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The Psalms

BOOK I

(Psalms 1-41)

Psalm 1

The Two Ways


1 Happy are those
   who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
   or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
   and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 They are like trees
   planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
   and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.


4 The wicked are not so,
   but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
   but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 2

God’s Promise to His Anointed


1 Why do the nations conspire,
   and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
   and the rulers take counsel together,
   against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3 ‘Let us burst their bonds asunder,
   and cast their cords from us.’


4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
   the Lord has them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
   and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 ‘I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.’


7 I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, ‘You are my son;
   today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
   and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron,
   and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’


10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
   be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
   with trembling 12kiss his feet,*
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
   for his wrath is quickly kindled.


Happy are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 3

Trust in God under Adversity

A Psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom.
1Lord, how many are my foes!
   Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying to me,
   ‘There is no help for you* in God.’
          Selah


3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,
   my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
4 I cry aloud to the Lord,
   and he answers me from his holy hill.
          Selah


5 I lie down and sleep;
   I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
6 I am not afraid of tens of thousands of people
   who have set themselves against me all around.


7 Rise up, O Lord!
   Deliver me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
   you break the teeth of the wicked.


8 Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
   may your blessing be on your people!
          Selah

Psalm 4

Confident Plea for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
   You gave me room when I was in distress.
   Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.


2 How long, you people, shall my honour suffer shame?
   How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?
          Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself;
   the Lord hears when I call to him.


4 When you are disturbed,* do not sin;
   ponder it on your beds, and be silent.
          Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices,
   and put your trust in the Lord.


6 There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good!
   Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!’
7 You have put gladness in my heart
   more than when their grain and wine abound.


8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
   for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Psalm 7

Plea for Help against Persecutors

A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjaminite.
1Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
   save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
2 or like a lion they will tear me apart;
   they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.


3Lord my God, if I have done this,
   if there is wrong in my hands,
4 if I have repaid my ally with harm
   or plundered my foe without cause,
5 then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,
   trample my life to the ground,
   and lay my soul in the dust.
          Selah


6 Rise up, O Lord, in your anger;
   lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
   awake, O my God;* you have appointed a judgement.
7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,
   and over it take your seat* on high.
8 The Lord judges the peoples;
   judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
   and according to the integrity that is in me.


9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
   but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
   O righteous God.
10 God is my shield,
   who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
   and a God who has indignation every day.


12 If one does not repent, God* will whet his sword;
   he has bent and strung his bow;
13 he has prepared his deadly weapons,
   making his arrows fiery shafts.
14 See how they conceive evil,
   and are pregnant with mischief,
   and bring forth lies.
15 They make a pit, digging it out,
   and fall into the hole that they have made.
16 Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
   and on their own heads their violence descends.


17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
   and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

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Isa. 40:12-23


12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
   and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,
   and weighed the mountains in scales
   and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,
   or as his counsellor has instructed him?
14 Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,
   and who taught him the path of justice?
Who taught him knowledge,
   and showed him the way of understanding?
15 Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
   and are accounted as dust on the scales;
   see, he takes up the isles like fine dust.
16 Lebanon would not provide fuel enough,
   nor are its animals enough for a burnt-offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before him;
   they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.


18 To whom then will you liken God,
   or what likeness compare with him?
19 An idol? —A workman casts it,
   and a goldsmith overlays it with gold,
   and casts for it silver chains.
20 As a gift one chooses mulberry wood*
   —wood that will not rot—
then seeks out a skilled artisan
   to set up an image that will not topple.


21 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
   Has it not been told you from the beginning?
   Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
   and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
   and spreads them like a tent to live in;
23 who brings princes to naught,
   and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.

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Eph. 1:1-14

THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE

Ephesians

Salutation

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful* in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ* before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,* having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this* is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

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Mark 1:1-13

The Gospel According to

Mark

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

1The beginning of the good news* of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.*

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,*
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,*
   who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
   “Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight” ’,
4John the baptizer appeared* in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with* water; but he will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit.’

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.’

The Temptation of Jesus

12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

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