January 17: Psalm 17; Matthew 3-4

Song for Today:
Stand Up and Bless the Lord
The Prayer

Hear a just cause, O Lord, give heed to my cry;
Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips.
Let my judgment come forth from Your presence;
Let Your eyes look with equity.
•••
I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.
Wondrously show Your lovingkindness,
O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
From those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings
From the wicked who despoil me,
My deadly enemies who surround me.
•••
As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.
from Psalm 17

Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
•••
I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
•••
Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
from Matthew 3

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came
•••
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
•••
“On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
•••
“Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
•••
Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
•••
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
from Matthew 4
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