Monthly Archives: September 2012

Easy Does It – Follow God’s direction and do what’s right.

Easy Does It

Proverbs 14:1-35

1The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

2He whose walk is upright fears the Lord,
but he whose ways are devious despises him.

3A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back,
but the lips of the wise protect them.

4Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

5A truthful witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.

6The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

7Stay away from a foolish man,
for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

8The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.

9Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.

10Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.

11The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.

12There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.

13Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and joy may end in grief.

14The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
and the good man rewarded for his.

15A simple man believes anything,
but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

16A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil,
but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.

17A quick-tempered man does foolish things,
and a crafty man is hated.

18The simple inherit folly,
but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19Evil men will bow down in the presence of the good,
and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.

21He who despises his neighbor sins,
but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.

22Do not those who plot evil go astray?
But those who plan what is good finda love and faithfulness.

23All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

24The wealth of the wise is their crown,
but the folly of fools yields folly.

25A truthful witness saves lives,
but a false witness is deceitful.

26He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for his children it will be a refuge.

27The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
turning a man from the snares of death.

28A large population is a king’s glory,
but without subjects a prince is ruined.

29A patient man has great understanding,
but a quick-tempered man displays folly.

30A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.

31He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

32When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
but even in death the righteous have a refuge.

33Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning
and even among fools she lets herself be known.b

34Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a disgrace to any people.

35A king delights in a wise servant,
but a shameful servant incurs his wrath.

Romans 12:1-21

Living Sacrifices

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and
pleasing to God—this is your spirituala act of worship.
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s
will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and
these members do not all have the same function, 5so in
Christ we who are many form one body, and each member
belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts,
according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is
prophesying, let him use it in proportion to hisb
faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is
teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging,
let him encourage; if it is contributing to the
needs of others, let him give generously;
if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it
is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love

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

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

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what
is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as
far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s
wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will
repay,”d says the Lord. 20On 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.”e
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 Psalm 94:1-23

1O Lord, the God who avenges,
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3How long will the wicked, O Lord,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?

4They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5They crush your people, O Lord;
they oppress your inheritance.
6They slay the widow and the alien;
they murder the fatherless.
7They say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob pays no heed.”

8Take heed, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
9Does he who implanted the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
10Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?
11The Lord knows the thoughts of man;
he knows that they are futile.

12Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord,
the man you teach from your law;
13you grant him relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14For the Lord will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance.
15Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your love, O Lord, supported me.
19When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.

20Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
one that brings on misery by its decrees?
21They band together against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
22But the Lord has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will destroy them.

 Titus 2:1-15

Promote Right Teaching

1As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that
reflects wholesome teaching. 2Teach the older men to
exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect,
and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and
be filled with love and patience.

3Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that
honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy
drinkers.a Instead, they should teach others what is good.
4These older women must train the younger women to love
their husbands and their children, 5to live wisely and be
pure, to work in their homes,b to do good, and to be
submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring
shame on the word of God.

6In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely.
7And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good
works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the
integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 8Teach the
truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized.
Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing
bad to say about us.

9Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to
please them. They must not talk back 10or steal, but must
show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good.
Then they will make the teaching about God our
Savior attractive in every way.

11For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation
to all people. 12And we are instructed to turn from godless
living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil
world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,
13while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day
when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
will be revealed. 14He gave his life to free us from every
kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people,
totally committed to doing good deeds.

15You must teach these things and encourage the believers to
do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary,
so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.


Habakkuk 2:1-3

1I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.a

The Lord’s Answer

2Then the Lord replied:

“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a heraldb may run with it.
3For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
itc will certainly come and will not delay.

4“See, he is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous will live by his faithd—
5indeed, wine betrays him;
he is arrogant and never at rest.
Because he is as greedy as the gravee
and like death is never satisfied,
he gathers to himself all the nations
and takes captive all the peoples.

6“Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule
and scorn, saying,

“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
and makes himself wealthy by extortion!
How long must this go on?’
7Will not your debtorsf suddenly arise?
Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
Then you will become their victim.
8Because you have plundered many nations,
the peoples who are left will plunder you.
For you have shed man’s blood;
you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

9“Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain
to set his nest on high,
to escape the clutches of ruin!
10You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,
shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11The stones of the wall will cry out,
and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.

12“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
and establishes a town by crime!

13Has not the Lord Almighty determined
that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire,
that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
14For the earth will be filled with the knowledge
of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.

15“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors,
pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk,
so that he can gaze on their naked bodies.
16You will be filled with shame instead of glory.
Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposedg!
The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you,
and disgrace will cover your glory.
17The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
and your destruction of animals will terrify you.
For you have shed man’s blood;
you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

18“Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it?
Or an image that teaches lies?
For he who makes it trusts in his own creation;
he makes idols that cannot speak.
19Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’
Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’
Can it give guidance?
It is covered with gold and silver;
there is no breath in it.
20But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him.”
Psalms 32:8-9

8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
9Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in him.

11Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
Psalms 119: 1-176

Alepha

1Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the Lord.
2Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts.
3They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths.
4You have charged us
to keep your commandments carefully.
5Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees!
6Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands.
7As I learn your righteous regulations,
I will thank you by living as I should!
8I will obey your decrees.
Please don’t give up on me!

Beth

9How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word.
10I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
11I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13I have recited aloud
all the regulations you have given us.
14I have rejoiced in your laws
as much as in riches.
15I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
16I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.

Gimel

17Be good to your servant,
that I may live and obey your word.
18Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.
19I am only a foreigner in the land.
Don’t hide your commands from me!
20I am always overwhelmed
with a desire for your regulations.
21You rebuke the arrogant;
those who wander from your commands are cursed.
22Don’t let them scorn and insult me,
for I have obeyed your laws.
23Even princes sit and speak against me,
but I will meditate on your decrees.
24Your laws please me;
they give me wise advice.

Daleth

25I lie in the dust;
revive me by your word.
26I told you my plans, and you answered.
Now teach me your decrees.
27Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28I weep with sorrow;
encourage me by your word.
29Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
30I have chosen to be faithful;
I have determined to live by your regulations.
31I cling to your laws.
Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
32I will pursue your commands,
for you expand my understanding.

He

33Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
I will keep them to the end.
34Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
I will put them into practice with all my heart.
35Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
36Give me an eagerness for your laws
rather than a love for money!
37Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word.b
38Reassure me of your promise,
made to those who fear you.
39Help me abandon my shameful ways;
for your regulations are good.
40I long to obey your commandments!
Renew my life with your goodness.

Waw

41Lord, give me your unfailing love,
the salvation that you promised me.
42Then I can answer those who taunt me,
for I trust in your word.
43Do not snatch your word of truth from me,
for your regulations are my only hope.
44I will keep on obeying your instructions
forever and ever.
45I will walk in freedom,
for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
46I will speak to kings about your laws,
and I will not be ashamed.
47How I delight in your commands!
How I love them!
48I honor and love your commands.
I meditate on your decrees.

Zayin

49Remember your promise to me;
it is my only hope.
50Your promise revives me;
it comforts me in all my troubles.
51The proud hold me in utter contempt,
but I do not turn away from your instructions.
52I meditate on your age-old regulations;
O Lord, they comfort me.
53I become furious with the wicked,
because they reject your instructions.
54Your decrees have been the theme of my songs
wherever I have lived.
55I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;
therefore, I obey your instructions.
56This is how I spend my life:
obeying your commandments.

Heth

57Lord, you are mine!
I promise to obey your words!
58With all my heart I want your blessings.
Be merciful as you promised.
59I pondered the direction of my life,
and I turned to follow your laws.
60I will hurry, without delay,
to obey your commands.
61Evil people try to drag me into sin,
but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.
62I rise at midnight to thank you
for your just regulations.
63I am a friend to anyone who fears you—
anyone who obeys your commandments.
64O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth;
teach me your decrees.

Teth

65You have done many good things for me, Lord,
just as you promised.
66I believe in your commands;
now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
67I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
but now I closely follow your word.
68You are good and do only good;
teach me your decrees.
69Arrogant people smear me with lies,
but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart.
70Their hearts are dull and stupid,
but I delight in your instructions.
71My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
72Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver.

Yodh

73You made me; you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
74May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy,
for I have put my hope in your word.
75I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair;
you disciplined me because I needed it.
76Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant.
77Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live,
for your instructions are my delight.
78Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me;
meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.
79Let me be united with all who fear you,
with those who know your laws.
80May I be blameless in keeping your decrees;
then I will never be ashamed.

Kaph

81I am worn out waiting for your rescue,
but I have put my hope in your word.
82My eyes are straining to see your promises come true.
When will you comfort me?
83I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke,
but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees.
84How long must I wait?
When will you punish those who persecute me?
85These arrogant people who hate your instructions
have dug deep pits to trap me.
86All your commands are trustworthy.
Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause.
87They almost finished me off,
but I refused to abandon your commandments.
88In your unfailing love, spare my life;
then I can continue to obey your laws.

Lamedh

89Your eternal word, O Lord,
stands firm in heaven.
90Your faithfulness extends to every generation,
as enduring as the earth you created.
91Your regulations remain true to this day,
for everything serves your plans.
92If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy,
I would have died in my misery.
93I will never forget your commandments,
for by them you give me life.
94I am yours; rescue me!
For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments.
95Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me,
I will quietly keep my mind on your laws.
96Even perfection has its limits,
but your commands have no limit.

Mem

97Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.
98Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are my constant guide.
99Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,
for I am always thinking of your laws.
100I am even wiser than my elders,
for I have kept your commandments.
101I have refused to walk on any evil path,
so that I may remain obedient to your word.
102I haven’t turned away from your regulations,
for you have taught me well.
103How sweet your words taste to me;
they are sweeter than honey.
104Your commandments give me understanding;
no wonder I hate every false way of life.

Nun

105Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
106I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again:
I will obey your righteous regulations.
107I have suffered much, O Lord;
restore my life again as you promised.
108Lord, accept my offering of praise,
and teach me your regulations.
109My life constantly hangs in the balance,
but I will not stop obeying your instructions.
110The wicked have set their traps for me,
but I will not turn from your commandments.
111Your laws are my treasure;
they are my heart’s delight.
112I am determined to keep your decrees
to the very end.

Samekh

113I hate those with divided loyalties,
but I love your instructions.
114You are my refuge and my shield;
your word is my source of hope.
115Get out of my life, you evil-minded people,
for I intend to obey the commands of my God.
116Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live!
Do not let my hope be crushed.
117Sustain me, and I will be rescued;
then I will meditate continually on your decrees.
118But you have rejected all who stray from your decrees.
They are only fooling themselves.
119You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum;
no wonder I love to obey your laws!
120I tremble in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your regulations.

Ayin

121Don’t leave me to the mercy of my enemies,
for I have done what is just and right.
122Please guarantee a blessing for me.
Don’t let the arrogant oppress me!
123My eyes strain to see your rescue,
to see the truth of your promise fulfilled.
124I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love,
and teach me your decrees.
125Give discernment to me, your servant;
then I will understand your laws.
126Lord, it is time for you to act,
for these evil people have violated your instructions.
127Truly, I love your commands
more than gold, even the finest gold.
128Each of your commandments is right.
That is why I hate every false way.

Pe

129Your laws are wonderful.
No wonder I obey them!
130The teaching of your word gives light,
so even the simple can understand.
131I pant with expectation,
longing for your commands.
132Come and show me your mercy,
as you do for all who love your name.
133Guide my steps by your word,
so I will not be overcome by evil.
134Ransom me from the oppression of evil people;
then I can obey your commandments.
135Look upon me with love;
teach me your decrees.
136Rivers of tears gush from my eyes
because people disobey your instructions.

Tsadhe

137O Lord, you are righteous,
and your regulations are fair.
138Your laws are perfect
and completely trustworthy.
139I am overwhelmed with indignation,
for my enemies have disregarded your words.
140Your promises have been thoroughly tested;
that is why I love them so much.
141I am insignificant and despised,
but I don’t forget your commandments.
142Your justice is eternal,
and your instructions are perfectly true.
143As pressure and stress bear down on me,
I find joy in your commands.
144Your laws are always right;
help me to understand them so I may live.

Qoph

145I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord!
I will obey your decrees.
146I cry out to you; rescue me,
that I may obey your laws.
147I rise early, before the sun is up;
I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.
148I stay awake through the night,
thinking about your promise.
149In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry;
let me be revived by following your regulations.
150Lawless people are coming to attack me;
they live far from your instructions.
151But you are near, O Lord,
and all your commands are true.
152I have known from my earliest days
that your laws will last forever.

Resh

153Look upon my suffering and rescue me,
for I have not forgotten your instructions.
154Argue my case; take my side!
Protect my life as you promised.
155The wicked are far from rescue,
for they do not bother with your decrees.
156Lord, how great is your mercy;
let me be revived by following your regulations.
157Many persecute and trouble me,
yet I have not swerved from your laws.
158Seeing these traitors makes me sick at heart,
because they care nothing for your word.
159See how I love your commandments, Lord.
Give back my life because of your unfailing love.
160The very essence of your words is truth;
all your just regulations will stand forever.

Shin

161Powerful people harass me without cause,
but my heart trembles only at your word.
162I rejoice in your word
like one who discovers a great treasure.
163I hate and abhor all falsehood,
but I love your instructions.
164I will praise you seven times a day
because all your regulations are just.
165Those who love your instructions have great peace
and do not stumble.
166I long for your rescue, Lord,
so I have obeyed your commands.
167I have obeyed your laws,
for I love them very much.
168Yes, I obey your commandments and laws
because you know everything I do.

Taw

169O Lord, listen to my cry;
give me the discerning mind you promised.
170Listen to my prayer;
rescue me as you promised.
171Let praise flow from my lips,
for you have taught me your decrees.
172Let my tongue sing about your word,
for all your commands are right.
173Give me a helping hand,
for I have chosen to follow your commandments.
174O Lord, I have longed for your rescue,
and your instructions are my delight.
175Let me live so I can praise you,
and may your regulations help me.
176I have wandered away like a lost sheep;
come and find me,
for I have not forgotten your commands.