Scripture for Week of February 23 – March 1

2 Samuel 12:1-31 (NIV)

1The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

5David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11“This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”

13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

15After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

18On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

19David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; 25and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.

26Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 27Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 28Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.”

29So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30David took the crown from their king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

 

Scripture for Week of February 16-22

Judges 3:31 (NIV)

31After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.

 

Scripture for Week of February 9-15

Numbers 13: 1-33 (NIV)

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
3 So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. 4 These are their names:
from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur;
5 from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;
6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;
7 from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;
8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;
9 from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;
10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;
11 from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi;
12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;
13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;
14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;
15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki.
16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.)
17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)
21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,[a] they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

 

Scripture for Week of February 2-8

Joshua 7: 1-26 (NIV)

1 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.

2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.

3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” 4 So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5 who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.

6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”

10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.

13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.

14 “‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. 15 Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’”

16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. 17 The clans of Judah came forward, and the Zerahites were chosen. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was chosen. 18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen.

19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”
20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord.

24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”

Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. 26 Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.

 

Scripture for Week of January 26 – February 1

Genesis 39: 1-23 (NIV)

1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.  2The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.  3When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.  Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.  5From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.  The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.  6So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.  Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 8But he refused.  “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.   9No one is greater in this house than I am.  My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  10And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.  11One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside.  12She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!”  But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.  13When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14she called her household servants.  “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us!  He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed.  15When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”  16She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.  17Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me.  18But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”  19When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger.  20Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.  But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.  22So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.  23The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Scripture for Week of January 19-25

Romans 12: 14-21 (NIV)

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On 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.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Scripture for Week of January 12-18

Romans 12: 9-13 (NIV)

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

Scripture for Week of January 5-11

Romans 12: 3-8 (NIV)

3 For 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 faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Scripture for Week of January 1-4

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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.

Comments

  1. Theresa Lewis says:(Edit)

    What really speaks to me is; do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. With all the current events going on it would be easy to jump on that band wagon and become a part of that negativity. As in the old saying, misery loves company. However, knowing I have God to lead me and direct me brings me comfort during these very difficult and trying times. I really believe the Lord is using these current times as a adamant challenge to be the light. As in darkness is when our light can shine the brightest. If we follow His word, and lead by example, and fellowship with others….we can be the beacon He wants and needs us to be. We need to renew our minds everyday through scripture and devotion and prayer to be able to not conform to the world. It can be done, because the Lord has given me all the tools to do so, and an instruction manual as well.

  2. Jamie Fowler says:(Edit)

    By truly placing Jesus as my first love and having no other gods before him can I completely give myself as an offering of worship. Praise God that he 1st loved me that I might be free from the grasp of this world and trying to walk in the spirit daily through His Power.

  3. Mark Matson says:(Edit)

    All aspects of who I am, from physical to spiritual, is all about
    honoring my Heavenly Father. This is how I am to truly and effectively
    experience the presence of Jesus in my life. Anything less is falling short
    of His will for me.

  4. Tracy Bush says:(Edit)

    As I read this passage, what really speaks to me is: “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. One author says; “Half of spiritual growth is learning what we don’t know. The other half is unlearning what we do know”.

    The author goes on to say; “Just as a computer hard drive needs to be defragmented to optimize performance, our minds need to be defragmented. So how do we defragment our faith? How do we renew our minds? How do we get ourselves out of the mental pit we’ve gotten ourselves into? The way to upgrade your mind is to download Scripture.”

    “When we read Scripture, we are recruiting new nerve cells and rewiring neuronal connections. In a sense, we are downloading a new operating system that reconfigures the mind. We stop thinking human thoughts and start thinking God thoughts.”

    Thank you for reminding me that I need to ‘download’ scripture daily in order to stay in tune with God (hearing what He has to say) and grow spiritually.

  5. Pastor Joey says:(Edit)

    The highest calling and privilege of man is to bring honor and glory to the Creator through a life of worship. This is the very reason we were created – to put a smile on God’s face! But what is worship? I have come to believe worship is giving all who I am to all who He is to position Him in His rightful place on the throne of my life. It requires giving my mind’s attention, heart’s affection and life’s ambition fully to the Lord.

    In 1 Chronicles 16:29, we find an amazing passage calling us to the heart of worship.

    For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

    As I reflect on this amazing passage of ascription to the Lord, I am struck by the phrase, “bring an offering.” I am reminded that authentic worship requires I bring something to the dance – and what I am to bring is me as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). My very life is to be an act of worship. So whether I am gathering with other believers to worship or spending time alone with God in solitude, I am called to live for the single purpose of putting a smile on God’s face.

    Unfortunately, I fear we have moved into an era where we have substituted worship at church for the true worship of God. We have mistakenly exchanged singing songs and getting lost in the emotion of the moment for life submission to the heart and purposes of God. This is not to say the elements of the corporate gathering are frivolous, but that they are only one dimension of meaningful and fulfilling worship.

    As I have searched the Scripture, I have come to believe the activity of worship must first occur in solitude before it can ever be warranted in public. A worship leader friend once asked a powerful question in the corporate worship setting I have not soon forgotten – “Have you brought your worship with you today.” This question pierced me because I have long understood that worship is not something we do on Sunday morning for 30 minutes to music; it is a disposition of surrender in every aspect of our lives 24/7/365.

    To be a contributor in the corporate worship setting requires that we have been a private worshipper the other days of the week. In reflecting on Psalm 51, David reminds us that God does not delight in our manufactured offerings but in a broken and contrite heart. What I have discovered in my own experience is when I worship privately, God washes over me to humble and teach me about how great He really is and how He desire to live and move in and through me. This occurs because in private worship there is no false pretense – it is just you and God. In private worship we draw near to the Father to become the living sacrifice he longs for us to become publicly.