October 31: Psalm 122; Philemon

Songs for today: Find us Faithful / The Anchor Holds

Today’s Country: Republic of Peru

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good.
from Psalm 122

I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
•••
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
from Philemon

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October 30: Psalm 121; Joel

Songs for today: In Christ Alone / In Christ Alone

Today’s Country: Republic of Paraguay

I will lift up my eyes to the hills–
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
from Psalm 121

Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord.
Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is at hand;
It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
Is not the food cut off before our eyes,
Joy and gladness from the house of our God?
The seed shrivels under the clods,
Storehouses are in shambles;
Barns are broken down,
For the grain has withered.
How the animals groan!
The herds of cattle are restless,
Because they have no pasture;
Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.
O Lord, to You I cry out;
For fire has devoured the open pastures,
And a flame has burned all the trees of the field.
The beasts of the field also cry out to You,
For the water brooks are dried up,
And fire has devoured the open pastures.
from Joel 1

the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.
•••
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.
The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?
•••
Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him
•••
Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.
The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.
“But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odor will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”
Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!
Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you
•••
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.
•••
And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
from Joel 2

the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will grow dark,
And the stars will diminish their brightness.
The Lord also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake;
But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.
“So you shall know that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem shall be holy,
And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
•••
But Judah shall abide forever,
And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted;
For the Lord dwells in Zion.”
from Joel 3

October 29: Psalm 120; Titus

Songs for today: Just A Closer Walk with Thee / Shut De Do

Today’s Country: Republic of Paraguay

In my distress I cried to the Lord,
And He heard me.
Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue.
•••
My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace.
I am for peace;
But when I speak, they are for war.
from Psalm 120

if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
from Titus 1

speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things– that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
•••
in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
•••
the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
from Titus 2

when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
from Titus 3

October 28: Psalm 119

Songs for today: Sitting at the Feet of Jesus / When I Look Into Your Holiness

Today’s Country: Independent State of Papua New Guinea

Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
•••
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.
•••
Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.
•••
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
•••
I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed.
And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.
•••
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
•••
Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
You established the earth, and it abides.
They continue this day according to Your ordinances,
For all are Your servants.
•••
Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord,
And teach me Your judgments.
•••
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.
•••
Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul keeps them.
The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
•••
Rivers of water run down from my eyes,
Because men do not keep Your law.
•••
I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.
My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
from Psalm 119

October 27: Personal Choice; Hosea11-14

Songs for today: Give Thanks / Holy Spirit Living Breath of God

Today’s Country: Republic of Panama

For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst,
And I will not come in wrath.
They will walk after the Lord,
from Hosea 11

The Lord also has a dispute with Judah,
And will punish Jacob according to his ways;
He will repay him according to his deeds.
In the womb he took his brother by the heel,
And in his maturity he contended with God.
Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed;
He wept and sought His favor.
He found Him at Bethel
And there He spoke with us,
Even the Lord, the God of hosts,
The Lord is His name.
Therefore, return to your God,
Observe kindness and justice,
And wait for your God continually.
from Hosea 12

I have been the Lord your God
Since the land of Egypt;
And you were not to know any god except Me,
For there is no savior besides Me.
I cared for you in the wilderness,
In the land of drought.
As they had their pasture, they became satisfied,
And being satisfied, their heart became proud;
Therefore they forgot Me.
from Hosea 13

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
Whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
And the righteous will walk in them,
But transgressors will stumble in them.
from Hosea 14

October 26: Psalm 118; Hosea8-10

Songs for today: Shout to the Lord / Soon and Very Soon

Today’s Country: Republic of Palau

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
•••
Let those who fear the Lord now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
•••
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.
•••
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation
Is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
•••
The Lord has chastened me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
•••
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
•••
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
from Psalm 118

Though I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law,
They are regarded as a strange thing.
As for My sacrificial gifts,
They sacrifice the flesh and eat it,
But the Lord has taken no delight in them.
Now He will remember their iniquity,
And punish them for their sins;
They will return to Egypt.
For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces;
And Judah has multiplied fortified cities,
But I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings.
from Hosea 8

The days of punishment have come,
The days of retribution have come;
Let Israel know this!
The prophet is a fool,
The inspired man is demented,
Because of the grossness of your iniquity,
And because your hostility is so great.
from Hosea 9

Their heart is faithless;
Now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord will break down their altars
And destroy their sacred pillars.
Surely now they will say, “We have no king,
For we do not revere the Lord.
As for the king, what can he do for us?”
•••
Sow with a view to righteousness,
Reap in accordance with kindness;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord
Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.
from Hosea 10

October 25: Psalm 117; Hosea4-7

Songs for today: It is Well With My Soul / Holy, Holy, Holy

Today’s Country: Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
from Psalm 117

Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel,
For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.
There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
And also the fish of the sea disappear.
Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
So you will stumble by day,
And the prophet also will stumble with you by night;
And I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
from Hosea 4

Hear this, O priests!
Give heed, O house of Israel!
Listen, O house of the king!
For the judgment applies to you,
•••
I will go away and return to My place
Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
from Hosea 5

Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
“He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
•••
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
from Hosea 6

On the day of our king, the princes became sick with the heat of wine;
He stretched out his hand with scoffers,
For their hearts are like an oven
As they approach their plotting;
Their anger smolders all night,
In the morning it burns like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot like an oven,
And they consume their rulers;
All their kings have fallen.
None of them calls on Me.
•••
Though the pride of Israel testifies against him,
Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God,
Nor have they sought Him, for all this.
from Hosea 7