January 7 - Luke 8.26-56, Genesis 13-14 and Psalm 7
Jesus Heals a Man with Demons
30Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"My name is 'Mob,'" he answered--because many demons had gone into him. 31The demons begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss.
32There was a large herd of pigs near by, feeding on a hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he let them. 33They went out of the man and into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and was drowned.
34The men who had been taking care of the pigs saw what happened, so they ran off and spread the news in the town and among the farms. 35People went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were all afraid. 36Those who had seen it told the people how the man had been cured. 37Then all the people from that territory asked Jesus to go away, because they were terribly afraid. So Jesus got into the boat and left. 38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged Jesus, "Let me go with you."
But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39"Go back home and tell what God has done for you."
The man went through the town, telling what Jesus had done for him.
Jairus' Daughter and the Woman Who Touched Jesus' Cloak
As Jesus went along, the people were crowding him from every side. 43Among them was a woman who had suffered from severe bleeding for twelve years; she had spent all she had on doctors, but no one had been able to cure her. 44She came up in the crowd behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, and her bleeding stopped at once. 45Jesus asked, "Who touched me?"
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, "Master, the people are all around you and crowding in on you."
46But Jesus said, "Someone touched me, for I knew it when power went out of me." 47The woman saw that she had been found out, so she came trembling and threw herself at Jesus' feet. There in front of everybody, she told him why she had touched him and how she had been healed at once. 48Jesus said to her, "My daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
49While Jesus was saying this, a messenger came from the official's house. "Your daughter has died," he told Jairus; "don't bother the Teacher any longer."
50But Jesus heard it and said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; only believe, and she will be well."
51When he arrived at the house, he would not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, and James, and the child's father and mother. 52Everyone there was crying and mourning for the child. Jesus said, "Don't cry; the child is not dead--she is only sleeping!"
53They all made fun of him, because they knew that she was dead. 54But Jesus took her by the hand and called out, "Get up, child!" 55Her life returned, and she got up at once, and Jesus ordered them to give her something to eat. 56Her parents were astounded, but Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what had happened.
Abram and Lot SeparateGenesis 13 Abram went north out of Egypt to the southern part of Canaan with his wife and everything he owned, and Lot went with him. 2Abram was a very rich man, with sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as silver and gold. 3Then he left there and moved from place to place, going toward Bethel. He reached the place between Bethel and Ai where he had camped before 4and had built an altar. There he worshiped the LORD.
5Lot also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and servants. 6And so there was not enough pasture land for the two of them to stay together, because they had too many animals. 7So quarrels broke out between the men who took care of Abram's animals and those who took care of Lot's animals. (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were still living in the land.)
8Then Abram said to Lot, "We are relatives, and your men and my men shouldn't be quarreling. 9So let's separate. Choose any part of the land you want. You go one way, and I'll go the other."
10Lot looked around and saw that the whole Jordan Valley, all the way to Zoar, had plenty of water, like the Garden of the LORD or like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself and moved away toward the east. That is how the two men parted. 12Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled among the cities in the valley and camped near Sodom, 13whose people were wicked and sinned against the LORD.
Abram Moves to Hebron14After Lot had left, the LORD said to Abram, "From where you are, look carefully in all directions. 15I am going to give you and your descendants all the land that you see, and it will be yours forever. 16I am going to give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all; it would be as easy to count all the specks of dust on earth! 17Now, go and look over the whole land, because I am going to give it all to you." 18So Abram moved his camp and settled near the sacred trees of Mamre at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.
Abram Rescues LotGenesis 14 Four kings, Amraphel of Babylonia, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Tidal of Goiim, 2went to war against five other kings: Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (or Zoar). 3These five kings had formed an alliance and joined forces in Siddim Valley, which is now the Dead Sea. 4They had been under the control of Chedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled against him. 5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and his allies came with their armies and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in the plain of Kiriathaim, 6and the Horites in the mountains of Edom, pursuing them as far as Elparan on the edge of the desert. 7Then they turned around and came back to Kadesh (then known as Enmishpat). They conquered all the land of the Amalekites and defeated the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar.
8Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela drew up their armies for battle in Siddim Valley and fought 9against the kings of Elam, Goiim, Babylonia, and Ellasar, five kings against four. 10The valley was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah tried to run away from the battle, they fell into the pits; but the other three kings escaped to the mountains. 11The four kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah, including the food, and went away. 12Lot, Abram's nephew, was living in Sodom, so they took him and all his possessions.
13But a man escaped and reported all this to Abram, the Hebrew, who was living near the sacred trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram's allies. 14When Abram heard that his nephew had been captured, he called together all the fighting men in his camp, 318 in all, and pursued the four kings all the way to Dan. 15There he divided his men into groups, attacked the enemy by night, and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus, 16and got back all the loot that had been taken. He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other prisoners.
Melchizedek Blesses Abram17When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in Shaveh Valley (also called King's Valley). 18And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, 19blessed him, and said, "May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! 20May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised!" And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered.
21The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Keep the loot, but give me back all my people."
22Abram answered, "I solemnly swear before the LORD, the Most High God, Maker of heaven and earth, 23that I will not keep anything of yours, not even a thread or a sandal strap. Then you can never say, 'I am the one who made Abram rich.' 24I will take nothing for myself. I will accept only what my men have used. But let my allies, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, take their share."
A Prayer for JusticePsalm 7 O LORD, my God, I come to you for protection;
rescue me and save me from all who pursue me,
2or else like a lion they will carry me off
where no one can save me,
and there they will tear me to pieces.
3-4O LORD, my God, if I have wronged anyone,
if I have betrayed a friend
or without cause done violence to my enemy--
if I have done any of these things--
5then let my enemies pursue me and catch me,
let them cut me down and kill me
and leave me lifeless on the ground!
6Rise in your anger, O LORD!
Stand up against the fury of my enemies;
rouse yourself and help me!
Justice is what you demand,
7so bring together all the peoples around you,
and rule over them from above.
8You are the judge of all people.
Judge in my favor, O LORD;
you know that I am innocent.
9You are a righteous God
and judge our thoughts and desires.
Stop the wickedness of evildoers
and reward those who are good.
10God is my protector;
he saves those who obey him.
11God is a righteous judge
and always condemns the wicked.
12If they do not change their ways,
God will sharpen his sword.
He bends his bow and makes it ready;
13he takes up his deadly weapons
and aims his burning arrows.
14See how wicked people think up evil;
they plan trouble and practice deception.
15But in the traps they set for others,
they themselves get caught.
16So they are punished by their own evil
and are hurt by their own violence.
17I thank the LORD for his justice;
I sing praises to the LORD, the Most High.
This reading is from The Holy
Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American
Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.
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