24

SEP

SIMPLE FAITH - MARK 9:38-50

38. John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39. But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40. For the one who is not against us is for us. 41. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. 42. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48. ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49. For everyone will be salted with fire. 50. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

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17

SEP

STRAIGHT AND NARROW - MATTHEW 7:13-27

13. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. 15. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17. So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23. And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ 24. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

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10

SEP

ACTIONS AND WORDS - JAMES 3:1-12

1. Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6. And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8. but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12. Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

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3

SEP

PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS - MARK 7:24-37

24. And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25. But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27. And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28. But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29. And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30. And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone. 31. Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35. And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

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27

AUG

DO AND LIVE - JOHN 13:12-17

12. When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13. You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

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6

AUG

KNOWING FORGIVENESS - EPHESIANS 4:17-32

17. Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21. assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22. to put off your old self,which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23. and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24. and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27. and give no opportunity to the devil. 28. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

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30

JUL

ALL WE NEED - JOHN 3:24-36

24. (for John had not yet been put in prison). 25. Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27. John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30. He must increase, but I must decrease.” 31. He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

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23

JUL

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER - EPHESIANS 3:8-19

8. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9. and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10. so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12. in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. 14. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15. from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16. that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17. so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19. and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

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16

JUL

MY DWELLING PLACE - EPHESIANS 2:11-22

11. Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12. remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15. by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16. and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20. built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21. in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

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