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Today's Reading
August 15

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Pastor’s Note

Today we read a great set of God-breathed lyrics in Psalm 103, which reminds us that sometimes we need to firmly resolve to worship God even when our feelings are not prompting us to. How important it is to call ourselves to “remember” and then “bless” God for the good things that he has done and continues to do for us. In Romans 14 we recall the importance of laying down our “rights” for the good of others.

— Pastor Mike

Psalms 103-104

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Of David.

103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
 and all that is within me,
 bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
 and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
 who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
 who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
 so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
 and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
 his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
 slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
 nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
 nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
 so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
 so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
 so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame; [1]
 he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
 he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
 and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
 and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
 and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
 and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
 you mighty ones who do his word,
 obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
 his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
 in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Lord My God, You Are Very Great

104:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul!
 Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
 covering yourself with light as with a garment,
 stretching out the heavens like a tent.
He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
 he rides on the wings of the wind;
he makes his messengers winds,
 his ministers a flaming fire.

He set the earth on its foundations,
 so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
 the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
 at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
 to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
 so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
 they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
 the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
 they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
 the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
 and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
 15 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
 and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
 the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
 the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
 the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons; [2]
 the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
 when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
 seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they steal away
 and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
 and to his labor until the evening.

24 Lord, how manifold are your works!
 In wisdom have you made them all;
 the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
 which teems with creatures innumerable,
 living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
 and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it. [3]

27 These all look to you,
 to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
 when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
 when you take away their breath, they die
 and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your Spirit, [4] they are created,
 and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
 may the Lord rejoice in his works,
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
 who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
 I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
 for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
 and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!

Romans 14

Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another

14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master [5] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
 and every tongue shall confess [6] to God.”

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Do Not Cause Another to Stumble

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. [7] 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. [8]

Footnotes

[1] 103:14 Or knows how we are formed
[2] 104:19 Or the appointed times (compare Genesis 1:14)
[3] 104:26 Or you formed to play with
[4] 104:30 Or breath
[5] 14:4 Or lord
[6] 14:11 Or shall give praise
[7] 14:21 Some manuscripts add or be hindered or be weakened
[8] 14:23 Some manuscripts insert here 16:25-27

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