June 2 - Romans 8, 1 Samuel 17.1-54 and Psalm 62
Life in the SpiritRomans 8 There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. 4God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.
9But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to--if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.
12So then, my friends, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. 15For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, "Father! my Father!" 16God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children. 17Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory.
The Future Glory18I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. 23But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. 24For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.
28We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers. 30And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.
God's Love in Christ Jesus31In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son--will he not also freely give us all things? 33Who will accuse God's chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! 35Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36As the scripture says,
"For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;
we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered."
37No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39neither the world above nor the world below--there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Goliath Challenges the Israelites1 Samuel 17 The Philistines gathered for battle in Socoh, a town in Judah; they camped at a place called Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. 2Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in Elah Valley, where they got ready to fight the Philistines. 3The Philistines lined up on one hill and the Israelites on another, with a valley between them.
4A man named Goliath, from the city of Gath, came out from the Philistine camp to challenge the Israelites. He was over nine feet tall 5and wore bronze armor that weighed about 125 pounds and a bronze helmet. 6His legs were also protected by bronze armor, and he carried a bronze javelin slung over his shoulder. 7His spear was as thick as the bar on a weaver's loom, and its iron head weighed about fifteen pounds. A soldier walked in front of him carrying his shield. 8Goliath stood and shouted at the Israelites, "What are you doing there, lined up for battle? I am a Philistine, you slaves of Saul! Choose one of your men to fight me. 9If he wins and kills me, we will be your slaves; but if I win and kill him, you will be our slaves. 10Here and now I challenge the Israelite army. I dare you to pick someone to fight me!" 11When Saul and his men heard this, they were terrified.
David in Saul's Camp12David was the son of Jesse, who was an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and at the time Saul was king, he was already a very old man. 13His three oldest sons had gone with Saul to war. The oldest was Eliab, the next was Abinadab, and the third was Shammah. 14David was the youngest son, and while the three oldest brothers stayed with Saul, 15David would go back to Bethlehem from time to time, to take care of his father's sheep.
16Goliath challenged the Israelites every morning and evening for forty days.
17One day Jesse said to David, "Take a half-bushel of this roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and hurry with them to your brothers in the camp. 18And take these ten cheeses to the commanding officer. Find out how your brothers are getting along and bring back something to show that you saw them and that they are well. 19King Saul, your brothers, and all the other Israelites are in Elah Valley fighting the Philistines."
20David got up early the next morning, left someone else in charge of the sheep, took the food, and went as Jesse had told him to. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelites were going out to their battle line, shouting the war cry. 21The Philistine and the Israelite armies took positions for battle, facing each other. 22David left the food with the officer in charge of the supplies, ran to the battle line, went to his brothers, and asked how they were getting along. 23As he was talking with them, Goliath came forward and challenged the Israelites as he had done before. And David heard him. 24When the Israelites saw Goliath, they ran away in terror. 25"Look at him!" they said to each other. "Listen to his challenge! King Saul has promised to give a big reward to the man who kills him; the king will also give him his daughter to marry and will not require his father's family to pay taxes."
26David asked the men who were near him, "What will the man get who kills this Philistine and frees Israel from this disgrace? After all, who is this heathen Philistine to defy the army of the living God?" 27They told him what would be done for the man who killed Goliath.
28Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard David talking to the men. He became angry with David and said, "What are you doing here? Who is taking care of those sheep of yours out there in the wilderness? You smart aleck, you! You just came to watch the fighting!"
29"Now what have I done?" David asked. "Can't I even ask a question?" 30He turned to another man and asked him the same question, and every time he asked, he got the same answer.
31Some men heard what David had said, and they told Saul, who sent for him. 32David said to Saul, "Your Majesty, no one should be afraid of this Philistine! I will go and fight him."
33"No," answered Saul. "How could you fight him? You're just a boy, and he has been a soldier all his life!"
34"Your Majesty," David said, "I take care of my father's sheep. Any time a lion or a bear carries off a lamb, 35I go after it, attack it, and rescue the lamb. And if the lion or bear turns on me, I grab it by the throat and beat it to death. 36I have killed lions and bears, and I will do the same to this heathen Philistine, who has defied the army of the living God. 37The LORD has saved me from lions and bears; he will save me from this Philistine."
"All right," Saul answered. "Go, and the LORD be with you." 38He gave his own armor to David for him to wear: a bronze helmet, which he put on David's head, and a coat of armor. 39David strapped Saul's sword over the armor and tried to walk, but he couldn't, because he wasn't used to wearing them. "I can't fight with all this," he said to Saul. "I'm not used to it." So he took it all off. 40He took his shepherd's stick and then picked up five smooth stones from the stream and put them in his bag. With his sling ready, he went out to meet Goliath.
David Defeats Goliath41The Philistine started walking toward David, with his shield bearer walking in front of him. He kept coming closer, 42and when he got a good look at David, he was filled with scorn for him because he was just a nice, good-looking boy. 43He said to David, "What's that stick for? Do you think I'm a dog?" And he called down curses from his god on David. 44"Come on," he challenged David, "and I will give your body to the birds and animals to eat."
45David answered, "You are coming against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the Israelite armies, which you have defied. 46This very day the LORD will put you in my power; I will defeat you and cut off your head. And I will give the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds and animals to eat. Then the whole world will know that Israel has a God, 47and everyone here will see that the LORD does not need swords or spears to save his people. He is victorious in battle, and he will put all of you in our power."
48Goliath started walking toward David again, and David ran quickly toward the Philistine battle line to fight him. 49He reached into his bag and took out a stone, which he slung at Goliath. It hit him on the forehead and broke his skull, and Goliath fell face downward on the ground. 50And so, without a sword, David defeated and killed Goliath with a sling and a stone! 51He ran to him, stood over him, took Goliath's sword out of its sheath, and cut off his head and killed him.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran away. 52The men of Israel and Judah shouted and ran after them, pursuing them all the way to Gath and to the gates of Ekron. The Philistines fell wounded all along the road that leads to Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron. 53When the Israelites came back from pursuing the Philistines, they looted their camp. 54David got Goliath's head and took it to Jerusalem, but he kept Goliath's weapons in his own tent.
Confidence in God's ProtectionPsalm 62 I wait patiently for God to save me;
I depend on him alone.
2He alone protects and saves me;
he is my defender,
and I shall never be defeated.
3How much longer will all of you attack someone
who is no stronger than a broken-down fence?
4You only want to bring him down from his place of honor;
you take pleasure in lies.
You speak words of blessing,
but in your heart you curse him.
5I depend on God alone;
I put my hope in him.
6He alone protects and saves me;
he is my defender,
and I shall never be defeated.
7My salvation and honor depend on God;
he is my strong protector;
he is my shelter.
8Trust in God at all times, my people.
Tell him all your troubles,
for he is our refuge.
9Human beings are all like a puff of breath;
great and small alike are worthless.
Put them on the scales, and they weigh nothing;
they are lighter than a mere breath.
10Don't put your trust in violence;
don't hope to gain anything by robbery;
even if your riches increase,
don't depend on them.
11More than once I have heard God say
that power belongs to him
12and that his love is constant.
You yourself, O Lord, reward everyone according to their deeds.
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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