Daily Scripture Reflection
If you will give these instructions to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of faith and of the sound teaching you have followed. Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion, for while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life for both the present and for the future.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this we toil and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe.
The Lord swore an oath to David, a pledge never to be broken:
“Your own offspring I will set upon your throne. If your sons observe my covenant,
the laws I shall teach them, their sons, in turn, shall sit forever on your throne.”
Yes, the Lord has chosen Zion, desired it for a dwelling:
“This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I desire it.
I will bless Zion with meat; its poor I will fill with bread.
I will clothe its priests with blessings; its faithful shall shout for joy.
There I will make a horn sprout for David’s line; I will set a lamp for my anointed.
His foes I will clothe with shame, but on him my crown shall gleam.”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
With full voice I cry to the Lord; with full voice I beseech the Lord.
Before God I pour out my complaint, lay bare my distress.
My spirit is faint within me, but you know my path.
Along the way I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand, but no friend is there.
There is no escape for me; no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, Lord, I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Listen to my cry for help, for I am brought very low.
Rescue me from my pursuers, for they are too strong for me.
Lead me out of my prison, that I may give thanks to your name.
Then the just shall gather around me because you have been good to me.
Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.
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.
I will praise the Lord with all my heart in the assembled congregation of the upright.
Great are the works of the Lord, to be treasured for all their delights.
Majestic and glorious is your work, your wise design endures forever.
You won renown for your wondrous deeds; gracious and merciful is the Lord.
You gave food to those who fear you, mindful of your covenant forever.
You showed powerful deeds to your people, giving them the lands of the nations.
We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad and roughly treated, we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands. When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently. We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment.
I am writing you this not to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Therefore, I urge you, be imitators of me.
O Lord, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!
you have set your majesty above the heavens!
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have drawn a defense against your foes, to silence enemy and avenger.
When I see the heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place –
What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?
You have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things under their feet:
all sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth!