Ephesians 3 (Listen)

The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

(ESV)

Job 35 (Listen)

Elihu Condemns Job

And Elihu answered and said:

  “Do you think this to be just?
    Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’
  that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
  I will answer you
    and your friends with you.
  Look at the heavens, and see;
    and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
  If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
  If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
    Or what does he receive from your hand?
  Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
    and your righteousness a son of man.
  “Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
10   But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11   who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
12   There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evil men.
13   Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty regard it.
14   How much less when you say that you do not see him,
    that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
15   And now, because his anger does not punish,
    and he does not take much note of transgression,
16   Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”

(ESV)

Proverbs 16 (Listen)

  The plans of the heart belong to man,
    but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the spirit.
  Commit your work to the LORD,
    and your plans will be established.
  The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.
  Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
    be assured, he will not go unpunished.
  By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
  When a man's ways please the LORD,
    he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
  Better is a little with righteousness
    than great revenues with injustice.
  The heart of man plans his way,
    but the LORD establishes his steps.
10   An oracle is on the lips of a king;
    his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11   A just balance and scales are the LORD's;
    all the weights in the bag are his work.
12   It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
    for the throne is established by righteousness.
13   Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
    and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14   A king's wrath is a messenger of death,
    and a wise man will appease it.
15   In the light of a king's face there is life,
    and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
16   How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17   The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
    whoever guards his way preserves his life.
18   Pride goes before destruction,
    and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19   It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
    than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20   Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
    and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
21   The wise of heart is called discerning,
    and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22   Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
    but the instruction of fools is folly.
23   The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
    and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24   Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
25   There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.
26   A worker's appetite works for him;
    his mouth urges him on.
27   A worthless man plots evil,
    and his speech is like a scorching fire.
28   A dishonest man spreads strife,
    and a whisperer separates close friends.
29   A man of violence entices his neighbor
    and leads him in a way that is not good.
30   Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
    he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
31   Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.
32   Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
    and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33   The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the LORD.

(ESV)

Psalm 136 (Listen)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
10   to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
11   and brought Israel out from among them,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
12   with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
13   to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
14   and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
15   but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
16   to him who led his people through the wilderness,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
17   to him who struck down great kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
18   and killed mighty kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
19   Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
20   and Og, king of Bashan,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
21   and gave their land as a heritage,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
22   a heritage to Israel his servant,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
23   It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
24   and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
25   he who gives food to all flesh,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
26   Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

(ESV)