May 25 - Romans 1.1-15, 1 Samuel 8 and Psalm 54
From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus and an apostle chosen and called by God to preach his Good News.
2The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. 3It is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; 4as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death. 5Through him God gave me the privilege of being an apostle for the sake of Christ, in order to lead people of all nations to believe and obey. 6This also includes you who are in Rome, whom God has called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7And so I write to all of you in Rome whom God loves and has called to be his own people:
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Prayer of Thanksgiving8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because the whole world is hearing about your faith. 9God is my witness that what I say is true--the God whom I serve with all my heart by preaching the Good News about his Son. God knows that I remember you 10every time I pray. I ask that God in his good will may at last make it possible for me to visit you now. 11For I want very much to see you, in order to share a spiritual blessing with you to make you strong. 12What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours.
13You must remember, my friends, that many times I have planned to visit you, but something has always kept me from doing so. I want to win converts among you also, as I have among other Gentiles. 14For I have an obligation to all peoples, to the civilized and to the savage, to the educated and to the ignorant. 15So then, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who live in Rome.
The People Ask for a King1 Samuel 8 When Samuel grew old, he made his sons judges in Israel. 2The older son was named Joel and the younger one Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3But they did not follow their father's example; they were interested only in making money, so they accepted bribes and did not decide cases honestly.
4Then all the leaders of Israel met together, went to Samuel in Ramah, 5and said to him, "Look, you are getting old and your sons don't follow your example. So then, appoint a king to rule over us, so that we will have a king, as other countries have." 6Samuel was displeased with their request for a king; so he prayed to the LORD, 7and the LORD said, "Listen to everything the people say to you. You are not the one they have rejected; I am the one they have rejected as their king. 8Ever since I brought them out of Egypt, they have turned away from me and worshiped other gods; and now they are doing to you what they have always done to me. 9So then, listen to them, but give them strict warnings and explain how their kings will treat them."
10Samuel told the people who were asking him for a king everything that the LORD had said to him. 11"This is how your king will treat you," Samuel explained. "He will make soldiers of your sons; some of them will serve in his war chariots, others in his cavalry, and others will run before his chariots. 12He will make some of them officers in charge of a thousand men, and others in charge of fifty men. Your sons will have to plow his fields, harvest his crops, and make his weapons and the equipment for his chariots. 13Your daughters will have to make perfumes for him and work as his cooks and his bakers. 14He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and of your grapes for his court officers and other officials. 16He will take your servants and your best cattle and donkeys, and make them work for him. 17He will take a tenth of your flocks. And you yourselves will become his slaves. 18When that time comes, you will complain bitterly because of your king, whom you yourselves chose, but the LORD will not listen to your complaints."
19The people paid no attention to Samuel, but said, "No! We want a king, 20so that we will be like other nations, with our own king to rule us and to lead us out to war and to fight our battles." 21Samuel listened to everything they said and then went and told it to the LORD. 22The LORD answered, "Do what they want and give them a king." Then Samuel told all the men of Israel to go back home.
A Prayer for Protection from EnemiesPsalm 54 Save me by your power, O God;
set me free by your might!
2Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to my words!
3Proud people are coming to attack me;
cruel people are trying to kill me--
those who do not care about God.
4But God is my helper.
The Lord is my defender.
5May God use their own evil to punish my enemies.
He will destroy them because he is faithful.
6I will gladly offer you a sacrifice, O LORD;
I will give you thanks
because you are good.
7You have rescued me from all my troubles,
and I have seen my enemies defeated.
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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