Home > Reading > Daily Reading – January 4, 2020

Is. 28:14–29

28:14 Therefore, listen to the Lord’s message,

you who mock,

you rulers of these people

who reside in Jerusalem!

15For you say,

“We have made a treaty with death,

with Sheol we have made an agreement.

When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by

it will not reach us.

For we have made a lie our refuge,

we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.”

16Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord, says:

“Look, I am laying a stone in Zion,

an approved stone,

set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation.

The one who maintains his faith will not panic.

17I will make justice the measuring line,

fairness the plumb line;

hail will sweep away the unreliable refuge,

the floodwaters will overwhelm the hiding place.

18Your treaty with death will be dissolved;

your agreement with Sheol will not last.

When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by,

you will be overrun by it.

19Whenever it sweeps by, it will overtake you;

indeed, every morning it will sweep by,

it will come through during the day and the night.”

When this announcement is understood,

it will cause nothing but terror.

20For the bed is too short to stretch out on,

and the blanket is too narrow to wrap around oneself.

21For the Lord will rise up, as he did at Mount Perazim,

he will rouse himself, as he did in the Valley of Gibeon,

to accomplish his work,

his peculiar work,

to perform his task,

his strange task.

22So now, do not mock,

or your chains will become heavier!

For I have heard a message about decreed destruction,

from the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies, against the entire land.

23Pay attention and listen to my message!

Be attentive and listen to what I have to say!

24Does a farmer just keep on plowing at planting time?

Does he keep breaking up and harrowing his ground?

25Once he has leveled its surface,

does he not scatter the seed of the caraway plant,

sow the seed of the cumin plant,

and plant the wheat, barley, and grain in their designated places?

26His God instructs him;

he teaches him the principles of agriculture.

27Certainly caraway seed is not threshed with a sledge,

nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin seed.

Certainly caraway seed is beaten with a stick,

and cumin seed with a flail.

28Grain is crushed,

though one certainly does not thresh it forever.

The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it,

but his horses do not crush it.

29This also comes from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

who gives supernatural guidance and imparts great wisdom.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 4

4:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of David.

When I call out, answer me,

O God who vindicates me!

Though I am hemmed in, you will lead me into a wide, open place.

Have mercy on me and respond to my prayer!

2You men, how long will you try to turn my honor into shame?

How long will you love what is worthless

and search for what is deceptive? (Selah)

3Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor;

the Lord responds when I cry out to him.

4Tremble with fear and do not sin!

Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways! (Selah)

5Offer the prescribed sacrifices

and trust in the Lord!

6Many say, “Who can show us anything good?”

Smile upon us, Lord!

7You make me happier

than those who have abundant grain and wine.

8I will lie down and sleep peacefully,

for you, Lord, make me safe and secure.

(NET Bible)

John 2:23–3:15

2:23 Now while Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover, many people believed in his name because they saw the miraculous signs he was doing. 24But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people. 25He did not need anyone to testify about man, for he knew what was in man.

3:1 Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, 2came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?”

5Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ 8The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? 11I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. 12If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven – the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

(NET Bible)

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

[Luther writes]: “If I am to examine the spirit I must have the Word of God; this must be the rule, the touchstone, the lapis lydius, the light by means of which I can see what is black and what white.” … “ is is decisive; it does not matter what name he [the preacher] has, if he only teaches faithfully … has the Word of God as a plumb line.” … “What then, will you do? Will you condemn them? No, I do not want to condemn Benedictum and others, but I will take their books and go with them to Christ and his Word as the touchstone and compare the two.” … “If one says, the church or the bishops decided this, then answer: Come, let us go to the touchstone and let us measure with the right yard- stick and examine whether it agrees with the Pater Noster and with the Articles of Faith and whether he also preach forgiveness of sins. If it agrees with what Christ taught us, then let us accept it and do according to it.” (81)

Alternative:
[Luther writes:] “Paul takes them all together, himself, an angel from heaven, teachers upon earth, and masters of all kinds, and subjects them to the holy Scripture. Scripture must reign as queen (haec regina debet dominari), her all must obey and be subject to. Not teachers, judges, or arbiters over her, but they must be simple witnesses, pupils and  confessors of it, whether they may be the Pope or Luther or Augustine or Paul or an angel from heaven” … —“I let you cry in your hostility that Scripture contradicts itself, ascribing righteousness now to faith and then to works. It is impossible that Scripture contradict itself; it only seems so to foolish, coarse, and hardened hypocrites” … — “We abandon the talk of the Jews and stick to St. Paul’s understanding which, not without cause, emphasizes the little word ‘seed’ and thereby indicates that Holy Scripture in Gen. 12:3 and 22:18 speaks of a single seed not of many, and says plainly that Christ is such seed. Paul does so out of a genuine apostolic spirit and understanding. We Christians do not care if such interpretation does not please the Jews. Paul’s interpretation weighs more with us than all glosses of the rabbis” … — “One letter, even a single tittle of Scripture means more to us than heaven and earth. Therefore we cannot permit even the most minute change.” (82–83)

–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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