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Sat Apr 8 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Saturday 8 April 2023   HOLY SATURDAY   

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
Job 19:21-27a

Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,
   for the hand of God has touched me! 
Why do you, like God, pursue me,
   never satisfied with my flesh? 

‘O that my words were written down!
   O that they were inscribed in a book! 
O that with an iron pen and with lead
   they were engraved on a rock for ever! 
For I know that my Redeemer* lives,
   and that at the last he* will stand upon the earth;* 
and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
   then in* my flesh I shall see God,* 
whom I shall see on my side,*
   and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
   My heart faints within me!
Hebrews 4:1-16

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let
us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message
they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith
with those who listened.* For we who have believed enter that rest,
just as God* has said,
‘As in my anger I swore,
“They shall not enter my rest” ’,
though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. For in
one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows: ‘And God
rested on the seventh day from all his works.’ And again in this
place it says, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ Since therefore it
remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the
good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a
certain day—‘today’—saying through David much later, in the
words already quoted,
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.’ 
For if Joshua had given them rest, God* would not speak later about
another day. So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of
God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as
God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that
rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any
two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints
from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the
heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and
laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. 

 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our
weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested* as
we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace
with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in
time of need.
Romans 8:1-11

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ
Jesus. For the law of the Spirit* of life in Christ Jesus has set you*
free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law,
weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the
likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,* he condemned sin in
the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled
in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the
Spirit.* For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on
the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit*
set their minds on the things of the Spirit.* To set the mind on the
flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit* is life and peace.
For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God;
it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who
are in the flesh cannot please God.

 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,* since the
Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of
Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the
body is dead because of sin, the Spirit* is life because of
righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead
dwells in you, he who raised Christ* from the dead will give life to
your mortal bodies also through* his Spirit that dwells in you.
Morning Psalms: Psalm 95, 88

Psalm 95

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
   let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
   let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 
For the Lord is a great God,
   and a great King above all gods. 
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
   the heights of the mountains are his also. 
The sea is his, for he made it,
   and the dry land, which his hands have formed. 

O come, let us worship and bow down,
   let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 
For he is our God,
   and we are the people of his pasture,
   and the sheep of his hand. 

O that today you would listen to his voice! 
   Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
   as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, 
when your ancestors tested me,
   and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. 
For forty years I loathed that generation
   and said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
   and they do not regard my ways.’ 
Therefore in my anger I swore,
   ‘They shall not enter my rest.’

Psalm 88

O Lord, God of my salvation,
   when, at night, I cry out in your presence, 
let my prayer come before you;
   incline your ear to my cry. 

For my soul is full of troubles,
   and my life draws near to Sheol. 
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
   I am like those who have no help, 
like those forsaken among the dead,
   like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
   for they are cut off from your hand. 
You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
   in the regions dark and deep. 
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
   and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

You have caused my companions to shun me;
   you have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape; 
   my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call on you, O Lord;
   I spread out my hands to you. 
Do you work wonders for the dead?
   Do the shades rise up to praise you?
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
   or your faithfulness in Abaddon? 
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
   or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness? 

But I, O Lord, cry out to you;
   in the morning my prayer comes before you. 
O Lord, why do you cast me off?
   Why do you hide your face from me? 
Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
   I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.* 
Your wrath has swept over me;
   your dread assaults destroy me. 
They surround me like a flood all day long;
   from all sides they close in on me. 
You have caused friend and neighbour to shun me;
   my companions are in darkness.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 27

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold* of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid? 

When evildoers assail me
   to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
   they shall stumble and fall. 

Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
   yet I will be confident. 

One thing I asked of the Lord,
   that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
   and to inquire in his temple. 

For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will set me high on a rock. 

Now my head is lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
   be gracious to me and answer me! 
‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’
   Your face, Lord, do I seek. 
   Do not hide your face from me. 

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
   you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
   O God of my salvation! 
If my father and mother forsake me,
   the Lord will take me up. 

Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies. 
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they are breathing out violence. 

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
   in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord;
   be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!

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