September 19th, 2022

September 19, 2022

Today's Reading:

New Testament & Psalms Plan: 2 Corinthians 3, Psalm 106:37–41, Proverbs 30–31
Entire Bible Plan: 2 Corinthians 3, Psalm 106:37–41, Proverbs 30–31

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Living Letters

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are Christ's letter, delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God—not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Paul's Competence

Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God. It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

New Covenant Ministry

Now if the ministry that brought death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the Israelites were not able to gaze steadily at Moses's face because of its glory, which was set aside, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry that brought condemnation had glory, the ministry that brings righteousness overflows with even more glory. In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious now by comparison because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was set aside was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness. We are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from gazing steadily until the end of the glory of what was being set aside, but their minds were hardened. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ. Yet still today, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
The Words of Agur

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The pronouncement.
The man's oration to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:

I am more stupid than any other person,
and I lack a human's ability to understand.
I have not gained wisdom,
and I have no knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his hands?
Who has bound up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name,
and what is the name of his son—
if you know?
Every word of God is pure;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Don't add to his words,
or he will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.

Two things I ask of you;
don't deny them to me before I die:
Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.
Give me neither poverty nor wealth;
feed me with the food I need.
Otherwise, I might have too much
and deny you, saying, "Who is the Lord?"
or I might have nothing and steal,
profaning the name of my God.

Don't slander a servant to his master
or he will curse you, and you will become guilty.

There is a generation that curses its father
and does not bless its mother.
There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
yet is not washed from its filth.
There is a generation—how haughty its eyes
and pretentious its looks.
There is a generation whose teeth are swords,
whose fangs are knives,
devouring the oppressed from the land
and the needy from among mankind.

The leech has two daughters: "Give, Give!"
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, "Enough!":
Sheol; a childless womb;
earth, which is never satisfied with water;
and fire, which never says, "Enough!"

As for the eye that ridicules a father
and despises obedience to a mother,
may ravens of the valley pluck it out
and young vultures eat it.

Three things are too wondrous for me;
four I can't understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship at sea,
and the way of a man with a young woman.

This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, "I've done nothing wrong."

The earth trembles under three things;
it cannot bear up under four:
a servant when he becomes king,
a fool when he is stuffed with food,
an unloved woman when she marries,
and a servant girl when she ousts her queen.

Four things on earth are small,
yet they are extremely wise:
ants are not a strong people,
yet they store up their food in the summer;
hyraxes are not a mighty people,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in ranks;
a lizard can be caught in your hands,
yet it lives in kings' palaces.

Three things are stately in their stride;
four are stately in their walk:
a lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and doesn't retreat before anything;
a strutting rooster; a goat;
and a king at the head of his army.

If you have been foolish by exalting yourself
or if you've been scheming,
put your hand over your mouth.
For the churning of milk produces butter,
and twisting a nose draws blood,
and stirring up anger produces strife.

The Words of Lemuel

The words of King Lemuel,
a pronouncement that his mother taught him:

What should I say, my son?
What, son of my womb?
What, son of my vows?
Don't spend your energy on women
or your efforts on those who destroy kings.
It is not for kings, Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine
or for rulers to desire beer.
Otherwise, he will drink,
forget what is decreed,
and pervert justice for all the oppressed.
Give beer to one who is dying
and wine to one whose life is bitter.
Let him drink so that he can forget his poverty
and remember his trouble no more.
Speak up for those who have no voice,
for the justice of all who are dispossessed.
Speak up, judge righteously,
and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.

In Praise of a Wife of Noble Character

Who can find a wife of noble character?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will not lack anything good.
She rewards him with good, not evil,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with willing hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from far away.
She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her female servants.
She evaluates a field and buys it;
she plants a vineyard with her earnings.
She draws on her strength
and reveals that her arms are strong.
She sees that her profits are good,
and her lamp never goes out at night.
She extends her hands to the spinning staff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
Her hands reach out to the poor,
and she extends her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all in her household are doubly clothed.
She makes her own bed coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known at the city gates,
where he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes and sells linen garments;
she delivers belts to the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing,
and she can laugh at the time to come.
Her mouth speaks wisdom,
and loving instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the activities of her household
and is never idle.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also praises her:
"Many women have done noble deeds,
but you surpass them all!"
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
Give her the reward of her labor,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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