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Jer. 14

14:1 This was the Lord’s message to Jeremiah about the drought.

2 “The people of Judah are in mourning.

The people in her cities are pining away.

They lie on the ground expressing their sorrow.

Cries of distress come up to me from Jerusalem.

3The leading men of the cities send their servants for water.

They go to the cisterns, but they do not find any water there.

They return with their containers empty.

Disappointed and dismayed, they bury their faces in their hands.

4They are dismayed because the ground is cracked

because there has been no rain in the land.

The farmers, too, are dismayed

and bury their faces in their hands.

5Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn in the field

because there is no grass.

6Wild donkeys stand on the hilltops

and pant for breath like jackals.

Their eyes are strained looking for food,

because there is none to be found.”

7Then I said,

“O Lord, intervene for the honor of your name

even though our sins speak out against us.

Indeed, we have turned away from you many times.

We have sinned against you.

8You have been the object of Israel’s hopes.

You have saved them when they were in trouble.

Why have you become like a resident foreigner in the land?

Why have you become like a traveler who only stops in to spend the night?

9Why should you be like someone who is helpless,

like a champion who cannot save anyone?

You are indeed with us,

and we belong to you.

Do not abandon us!”

10Then the Lord spoke about these people.

“They truly love to go astray.

They cannot keep from running away from me.

So I am not pleased with them.

I will now call to mind the wrongs they have done

and punish them for their sins.”

11Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for good to come to these people! 12Even if they fast, I will not hear their cries for help. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will kill them through wars, famines, and plagues.”

13Then I said, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, look! The prophets are telling them that you said, ‘You will not experience war or suffer famine. I will give you lasting peace and prosperity in this land.’”

14Then the Lord said to me, “Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! I did not send them. I did not commission them. I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, and the delusions of their own mind. 15I did not send those prophets, though they claim to be prophesying in my name. They may be saying, ‘No war or famine will happen in this land.’ But I, the Lord, say this about them: ‘War and starvation will kill those prophets.’ 16The people to whom they are prophesying will die through war and famine. Their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem and there will be no one to bury them. This will happen to the men and their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out on them the destruction they deserve.”

17 “Tell these people this, Jeremiah:

‘My eyes overflow with tears

day and night without ceasing.

For my people, my dear children, have suffered a crushing blow.

They have suffered a serious wound.

18If I go out into the countryside,

I see those who have been killed in battle.

If I go into the city,

I see those who are sick because of starvation.

For both prophet and priest–

they go peddling in the land

but they are not humbled.’”

19Then I said,

“Lord, have you completely rejected the nation of Judah?

Do you despise the city of Zion?

Why have you struck us with such force

that we are beyond recovery?

We hope for peace, but nothing good has come of it.

We hope for a time of relief from our troubles, but experience terror.

20 Lord, we confess that we have been wicked.

We confess that our ancestors have done wrong.

We have indeed sinned against you.

21For the honor of your name, do not treat Jerusalem with contempt.

Do not treat with disdain the place where your glorious throne sits.

Be mindful of your covenant with us. Do not break it!

22Do any of the worthless idols of the nations cause rain to fall?

Do the skies themselves send showers?

Is it not you, O Lord our God, who does this?

So we put our hopes in you

because you alone do all this.”

(NET Bible)

Ps. 132

132:1 A song of ascents.

O Lord, for David’s sake remember

all his strenuous effort,

2and how he made a vow to the Lord,

and swore an oath to the Powerful One of Jacob.

3He said, “I will not enter my own home,

or get into my bed.

4I will not allow my eyes to sleep,

or my eyelids to slumber,

5until I find a place for the Lord,

a fine dwelling place for the Powerful One of Jacob.”

6Look, we heard about it in Ephrathah,

we found it in the territory of Jaar.

7Let us go to his dwelling place!

Let us worship before his footstool!

8Ascend, O Lord, to your resting place,

you and the ark of your strength!

9May your priests be clothed with integrity!

May your loyal followers shout for joy!

10For the sake of David, your servant,

do not reject your chosen king!

11The Lord made a reliable promise to David;

he will not go back on his word.

He said, “I will place one of your descendants on your throne.

12If your sons keep my covenant

and the rules I teach them,

their sons will also sit on your throne forever.”

13Certainly the Lord has chosen Zion;

he decided to make it his home.

14He said, “This will be my resting place forever;

I will live here, for I have chosen it.

15I will abundantly supply what she needs;

I will give her poor all the food they need.

16I will protect her priests,

and her godly people will shout exuberantly.

17There I will make David strong;

I have determined that my chosen king’s dynasty will continue.

18I will humiliate his enemies,

and his crown will shine.

(NET Bible)

Acts 9:1–19

9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats to murder the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 2and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he was going along, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! 6But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do.” 7(Now the men who were traveling with him stood there speechless, because they heard the voice but saw no one.) 8So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, he could see nothing. Leading him by the hand, his companions brought him into Damascus. 9For three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything.

10Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, Lord.” 11Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 13But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 14and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call on your name!” 15But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 16For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, his strength returned.

For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, (NET Bible)

During the summer [Luther] defended himself in a German as well as in a Latin treatise against the attack by King Henry VIII of England. I will quote only the brief word from the Latin writing, “They demand that we believe them; I do not demand that men should believe me but that they should believe the clear words of God.” From the German we quote: “But that he (King Henry) cites the statements of several of the Fathers and ridicules my arrogance that I alone would be smart whereas I am the greatest fool, does not a affect me. For me it is enough that King Heinz can not quote a single Scripture … But I place against the sayings of all Fathers, all angels’, men’s, devils’ artifice and word, the Scripture and the gospel. Here I stand, here I bid defiance, here I strut about and say, God’s Word for me is above everything; divine majesty stands by me (i.e., in and with the Word); therefore I will not give a hair though a thousand Augustines, a thousand Heinze-Churches were also against me, and I am certain that the true Church with me holds fast to the Word of God.” (22–23)

–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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