Monday

June 24, 2024


Section 1 of 4

Deuteronomy 30

About 2.8 Minutes

“In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!

“The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live! The Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate and persecute you. Then you will again obey the Lord and keep all his commands that I am giving you today.

“The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors. 10 The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. 12 It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ 13 It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ 14 No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.

15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.

17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.

19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”


Section 2 of 4

Psalms 119:73-96

About 3.2 Minutes

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

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

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


Section 3 of 4

Isaiah 57

About 4.8 Minutes

Good people pass away;
    the godly often die before their time.
    But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
    that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
For those who follow godly paths
    will rest in peace when they die.

“But you—come here, you witches’ children,
    you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Whom do you mock,
    making faces and sticking out your tongues?
    You children of sinners and liars!
You worship your idols with great passion
    beneath the oaks and under every green tree.
You sacrifice your children down in the valleys,
    among the jagged rocks in the cliffs.
Your gods are the smooth stones in the valleys.
    You worship them with liquid offerings and grain offerings.
They, not I, are your inheritance.
    Do you think all this makes me happy?
You have committed adultery on every high mountain.
    There you have worshiped idols
    and have been unfaithful to me.
You have put pagan symbols
    on your doorposts and behind your doors.
You have left me
    and climbed into bed with these detestable gods.
You have committed yourselves to them.
    You love to look at their naked bodies.
You have gone to Molech
    with olive oil and many perfumes,
sending your agents far and wide,
    even to the world of the dead.
10 You grew weary in your search,
    but you never gave up.
Desire gave you renewed strength,
    and you did not grow weary.

11 “Are you afraid of these idols?
    Do they terrify you?
Is that why you have lied to me
    and forgotten me and my words?
Is it because of my long silence
    that you no longer fear me?
12 Now I will expose your so-called good deeds.
    None of them will help you.
13 Let’s see if your idols can save you
    when you cry to them for help.
Why, a puff of wind can knock them down!
    If you just breathe on them, they fall over!
But whoever trusts in me will inherit the land
    and possess my holy mountain.”

14 God says, “Rebuild the road!
    Clear away the rocks and stones
    so my people can return from captivity.”
15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
    the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place
    with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
    and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
16 For I will not fight against you forever;
    I will not always be angry.
If I were, all people would pass away—
    all the souls I have made.
17 I was angry,
    so I punished these greedy people.
I withdrew from them,
    but they kept going on their own stubborn way.
18 I have seen what they do,
    but I will heal them anyway!
    I will lead them.
I will comfort those who mourn,
19     bringing words of praise to their lips.
May they have abundant peace, both near and far,”
    says the Lord, who heals them.
20 “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea,
    which is never still
    but continually churns up mud and dirt.
21 There is no peace for the wicked,”
    says my God.


Section 4 of 4

Matthew 5

About 5.6 Minutes

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

25 “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

31 “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ 32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

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