CHRISTIAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL RESPONSIVE READINGS
546 THE GOD WHO COMFORTS
Isaiah 40:1-11, 29-31
Min: Comfort, yes, comfort My people! says your God.
Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
Min: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth.
Min: The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
The voice said, Cry out! and he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
Min: The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
Min: O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength.
Lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Min: Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.
He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.
Min: He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
Min: But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
547 GOD'S WORD MADE FLESH
Min: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Min: In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Min: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
Min: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
That was the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world.
Min: He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
Min: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name:
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Min: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
548 YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
John 4:24; 6:63; 3:6-8; 1 John 3:1-3, 14, 16, 18, 24
Min: God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
Min: The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
Min: So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Min: Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born again.'
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
Min: Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
Min: But we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Min: We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Min: My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
549 GOD'S ETERNAL PRESENCE
Psalm 139:1-12; 17, 18, 23, 24
Min: O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
Min: You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
Min: You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
Min: Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
Min: If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
Min: If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me,'' Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Min: How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.
Min: Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
550 THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Matthew 13:44-46; Luke 12:29, 31, 32; 13:18-21; Romans 14:17, 19 Hebrews 1:1, 2, 8, 9
Min: God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets
Has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.
Min: To the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
Min: The kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Min: Then Jesus said, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches."
Min: And again He said, "To what shall I liken the kingdom of God?
It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.
Min: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,
Which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Min: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
Min: And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind, but seek the kingdom of God.
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
551 THE LORD REIGNS!
Psalm 95:1-7; 93; 97:1, 2, 3-6, 9-12
Min: Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Min: For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land.
Min: Oh 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.
Min: The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength.
Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.
Min: The floods have lifted up, O Lord, The floods have lifted up their voice; The floods lift up their waves.
The Lord on high is mightier Than the noise of many waters, Than the mighty waves of the sea. Your testimonies are very sure; Holiness adorns Your house, O Lord, forever.
Min: The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!
Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
Min: A fire goes before Him; His lightnings light the world; The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples see His glory.
Min: For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth. You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them.
Light is sown for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
552 THE BREAD OF LIFE
John 4:13, 14; 6:30-35, 38; 7:37; Revelation 21:6
Min: Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.
He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
Min: If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
Min: But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
Min: For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
Min: Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
Min: For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
553 THE GOD WHO DELIVERS
Psalm 63:1-8; 107:1-8
Min: O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
Min: Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Min: My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
Min: Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.
Min: Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
Min: And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in.
Min: Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses.
Min: And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for habitation.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
554 THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Psalm 23; John 10:7-11, 14-16, 27-30
Min: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
Min: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Min: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Min: Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
Min: I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
Min: I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Min: I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
Min: And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life.
Min: They shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one.
555 THE GOD WHO REDEEMS
Deuteronomy 33:25, 27, 29; Psalm 62:1, 5-8; Isaiah 26:3, 4; 30:15, 18; 43:1-3, 5, 10
Min: Happy are you! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help?
As your days, so shall your strength be. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Min: Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
Min: In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Min: You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord our God is everlasting strength.
Min: For thus says the Lord God: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
Min: But now, thus says the Lord: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
Min: When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God, your Savior. Fear not, for I am with you. "You are My witnesses," says the Lord.
556 THE GOD WHO SUSTAINS
Psalm 3; 5:1-4, 7, 12
Min: Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me, "There is no help for him in God.
Min: But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill.
Min: I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around.
Min: Arise, O Lord; Save me, O my God!
Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people.
Min: Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray.
Min: My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You.
Min: But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
557 A PRAYER OF PENITENCE
Psalm 51:1-4; 6-17
Min: Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
Min: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
Min: For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Min: Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight
That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
Min: Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Min: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Min: Make me to hear joy and gladness,
That the bones which You have broken may rejoice.
Min: Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
Min: Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Min: Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Min: Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me with Your generous Spirit.
Min: Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
Min: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
Min: O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
Min: For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
Min: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart These, O God, You will not despise.
558 CHRIST: THE TRUE VINE
Min: I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Min: You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Min: I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Min: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Min: As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
Min: These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Min: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
559 THE BLESSED LIFE
Min: Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Min: He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Min: Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
560 THE DIVINE CONSOLATION
Min: Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Min: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
And where I go you know, and the way you know.
Min: Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?
Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
561 GRACIOUS INVITATION
Isaiah 55:1-4, 6-13
Min: Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Min: Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you the sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people.
Min: Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
Min: For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Min: For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Min: For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
562 THE BEATITUDES
Min: Blessed are the poor in spirit:
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Min: Blessed are those who mourn:
For they shall be comforted.
Min: Blessed are the meek:
For they shall inherit the earth.
Min: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness:
For they shall be filled.
Min: Blessed are the merciful:
For they shall obtain mercy.
Min: Blessed are the pure in heart:
For they shall see God.
Min: Blessed are the peacemakers:
For they shall be called sons of God.
Min: Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake:
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Min: Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Min: You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Min: Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
563 THE GLORY OF GOD
Min: The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
Min: There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun.
Min: Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Min: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
Min: The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Min: Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
Min: Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
564 TREASURES IN HEAVEN
Min: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Min: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
Min: But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Min: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other;
Or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Min: Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink;
Nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Min: Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns.
Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Min: Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin:
And yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Min: Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?
Min: For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
565 THE GOD WHO IS MERCIFUL
Min: Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Min: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Min: Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.
Min: He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
Min: He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
Min: For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Min: As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
Min: As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.
Min: But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children,
To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
566 THE GOODNESS OF GOD
Min: Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged;
and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Min: And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me remove the speck out of your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
Min: Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.
Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Min: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Min: Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
Min: If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
567 YEARNING FOR GOD
Psalm 143:1, 2, 4-11
Min: Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness.
Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous.
Min: Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart within me is distressed.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.
Min: I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.
Answer me speedily, O Lord; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
Min: Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter.
Min: Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Revive me, O Lord, for Your name's sake! For Your righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.
568 CHRISTIAN PERFECTION
Min: You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Min: If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
Min: Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
Min: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;
Min: For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Min: And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
569 JESUS OUR ADVOCATE
1 John 2:1-11; 3:1-3
Min: These things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Min: Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Min: But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Min: Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning.
The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
Min: Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
Min: He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Min: Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Min: Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
570 WHAT GOD REQUIRES
Isaiah 1:2, 10-18; Micah 6:6, 8
Min: Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken. Hear the word of the Lord; and give ear to the law of our God.
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me? says the Lord. I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats.
Min: When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts?
Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Min: Your New Moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.
Min: Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Min: With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings?
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
571 THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT
Romans 8:1-14, 38, 39
Min: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Min: For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Min: 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, the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Min: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Min: But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Min: But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Min: For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Min: For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
572 THE HOUSE OF GOD
Min: How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Min: Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You.
Min: Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of weeping, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools.
Min: They go from strength to strength; Every one of them appears before God in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob!
Min: O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Min: For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
573 THE TRUE FELLOWSHIP
1 John 1:1-9
Min: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life
The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us
Min: that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us;
And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Min: And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Min: If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Min: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
574 THE STRENGTH OF LIFE
Min: The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.
Min: Though an army should encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell 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.
Min: For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Min: Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, Lord, I will seek."
Min: Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.
Min: Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.
Min: I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
575 CHRISTIAN UNITY
Romans 12:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 12:4-9, 11-14, 18-21, 26, 27
Min: As we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Min: Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
Min: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
Min: To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Min: For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.
Min: God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
Min: And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
576 THE JUDGMENT
Min: When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
Min: And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, `Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Min: For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
Min: Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, `Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
Min: Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?
And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
577 LOVE NEVER FAILS
1 Corinthians 13
Min: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Min: And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
Min: Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
Min: Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
Min: For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
Min: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child;
But when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Min: For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
578 HOPE IN GOD
Min: As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
Min: My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, "Where is your God?"
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
Min: Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
Min: The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my Rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
Min: As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
579 CHRIST ABOVE ALL
Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21
Min: After I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
Min: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
Min: Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
Min: And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Min: From whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
Min: That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height
To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Min: Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
580 REJOICE IN THE LORD
2 Peter 1:2-8, 10; Philippians 4:4, 6-8
Min: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
Min: by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
Min: to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love.
Min: For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.
Min: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Min: The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.
581 THE LORD OUR ROCK
Psalm 18:1-6, 16-19, 30-32
Min: I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Min: I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
The pangs of death encompassed me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
Min: The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God;
Min: He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
Min: He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support.
Min: He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
Min: For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.
582 THINGS UNSEEN
2 Corinthians 4:5, 6, 13-18; Jude 1:24, 25
Min: We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Min: But since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak,
Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
Min: For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Min: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Min: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
583 TRUSTING IN GOD
Psalm 37:3-7, 62:1, 2, 5-8, 11, 12: 125:1, 2, 4
Min: Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
Min: My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
Min: In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Min: God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.
Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.
Min: Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Min: Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
Min: Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.
Those who trust in the Lord Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
Min: As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people From this time forth and forever.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, And to those who are upright in their hearts.
584 CHOOSING LIFE
Deuteronomy 30:11-16, 19, 20; Jeremiah 31:31-34
Min: See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
In that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways.
Min: I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life,
That you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.
Min: This commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?"
Min: Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?"
But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
Min: "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
"Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;
Min: But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel:
After those days," says the Lord, "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
Min: No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, "Know the Lord."
"For they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," says the Lord. "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
585 SPIRITUAL SERVICE
Romans 12:1-16, 21
Min: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Min: For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,
But to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Min: For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Min: Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
Or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Min: He who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence;
He who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Min: Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Min: Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Min: Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Min: Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another.
Min: Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
586 GOD OUR REFUGE
Min: God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, Though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Min: Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
Min: God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
Min: He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Min: Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
Min: Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
587 WALKING UPRIGHTLY
Psalm 15: 41:1-3, 12, 13
Min: Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart.
Min: He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.
In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change.
Min: He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
Min: The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.
Min: As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And set me before Your face forever.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.
588 THE WORTH OF HUMANITY
Min: O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, You who set Your glory above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Min: When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?
Min: For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
Min: You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen Even the beasts of the field,
Min: The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
589 UNTO THE HILLS
Min: I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Min: He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Min: The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.
Min: The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
590 THE MIND OF CHRIST
Min: Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy.
By being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Min: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Min: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
Min: But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Min: Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
591 THE HALLOWED HOUSE
Min: I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Min: Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact together,
Where the tribes go up, The tribes of the Lord, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
Min: For thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.
Min: For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, "Peace be within you.
Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.
592 JUSTIFIED BY FAITH
Min: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Min: And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Min: Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Min: For scarcely for a righteous man will one die;
yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
Min: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Min: For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
593 PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
Psalm 147:1, 3-9, 11-20
Min: Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.
He heals the broken-hearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.
Min: Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.
Min: Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God,
Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
Min: He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens that cry.
Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.
Min: Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you.
Min: He makes peace in your borders, And fills you with the finest wheat.
He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly.
Min: He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes;
He casts out His hail like morsels; Who can stand before His cold?
Min: He sends out His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. Praise the Lord!
594 THE SECRET PLACES OF GOD
Min: He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.
Min: Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
Min: You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
Min: A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
Min: Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your habitation,
No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
Min: For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
They shall bear you up in their hands, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Min: You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample under foot.
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
Min: He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.
595 THE WAY OF HOLINESS
Min: The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing.
Min: The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
Min: Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Min: Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water;
Min: A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there,
Min: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
596 THE PRINCE OF PEACE
Isaiah 9:2, 6, 7; 12:2-6; 49:6, 10, 13; 52:7-10
Min: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.
Min: And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.
Min: Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; `For Jehovah, the Lord, is my strength and my song.
He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Min: In that day you will say: Praise the Lord, call upon His name.
Declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted.
Min: Sing to the Lord, For He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!
Min: I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.
For He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them.
Min: Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.
Min: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace
who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
597 MESSIAH'S REIGN
Isaiah 11:1-7, 9, 10, 12; 2:2-5
Min: There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
Min: His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears.
But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.
Min: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat.
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
Min: The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Min: And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people.
For the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious. He will set up a banner for the nations.
Min: Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains.
It shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
Min: Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
Min: He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O come and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
598 THE MAGNIFICAT
Min: My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
Min: For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
Min: And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Min: He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
599 THE KING OF GLORY
Min: The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.
For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.
Min: Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.
Min: He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.
Min: Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Min: Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.
Min: Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
Min: Lift up your heads, O you gates! And lift them up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
600 THE EVERLASTING GOD
Min: Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
Min: You turn man to destruction, And say, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night.
Min: You carry them away like a flood; They are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up.
In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers.
Min: For we have been consumed by Your anger, And by Your wrath we are terrified.
You have set our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
Min: For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years.
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Min: Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
601 PALM SUNDAY
Zechariah 9:9, 10; Psalm 45:2-4, 6; Isaiah 40:9; 52:7
Min: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Min: I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off.
He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Min: You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, With Your glory and Your majesty.
Min: And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
Min: O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength,
Min: Lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
602 EASTER DAY
1 Corinthians 15:20-22; 35, 39-45, 51, 53, 57, 58
Min: Now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Min: But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?"
All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, and another of birds.
Min: There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
Min: So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
Min: It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Min: Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Min: Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
603 MEMORIAL DAYS
Min: After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
And crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!
Min: And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
Saying: Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
Min: Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?
And I said to him, Sir, you know. So he said to me, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Min: Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.
And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
Min: They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
604 SOCIAL JUSTICE
Psalm 9:1-4, 9-12, 19; 10:3, 8, 9, 11, 12
Min: I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Min: When my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence.
For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.
Min: The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Min: Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion!
Declare His deeds among the people. He does not forget the cry of the humble.
Min: Arise, O Lord, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight.
For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord.
Min: He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent.
His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.
Min: He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor;
He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
Min: He has said in his heart, "God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see it."
Arise, O Lord! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble.