February 26 - Matthew 6.19-34, Exodus 35-36 and Proverbs 16

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Riches in Heaven
(Luke 12.33, 34)

Matthew 6 19"Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. 20Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. 21For your heart will always be where your riches are.

The Light of the Body
(Luke 11.34-36)

22"The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light; 23but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be!

God and Possessions
(Luke 16.13; 12.22-31)

24"You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25"This is why I tell you: do not be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? 26Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds? 27Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?
28"And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves. 29But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. 30It is God who clothes the wild grass--grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have!
31"So do not start worrying: 'Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?' 32(These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. 33Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. 34So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.

Regulations for the Sabbath

Exodus 35 Moses called together the whole community of the people of Israel and said to them, "This is what the LORD has commanded you to do: 2You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is to be sacred, a solemn day of rest dedicated to me, the LORD. Anyone who does any work on that day is to be put to death. 3Do not even light a fire in your homes on the Sabbath."

Offerings for the Sacred Tent
(Exodus 25.1-9)

4Moses said to all the people of Israel, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 5Make an offering to the LORD. Everyone who wishes to do so is to bring an offering of gold, silver, or bronze; 6fine linen; blue, purple, and red wool; cloth made of goats' hair; 7rams' skin dyed red; fine leather; acacia wood; 8oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet-smelling incense; 9carnelians and other jewels to be set in the High Priest's ephod and in his breastpiece.

Articles for the Tent of the LORD's Presence
(Exodus 39.32-43)

10"All the skilled workers among you are to come and make everything that the LORD commanded: 11the Tent, its covering and its outer covering, its hooks and its frames, its crossbars, its posts, and its bases; 12the Covenant Box, its poles, its lid, and the curtain to screen it off; 13the table, its poles, and all its equipment; the bread offered to God; 14the lampstand for the light and its equipment; the lamps with their oil; 15the altar for burning incense and its poles; the anointing oil; the sweet-smelling incense; the curtain for the entrance of the Tent; 16the altar on which to burn offerings, with its bronze grating attached, its poles, and all its equipment; the washbasin and its base; 17the curtains for the enclosure, its posts and bases; the curtain for the entrance of the enclosure; 18the Tent pegs and ropes for the Tent and the enclosure; 19and the magnificent garments the priests are to wear when they serve in the Holy Place--the sacred clothes for Aaron the priest and for his sons."

The People Bring Their Offerings

20All the people of Israel left, 21and everyone who wished to do so brought an offering to the LORD for making the Tent of the LORD's presence. They brought everything needed for use in worship and for making the priestly garments. 22All who wanted to, both men and women, brought decorative pins, earrings, rings, necklaces, and all kinds of gold jewelry and dedicated them to the LORD. 23Everyone who had fine linen; blue, purple, or red wool; cloth of goats' hair; rams' skin dyed red; or fine leather, brought it. 24All who were able to contribute silver or bronze brought their offering for the LORD, and all who had acacia wood which could be used for any of the work brought it. 25All the skilled women brought fine linen thread and thread of blue, purple, and red wool, which they had made. 26They also made thread of goats' hair. 27The leaders brought carnelians and other jewels to be set in the ephod and the breastpiece 28and spices and oil for the lamps, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet-smelling incense. 29All the people of Israel who wanted to brought their offering to the LORD for the work which he had commanded Moses to do.

Workers to Make the Tent of the LORD's Presence
(Exodus 31.1-11)

30Moses said to the Israelites, "The LORD has chosen Bezalel, the son of Uri and grandson of Hur from the tribe of Judah. 31God has filled him with his power and given him skill, ability, and understanding for every kind of artistic work, 32for planning skillful designs and working them in gold, silver, and bronze; 33for cutting jewels to be set; for carving wood; and for every other kind of artistic work. 34The LORD has given to him and to Oholiab son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their crafts to others. 35He has given them skill in all kinds of work done by engravers, designers, and weavers of fine linen; blue, purple, and red wool; and other cloth. They are able to do all kinds of work and are skillful designers.
Exodus 36 "Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other workers to whom the LORD has given skill and understanding, who know how to make everything needed to build the sacred Tent, are to make everything just as the LORD has commanded."

The People Bring Many Gifts

2Moses called Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other skilled men to whom the LORD had given ability and who were willing to help, and Moses told them to start working. 3They received from him all the offerings which the Israelites had brought for constructing the sacred Tent. But the people of Israel continued to bring Moses their offerings every morning. 4Then the skilled men who were doing the work went 5and told Moses, "The people are bringing more than is needed for the work which the LORD commanded to be done."
6So Moses sent a command throughout the camp that no one was to make any further contribution for the sacred Tent; so the people did not bring any more. 7What had already been brought was more than enough to finish all the work.

Making the Tent of the LORD's Presence
(Exodus 26.1-37)

8The most skilled men among those doing the work made the Tent of the LORD's presence. They made it out of ten pieces of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. 9Each piece was the same size, 14 yards long and 2 yards wide. 10They sewed five of them together in one set and did the same with the other five. 11They made loops of blue cloth on the edge of the outside piece in each set. 12They put fifty loops on the first piece of the first set and fifty loops matching them on the last piece of the second set. 13They made fifty gold hooks, with which to join the two sets into one piece.
14Then they made a cover for the Tent out of eleven pieces of cloth made of goats' hair. 15They made them all the same size, 15 yards long and 2 yards wide. 16They sewed five of them together in one set and the other six in another set. 17They put fifty loops on the edge of the last piece of one set and fifty loops on the edge of the other set. 18They made fifty bronze hooks to join the two sets, so as to form one cover. 19They made two more coverings, one of rams' skin dyed red and the other of fine leather, to serve as an outer cover.
20They made upright frames of acacia wood for the Tent. 21Each frame was 15 feet tall and 27 inches wide, 22with two matching projections, so that the frames could be joined together. All the frames had these projections. 23They made twenty frames for the south side 24and forty silver bases to go under them, two bases under each frame to hold its two projections. 25They made twenty frames for the north side of the Tent 26and forty silver bases, two under each frame. 27For the back of the Tent, on the west, they made six frames 28and two frames for the corners. 29These corner frames were joined at the bottom and connected all the way to the top. The two frames that formed the two corners were made in this way. 30So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases, two under each frame.
31They made fifteen crossbars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the Tent, 32five for the frames on the other side, and five for the frames on the west end, at the back. 33The middle crossbar, set halfway up the frames, extended from one end of the Tent to the other. 34They covered the frames with gold and fitted them with gold rings to hold the crossbars, which were also covered with gold.
35They made a curtain of fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered it with figures of winged creatures. 36They made four posts of acacia wood to hold the curtain, covered them with gold, and fitted them with gold hooks. Then they made four silver bases to hold the posts. 37For the entrance of the Tent they made a curtain of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and decorated with embroidery. 38For this curtain they made five posts fitted with hooks, covered their tops and their rods with gold, and made five bronze bases for the posts.

Proverbs 16 We may make our plans, but God has the last word.
2You may think everything you do is right, but the LORD judges your motives.
3Ask the LORD to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.
4Everything the LORD has made has its destiny; and the destiny of the wicked is destruction.
5The LORD hates everyone who is arrogant; he will never let them escape punishment.
6Be loyal and faithful, and God will forgive your sin. Obey the LORD and nothing evil will happen to you.
7When you please the LORD, you can make your enemies into friends.
8It is better to have a little, honestly earned, than to have a large income, dishonestly gained.
9You may make your plans, but God directs your actions.
10The king speaks with divine authority; his decisions are always right.
11The LORD wants weights and measures to be honest and every sale to be fair.
12Kings cannot tolerate evil, because justice is what makes a government strong.
13A king wants to hear the truth and will favor those who speak it.
14A wise person will try to keep the king happy; if the king becomes angry, someone may die.
15The king's favor is like the clouds that bring rain in the springtime--life is there.
16It is better--much better--to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.
17Those who are good travel a road that avoids evil; so watch where you are going--it may save your life.
18Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.
19It is better to be humble and stay poor than to be one of the arrogant and get a share of their loot.
20Pay attention to what you are taught, and you will be successful; trust in the LORD and you will be happy.
21A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.
22Wisdom is a fountain of life to the wise, but trying to educate stupid people is a waste of time.
23Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.
24Kind words are like honey--sweet to the taste and good for your health.
25What you think is the right road may lead to death.
26A laborer's appetite makes him work harder, because he wants to satisfy his hunger.
27Evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil.
28Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.
29Violent people deceive their friends and lead them to disaster.
30Watch out for people who grin and wink at you; they have thought of something evil.
31Long life is the reward of the righteous; gray hair is a glorious crown.
32It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities.
33People cast lots to learn God's will, but God himself determines the answer.

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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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