Day 319 November 15
15 In those days I saw people in Judah using the winepresses on the Sabbath. They were also collecting piles of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs, and every kind of load, and then bringing them to Jerusalem on the Sabbath. I warned them at that time against selling food.
16 In addition, people from Tyre who lived in the city were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them to the people of Judah on the Sabbath. This happened in Jerusalem itself!
17 So I scolded the officials of Judah: “What is this evil thing that you are doing?” I asked. “You are making the Sabbath impure! 18 This is just what your ancestors did, and God brought all this evil upon us and upon this city. And now you are bringing more wrath upon Israel by making the Sabbath impure!”
19 So when it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I gave orders that the doors should be shut. I also ordered that they shouldn’t be reopened until after the Sabbath. To make sure that no load would come into the city on the Sabbath, I stationed some of my own men at the gates. 20 Once or twice the traders and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 But I warned them: “Why are you spending the night by the wall? If you do that again, I will lay hands on you!” At that point, they stopped coming on the Sabbath. 22 I also commanded the Levites to purify themselves and to come and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Remember this also in my favor, my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your mercy.
2 Corinthians 3
Does this sound as if we were again boasting about ourselves? Could it be that, like some other people, we need letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are the letter we have, written on our hearts for everyone to know and read. 3 It is clear that Christ himself wrote this letter and sent it by us. It is written, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, and not on stone tablets but on human hearts.
4 We say this because we have confidence in God through Christ. 5 There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God; 6 it is he who made us capable of serving the new covenant, which consists not of a written law but of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.
7 The Law was carved in letters on stone tablets, and God’s glory appeared when it was given. Even though the brightness on Moses’ face was fading, it was so strong that the people of Israel could not keep their eyes fixed on him. If the Law, which brings death when it is in force, came with such glory, 8 how much greater is the glory that belongs to the activity of the Spirit! 9 The system which brings condemnation was glorious; how much more glorious is the activity which brings salvation! 10 We may say that because of the far brighter glory now the glory that was so bright in the past is gone. 11 For if there was glory in that which lasted for a while, how much more glory is there in that which lasts forever!
12 Because we have this hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who had to put a veil over his face so that the people of Israel would not see the brightness fade and disappear. 14 Their minds, indeed, were closed; and to this very day their minds are covered with the same veil as they read the books of the old covenant. The veil is removed only when a person is joined to Christ. 15 Even today, whenever they read the Law of Moses, the veil still covers their minds. 16 But it can be removed, as the scripture says about Moses: “His veil was removed when he turned to the Lord.” 17 Now, “the Lord” in this passage is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 18 All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory.
1 Peter 3:1-12
Wives, likewise, submit to your own husbands. Do this so that even if some of them refuse to believe the word, they may be won without a word by their wives’ way of life. 2 After all, they will have observed the reverent and holy manner of your lives. 3 Don’t try to make yourselves beautiful on the outside, with stylish hair or by wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Instead, make yourselves beautiful on the inside, in your hearts, with the enduring quality of a gentle, peaceful spirit. This type of beauty is very precious in God’s eyes. 5 For it was in this way that holy women who trusted in God used to make themselves beautiful, accepting the authority of their own husbands. 6 For example, Sarah accepted Abraham’s authority when she called him master. You have become her children when you do good and don’t respond to threats with fear.
7 Husbands, likewise, submit by living with your wife in ways that honor her, knowing that she is the weaker partner. Honor her all the more, as she is also a coheir of the gracious care of life. Do this so that your prayers won’t be hindered.
8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, sympathetic, lovers of your fellow believers, compassionate, and modest in your opinion of yourselves. 9 Don’t pay back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, give blessing in return. You were called to do this so that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For
those who want to love life
and see good days
should keep their tongue from evil speaking
and their lips from speaking lies.
11 They should shun evil and do good;
seek peace and chase after it.
12 The Lord’s eyes are on the righteous
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord cannot tolerate those who do evil.
Prayer: may your presence go with us into ministry this day, dear Lord, for without you how could we exist? Amen.