Daily Scripture Reflection
Turn from evil and do good, that you may inhabit the land forever.
For the Lord loves justice and does not abandon the faithful.
When the unjust are destroyed, and the children of the wicked cut off,
the just will possess the land and live in it forever.
The mouths of the just utter wisdom; their tongues speak what is right.
God’s teaching is in their hearts; their steps do not falter.
So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit. Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envious of one another.
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.
We do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew for, if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written:
“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,” this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.
But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of the creator. Here there is not Greek or Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all in all.
Whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection form the dead.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then we thought we were dreaming.
Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy.
Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us; oh, how happy we were!
Restore again our fortunes, Lord, like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.
Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy.
Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed,
will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves.
Many dogs surround me; a pack of evildoers closes in on me.
So wasted are my hands and feet that I can count all my bones.
They stare at me and gloat; they divide my garments among them;
for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, Lord, do not stay far off; my strength, come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword, my forlorn life from the teeth of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth, my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak; I looked for compassion, but there was none.
for comforters, but found none.
Instead they put gall in my food; for my thirst they gave me vinegar.
But I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help protect me, God,
that I may praise God’s name in song and glorify it with thanksgiving.
My song will please the Lord more than oxen, more than bullocks with horns and hooves:
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, take heart!
for the Lord hears the poor, does not spurn those in bondage.
Let the heavens and the earth sings praise, the seas and whatever moves in them.”