto wrath. When a man's passion is up, and the stream is strong, let it pass off; lest it be made to rage the more against us. The line of our duty is clearly marked out, and if our enemies are not melted by persevering kindness, we are not to seek vengeance; they will be consumed by the fiery wrath of that God to whom vengeance belongs. The last verse suggests what is not easily understood by the world; that in all strife and contention, those that revenge are conquered, and those that forgive are conquerors. Be not overcome of evil. Learn to defeat ill designs against you, either to change them, or to preserve your own peace. He that has this rule over his spirit, is better than the mighty. God's children may be asked whether it is not more sweet unto them than all earthly good, that God so enables them by his Spirit, thus to feel and act.

Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. 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.

The Morning Prayer for Monday, January 17, 2022


The Morning Prayer
Monday, January 17, 2022

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
Psalm 23:1-3, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that we need never feel forsaken. We thank you that we are led and guided by your hand. We thank you for all we have received from you, your care for our bodies, for our material needs, and for our inner life. We praise you, O God! Continue to lead us, we pray. Continue to work among us so that we can all see and come to know that the Good Shepherd is leading us. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Monday, January 17, 2022


Verse of the Day
Monday, January 17, 2022

Philippians 2:14-16
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
God intends that His children act as beacons of light in this dark world—showing the way to spiritual safety for those who are lost (Matt. 5:14–16). But if our behavior is characterized by corruption, complaining, and self-centeredness, we will not differ from unbelievers—there will be nothing to recommend us or Christ in whom we believe for salvation.

Read all of Philippians Chapter 2

Listen to Philippians Chapter 2

Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Our Daily Bread — Brave Your Storm


Brave Your Storm

[Fix your] eyes on Jesus, . . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2–3

READ Hebrews 12:1–3, 12–13

It was the evening of April 3, 1968, and a fierce thunderstorm was lashing through Memphis, Tennessee. Weary and feeling ill, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hadn’t intended to give his planned speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at a church hall. But he was surprised by an urgent phone call saying a large crowd had braved the weather to hear him. So he went to the hall and spoke for forty minutes, delivering what some say was his greatest speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”

The next day, King was killed by an assassin’s bullet, but his speech still inspires oppressed people with the hope of “the promised land.” Likewise, early followers of Jesus were uplifted by a stirring message. The book of Hebrews, written to encourage Jewish believers facing threats for their faith in Christ, offers firm spiritual encouragement to not lose hope. As it urges, “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees” (12:12). As Jews, they would recognize that appeal as originally coming from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 35:3).

But now, as Christ’s disciples, we’re called to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2). When we do so, we “will not grow weary and lose heart” (v. 3).

Certainly, squalls and storms await us in this life. But in Jesus, we outlast life’s tempests by standing in Him.

By Patricia Raybon


How do you respond to life’s spiritual storms? As you look to Jesus and His promises, how does He encourage you?

Jesus, You calm every spiritual storm. When tempests rage, speak peace to my soul as I put my hope in You.


Because of severe persecution (see Hebrews 10:32–39; 13:3), Jewish believers were pressured to abandon their faith in Jesus and revert to Judaism. Based on Hebrews 13:24, the unnamed writer of Hebrews probably wrote from Italy to discouraged believers, encouraging them to remain faithful by “fixing [their] eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (12:2). The author emphasized the superiority and sufficiency of Christ through His position as God Himself (chs. 1–4) and His once-for-all sacrifice for sin (chs. 5–10). In chapter 12, the writer used the imagery of a long-distance foot race where a stadium full of supporters cheer on the runners to complete it. The apostle Paul also used the foot-race metaphor to encourage believers to persevere by keeping their eyes on the finish line—to “[finish] the race” (2 Timothy 4:7; see 1 Corinthians 9:24–27; Philippians 3:12–14).

K. T. Sim