Bible Readings for Wednesday February 9th, 2011 – The 5th Week of Epiphany
*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.105. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
106. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances.
107. I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word.
108. Accept my offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your ordinances.
109. I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.
110. The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts.
111. Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
112. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.6. Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise.
7. Without having any chief or officer or ruler,
8. it prepares its food in summer, and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
9. How long will you lie there, O lazybones? When will you rise from your sleep?
10. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
11. and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want, like an armed warrior.
12. A scoundrel and a villain goes around with crooked speech,
13. winking the eyes, shuffling the feet, pointing the fingers,
14. with perverted mind devising evil, continually sowing discord;
15. on such a one calamity will descend suddenly; in a moment, damage beyond repair.
16. There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
17. haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18. a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that hurry to run to evil,
19. a lying witness who testifies falsely, and one who sows discord in a family.
20. My child, keep your father’s commandment, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21. Bind them upon your heart always; tie them around your neck.
22. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,12. Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
13. Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.”
14. Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
15. You judge by human standards; I judge no one.
16. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.
17. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid.
18. I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.”
19. Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
20. He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
21. Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”
22. Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”
23. He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.
24. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”
25. They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all?
26. I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.”
27. They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.
28. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me.
29. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.”
30. As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
- I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end. – Psalm 119:112
- For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, – Proverbs 6:23
- “You judge by human standards; I judge no one.” – John 8:15
We, like Jesus, are not here to judge. We are here to love. Mankind’s judgment is God’s alone. And how much more beautiful a place would this world be if that were the case?
We are to live this life, our walk illuminated, by God’s commandment and teaching. Is the fact our “heart is inclined” to the daily work of devotion and living out God’s Word what saves us? NEVER! But our toil is the light that catches the eye of an unloved brother or sister, makes them consider the grace they see, and brings them closer to you out of the darkness so that you may show them examples of God’s love.
And like the creatures of the ocean deep, this is a hunt. Coming in too close to our light will endanger your life. Our goal is to kill you, just like the ocean predators. For God’s true love always results in death: death to the wisdom of this world, death to logic, death to hatred, death to idle spirituality and most importantly, death to self.
19. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ;
20. and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Through the light of God’s word, the light of Christ exposes you and all of your secret inequities. And in that final revelation of who you are, you are broken, and through the vulnerabilities laid bare your “self” is poured out. As we are emptied Christ rushes in to fill the void.
Once we begin to destroy the “self” and abide in God’s grace and love, we begin to understand the world through the eyes of God. His word and his teachings illuminate everything in ways we could never imagine before, when we lived alone in fear. With the destruction of the “self” comes the destruction of fear, and when fear is abolished all of God’s creation is redeemed for your heart.
Things that once hurt you are now filled with sympathy and forgiveness, things that once scared you are opportunities for grace and love. Compassion replaces judgment. Righteous passion replaces idleness. And the world takes notice from the light that now emanates from your daily life and draws in closer.
12. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
We live each day, dying to the self and world, abiding in grace, walking in the light of God, with God… as God.