Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – September 23, 2019

Joel 2:12–17

2:12 “Yet even now,” the Lord says,

“return to me with all your heart –

with fasting, weeping, and mourning.

13Tear your hearts,

not just your garments!”

Return to the Lord your God,

for he is merciful and compassionate,

slow to anger and boundless in loyal love – often relenting from calamitous punishment.

14Who knows?

Perhaps he will be compassionate and grant a reprieve,

and leave blessing in his wake –

a meal offering and a drink offering for you to offer to the Lord your God!

15Blow the trumpet in Zion.

Announce a holy fast;

proclaim a sacred assembly!

16Gather the people;

sanctify an assembly!

Gather the elders;

gather the children and the nursing infants.

Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom

and the bride from her private quarters.

17Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep

from the vestibule all the way back to the altar.

Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people;

please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked,

to become a proverb among the nations.

Why should it be said among the peoples,

“Where is their God?”

(NET Bible)

Ps. 82

82:1 A psalm of Asaph.

God stands in the assembly of El;

in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.

2He says, “How long will you make unjust legal decisions

and show favoritism to the wicked? (Selah)

3Defend the cause of the poor and the fatherless!

Vindicate the oppressed and suffering!

4Rescue the poor and needy!

Deliver them from the power of the wicked!

5They neither know nor understand.

They stumble around in the dark,

while all the foundations of the earth crumble.

6I thought, ‘You are gods;

all of you are sons of the Most High.’

7Yet you will die like mortals;

you will fall like all the other rulers.”

8Rise up, O God, and execute judgment on the earth!

For you own all the nations.

(NET Bible)

Rom. 12:1–21

12:1 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. 2Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.

3For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith. 4For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, 5so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another. 6And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. 7If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; 8if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness.

9Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. 11Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 19Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(NET Bible)

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.

In his Exposition of the Prophet Zechariah, of 1527, in the explanation of the passage 11:12 ., Luther raises the question, “Why does Matthew (27:9) attribute the text of the thirty pieces of silver to the prophet Jeremiah when it appears here in Zechariah?” He answers: “It is true, this and similar questions do not mean much to me since they are of no particular profit, and Matthew has done enough when he has cited a genuine text even if he does not have the correct name, just as in other places he cites texts but does not give them in the exact words of Scripture; we can pass that by, and it does no harm that he does not use the exact words, for the sense has been preserved, and so here, what does it matter if he does not give the name exactly, because more depends on the words than on the name. And that is the manner of all apostles who do the same thing, citing the statements of Scripture without such meticulous care concerning the text. Wherefore it would be much harder to question their procedure than to question Matthew here about the name of Jeremiah. Let anyone who loves idle questions ask on. He will find more to question than he can answer.” (49)

–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures

This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.

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