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Old Testament:  Psalms 84-86

Psalms 84

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument. [1] 
 1  How lovely is your dwelling place,
  O LORD of Heaven's Armies.
 2  I long, yes, I faint with longing
  to enter the courts of the LORD.
With my whole being, body and soul,
  I will shout joyfully to the living God.
 3  Even the sparrow finds a home,
  and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
  O LORD of Heaven's Armies, my King and my God!
 4  What joy for those who can live in your house,
  always singing your praises.    Interlude

 5  What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD,
  who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
 6  When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, [6] 
  it will become a place of refreshing springs.
  The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
 7  They will continue to grow stronger,
  and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. [7] 

 8  O LORD God of Heaven's Armies, hear my prayer.
  Listen, O God of Jacob.    Interlude

 9  O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield!
  Show favor to the one you have anointed.

 10  A single day in your courts
  is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
  than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
 11  For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.  12  O LORD of Heaven's Armies,
  what joy for those who trust in you.

Psalms 85

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
 1  LORD, you poured out blessings on your land!
  You restored the fortunes of Israel. [1] 
 2  You forgave the guilt of your people—
  yes, you covered all their sins.    Interlude
 3  You held back your fury.
  You kept back your blazing anger.

 4  Now restore us again, O God of our salvation.
  Put aside your anger against us once more.
 5  Will you be angry with us always?
  Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
 6  Won't you revive us again,
  so your people can rejoice in you?
 7  Show us your unfailing love, O LORD,
  and grant us your salvation.

 8  I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways.  9  Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
  so our land will be filled with his glory.

 10  Unfailing love and truth have met together.
  Righteousness and peace have kissed!
 11  Truth springs up from the earth,
  and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
 12  Yes, the LORD pours down his blessings.
  Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
 13  Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
  preparing the way for his steps.

Psalms 86

A prayer of David.
 1  Bend down, O LORD, and hear my prayer;
  answer me, for I need your help.
 2  Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
  Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
  You are my God.
 3  Be merciful to me, O Lord,
  for I am calling on you constantly.
 4  Give me happiness, O Lord,
  for I give myself to you.
 5  O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
  so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
 6  Listen closely to my prayer, O LORD;
  hear my urgent cry.
 7  I will call to you whenever I'm in trouble,
  and you will answer me.

 8  No pagan god is like you, O Lord.
  None can do what you do!
 9  All the nations you made
  will come and bow before you, Lord;
  they will praise your holy name.
 10  For you are great and perform wonderful deeds.
  You alone are God.

 11  Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.  12  With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
  I will give glory to your name forever,
 13  for your love for me is very great.
  You have rescued me from the depths of death. [13] 

 14  O God, insolent people rise up against me;
  a violent gang is trying to kill me.
  You mean nothing to them.
 15  But you, O Lord,
  are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry
  and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
 16  Look down and have mercy on me.
  Give your strength to your servant;
  save me, the son of your servant.
 17  Send me a sign of your favor.
  Then those who hate me will be put to shame,
  for you, O LORD, help and comfort me.
<<  84:<%=ftSC%>TITLE Hebrew according to the gittith.
<<  84:6 Or Valley of Poplars; Hebrew reads valley of Baca.
<<  84:7 Hebrew Zion.
<<  85:1 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 44:4.
<<  86:13 Hebrew of Sheol.

New Testament:  Romans 12

Romans 12

A Living Sacrifice to God
 1  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.  2  Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.    3  Because of the privilege and authority [3]  God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. [3]   4  Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,  5  so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
   6  In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.  7  If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.  8  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
   9  Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.  10  Love each other with genuine affection, [10]  and take delight in honoring each other.  11  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. [11]   12  Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.  13  When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
   14  Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them; pray that God will bless them.  15  Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  16  Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all!
   17  Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  18  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
   19  Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

"I will take revenge;
  I will pay them back," [19] 
  says the LORD.

 20  Instead,

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
  burning coals of shame on their heads." [20] 

 21  Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
<<  12:1a Greek brothers. 12:1b Or This is your spiritual worship; or This is your reasonable service.
<<  12:3a Or Because of the grace; compare 1:5. 12:3b Or by the faith God has given you; or by the standard of our God-given faith.
<<  12:10 Greek with brotherly love.
<<  12:11 Or but serve the Lord with a zealous spirit; or but let the Spirit excite you as you serve the Lord.
<<  12:19 Deut 32:35.
<<  12:20 Prov 25:21-22.

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