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29 September 2017 Bible Reading

In today’s Bible reading, we begin studying Philippians.

Paul spent about three months in Philippi during his second missionary journey. During this first stay in Philippi Paul brought the gospel to those who would become a powerful congregation of God’s people. They included Lydia and the Philippian jailer.

Isaiah 57:14-59:21
14 He will say, “Build up, build up, prepare the way!
Remove the stumbling-block out of the way of my people.”
15 For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity,
whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always angry;
for the spirit would faint before me,
and the souls whom I have made.
17 I was angry because of the iniquity of his covetousness, and struck him;
I hid myself and was angry;
and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him:
I will lead him also,
and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
19 I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace, to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
says Yahweh; “and I will heal them.”
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea;
for it can’t rest, and its waters cast up mire and mud.
21 “There is no peace”, says my God,
“for the wicked.”
58 “Cry aloud, don’t spare.
Lift up your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their disobedience,
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily,
and delight to know my ways.
As a nation that did righteousness,
and didn’t forsake the ordinance of their God,
they ask of me righteous judgments.
They delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ say they, ‘and you don’t see?
Why have we afflicted our soul, and you don’t notice?’
“Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
and oppress all your laborers.
4 Behold, you fast for strife and contention,
and to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You don’t fast today so as to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the fast that I have chosen?
A day for a man to humble his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under himself?
Will you call this a fast,
and an acceptable day to Yahweh?
6 “Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen:
to release the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and that you break every yoke?
7 Isn’t it to distribute your bread to the hungry,
and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house?
When you see the naked,
that you cover him;
and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light will break out as the morning,
and your healing will appear quickly;
then your righteousness shall go before you;
and Yahweh’s glory will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and Yahweh will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you take away from among you the yoke,
finger pointing,
and speaking wickedly;
10 and if you pour out your soul to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted soul:
then your light will rise in darkness,
and your obscurity will be as the noonday;
11 and Yahweh will guide you continually,
and satisfy your soul in dry places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water,
whose waters don’t fail.
12 Those who shall be of you shall build the old waste places;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach,
Restorer of Paths with Dwellings.
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day;
and call the Sabbath a delight,
and the holy of Yahweh honorable;
and shall honor it,
not doing your own ways,
nor finding your own pleasure,
nor speaking your own words:
14 then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh;
and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth;
and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father:”
for Yahweh’s mouth has spoken it.
59 Behold, Yahweh’s hand is not shortened, that it can’t save;
nor his ear dull, that it can’t hear.
2 But your iniquities have separated you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood,
and your fingers with iniquity.
Your lips have spoken lies.
Your tongue mutters wickedness.
4 No one sues in righteousness,
and no one pleads in truth.
They trust in vanity,
and speak lies.
They conceive mischief,
and give birth to iniquity.
5 They hatch adders’ eggs,
and weave the spider’s web.
He who eats of their eggs dies;
and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper.
6 Their webs won’t become garments.
They won’t cover themselves with their works.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and acts of violence are in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil,
and they hurry to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity.
desolation and destruction are in their paths.
8 They don’t know the way of peace;
and there is no justice in their ways.
They have made crooked paths for themselves;
whoever goes in them doesn’t know peace.
9 Therefore is justice far from us,
and righteousness doesn’t overtake us.
We look for light, but see darkness;
for brightness, but we walk in obscurity.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind.
Yes, we grope as those who have no eyes.
We stumble at noon as if it were twilight.
Among those who are strong, we are like dead men.
11 We all roar like bears,
and moan bitterly like doves.
We look for justice, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far off from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you,
and our sins testify against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
and as for our iniquities, we know them:
13 transgressing and denying Yahweh,
and turning away from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
14 Justice is turned away backward,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has fallen in the street,
and uprightness can’t enter.
15 Yes, truth is lacking;
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
Yahweh saw it,
and it displeased him that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no intercessor.
Therefore his own arm brought salvation to him;
and his righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head.
He put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and was clad with zeal as a mantle.
18 According to their deeds,
he will repay as appropriate,
wrath to his adversaries,
recompense to his enemies;
he will repay the islands their due.
19 So shall they fear Yahweh’s name from the west,
and his glory from the rising of the sun;
for he will come as a rushing stream,
which Yahweh’s breath drives.
20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion,
and to those who turn from disobedience in Jacob,” says Yahweh.
21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says Yahweh. “My Spirit who is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your offspring, nor out of the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says Yahweh, “from henceforth and forever.”

Philippians 1:1-26
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ;
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and servants: 2 Grace to you, and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God whenever I remember you, 4 always in every request of mine on behalf of you all making my requests with joy, 5 for your partnership in furtherance of the Good News from the first day until now; 6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is even right for me to think this way on behalf of all of you, because I have you in my heart, because, both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how I long after all of you in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus.
9 This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment; 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense to the day of Christ; 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
12 Now I desire to have you know, brothers, that the things which happened to me have turned out rather to the progress of the Good News; 13 so that it became evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my bonds are in Christ; 14 and that most of the brothers in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word of God without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even out of envy and strife, and some also out of good will. 16 The former insincerely preach Christ from selfish ambition, thinking that they add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the Good News.
18 What does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed. I rejoice in this, yes, and will rejoice. 19 For I know that this will turn out to my salvation, through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will in no way be disappointed, but with all boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I don’t know what I will choose. 23 But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Yet, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake. 25 Having this confidence, I know that I will remain, yes, and remain with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 that your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.

Psalm 71
71 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge.
Never let me be disappointed.
2 Deliver me in your righteousness, and rescue me.
Turn your ear to me, and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge to which I may always go.
Give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
5 For you are my hope, Lord Yahweh;
my confidence from my youth.
6 I have relied on you from the womb.
You are he who took me out of my mother’s womb.
I will always praise you.
7 I am a marvel to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
with your honor all the day.
9 Don’t reject me in my old age.
Don’t forsake me when my strength fails.
10 For my enemies talk about me.
Those who watch for my soul conspire together,
11 saying, “God has forsaken him.
Pursue and take him, for no one will rescue him.”
12 God, don’t be far from me.
My God, hurry to help me.
13 Let my accusers be disappointed and consumed.
Let them be covered with disgrace and scorn who want to harm me.
14 But I will always hope,
and will add to all of your praise.
15 My mouth will tell about your righteousness,
and of your salvation all day,
though I don’t know its full measure.
16 I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord Yahweh.
I will make mention of your righteousness, even of yours alone.
17 God, you have taught me from my youth.
Until now, I have declared your wondrous works.
18 Yes, even when I am old and gray-haired, God, don’t forsake me,
until I have declared your strength to the next generation,
your might to everyone who is to come.
19 Your righteousness also, God, reaches to the heavens;
you have done great things.
God, who is like you?
20 You, who have shown us many and bitter troubles,
you will let me live.
You will bring us up again from the depths of the earth.
21 Increase my honor,
and comfort me again.
22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God.
I sing praises to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall shout for joy!
My soul, which you have redeemed, sings praises to you!
24 My tongue will also talk about your righteousness all day long,
for they are disappointed, and they are confounded,
who want to harm me.

Proverbs 24:9-10
9 The schemes of folly are sin.
The mocker is detested by men.
10 If you falter in the time of trouble,
your strength is small.

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