July 31: Psalm 31; Job 20-24

Song for today: Marvelous Grace of Our Loving Lord

Today’s country: Republic of Guatemala

In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
•••
But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!
•••
Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men;
you store them in your shelter
from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!
from Psalm 31

Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
“Therefore my thoughts answer me,
because of my haste within me.
I hear censure that insults me,
and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
since man was placed on earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
•••
The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against him.
The possessions of his house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God’s wrath.
This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
the heritage decreed for him by God.”
from Job 20

Then Job answered and said:
“Keep listening to my words,
and let this be your comfort.
Bear with me, and I will speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on.
•••
Why do the wicked live,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
Their offspring are established in their presence,
and their descendants before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
and no rod of God is upon them.
Their bull breeds without fail;
their cow calves and does not miscarry.
They send out their little boys like a flock,
and their children dance.
They sing to the tambourine and the lyre
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
They say to God, ‘Depart from us!
We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
•••
One dies in his full vigor,
being wholly at ease and secure,
his pails full of milk
and the marrow of his bones moist.
Another dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted of prosperity.
They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worms cover them.
•••
How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”
from Job 21

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
“Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
and enters into judgment with you?
Is not your evil abundant?
There is no end to your iniquities.
•••
Agree with God, and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you.
Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
if you remove injustice far from your tents
from Job 22

Then Job answered and said:
“Today also my complaint is bitter;
my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
that I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what he would answer me
and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No; he would pay attention to me.
There an upright man could argue with him,
and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.
•••
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.
from Job 23

Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty,
and why do those who know him never see his days?
from Job 24

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July 30: Psalm 30; Job 15-19

Song for today: Wherever He Leads I Will Go

Today’s country: Grenada

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
•••
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
from Psalm 30

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
“Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
and fill his belly with the east wind?
Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which he can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God
and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
your own lips testify against you.
from Job 15

Then Job answered and said:
“I have heard many such things;
miserable comforters are you all.
Shall windy words have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
I also could speak as you do,
if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you
and shake my head at you.
I could strengthen you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
•••
I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin
and have laid my strength in the dust.
My face is red with weeping,
and on my eyelids is deep darkness,
although there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
•••
Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and he who testifies for me is on high.
from Job 16

My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
the graveyard is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers about me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.
•••
if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?”
from Job 17

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
“How long will you hunt for words?
Consider, and then we will speak.
•••
Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
such is the place of him who knows not God.”
from Job 18

Then Job answered and said:
“How long will you torment me
and break me in pieces with words?
•••
Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
•••
Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
from Job 19

July 29: Psalm 29; Job 8-14

Song for today: My Hope is in the Lord and My Hope is in the Lordband My Hope is in the Lord

Today’s country: Greenland

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
from Psalm 29

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
“How long will you say these things,
and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
•••
If you will seek God
and plead with the Almighty for mercy,
if you are pure and upright,
surely then he will rouse himself for you
and restore your rightful habitation.
from Job 8

Then Job answered and said:
“Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be in the right before God?
If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
•••
If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
I am blameless; I regard not myself;
I loathe my life
•••
There is no arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
from Job 9

I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
let me know why you contend against me.
•••
You have granted me life and steadfast love,
and your care has preserved my spirit.
Yet these things you hid in your heart;
I know that this was your purpose.
•••
Why did you bring me out from the womb?
Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
from Job 10

Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
and a man full of talk be judged right?
Should your babble silence men,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure,
and I am clean in God’s eyes.’
But oh, that God would speak
and open his lips to you,
and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
For he is manifold in understanding.
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
from Job 11

Then Job answered and said:
“No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends;
I, who called to God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
•••
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
•••
He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and makes them wander in a trackless waste.
They grope in the dark without light,
and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.
from Job 12

Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
•••
Only grant me two things,
then I will not hide myself from your face:
withdraw your hand far from me,
and let not dread of you terrify me.
Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
from Job 13

Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
•••
If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my service I would wait,
till my renewal should come.
You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hands.
For then you would number my steps;
you would not keep watch over my sin;
my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.
from Job 14

July 28: Psalm 28; Job 1-7

Song for today: Like a River Glorious

Today’s country: Hellenic Republic (Greece)

To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.
•••
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
from Psalm 28

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
•••
this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.
•••
the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
•••
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
from Job 1

the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
•••
his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
•••
when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place
from Job 2

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
from Job 3

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
“If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
Yet who can keep from speaking?
Behold, you have instructed many,
and you have strengthened the weak hands.
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.
•••
But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
it touches you, and you are dismayed.
Is not your fear of God your confidence,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?
“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
Or where were the upright cut off?
•••
Can mortal man be in the right before God?
Can a man be pure before his Maker?
Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;
how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like the moth.
from Job 4

but man is born to trouble
as the sparks fly upward.
“As for me, I would seek God,
and to God would I commit my cause,
who does great things and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number:
•••
Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up;
he shatters, but his hands heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles;
in seven no evil shall touch you.
•••
Behold, this we have searched out; it is true.
Hear, and know it for your good.”
from Job 5

Then Job answered
•••
Oh that I might have my request,
and that God would fulfill my hope,
that it would please God to crush me,
that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
This would be my comfort;
I would even exult in pain unsparing,
for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
•••
He who withholds kindness from a friend
forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My brothers are treacherous as a torrent-bed,
as torrential streams that pass away,
which are dark with ice,
and where the snow hides itself.
•••
Teach me, and I will be silent;
make me understand how I have gone astray.
How forceful are upright words!
But what does reproof from you reprove?
from Job 6

Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.
•••
Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
•••
What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
visit him every morning
and test him every moment?
•••
If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
Why have you made me your mark?
Why have I become a burden to you?
Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.”
from Job 7

July 27: Psalm 27; 2Cor 11-13

Song for today: Jesus I Am Resting, Resting

Today’s country: Republic of Ghana

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
•••
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
•••
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
•••
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
•••
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
from Psalm 27

I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
•••
what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
•••
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
from 2Cor 11

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—
•••
to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
from 2Cor 12

He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
•••
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
from 2Cor 13

July 26: Psalm 26; 2Cor 8-10

Song for today: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Today’s country: Federal Republic of Germany

Vindicate me, O Lord,
for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in your faithfulness.
•••
I wash my hands in innocence
and go around your altar, O Lord,
proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
and telling all your wondrous deeds.
O Lord, I love the habitation of your house
and the place where your glory dwells.
Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
in whose hands are evil devices,
and whose right hands are full of bribes.
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.
from Psalm 2

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
•••
For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
•••
for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.
from 2Cor 8

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
•••
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
•••
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
from 2Cor 9

the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
•••
Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
from 2Cor 10

July 25: Psalm 25; 2Cor 4-7

Song for today: Peace in the Valley and Peace in the Valley

Today’s country: Georgia

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
from Psalm 25

We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
•••
the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
•••
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
•••
he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
•••
this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
from 2Cor 4

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
•••
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
•••
if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
from 2Cor 5

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
from 2Cor 6

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
•••
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
from 2Cor 7