January 15 - Luke 12.32-59, Genesis 22 and Psalm 15
Riches in Heaven
Watchful Servants35"Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit, 36like servants who are waiting for their master to come back from a wedding feast. When he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him at once. 37How happy are those servants whose master finds them awake and ready when he returns! I tell you, he will take off his coat, have them sit down, and will wait on them. 38How happy they are if he finds them ready, even if he should come at midnight or even later! 39And you can be sure that if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would not let the thief break into his house. 40And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him."
The Faithful or the Unfaithful Servant
42The Lord answered, "Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? He is the one that his master will put in charge, to run the household and give the other servants their share of the food at the proper time. 43How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home! 44Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property. 45But if that servant says to himself that his master is taking a long time to come back and if he begins to beat the other servants, both the men and the women, and eats and drinks and gets drunk, 46then the master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know. The master will cut him in pieces and make him share the fate of the disobedient.
47"The servant who knows what his master wants him to do, but does not get himself ready and do it, will be punished with a heavy whipping. 48But the servant who does not know what his master wants, and yet does something for which he deserves a whipping, will be punished with a light whipping. Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given.
Jesus the Cause of Division
Understanding the Time
Settle with Your Opponent
God Commands Abraham to Offer IsaacGenesis 22 Some time later God tested Abraham; he called to him, "Abraham!" And Abraham answered, "Yes, here I am!"
2"Take your son," God said, "your only son, Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the land of Moriah. There on a mountain that I will show you, offer him as a sacrifice to me."
3Early the next morning Abraham cut some wood for the sacrifice, loaded his donkey, and took Isaac and two servants with him. They started out for the place that God had told him about. 4On the third day Abraham saw the place in the distance. 5Then he said to the servants, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there and worship, and then we will come back to you."
6Abraham made Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice, and he himself carried a knife and live coals for starting the fire. As they walked along together, 7Isaac spoke up, "Father!"
He answered, "Yes, my son?"
Isaac asked, "I see that you have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?"
8Abraham answered, "God himself will provide one." And the two of them walked on together.
9When they came to the place which God had told him about, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. He tied up his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then he picked up the knife to kill him. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, "Abraham, Abraham!"
He answered, "Yes, here I am."
12"Don't hurt the boy or do anything to him," he said. "Now I know that you honor and obey God, because you have not kept back your only son from him."
13Abraham looked around and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He went and got it and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14Abraham named that place "The LORD Provides." And even today people say, "On the LORD's mountain he provides."
15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time, 16"I make a vow by my own name--the LORD is speaking--that I will richly bless you. Because you did this and did not keep back your only son from me, 17I promise that I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore. Your descendants will conquer their enemies. 18All the nations will ask me to bless them as I have blessed your descendants--all because you obeyed my command." 19Abraham went back to his servants, and they went together to Beersheba, where Abraham settled.
The Descendants of Nahor20Some time later Abraham learned that Milcah had borne eight children to his brother Nahor: 21Uz the first-born, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel, 23Rebecca's father. Milcah bore these eight sons to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24Reumah, Nahor's concubine, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
What God RequiresPsalm 15 LORD, who may enter your Temple?
Who may worship on Zion, your sacred hill?
2Those who obey God in everything
and always do what is right,
whose words are true and sincere,
3and who do not slander others.
They do no wrong to their friends
nor spread rumors about their neighbors.
4They despise those whom God rejects,
but honor those who obey the LORD.
They always do what they promise,
no matter how much it may cost.
5They make loans without charging interest
and cannot be bribed to testify against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will always be secure.
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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