Saturday, January 20

Lift High the Cross!

Genesis 16

Psalm 18:31-50

31  For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?—32  the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. 33  He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. 34  He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35  You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. 36  You gave a wide place for my steps under me,

and my feet did not slip. 37  I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. 38  I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. 39  For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. 40  You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed. 41 They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 42  I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets. 43  You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. 44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me. 45 Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses. 46  The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— 47  the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, 48  who rescued me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from the man of violence. 49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to your name. 50  Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.

Matthew 10:26-42

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Not Peace, but a Sword
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a discipletruly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Questions to Ponder:

The Lord has his own plan. Sometimes we don’t understand it. Often we make our own decisions about how to handle a problem. Hagar was the servant of Sarai. Sarai treated her so badly that Hagar ran away. Then an angel of the Lord found Hagar and told her to return to Sarai and to submit to her. He promised he would take care of her and that he saw her plight. When Hagar returned, Ishmael was born and raised by Abram.

Do you go to the Lord with your problems? Do you fit into the Lord’s plan, or do you try to make your own plan?

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