Sunday 20 August 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sun Aug 20 02:00:03 EDT 2023

Sunday 20 August 2023 

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
2 Samuel 17:1-23

Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, ‘Let me choose twelve thousand
men, and I will set out and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him
while he is weary and discouraged, and throw him into a panic; and all
the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the
king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes
home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man,* and all the
people will be at peace.’ The advice pleased Absalom and all the
elders of Israel.
 Then Absalom said, ‘Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear
too what he has to say.’ When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said
to him, ‘This is what Ahithophel has said; shall we do as he
advises? If not, you tell us.’ Then Hushai said to Absalom, ‘This
time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.’ Hushai
continued, ‘You know that your father and his men are warriors, and
that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field.
Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night
with the troops. Even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits, or
in some other place. And when some of our troops* fall at the first
attack, whoever hears it will say, “There has been a slaughter among
the troops who follow Absalom.” Then even the valiant warrior, whose
heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear; for
all Israel knows that your father is a warrior, and that those who are
with him are valiant warriors. But my counsel is that all Israel be
gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, like the sand by the sea for
multitude, and that you go to battle in person. So we shall come upon
him in whatever place he may be found, and we shall light on him as
the dew falls on the ground; and he will not survive, nor will any of
those with him. If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will
bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until
not even a pebble is to be found there.’ Absalom and all the men of
Israel said, ‘The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the
counsel of Ahithophel.’ For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good
counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring ruin on Absalom.
 Then Hushai said to the priests Zadok and Abiathar, ‘Thus and so
did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and
so I have counselled. Therefore send quickly and tell David, “Do not
lodge tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross
over; otherwise the king and all the people who are with him will be
swallowed up.” ’ Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel; a
servant-girl used to go and tell them, and they would go and tell King
David; for they could not risk being seen entering the city. But a boy
saw them, and told Absalom; so both of them went away quickly, and
came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his
courtyard; and they went down into it. The man’s wife took a
covering, stretched it over the well’s mouth, and spread out grain
on it; and nothing was known of it. When Absalom’s servants came to
the woman at the house, they said, ‘Where are Ahimaaz and
Jonathan?’ The woman said to them, ‘They have crossed over the
brook* of water.’ And when they had searched and could not find
them, they returned to Jerusalem.

 After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and
told King David. They said to David, ‘Go and cross the water
quickly; for thus and so has Ahithophel counselled against you.’ So
David and all the people who were with him set out and crossed the
Jordan; by daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.

 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled
his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in
order, and hanged himself; he died and was buried in the tomb of his
Galatians 3:6-14

Just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as
righteousness’, so, you see, those who believe are the descendants
of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the
Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying,
‘All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.’ For this reason, those
who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.

 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it
is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all
the things written in the book of the law.’ Now it is evident that
no one is justified before God by the law; for ‘The one who is
righteous will live by faith.’* But the law does not rest on faith;
on the contrary, ‘Whoever does the works of the law* will live by
them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a
curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a
tree’— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might
come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the
Spirit through faith.
John 5:30-47
‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is
just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who
sent me.

 ‘If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is
another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to
me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the
truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things
so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you
were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a
testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given
me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself
testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his
form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not
believe him whom he has sent.

 ‘You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have
eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse
to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings.
But I know that you do not have the love of God in* you. I have come
in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in
his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept
glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the
one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the
Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you
believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if
you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?’
Morning Psalms: Psalm 118

Psalm 118

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his steadfast love endures for ever! 

Let Israel say,
   ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’ 
Let the house of Aaron say,
   ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’ 
Let those who fear the Lord say,
   ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’ 

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
   the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. 
With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
   What can mortals do to me? 
The Lord is on my side to help me;
   I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
   than to put confidence in mortals. 
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
   than to put confidence in princes. 

All nations surrounded me;
   in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 
They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
   in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 
They surrounded me like bees;
   they blazed* like a fire of thorns;
   in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 
I was pushed hard,* so that I was falling,
   but the Lord helped me. 
The Lord is my strength and my might;
   he has become my salvation. 

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly; 
   the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
   the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.’ 
I shall not die, but I shall live,
   and recount the deeds of the Lord. 
The Lord has punished me severely,
   but he did not give me over to death. 

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
   that I may enter through them
   and give thanks to the Lord. 

This is the gate of the Lord;
   the righteous shall enter through it. 

I thank you that you have answered me
   and have become my salvation. 
The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the chief cornerstone. 
This is the Lord’s doing;
   it is marvellous in our eyes. 
This is the day that the Lord has made;
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.* 
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
   O Lord, we beseech you, give us success! 

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.*
   We bless you from the house of the Lord. 
The Lord is God,
   and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
   up to the horns of the altar.* 

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
   you are my God, I will extol you. 

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 145

Psalm 145

I will extol you, my God and King,
   and bless your name for ever and ever. 
Every day I will bless you,
   and praise your name for ever and ever. 
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
   his greatness is unsearchable. 

One generation shall laud your works to another,
   and shall declare your mighty acts. 
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
   and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
   and I will declare your greatness. 
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
   and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 
The Lord is good to all,
   and his compassion is over all that he has made. 

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
   and all your faithful shall bless you. 
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
   and tell of your power, 
to make known to all people your* mighty deeds,
   and the glorious splendour of your* kingdom. 
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
   and your dominion endures throughout all generations. 

The Lord is faithful in all his words,
   and gracious in all his deeds.* 
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
   and raises up all who are bowed down. 
The eyes of all look to you,
   and you give them their food in due season. 
You open your hand,
   satisfying the desire of every living thing. 
The Lord is just in all his ways,
   and kind in all his doings. 
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
   to all who call on him in truth. 
He fulfils the desire of all who fear him;
   he also hears their cry, and saves them. 
The Lord watches over all who love him,
   but all the wicked he will destroy. 

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
   and all flesh will bless his holy name for ever and ever.

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