2 Chron. 29:20–36
29:20 Early the next morning King Hezekiah assembled the city officials and went up to the Lord’s temple. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. The king told the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer burnt sacrifices on the altar of the Lord. 22They slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and splashed it on the altar. Then they slaughtered the rams and splashed the blood on the altar; next they slaughtered the lambs and splashed the blood on the altar. 23Finally they brought the goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they placed their hands on them. 24Then the priests slaughtered them. They offered their blood as a sin offering on the altar to make atonement for all Israel, because the king had decreed that the burnt sacrifice and sin offering were for all Israel.
25Hezekiah stationed the Levites in the Lord’s temple with cymbals and stringed instruments, just as David, Gad the king’s prophet, and Nathan the prophet had ordered. (The Lord had actually given these orders through his prophets.) 26The Levites had David’s musical instruments and the priests had trumpets. 27Hezekiah ordered the burnt sacrifice to be offered on the altar. As they began to offer the sacrifice, they also began to sing to the Lord, accompanied by the trumpets and the musical instruments of King David of Israel. 28The entire assembly worshiped, as the singers sang and the trumpeters played. They continued until the burnt sacrifice was completed.
29When the sacrifices were completed, the king and all who were with him bowed down and worshiped. 30King Hezekiah and the officials told the Levites to praise the Lord, using the psalms of David and Asaph the prophet. So they joyfully offered praise and bowed down and worshiped. 31Hezekiah said, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord. Come and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the Lord’s temple.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and whoever desired to do so brought burnt sacrifices.
32The assembly brought a total of 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs as burnt sacrifices to the Lord, 33and 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep were consecrated. 34But there were not enough priests to skin all the animals, so their brothers, the Levites, helped them until the work was finished and the priests could consecrate themselves. (The Levites had been more conscientious about consecrating themselves than the priests.) 35There was a large number of burnt sacrifices, as well as fat from the peace offerings and drink offerings that accompanied the burnt sacrifices. So the service of the Lord’s temple was reinstituted. 36Hezekiah and all the people were happy about what God had done for them, for it had been done quickly.(NET Bible)
103:1 By David.
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
With all that is within me, praise his holy name!
2Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Do not forget all his kind deeds!
3He is the one who forgives all your sins,
who heals all your diseases,
4who delivers your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,
5who satisfies your life with good things,
so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.
6The Lord does what is fair,
and executes justice for all the oppressed.
7The Lord revealed his faithful acts to Moses,
his deeds to the Israelites.
8The Lord is compassionate and merciful;
he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.
9He does not always accuse,
and does not stay angry.
10He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.
11For as the skies are high above the earth,
so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers.
12As far as the eastern horizon is from the west,
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.
13As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.
14For he knows what we are made of;
he realizes we are made of clay.
15A person’s life is like grass.
Like a flower in the field it flourishes,
16but when the hot wind blows by, it disappears,
and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.
17But the Lord continually shows loyal love to his faithful followers,
and is faithful to their descendants,
18to those who keep his covenant,
who are careful to obey his commands.
19The Lord has established his throne in heaven;
his kingdom extends over everything.
20Praise the Lord, you angels of his,
you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees
and obey his orders!
21Praise the Lord, all you warriors of his,
you servants of his who carry out his desires!
22Praise the Lord, all that he has made,
in all the regions of his kingdom!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!(NET Bible)
14:12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors so you can be invited by them in return and get repaid. 13But when you host an elaborate meal, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14Then you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
15When one of those at the meal with Jesus heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will feast in the kingdom of God!” 16But Jesus said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time for the banquet he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ 18But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going out to examine them. Please excuse me.’ 20Another said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’ 21So the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22Then the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’ 23So the master said to his slave, ‘Go out to the highways and country roads and urge people to come in, so that my house will be filled. 24For I tell you, not one of those individuals who were invited will taste my banquet!’”
25Now large crowds were accompanying Jesus, and turning to them he said, 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him. 30They will say, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ 31Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down first and determine whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he cannot succeed, he will send a representative while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.
34 “Salt is good, but if salt loses its flavor, how can its flavor be restored? 35It is of no value for the soil or for the manure pile; it is to be thrown out. The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”(NET Bible)
This word of Luther spoken at Worms has o en, unfortunately, been misconstrued. It has been inferred from it that Luther here demanded an unrestricted liberty of thought and conscience, according to which there is no such thing as an objective authority outside of ourselves, and man is responsible to no one but himself, his own subjective, arbitrary conscience. It is not to be denied that natural man would find his greatest delight in such an absolute freedom of thought and conscience, just as such freedom sooner or later always leads to a dissolution of morality and religion but never serves to fortify the same. Such unrestricted individualism, centering only in itself, divorced from all objective authority, was, perhaps, advocated by Italian humanism but never by Luther. This needs no further proof even though historians like Harnack saw fit to write: “ The Reformation protested against all formal, external authority in matters of religion. Thus Luther also protested against the authority of the letter of the Bible.” Whoever appeals to the confession of Luther at Worms in support of this deliberately closes his eyes to the fact that Luther expressly declared, “my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” (19)
–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.