Proverbs 11:16–31 (ESV)
16 A gracious woman gets honor,
and violent men get riches.
17 A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself.
18 The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
19 Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
but he who pursues evil will die.
20 Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord,
but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman without discretion.
23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.
26 The people curse him who holds back grain,
but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
27 Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,
but evil comes to him who searches for it.
28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
29 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and whoever captures souls is wise.
31 If the righteous is repaid on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!
Psalm 112 (ESV)
The Righteous Will Never Be Moved
112 Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!
Hebrews 12:18–29 (ESV)
A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken
18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
On April 28, thus ten days later [a er Worms], [Luther] wrote his well-known letter to Emperor Charles. … “But I, who was always humble and zealously ready to do and to suffer all that in me lay, could not obtain this one concession, this most Christian prayer, that the Word of God should remain free and unbound, and that I should submit my books to your Sacred Majesty and the Estates of the Empire on that condition, nor that in yielding to the decree of a Council I should not submit to anything contrary to the gospel of God, nor should they make any such decree. is was the crux of the whole controversy.” Luther then continues: “For God, the searcher of hearts, is my witness that I am most ready to submit to and obey your Majesty either in life or in death, to glory or to shame, for gain or for loss. As I have o ered myself, thus I do now, excepting nothing save the Word of God, in which not only (as Christ teaches in Matthew 4) does man live, but which also the angels of Christ desire to see (I Peter 1). As it is above all things it ought to be held free and unbound in all, as Paul teaches (II Timothy 2:9). It ought not to depend on human judgment nor to yield to the opinion of men, no matter how great, how numerous, how learned, and how holy they are. Thus does St. Paul in Galatians. I dare to exclaim with emphasis, ‘If we or an angel from heaven teach you another gospel, let him be anathema,’ and David says, ‘Put not your trust in princes, in the sons of men, in whom is no safety,’ Ps. 146:3. Nor is anyone able to trust in himself, as Solomon says, ‘He is a fool who trusts in his heart’; Prov. 28:26, and Jeremiah 17, ‘Cursed is he who trusteth in man’ … For to trust in man in matters of salvation is to give to the creature the glory due to the creator alone.” (20–21)
–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.