February 27 - Matthew 7, Exodus 37-38 and Proverbs 17

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Judging Others
(Luke 6.37, 38, 41, 42)

Matthew 7 "Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, 2for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. 3Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? 4How dare you say to your brother, 'Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,' when you have a log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
6"Do not give what is holy to dogs--they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs--they will only trample them underfoot.

Ask, Seek, Knock
(Luke 11.9-13)

7"Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock. 9Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread? 10Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a fish? 11As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
12"Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets.

The Narrow Gate
(Luke 13.24)

13"Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. 14But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit
(Luke 6.43, 44)

15"Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but on the inside they are really like wild wolves. 16You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs. 17A healthy tree bears good fruit, but a poor tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit. 19And any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire. 20So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do.

I Never Knew You
(Luke 13.25-27)

21"Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. 22When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!' 23Then I will say to them, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!'

The Two House Builders
(Luke 6.47-49)

24"So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.
26"But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!"

The Authority of Jesus

28When Jesus finished saying these things, the crowd was amazed at the way he taught. 29He wasn't like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority.

Making the Covenant Box
(Exodus 25.10-22)

Exodus 37 Bezalel made the Covenant Box out of acacia wood, 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high. 2He covered it with pure gold inside and out and put a gold border all around it. 3He made four carrying rings of gold for it and attached them to its four feet, with two rings on each side. 4He made carrying poles of acacia wood, covered them with gold, 5and put them through the rings on each side of the Box. 6He made a lid of pure gold, 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. 7He made two winged creatures of hammered gold, 8one for each end of the lid. He made them so that they formed one piece with the lid. 9The winged creatures faced each other across the lid, and their outspread wings covered it.

Making the Table for the Bread Offered to God
(Exodus 25.23-30)

10He made the table out of acacia wood, 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high. 11He covered it with pure gold and put a gold border around it. 12He made a rim 3 inches wide around it and put a gold border around the rim. 13He made four carrying rings of gold for it and put them at the four corners, where the legs were. 14The rings to hold the poles for carrying the table were placed near the rim. 15He made the poles of acacia wood and covered them with gold. 16He made the dishes of pure gold for the table: the plates, the cups, the jars, and the bowls to be used for the wine offering.

Making the Lampstand
(Exodus 25.31-40)

17He made the lampstand of pure gold. He made its base and its shaft of hammered gold; its decorative flowers, including buds and petals, formed one piece with it. 18Six branches extended from its sides, three from each side. 19Each of the six branches had three decorative flowers shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 20The shaft of the lampstand had four decorative flowers shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 21There was one bud below each of the three pairs of branches. 22The buds, the branches, and the lampstand were a single piece of pure hammered gold. 23He made seven lamps for the lampstand, and he made its tongs and trays of pure gold. 24He used seventy-five pounds of pure gold to make the lampstand and all its equipment.

Making the Altar for Burning Incense
(Exodus 30.1-5)

25He made an altar out of acacia wood, for burning incense. It was square, 18 inches long and 18 inches wide, and it was 36 inches high. Its projections at the four corners formed one piece with it. 26He covered its top, all four sides, and its projections with pure gold and put a gold border around it. 27He made two gold carrying rings for it and attached them below the border on the two sides, to hold the poles with which it was to be carried. 28He made the poles of acacia wood and covered them with gold.

Making the Anointing Oil and the Incense
(Exodus 30.22-38)

29He also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure sweet-smelling incense, mixed like perfume.

Making the Altar for Burning Offerings
(Exodus 27.1-8)

Exodus 38 For burning offerings, he made an altar out of acacia wood. It was square, 7˝ feet long and 7˝ feet wide, and it was 4˝ feet high. 2He made the projections at the top of the four corners, so that they formed one piece with the altar. He covered it all with bronze. 3He also made all the equipment for the altar: the pans, the shovels, the bowls, the hooks, and the fire pans. All this equipment was made of bronze. 4He made a bronze grating and put it under the rim of the altar, so that it reached halfway up the altar. 5He made four carrying rings and put them on the four corners. 6He made carrying poles of acacia wood, covered them with bronze, 7and put them in the rings on each side of the altar. The altar was made of boards and was hollow.

Making the Bronze Basin
(Exodus 30.18)

8He made the bronze basin and its bronze base out of the mirrors belonging to the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence.

The Enclosure for the Tent of the LORD's Presence
(Exodus 27.9-19)

9For the Tent of the LORD's presence he made the enclosure out of fine linen curtains. On the south side the curtains were 50 yards long, 10supported by twenty bronze posts in twenty bronze bases, with hooks and rods made of silver. 11The enclosure was the same on the north side. 12On the west side there were curtains 25 yards long, with ten posts and ten bases and with hooks and rods made of silver. 13On the east side, where the entrance was, the enclosure was also 25 yards wide. 14-15On each side of the entrance there were 7˝ yards of curtains, with three posts and three bases. 16All the curtains around the enclosure were made of fine linen. 17The bases for the posts were made of bronze, and the hooks, the rods, and the covering of the tops of the posts were made of silver. All the posts around the enclosure were connected with silver rods. 18The curtain for the entrance of the enclosure was made of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and decorated with embroidery. It was 10 yards long and 2˝ yards high, like the curtains of the enclosure. 19It was supported by four posts in four bronze bases. Their hooks, the covering of their tops, and their rods were made of silver. 20All the pegs for the Tent and for the surrounding enclosure were made of bronze.

Metals Used in the Tent of the LORD's Presence

21Here is a list of the amounts of the metals used in the Tent of the LORD's presence, where the two stone tablets were kept on which the Ten Commandments were written. The list was ordered by Moses and made by the Levites who worked under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.
22Bezalel, the son of Uri and grandson of Hur from the tribe of Judah, made everything that the LORD had commanded. 23His helper, Oholiab son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan, was an engraver, a designer, and a weaver of fine linen and of blue, purple, and red wool.
24All the gold that had been dedicated to the LORD for the sacred Tent weighed 2,195 pounds, weighed according to the official standard. 25The silver from the census of the community weighed 7,550 pounds, weighed according to the official standard. 26This amount equaled the total paid by all persons enrolled in the census, each one paying the required amount, weighed according to the official standard. There were 603,550 men twenty years old or older enrolled in the census. 27Of the silver, 7,500 pounds were used to make the hundred bases for the sacred Tent and for the curtain, 75 pounds for each base. 28With the remaining 50 pounds of silver Bezalel made the rods, the hooks for the posts, and the covering for their tops. 29The bronze which was dedicated to the LORD amounted to 5,310 pounds. 30With it he made the bases for the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence, the bronze altar with its bronze grating, all the equipment for the altar, 31the bases for the surrounding enclosure and for the entrance of the enclosure, and all the pegs for the Tent and the surrounding enclosure.

Proverbs 17 Better to eat a dry crust of bread with peace of mind than have a banquet in a house full of trouble.
2A shrewd servant will gain authority over a master's worthless son and receive a part of the inheritance.
3Gold and silver are tested by fire, and a person's heart is tested by the LORD.
4Evil people listen to evil ideas, and liars listen to lies.
5If you make fun of poor people, you insult the God who made them. You will be punished if you take pleasure in someone's misfortune.
6Grandparents are proud of their grandchildren, just as children are proud of their parents.
7Respected people do not tell lies, and fools have nothing worthwhile to say.
8Some people think a bribe works like magic; they believe it can do anything.
9If you want people to like you, forgive them when they wrong you. Remembering wrongs can break up a friendship.
10An intelligent person learns more from one rebuke than a fool learns from being beaten a hundred times.
11Death will come like a cruel messenger to wicked people who are always stirring up trouble.
12It is better to meet a mother bear robbed of her cubs than to meet some fool busy with a stupid project.
13If you repay good with evil, you will never get evil out of your house.
14The start of an argument is like the first break in a dam; stop it before it goes any further.
15Condemning the innocent or letting the wicked go--both are hateful to the LORD.
16It does a fool no good to spend money on an education, because he has no common sense.
17Friends always show their love. What are relatives for if not to share trouble?
18Only someone with no sense would promise to be responsible for someone else's debts.
19To like sin is to like making trouble. If you brag all the time, you are asking for trouble.
20Anyone who thinks and speaks evil can expect to find nothing good--only disaster.
21There is nothing but sadness and sorrow for parents whose children do foolish things.
22Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.
23Corrupt judges accept secret bribes, and then justice is not done.
24An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.
25Foolish children bring grief to their fathers and bitter regrets to their mothers.
26It is not right to make an innocent person pay a fine; justice is perverted when good people are punished.
27Those who are sure of themselves do not talk all the time. People who stay calm have real insight. 28After all, even fools may be thought wise and intelligent if they stay quiet and keep their mouths shut.

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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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