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Today's Reading
August 21

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Pastor’s Note

Today we dig into the initial section of the longest chapter in the Bible—a song extolling the value and power of God’s written word. Don’t miss this important emphasis. For all the flack we Christians endure from those who claim that we take God’s inscripturated truth too seriously, this extended chapter can be a refreshing and vindicating read. Also in 1 Corinthians 3 we encounter the true definition of a “carnal Christian” (ESV = “people of the flesh”). Notice that this is not a group of people who live identically to the world, but an immature set of Christians who champion their favorite Christian preacher. While this is admittedly wrong and “fleshly,” it is a long way from the sinful behavior people try to file under the “carnal Christian.”

— Pastor Mike

Psalm 119:1-48

Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet

Aleph

119:1  [1] Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
 who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
 who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
 but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
 to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
 in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
 having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
 when I learn your righteous rules. [2]
I will keep your statutes;
 do not utterly forsake me!

Beth

How can a young man keep his way pure?
 By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
 let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
 that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
 teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
 all the rules [3] of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
 as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
 and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
 I will not forget your word.

Gimel

17 Deal bountifully with your servant,
 that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
 wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth;
 hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing
 for your rules [4] at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
 who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt,
 for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
 your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight;
 they are my counselors.

Daleth

25 My soul clings to the dust;
 give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
 teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
 and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
 strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
 and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
 I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
 let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
 when you enlarge my heart! [5]

He

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
 and I will keep it to the end. [6]
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
 and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
 for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
 and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
 and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
 that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread,
 for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts;
 in your righteousness give me life!

Waw

41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
 your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
 for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
 for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
 forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
 for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
 and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
 which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
 and I will meditate on your statutes.

1 Corinthians 3

Divisions in the Church

3:1 But I, brothers, [7] could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you [8] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

Footnotes

[1] 119:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem of twenty-two stanzas, following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet; within a stanza, each verse begins with the same Hebrew letter
[2] 119:7 Or your just and righteous decrees; also verses 62, 106, 160, 164
[3] 119:13 Or all the just decrees
[4] 119:20 Or your just decrees; also verses 30, 39, 43, 52, 75, 102, 108, 137, 156, 175
[5] 119:32 Or for you set my heart free
[6] 119:33 Or keep it as my reward
[7] 3:1 Or brothers and sisters
[8] 3:16 The Greek for you is plural in verses 16 and 17

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