January 10 - Luke 10.1-20, Genesis 17 and Psalm 10
The Work of the Seventy-Two FollowersLuke 10 Later the Lord chose seventy-two other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go. 2He said to them:
A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in. 3Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. 4Don't take along a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals. And don't waste time greeting people on the road. 5As soon as you enter a home, say, "God bless this home with peace." 6If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. 7Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don't move around from house to house.
8If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9Heal their sick and say, "God's kingdom will soon be here!"
10But if the people of a town refuse to welcome you, go out into the street and say, 11"We are shaking the dust from our feet as a warning to you. And you can be sure that God's kingdom will soon be here!" 12I tell you that on the day of judgment the people of Sodom will get off easier than the people of that town!
The Unbelieving Towns
13You people of Chorazin are in for trouble! You people of Bethsaida are also in for trouble! If the miracles that took place in your towns had happened in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have turned to God long ago. They would have dressed in sackcloth and put ashes on their heads. 14On the day of judgment the people of Tyre and Sidon will get off easier than you will. 15People of Capernaum, do you think you will be honored in heaven? Well, you will go down to hell!
16My followers, whoever listens to you is listening to me. Anyone who says "No" to you is saying "No" to me. And anyone who says "No" to me is really saying "No" to the one who sent me.
The Return of the Seventy-Two17When the seventy-two followers returned, they were excited and said, "Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name!"
18Jesus told them:
I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. 20But don't be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!
God's Promise to AbrahamGenesis 17 Abram was ninety-nine years old when the LORD appeared to him again and said, "I am God All-Powerful. If you obey me and always do right, 2I will keep my solemn promise to you and give you more descendants than can be counted." 3Abram bowed with his face to the ground, and God said:
4-5I promise that you will be the father of many nations. That's why I now change your name from Abram to Abraham. 6I will give you a lot of descendants, and in the future they will become great nations. Some of them will even be kings.
7I will always keep the promise I have made to you and your descendants, because I am your God and their God. 8I will give you and them the land in which you are now a foreigner. I will give the whole land of Canaan to your family forever, and I will be their God.
9Abraham, you and all future members of your family must promise to obey me. 10-11As the sign that you are keeping this promise, you must circumcise every man and boy in your family. 12-13From now on, your family must circumcise every baby boy when he is eight days old. You must even circumcise any man or boy you have as a slave, both those born in your homes and those you buy from foreigners. This will be a sign that my promise to you will last forever. 14Any man who isn't circumcised hasn't kept his promise to me and cannot be one of my people.
15Abraham, your wife's name will now be Sarah instead of Sarai. 16I will bless her, and you will have a son by her. She will become the mother of nations, and some of her descendants will even be kings.
17Abraham bowed with his face to the ground and thought, "I am almost a hundred years old. How can I become a father? And Sarah is ninety. How can she have a child?" So he started laughing. 18Then he asked God, "Why not let Ishmael inherit what you have promised me?"
19But God answered:
No! You and Sarah will have a son. His name will be Isaac, and I will make an everlasting promise to him and his descendants.
20I have heard what you asked me to do for Ishmael, and so I will also bless him with many descendants. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make his family a great nation. 21But your son Isaac will be born about this time next year, and the promise I am making to you and your family will be for him and his descendants forever.
22God finished speaking to Abraham and then left.
23-27On that same day Abraham obeyed God by circumcising Ishmael. Abraham was also circumcised, and so were all other men and boys in his household, including his servants and slaves. He was ninety-nine years old at the time, and his son Ishmael was thirteen.
1Why are you far away, LORD?
Why do you hide yourself when I am in trouble?
2Proud and brutal people hunt down the poor.
But let them get caught by their own evil plans!
3The wicked brag about their deepest desires.
Those greedy people hate and curse you, LORD.
4The wicked are too proud to turn to you
or even think about you.
5They are always successful,
though they can't understand your teachings,
and they keep sneering at their enemies.
6In their hearts they say, "Nothing can hurt us!
We'll always be happy and free from trouble."
7They curse and tell lies, and all they talk about
is how to be cruel or how to do wrong.
8They hide outside villages,
waiting to strike and murder some innocent victim.
9They are hungry lions hiding in the bushes,
hoping to catch some helpless passerby.
They trap the poor in nets and drag them away.
10They crouch down and wait to grab a victim.
11They say, "God can't see! He's got on a blindfold."
12Do something, LORD God,
and use your powerful arm to help those in need.
13The wicked don't respect you.
In their hearts they say, "God won't punish us!"
14But you see the trouble and the distress,
and you will do something.
The poor can count on you, and so can orphans.
15Now break the arms of all merciless people.
Punish them for doing wrong and make them stop.
16Our LORD, you will always rule,
but nations will vanish from the earth.
17You listen to the longings of those who suffer.
You offer them hope,
and you pay attention to their cries for help.
18You defend orphans and everyone else in need,
so that no one on earth can terrify others again.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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