September 22 - John 21, 2 Chronicles 33 and Psalm 89.1-18

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Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples

John 21 Jesus later appeared to his disciples along the shore of Lake Tiberias. 2Simon Peter, Thomas the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, and the brothers James and John, were there, together with two other disciples. 3Simon Peter said, "I'm going fishing!"
The others said, "We will go with you." They went out in their boat. But they didn't catch a thing that night.
4Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize who he was. 5Jesus shouted, "Friends, have you caught anything?"
"No!" they answered.
6So he told them, "Let your net down on the right side of your boat, and you will catch some fish."
They did, and the net was so full of fish that they could not drag it up into the boat.
7Jesus' favorite disciple told Peter, "It's the Lord!" When Simon heard that it was the Lord, he put on the clothes that he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into the water. 8The boat was only about a hundred yards from shore. So the other disciples stayed in the boat and dragged in the net full of fish.
9When the disciples got out of the boat, they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. 10Jesus told his disciples, "Bring some of the fish you just caught." 11Simon Peter got back into the boat and dragged the net to shore. In it were one hundred fifty-three large fish, but still the net did not rip.
12Jesus said, "Come and eat!" But none of the disciples dared ask who he was. They knew he was the Lord. 13Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave some of it to his disciples. He did the same with the fish. 14This was the third time that Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from death.

Jesus and Peter

15When Jesus and his disciples had finished eating, he asked, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than the others do?"
Simon Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, you know I do!"
"Then feed my lambs," Jesus said.
16Jesus asked a second time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you!"
"Then take care of my sheep," Jesus told him.
17Jesus asked a third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, "Lord, you know everything. You know I love you."
Jesus replied, "Feed my sheep. 18I tell you for certain that when you were a young man, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will hold out your hands. Then others will wrap your belt around you and lead you where you don't want to go."
19Jesus said this to tell how Peter would die and bring honor to God. Then he said to Peter, "Follow me!"

Jesus and His Favorite Disciple

20Peter turned and saw Jesus' favorite disciple following them. He was the same one who had sat next to Jesus at the meal and had asked, "Lord, who is going to betray you?" 21When Peter saw that disciple, he asked Jesus, "Lord, what about him?"
22Jesus answered, "What is it to you, if I want him to live until I return? You must follow me." 23So the rumor spread among the other disciples that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say he would not die. He simply said, "What is it to you, if I want him to live until I return?"
24This disciple is the one who told all of this. He wrote it, and we know he is telling the truth.
25Jesus did many other things. If they were all written in books, I don't suppose there would be room enough in the whole world for all the books.

King Manasseh of Judah
(2 Kings 21.1-9, 17, 18)

2 Chronicles 33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled fifty-five years from Jerusalem. 2Manasseh disobeyed the LORD by following the disgusting customs of the nations that the LORD had forced out of Israel. 3He rebuilt the local shrines that his father Hezekiah had torn down. He built altars for the god Baal and set up sacred poles for worshiping the goddess Asherah. And he faithfully worshiped the stars in the sky.
4In the temple, where only the LORD was supposed to be worshiped, Manasseh built altars for pagan gods 5and for the stars. He placed these altars in both courtyards of the temple 6-7and even set up a stone image of a foreign god. Manasseh practiced magic and witchcraft; he asked fortunetellers for advice and sacrificed his own sons in Hinnom Valley. He did many other sinful things and made the LORD very angry.
Years ago, God had told David and Solomon:

Jerusalem is the place I prefer above all others in Israel. It belongs to me, and there in the temple I will be worshiped forever. 8If my people will faithfully obey all the laws and teaching I gave to my servant Moses, I will never again force them to leave the land I gave to their ancestors.

9But the people of Judah and Jerusalem listened to Manasseh and did even more sinful things than the nations the LORD had wiped out.
10The LORD tried to warn Manasseh and the people about their sins, but they ignored the warning. 11So he let Assyrian army commanders invade Judah and capture Manasseh. They put a hook in his nose and tied him up in chains, and they took him to Babylon. 12While Manasseh was held captive there, he asked the LORD God to forgive him and to help him. 13The LORD listened to Manasseh's prayer and saw how sorry he was, and so he let him go back to Jerusalem and rule as king. Manasseh knew from then on that the LORD was God.
14Later, Manasseh rebuilt the eastern section of Jerusalem's outer wall and made it taller. This section went from Gihon Valley north to Fish Gate and around the part of the city called Mount Ophel. He also assigned army officers to each of the fortified cities in Judah.
15Manasseh also removed the idols and the stone image of the foreign god from the temple, and he gathered the altars he had built near the temple and in other parts of Jerusalem. He threw all these things outside the city. 16Then he repaired the LORD's altar and offered sacrifices to thank him and sacrifices to ask his blessing. He gave orders that everyone in Judah must worship the LORD God of Israel. 17The people obeyed Manasseh, but they worshiped the LORD at their own shrines.
18Everything else Manasseh did while he was king, including his prayer to the LORD God and the warnings from his prophets, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 19Hozai wrote a lot about Manasseh, including his prayer and God's answer. But Hozai also recorded the evil things Manasseh did before turning back to God, as well as a list of places where Manasseh set up idols, and where he built local shrines and places to worship Asherah. 20Manasseh died and was buried near the palace, and his son Amon became king.

King Amon of Judah
(2 Kings 21.19-26)

21Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for two years. 22Amon disobeyed the LORD, just as his father Manasseh had done, and he worshiped and offered sacrifices to the idols his father had made. 23Manasseh had turned back to the LORD, but Amon refused to do that. Instead, he sinned even more than his father.
24Some of Amon's officials plotted against him and killed him in his palace. 25But the people of Judah killed the murderers of Amon and made his son Josiah king.

Psalm 89
[A special psalm by Ethan the Ezrahite.]
The LORD's Agreement with David

1Our LORD, I will sing of your love forever.
Everyone yet to be born
will hear me praise your faithfulness.
2I will tell them,
"God's love can always be trusted,
and his faithfulness lasts as long as the heavens."

3You said, "David, my servant, is my chosen one,
and this is the agreement I made with him:
4David, one of your descendants will always be king."

5Our LORD, let the heavens now praise your miracles,
and let all of your angels praise your faithfulness.

6None who live in the heavens can compare with you.
7You are the most fearsome of all who live in heaven;
all the others fear and greatly honor you.
8You are LORD God All-Powerful!
No one is as loving and faithful as you are.
9You rule the roaring sea and calm its waves.
10You crushed the monster Rahab,
and with your powerful arm
you scattered your enemies.
11The heavens and the earth belong to you.
And so does the world with all its people
because you created them 12and everything else.

Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon gladly praise you.
13You are strong and mighty!
14Your kingdom is ruled by justice and fairness
with love and faithfulness leading the way.

15Our LORD, you bless those who join in the festival
and walk in the brightness of your presence.
16We are happy all day because of you,
and your saving power brings honor to us.
17Your own glorious power makes us strong,
and because of your kindness, our strength increases.
18Our LORD and our King, the Holy One of Israel,
you are truly our shield.

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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